‘MUSEUM PIECE’ (TV)
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In this episode, Captain Mainwaring and his men try to acquire some new army weapons from the local Peabody Museum of Historic Army Weapons. There is one problem though. The caretaker of the museum happens to be Corporal Jones’ dad, who can get very ‘ugly’ and won’t let the LDV men in.
I enjoyed this episode from ‘Dad’s Army’s first season. It’s very funny and I like how Corporal Jones’ family gets revealed in this episode. The scenes where Mainwaring’s men try to get into the Peabody Museum are very funny. I enjoyed the montage with Glenn Miller‘s ‘In The Mood’ in the background.
That happens to be one of my favourite pieces of music. 😀 It was very funny where Mainwaring leads his men to break an entry into the museum with a battering ram. Jones’ dad does everything he can to prevent the ‘Dad’s Army’ team from getting in, including pouring cold ‘boiling’ oil onto them.
Eric Woodburn guest stars as George Jones, Jones’ dad and the Peabody Museum caretaker. The scenes where Jones talks to his dad are amusing. There’s bitterness between them especially regarding a certain ‘Elsie’ who has trouble with her legs. Jones ends up calling his dad ‘a drunk’ here.
The scenes at night where Frazer dresses up as an ARP warden to get Jones’ dad out of the museum were good. Frazer has a bottle of whiskey to lure Jones’ dad out of the museum. It was funny when Mainwaring was watching Frazer, since he can see Frazer’s love for whiskey and stops him drinking it.
The episode also features Janet Davies as Mrs. Pike, who complains to Mainwaring about her boy Pike getting wet. There’s also Caroline Dowdeswell as Janet King at Swallows Bank; Leon Cortez as Henry the Milkman who assists the ‘Dad’s Army’ team here and Michael Osborne as the Boy Scout. 😀
This episode ends with a bang as Jonesy and Walker get this Chinese rocket gun out from the museum. The platoon try to use the rocket gun but Mainwaring is unconvinced that it’ll be helpful for them in the war effort. Eventually, the rocket gun goes out of control when the Boy Scout sets it off.
‘Museum Piece’ is a great episode in the first season of ‘Dad’s Army’. I like how the ‘Dad’s Army’ team try to get new weapons from a museum and how Jones’ family gets introduced via his very difficult father. I’m glad the writing for the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series went into good amusing territory here.
‘Museum Piece’ (TV) rating – 8/10
‘MUSEUM PIECE’ (AUDIO)
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‘Museum Piece’ was the second episode to be broadcast in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I know that’s to be expected since it was the second episode transmitted in the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series. But the running order for the ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes in the radio series differs to the TV series.
In this radio version of ‘Museum Piece’, there are a number of differences from the TV version. For one thing, Mrs. Pike doesn’t feature in the radio episode at all. Same thing happened in the radio version of ‘The Man and the Hour’. Arnold Ridley also doesn’t appear as Godfrey in the radio version.
Thus Godfrey’s lines are given to other characters. Wilson is the one who finds the case of .303 carbines taken out of the museum to be used by ENSA instead of Godfrey in the radio episode. Not sure why Arnold Ridley wasn’t available to play Godfrey in the radio version of ‘Museum Piece’ here.
There’s also no Henry the Milkman character featured in the radio version of this episode as in the TV version. So the scene where the Milkman’s horse holds up on the way to the museum is cut out. The ‘Dad’s Army’ characters breaking into the museum montage gets cut out from the radio as well.
It’s pretty strange for that to happen as Mainwaring confronts Jones’ dad once before he decides to come back later at night-time instead of breaking in with battering ram and such. I prefer the TV version since the montage had Glenn Miller music in it. Thankfully there’s no cold ‘boiling’ oil here. 🙂
The special guest star for this episode is Eric Woodburn as Jones’ dad, the museum caretaker. Eric Woodburn also played Jones’ dad in the TV version of ‘Museum Piece’. It is rare that the same actor who played the character in the TV episode also gets to play the same character for radio episode. 🙂
There’s no appearance of Janet King, the worker at Swallows Bank in the radio episode as well as the radio series. In fact, Miss King was only in the ‘Dad’s Army’ series for a short while in Series 1 on TV. I’m surprised she didn’t stay on. She could have been Pike’s love interest as far as I’m concerned.
The Boy Scout character also doesn’t feature in the radio version of ‘Museum Piece’ as opposed to the TV version. The way the episode ends for the radio version is when Pike sets the Chinese rocket gun off instead. I found the radio episode of ‘Museum Piece’ pretty enjoyable despite the omissions.
‘Museum Piece’ (Audio) rating – 6/10
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