‘NO SPRING FOR FRAZER’ (TV)
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In this episode, Private Frazer misplaces the butterfly spring from his Lewis Gun. Believing it to be inside an occupied coffin, Captain Mainwaring and his men help Frazer to get the spring back. But they have problems as they try to break into somebody’s house and sabotage a funeral in order to get it back.
This is a brilliant episode for Private Frazer, whose character gets touched upon in terms of being a funeral director. I enjoyed the banter shared between Frazer and Jonesy when they tried to get the spring back by seeing Mr. Blewitt whose brother is dead. They both insult each other at times on the way.
I loved the sequence where Mainwaring and his men break into Mr. Blewitt’s house to get the spring back from the coffin. It was funny when Mainwaring teaches Wilson how to make a cuckoo whistle and I laughed when Jones and Frazer mess things up since they accidentally drop the torch and it goes bust.
Jones and Frazer eventually find some candles to light their way through the dark of the living room, but soon discover that the coffin is screwed down. I enjoyed it when Jonesy and Frazer try to open Blewit’s brother’s coffin by using Godfrey’s penknife and Pike’s scout knife before it goes horribly wrong.
Harold Bennett guest stars as Mr. Blewitt, who would become a recurring character in the ‘Dad’s Army’ series. I liked seeing the old age pensioner in the TV series. It was funny when he recalled how his brother died from shock in discovering that the meat served to him by Mr. Jones was all bone and grizzle.
Edward Sinclair guest stars as the Verger and Frank Williams guest stars as the Vicar in the episode. It was funny when the Verger was about to fill in Mr. Blewitt’s dead brother following the funeral and Jones was inside the burial hole. Jonesy throws dirt back up at the Verger which was really amusing.
There’s also Joan Cooper as Miss Baker, Mr. Drury’s secretary in the episode. Joan Cooper would later play roles in ‘Dad’s Army’ in both TV and radio versions including one of Godfrey’s sisters, Dolly. She’s also Arthur Lowe’s wife in real-life which was amazing to discover in reviewing these episodes.
‘No Spring For Frazer’ is one of the best and classic ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes in the series. I remember first watching the episode on one of ‘The Very Best of Dad’s Army’ VHSs. I enjoyed the touches of Frazer’s character in this episode. I also loved the comedic scene where our heroes attempted to break into a house.
‘No Spring For Frazer’ (TV) rating – 10/10
‘NO SPRING FOR FRAZER’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This episode was the nineteenth to be released in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I first heard this episode on one of ‘The Very Best Episodes’ CD releases of ‘Dad’s Army’. John Laurie as Frazer and Arnold Godfrey are the only platoon members with Mainwaring, Wilson and Jones in the radio version.
Walker and Pike are absent from the episode which means some of their lines and moments from the TV version are omitted in the radio version. Frazer is the one who breaks open the window of Blewitt’s house in the episode instead of Walker. Pike’s scout knife as well as Godfrey’s penknife don’t get used.
Edward Sinclair guest stars as the Verger in the radio version of this episode as he appeared in the TV version. Frank Williams doesn’t play the Vicar in the radio version, which means certain dialogue given to the Vicar in the TV version gets given to Mainwaring and Wilson in the radio version with the Verger.
The funeral scene from the TV version is also omitted in the radio version. The scene is only relayed in the telling by Mainwaring and Wilson following the break-in scenes at Blewitt’s house and before Jonesy, Frazer and Godfrey are searching in dead brother Blewitt’s burial hole in the ground after the funeral.
Joan Cooper reprises her role as Miss Baker in the radio version of this episode as she played it in the TV version. The only differences are that Ronnie Brandon doesn’t appear as Mr. Drury from the TV version and only Frazer and Jones see Miss Baker, not Mainwaring, Wilson, Jones and Frazer as on TV.
Timothy Bateson guest stars as Mr. Blewitt in the radio episode, not Harold Bennett from the TV version. I enjoyed Timothy Bateson’s interpretation of Mr. Blewitt. It’s not at all like Harold Bennett, but it was fun to hear him play Blewitt after watching him in ‘The Good Life’ and ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’.
As well as Mr. Blewitt, Timothy Bateson also plays Captain Turner in the radio episode when Mainwaring phones to report Frazer has lost the butterfly spring. There’s dialogue between Captain Turner and Godfrey at the radio episode’s conclusion when he asks “Have you an account with us, sir?”
The radio version of ‘No Spring For Frazer’ is actually good. It’s not as good as the TV version with Walker and Pike being absent, but it is amusing. I liked the night scenes of breaking into Blewitt’s house with the footstep sound effects and the unconvincing cuckoo noises by Mainwaring and Wilson.
‘No Spring For Frazer’ (Audio) rating – 8/10
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