‘HIGH FINANCE’ (TV)
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This is a very funny episode and one of my favourites! ‘High Finance’ sees Mr. Mainwaring helping Jonesy to pay off his debts. Eventually, Mainwaring discovers a web of intrigue as to where Jones’ missing money of £50 has gone to. Mainwaring gathers up the suspects in the church hall at the climax.
I enjoyed the first scene in Mainwaring’s office at the bank where Jones sees him about his ‘insufficient funds’. It was funny when Pike got told to sweep the sand up from the floor by Mainwaring. I laughed when sand gets poured into the sugar bowl by Pike and Mr. Mainwaring has coffee with ‘brown sugar’.
There’s a scene where Mainwaring visits Jonesy at his butcher’s shop to sort out his accounts and he has Wilson and Pike to help him out. Very soon during the parade, Mainwaring has Jones in the church hall office with the rest of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team to help out. It transpires there is more to the mystery.
As well as Jones owing money to Mainwaring, Frank Williams as the Vicar also owes money to Jones. There’s also Natalie Kent as Miss Twelvetrees who owes money to the Vicar. And if that wasn’t enough, Frazer owes money to Miss Twelvetrees. But it transpires Frazer lent money to someone else.
It was very amusing when Mainwaring phoned Frazer about the money situation and Frazer ended the phone call by saying “Mind your own business!” to Mainwaring. Of course, it was Godfrey whom Frazer lent the money to. Godfrey in turn then lent the money to Wilson. It’s all getting so complicated!
But why did Wilson want the money? Could Bill Pertwee as Hodges be involved? Well, it turns out he is. I like how Mainwaring unravels the mystery in front of everyone in the church hall. Janet Davies also appears as Mrs. Pike in the episode. There’s also Edward Sinclair as the Verger in attendance here.
There’s also Ronnie Brody as Mr. Swann. He’s a little man who keeps asking to see Mainwaring when he’s too busy. Eventually when Mainwaring does ask Swann what he wants, it turns out his wife Mrs. Mainwaring hasn’t paid the grocery bill for six months. Mainwaring soon has that £50 taken from him.
‘High Finance’ is one of my favourite ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes from Series 8. I enjoyed the clever structure of the episode since it deals with something involved at Mainwaring’s bank. It’s very funny when Mainwaring gets to be ‘Poriot’-like or as Pike described it being like ‘Charlie Chan Investigates’.
‘High Finance’ (TV) rating – 10/10
‘HIGH FINANCE’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is the seventeenth episode of Series 3 in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. It’s also one of two episodes from Series 8 of the TV series to be adapted into radio (the other was ‘Is There Still Honey For Tea?’). As much as I like the TV version of ‘High Finance’, I also like the radio version. This concerns the alterations made to the tale.
Bill Pertwee reprises his role as Chief Warden Hodges in the radio episode from the TV version. Hodges also gets a meatier role in the radio version compared to the TV version. For one thing, Mr. Swann, the grocer who demands Mainwaring to pay his wife’s grocery bill doesn’t appear in the radio version.
Therefore, it falls to Hodges to demand Mainwaring to pay his wife’s grocery bill, since he is of course a greengrocer. I like how that’s built upon in the radio version with Hodges instead of Swann, since it makes sense to do it with Hodges getting the £50 back from Mainwaring after all his investigating is done.
There’s an extra scene in the radio episode where Mainwaring is on the phone to his wife who tells him about Hodges ‘molesting’ her. It was very funny how that was played out. I’m surprised the TV version didn’t go with the approach of having Hodges demanding payment from Mrs. Mainwaring for the grocery bill.
The episode also features Pearl Hackney as Mrs. Pike in the radio episode as well as Frank Williams as the Vicar. Edward Sinclair doesn’t appear as the Verger in the radio episode though. The Miss Twelvetrees character doesn’t appear in the episode either. This did feel rather strange as I was listening to the episode.
I think it would’ve been better if Miss Twelvetrees did make an appearance in the radio episode instead of the Vicar taking the money from Frazer on her behalf and giving it to himself. The reason she couldn’t be in the episode though was because she was helping out with the ‘unmarried mother’s club’.
The radio episode doesn’t include the scene where Mainwaring, Wilson and Pike visit Jones at his butcher’s shop to sort out his finances as they did in the TV one. I’m not sure why that scene wasn’t included in the radio version. It was probably due to timing and the adaptation of that scene from TV into radio would be tricky.
I enjoyed it when Mainwaring whispered to Jones to come and see him in his office about his finances before Frazer told him that they all know about it. I also enjoyed the build-up to the ‘brown sugar’ scene in Mainwaring’s office when Pike poured the sand into the sugar bowl and how Mainwaring reacted to it.
‘High Finance’ (Audio) rating – 10/10
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