‘GETTING THE BIRD’ (TV)
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In this episode, Sergeant Wilson falls out with Mrs Pike after he’s been seeing a ‘girl’. What could this mean when he’s discovered drinking and having a hangover at the church hall when the Home Guard parade starts? Wilson also keeps seeing pigeons in Mainwaring’s office and Pike seems to ignore him.
Meanwhile, Private Walker has stolen some pigeons from Trafalgar Square in London. This is to provide business for Jones’ butcher shop. When Walker is found out to have stolen the pigeons, he has to take them back. Some pigeons end up in the church organ when Jonesy plays it during a service.
This isn’t one of my standout favourite episodes from ‘Dad’s Army’. It’s okay, but the balance of the two sub-plots of Wilson and the girl and Walker and Jones with the pigeons fell flat for me. There was more dealt with on the pigeons’ side than on Wilson’s side. There were good character moments mind.
I felt sorry for Wilson since he got thrown out by Mrs. Pike and young Pike was told to ignore his uncle by his mum during a parade. Mainwaring is furious about this and gives Pike a telling off, which is cut short after the pigeons are discovered in his office. It’s revealed Wilson has a daughter in the episode.
The stuff with Walker; Jonesy and the pigeons is fairly amusing, especially when Walker actually stole them from Trafalgar Square. It was funny when the pigeons woke up in Mainwaring’s office and Wilson and Pike see them. The last scene where the pigeons shoot out from the organ was also funny to watch.
In terms of the guest cast, there’s Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges, who gets given pigeons by Walker and Jones before he gives them after hearing they’ve been stolen from Trafalgar Square on the wireless. Frank Williams as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair as the Verger also make an appearance here.
There’s also Pamela Cundell as Mrs. Fox and Olive Mercer as Mrs. Yeatman, the Verger’s wife who are at Jonesy’s butcher’s shop at the beginning of the episode. There’s also Seretta Wilson (amply named 😀 ) as Sgt. Wilson’s daughter who also happens to be a Wren, dressed in a uniform when she comes to say goodbye to him.
‘Getting the Bird’ isn’t one of my favourite ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes. It would’ve been nice to have had more development on Wilson’s storyline with regards to his daughter compared to the pigeons’ storyline with Walker and Jones. It is touched upon subtly and it was intriguing that Wilson had a daughter.
‘Getting The Bird’ (TV) rating – 6/10
‘GETTING THE BIRD’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Getting the Bird’ was the thirteenth episode transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Most of this episode has been faithful to the original TV version in terms of a radio adaptation. However with certain characters absent from the TV episode into the radio version, changes are made.
Once again, Larry Martyn plays Walker in the radio episode alongside his ‘Dad’s Army’ co-stars that have appeared in the TV series. It’s really essential for Walker to appear in this radio episode anyway. Who else would steal the pigeons from Trafalgar Square and end up putting them in the church organ?
Frank Williams guest stars as the Vicar in the episode, but surprisingly Edward Sinclair doesn’t appear as the Verger. I mean, the Verger was there when Jonesy played the church organ towards the end of the radio episode. But he doesn’t speak. The church organ scene at the end isn’t as funny on radio as it was on TV.
In the radio version, the story that Jonesy tells of how he got to play the organ was told to Mainwaring after the Vicar left the church office rather than Jonesy telling it to the two of them in the TV version. This is fitting since Jones’ tale features sexual innuendos that wouldn’t be appropriate for the Vicar’s ears.
Certain characters from the TV episode aren’t featured in the radio version. This includes Chief Warden Hodges who doesn’t get given pigeons by Walker and Jones before giving them back to them after hearing the wireless. Whether it’s due to timing or Bill Pertwee being unavailable, I don’t know.
Also, in the first scene at Jonesy’s butcher’s shop, Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Yeatman don’t appear in the radio episode. Diana Bishop guest stars as Mrs. Meadows, taking Mrs. Fox’s place in the radio episode. There’s also Godfrey who takes Mrs. Yeatman’s place and complains that he didn’t get any sausages from Jonesy.
Diana Bishop also guest stars as Sgt. Wilson’s daughter in the episode, instead of Seretta Wilson from the TV version. Again, like with the TV version, we don’t get to know much about who Wilson’s daughter is and what her name is, as more is provided on the pigeons’ storyline with Walker and Jonesy.
During the parade scene before Wilson wakes up with a hangover, Jonesy tells Mainwaring the ‘martini’ story originally featured in the TV version of ‘A Brush With The Law’. Mainwaring finishes his inspection of the platoon with Walker who is in civvies. Why weren’t Frazer, Godfrey and Pike examined?
‘Getting the Bird’ (Audio) rating – 6/10
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