‘MENACE FROM THE DEEP’ (TV)
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This is another one of the best ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes in the series. I saw this one on another ‘Very Best of Dad’s Army’ VHS when I was young back in 2000. Captain Mainwaring and his men are sent to patrol an abandoned sea pier at night. But they soon get marooned on the pier and without food.
I found this episode very funny in many respects. I enjoyed it when Mainwaring tries to get into the boat with Wilson and Frazer so that they can go to the pier and he has trouble getting in. I found it amusing when Pike reveals that the boat with the food on it has gone as he didn’t tie the boat up properly.
Bill Pertwee makes an appearance as Chief Warden Hodges and now wears a white helmet in the episode. He sees the ‘Dad’s Army’ team flashing a light to the shore from the pier and he goes berserk about it. I liked it when he meets them on the pier; falls into the water and gets badly drunk.
This episode also features Stuart Sherwin as the 2nd ARP Warden, who also sees the light flashing from the pier by the ‘Dad’s Army’ team with Hodges. Stuart Sherwin would make recurring appearances as the 2nd ARP Warden in the series. He helps Hodges with getting a boat out to the pier.
In the first scene of this episode, there are two sailors keeping watch on the pier before they get taken over by the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon. These two sailors are played by Bill Treacher and Larry Martyn. Larry Martyn would go on to play Walker in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series after James Beck had passed away.
The episode ends on a dramatic climax, as the ‘Dad’s Army’ team discovers a mine under the pier. They try to get rid of it, causing Hodges to fall into the water again. It was funny when Hodges gets to blow up the mine with his cricket bowling skills to do it. He is a good bowler, according to Wilson.
‘Menace from the Deep’ is so funny and is definitely one of the best ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes. I also found it funny when Frazer didn’t know how to spell ‘help’ using Morse code. I enjoyed it when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team tried to get chocolate from a machine and they fail miserably using up all pennies.
Thankfully, Walker comes up with a solution and manages to get the chocolate bars out of the machine for everyone. Frazer gets the first chocolate bar. He finds it hard but ‘not bad’. Everyone else though realises that their chocolate bars are dummies, made out of cardboard. How come Frazer’s alright? 😀
‘Menace from the Deep’ (TV) rating – 10/10
‘THE MENACE FROM THE DEEP’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
I first heard this ‘Dad’s Army’ radio episode on one of ‘The Very Best Episodes’ CDs – Volume 3 actually. This episode was the eighteenth released in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I decided to call this ‘The Menace From The Deep’ instead of ‘Menace From The Deep’ since it was called that for radio.
Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Corporal Jones appear in this episode as usual. Also appearing in this episode are John Laurie as Private Frazer and Ian Lavender as Private Pike. Walker and Godfrey only appear in this episode when their names are mentioned and do not speak at all here.
This is very unusual as you would expect Walker to make jokey remarks and Godfrey asking to ‘be excused for a minute’. Having them silent in the episode doesn’t make it seem like they appeared in it. It’s like with ‘Things That Go Bump In The Night’ where Walker is mentioned but he doesn’t appear.
Anyway, a number of lines given to Walker in the TV version are given to somebody else in the radio version. For example, Frazer says the “Here, here!” line instead of Walker when Mainwaring’s showing a diagram on a blackboard. Pike also suggests sending a message by flashing a light instead of Walker.
There is no opening sequence featuring the two sailors at the beginning of the radio episode as opposed to the TV version. Bill Pertwee reprises his role of Chief Warden Hodges in the radio episode as he did in the TV version. David Sinclair is the 2nd A.R.P. Warden on radio, not Stuart Sherwin from TV.
Hodges sounds more berserk about Mainwaring and his men flashing a light from the pier in the radio version compared to the TV version. Hodges keeps repeating “I’ve got to get out there! I’ve got to get out there!” especially when he’s in the kid’s boat. Hodges’ boat also gets shot by Frazer before it sinks.
Another example of Walker’s lines transferring to someone else in the radio version is when Mainwaring ridicules Jonesy’ theory that the thing in the sea could be ‘a secret weapon’. There’s more dialogue after Hodges climbs up to see Mainwaring and the others and calls them ‘hooligans’ on audio.
The scene where Mainwaring’s men try to get chocolate out from an arcade machine is different in radio. Frazer’s using up all his pennies for TV is reduced to him using only one penny on radio. It is also Wilson who gets the chocolate out of the machine, not Walker on TV. Overall, this radio episode is fine.
‘The Menace from the Deep’ (Audio) rating – 7/10
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