‘Don’t Forget The Diver’ (TV)

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‘DON’T FORGET THE DIVER’ (TV)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

This episode features guest star Geoffrey Lumsden as Captain Square. His rank kept changing in the early seasons of ‘Dad’s Army’, didn’t it?! First he was a Colonel; then he was a Corporal-Colonel and now he’s a Captain. How come he’s demoted.promoted to this level? It’s not properly explained in the TV series.

Anyway, in the episode, Captain Mainwaring and his men take part in a training exercise that involves Jones inside a dummy log and Frazer inside a diving suit who pushes the log across the river. This was a pretty entertaining excursion for the ‘Dad’s Army’ team and it was great how they worked as a team.

I found this episode funny, especially when Mainwaring and his men do a run-through of their plan with Jones inside the log and Frazer inside the diving suit. It was funny when Jones was in the log, talking to Mainwaring and going “Gurgle, gurgle!” to make water noises. Jonesy can be funny at his best.

Hodges gets gobsmacked by it all when he enters to see the ‘Dad’s Army’ team during the run-through. He even gets one of his ARP wardens, Don Estelle as Gerald, to see this. And by the way, yes that is Don Estelle as Gerald who would later go on to star as Gunner ‘Lofty’ Sugden in ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’.

This episode also highlights Edward Sinclair as the Verger in his duplicitous role as a secret agent for Captain Square. He clearly despises the ‘Dad’s Army’ team, claiming they treat him ‘just like dirt’. It was pretty amusing when the Verger’s on watch in the cemetery and has a telephone hidden in a vase.

I laughed when I saw how Wilson and Godfrey did their diversions in order to distract Captain Square and his men from Corporal Jones approaching them in his dummy log. Walker helps Wilson and Godfrey in their distractions. It was funny when Jones got onto the river but couldn’t get the little door open in his log.

Eventually Jones falls back into the river. It was so funny. This episode also sees the first appearance of Robert Raglan as Captain Square’s Sergeant. He would later go on to play the semi-regular character, the Colonel, in the ‘Dad’s Army’ series. I’m amazed he didn’t play the Colonel in this episode.

‘Don’t Forget the Diver’ is a wonderful ‘Dad’s Army’ episode that I’ve enjoyed. I loved it when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are using interesting methods to get inside Captain Square’s ‘HQ’. This episode also highlights Private Frazer’s ability to tell stories, especially in how he had obtained a friend’s diving suit.

‘Don’t Forget the Diver’ (TV) rating – 8/10


‘DON’T FORGET THE DIVER’ (AUDIO)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

The radio version of ‘Don’t Forget The Diver’ was the first episode to be transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I enjoyed this radio version very much, although Walker doesn’t make an appearance in the episode. Frazer; Godfrey and Pike are the only ones in lower ranks joining our leads.

The episode doesn’t begin with Mainwaring and Wilson meeting Captain Square in the pub as you would expect. So no scene of Square putting his golden watch into his mouth as depicted in the TV episode. There’s also no explanation of how Square was demoted/promoted to the rank of captain in radio either.

The episode begins with Mainwaring briefing his men on the exercise they’re about to take part in with Captain Square’s platoon. Because of Walker’s absence, his lines are given to other characters. For example, Frazer replies “Or else in Australia.” instead of Walker to Jones’ suggestion of digging a tunnel.

It’s also Pike who suggests that they put somebody in a log to get across the river to Captain Square’s HQ instead of Walker. Wilson applauds Pike before Mainwaring ridicules the idea that nobody can breathe underwater for a long length of time. Frazer then suggests that someone goes in a diving suit.

I liked it when Mainwaring also ridicules Frazer’s idea of a diving suit before Frazer reveals that he has one. I did feel Frazer was a little over-dramatic in the telling of his story to the others about how he got his friend’s diving suit. It was funny when Frazer finished, Mainwaring said, “So, we take it you have a diving suit.”

It’s interesting to note that Larry Martyn took over the role of Walker from Graham Stark in the radio series, since he had previously played Walker in ‘Present Arms’. Yet somehow he didn’t play Walker in the first episode of Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I wonder why that wasn’t the case here.

Edward Sinclair of course reprises his role as the Verger in the radio episode of ‘Don’t Forget The Diver’ as he did in the TV series and Geoffrey Lumsden returns as Captain Square in the episode. However it is Norman Ettlinger who plays Captain Square’s Sergeant in the radio episode instead of Robert Raglan.

Bill Pertwee as Hodges and Don Estelle as Gerald don’t appear in the radio version of this episode as they do in the TV version. It was very funny when Jonesy went “Trickle, trickle!” instead of “Gurgle, gurgle!” to make water noises when inside the log. It set Godfrey off to ‘be excused’, which was hilarious.

‘Don’t Forget The Diver’ (Audio) rating – 8/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Don’t Forget The Diver’ (TV)

  1. Daniel

    Re: Captain Square’s changing rank. They didn’t make it clear in the series, but from what I’ve read about it, ‘Colonel’ was Square’s rank as a professional soldier (when he was in the Great War and various other before that in the regular army). Then by the time WW2 began he’d retired, but he volunteered to join the Home Guard firstly as a corporal and later the War office gave him the job of Captain of the Eastgate Platoon. The term ‘Corporal-Colonel’ comes from the fact that high ranking retired professional soldiers who helped out in the auxiliary army as lower ranks were allowed to keep their old rank as well as their new one as a mark of respect for their previous record (which is quite nice actually). I think the writers just assumed at the time the series was made that the audience knew how these things worked – different for later generations enjoying the show of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Daniel.

      Thanks for sharing this. I agree, it’s not made clear how Captain Square’s rank changing happened in the series and it would be confusing for fans of the series from later generations who would see the show differently, especially for me from a 21st century point of view.

      I think what you’ve said from what you’ve read about the rank-changing for Square makes sense. I wish the writers made it clearer in writing the episodes featuring Square, especially with Mainwaring, Wilson and others interacting with him.

      Many thanks,

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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