‘EVERYBODY’S TRUCKING’ (TV)
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In this episode, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team go on a divisional scheme to divert a military convoy heading into Walmington-on-Sea. But Captain Mainwaring damages Corporal Jones’ van in the process. The van also soon gets stuck in the mud when this abandoned steam-roller blocks their path on the road.
I did feel sorry for Jones when his van got repeatedly vandalised by Mainwaring in the episode. Mainwaring didn’t seem to care and is being rather unreasonable and heavy-handed. This is not just at Jones’ vans. He even threatens Pike to send him home when he’s interrupting him during parade.
What got Mainwaring into such a mood then? I know Mainwaring can be pompous at times but there was no need to be inconsiderate towards the mishandling of Jones’ van and treating Pike unreasonably. It was rather funny to see Jones getting nit-picky about Mainwaring damaging his van.
I also felt sorry for Pike and Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges when they got covered in mud whilst trying to get Jones’ van out of it. Pike gets the worst of the mud out of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team. Mainwaring accuses him for messing up his uniform. I do wonder why Pike is being treated like that.
Eventually, all of the Walmington-on-Sea townspeople that we know and love turn up to see what’s going on. This includes Frank Williams as the Vicar, Harold Bennett as Mr. Blewitt and the old-age pensioners on a coach ride. They try to help out but the ‘Dad’s Army’ team see they can’t help much.
There’s also Edward Sinclair as the Verger and Pamela Cundell as Mrs. Fox who arrive via Hodges’ motorbike. Hodges is annoyed about his motorbike being taken; Jones is upset about Mrs. Fox being with the Verger and Olive Mercer as Mrs. Yeatman is very shocked to see her husband with Mrs. Fox.
She’s a fine one to talk since she’s with Mr. Blewitt in the episode for some reason. How long has that been going on between these two? The Vicar even threatens the Verger’s position in the church to which he’s disturbed by. It’s all turning into a soap-opera by this point, isn’t it? Mainwaring is aghast.
‘Everybody Trucking’ is a great episode to start Series 7 of ‘Dad’s Army’. It is sad though that Walker is no longer with the ‘Dad’s Army’ team, as his absence from the series is never filled in. The last three seasons of ‘Dad’s Army’ are also shorter compared to the earlier seasons. But they’re still very good!
‘Everybody’s Trucking’ (TV) rating – 8/10
‘A JUMBO-SIZED PROBLEM’ (AUDIO)
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This is the radio adaptation of ‘Everybody’s Trucking’, the first episode of Series 7 in the TV series. It’s also the nineteenth episode in Series 3 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. This is one of my favourite episodes from the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Dare I say it, it’s a lot better than the TV version of the story.
When adapting the TV episode for radio, the writers Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles made the drastic decision to make significant changes to the script. The most significant was the ‘Dad’s Army’ getting held up by a circus truck instead of a steam roller as in the TV episode. And there’s an elephant.
Yeah! There’s an elephant in this radio version of ‘Everybody’s Trucking’. So having it retitled as ‘A Jumbo-Sized Problem’ is more fitting for radio. The radio version of the episode sticks to the TV version right up to the point Hodges’ car, instead of his van, gets stuck in the mud. The rest focuses on the elephant.
I found it amusing when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team try to utilise the elephant to help them get Jones’ van out of the mud. There are some very amusing moments with the elephant. There’s the moment where she stands on her head like in a circus act and the ‘Dad’s Army’ team clap hands to get her back upright.
The guest cast includes Larry Martyn as Private Walker and Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges. Walker wasn’t in the TV version of ‘Everybody’s Trucking’ due to James Beck’s tragic death. I do feel Walker is rather redundant in the radio version of this story as he doesn’t do much except make jokes.
Mainwaring even tells Walker off whenever he says a word in the episode. Walker could’ve had more potential in the episode with helping the elephant get out of the van. I found it funny when Hodges was amused by the ‘Dad’s Army’ team’s efforts to use the elephant to get Jonesy’s van out of the mud.
Because of the significant changes made to adapt the TV script into radio, there’s no appearance of Edward Sinclair as the Verger; Frank Williams as the Vicar; Pamela Cundell as Mrs. Fox; Harold Bennett as Mr. Blewett and Olive Mercer as Mrs. Yeatman as in the TV version. But I did not mind that so much.
I found it amusing how the radio episode ended when it turned out the training exercise the ‘Dad’s Army’ team were on was actually next Saturday. Jonesy gets upset with Mainwaring for damaging his van. It was also amusing when the elephant sat on Hodges’ car at the end and he goes ballistic about it.
‘A Jumbo-Sized Problem’ (Audio) rating – 9/10
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