‘Operation Kilt’ (TV)

Dad's Army


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Operation Kilt’ was one of the recently recovered ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes from 2001. The Walmington-on-Sea platoon get to do some physical training outside the church hall before they’re challenged by a Highland regiment in an invasion exercise. Will the ‘Dad’s Army’ team be able to outwit the Scottish?

I love this black-and-white episode as it’s so amazingly funny. I love the scenes where Mainwaring and his men do some P.T. and they find it a struggle to do so. Jones dozes off whilst doing some press-ups. Mainwaring does his back in after he’s touched his toes, with his body ending up stuck downwards. 😀

James Copeland guest stars as Captain Ogilvy, who is in command of the Highland regiment. I would later see him in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Krotons’ starring Patrick Troughton. I liked it when he managed to get Mainwaring ‘unstuck’ and I found it funny when he outlined which paint was which.

I also found it funny when Captain Ogilvy tested out Pike’s stomach muscles by punching him with his fist, before he gets a seething pain. Mainwaring is amazed, thinking Pike’s stomach muscles are made of steel. But then Pike tells Mainwaring that the rifle bolt he’s been carrying was inside his shirt. So funny!

Janet Davies guest stars as Mrs. Pike in the episode. She’s the one who brings Pike’s rifle bolt along to parade after he forgot to pick it up and she washed it up with the ‘tea things’. 😀 She also notices Wilson not taking off his shirt during the P.T. exercise. Wilson happens to have a nasty hole in his vet in the scene.

I found it very funny when Walker and Frazer dressed up as a cow to find a way to get into the Highland regiment’s HQ. It’s actually a pantomime cow costume from ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. The plan doesn’t quite work however as Walker and Frazer get into the field and they’re being chased by an angry bull.

I enjoyed it when Wilson and Jones used the Trojan horse to overhear the Scottish regiment’s plans. Wilson disguises himself as a farmer whilst Jones hides in the haycart. After discovering the Scottish regiment’s plans, Mainwaring and his men set traps in the woods for them. Will they win the exercise?

‘Operation Kilt’ is a very good and a very funny ‘Dad’s Army’ episode. I’m very pleased this TV episode got found after being lost for so many years. I’m surprised this episode was lost from the BBC Archives. It’s a superb TV episode to watch, even in black-and-white. The best of Series 2 in my humble opinion!

‘Operation Kilt’ (TV) rating – 9/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Operation Kilt’ was the ninth episode transmitted in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Sadly, it doesn’t match very well to the TV version. A lot of funny moments get cut out in the adaptation from TV into radio. This is a shame since I really enjoyed the TV version and hoped the radio version would be good.

A consequence of James Beck’s tragic death was that his scenes weren’t included in the radio version of ‘Operation Kilt’. That includes the funny pantomime cow sequence that he and Frazer partake in. However, this may have been difficult to visualize in the translation from TV into radio for this episode.

Pearl Hackney guest stars as Mrs. Pike in the radio version of the episode. Again, like in previous radio episodes, Pearl Hackney’s Mrs. Pike sounds more flirty than usual compared to the TV version. This is especially when she boasts about Wilson’s masculine physique whilst he strips his shirt and his vest off.

Jack Watson guest stars as Captain Ogilvy in the radio version of this episode. I’m saddened James Copeland didn’t get to reprise Captain Ogilvy in the radio episode as I enjoyed his performance in the TV version. I have seen Jack Watson before in episodes of the original ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ TV series.

Now Jack Watson isn’t bad as Ogilvy. On the contrary, he’s decent enough. But he doesn’t sound as funny as James Copeland’s performance on TV, even with the Scottish accent. It was funny when Ogilvy got caught in the trap at the end of the radio episode. The TV version of it was clumsy in my opinion.

There are some alterations and omissions from the TV version into the radio version. For example, the press-ups moment in the PT sequence doesn’t get featured in the radio version. I would’ve liked to have heard that in the radio version, though I guess the jokes would be difficult to illustrate into audio.

Another intriguing alteration in the radio version is when Wilson is with Jones in the haycart as they listen to Captain Ogilvy’s plan. In the TV version, it was just Jones who overheard. I didn’t find Jonesy getting pinned by Ogilvy in the haycart funny in radio as on TV. Jones didn’t even do chicken noises. 😦

I enjoyed it how the story concluded in the radio episode as it sounded almost like the one in the TV version. This is especially when Jones created a diversion before he got caught in the trap and soon the aforementioned Ogilvy fell into a trap, allowing the ‘Dad’s Army’ team to see what’s under his kilt.

‘Operation Kilt’ (Audio) rating – 6/10

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