‘ROUND AND ROUND WENT THE GREAT BIG WHEEL’ (TV)
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In this episode, a brand new secret weapon gets tested. It happens to be a huge wheel containing two thousand pounds of high explosives. Captain Mainwaring and his men are assigned for ‘special duties’ before they realise they’ve been ‘hoodwinked’. Pretty soon, the big wheel goes out of control.
I enjoyed this episode very much, especially as it features the chase sequences for the ‘Dad’s Army’ team with the wheel. I liked that the ‘Dad’s Army’ team get to be of use to the regular army in an emergency instead of just peeling potatoes. It was funny when Jonesy was dangling from the bridge.
I liked that scene in the crypt where Mainwaring gathers his men to discuss the importance of their ‘special duties’. Jonesy goes hysterical at some point and demands to be tortured until Frazer manages to snap him out of it. They’re rudely interrupted when Hodges eavesdrops and joins them.
Yeah, Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges makes an appearance in this episode. He often seems to join the ‘Dad’s Army’ team, even when he’s unwanted. Hodges makes fun of them when they carry out their ‘special duties’ of peeling potatoes but he’s afraid to help them out with tackling the wheel.
The episode also features Edward Underdown as Major General Sir Charles Holland (yikes that’s a long name 😀 ). There’s also Michael Knowles (again!!! 😀 ) as Captain Stewart; Geoffrey Chater as Colonel Pierce who’s in overall charge of the wheel operation here and Jeffrey Segal as the Minister.
There’s also John Clegg as the Wireless Operator in the episode. John Clegg would go on to star as a regular in the Jimmy Perry and David Croft sitcom series ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’. By the way, I’ve just found out this happens to be Michael Knowles’ final TV appearance in ‘Dad’s Army’. But not in radio!
I was impressed by the big wheel featured in the episode. Seeing it rolling on and going out of control was exciting to watch. It was amusing when the wheel kept chasing after the ‘Dad’s Army’ team in Jones’ van. It turns out Pike has a portable radio and that it had managed to attract the wheel.
‘Round and Round Went The Great Big Wheel’ is a very enjoyable ‘Dad’s Army’ episode to watch. It was funny and unusual when the episode ends and the ‘Dad’s Army’ team mourn for the loss of the big wheel after they’ve ‘killed’ it. Come on, gents! It’s only a piece of machinery. It’s not some lost puppy!
‘Round and Round Went The Great Big Wheel’ (TV) rating – 8/10
‘ROUND AND ROUND WENT THE GREAT BIG WHEEL’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Round and Round Went The Great Big Wheel’ is the sixth episode in Series 3 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I enjoyed this radio adaptation. It’s mostly faithful to the TV version right up to the point where it draws to the conclusion. There are differences between the TV and the radio version.
As before, Larry Martyn guest stars as Private Walker in the radio version of the episode. There’s also John Barron as Colonel Pierce and Michael Knowles as Captain Stewart. John Barron’s character here is a combination of both Major General Sir Charles Holland and Colonel Pierce from the TV tale.
John Barron has been in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series before since he guest starred in the radio version of ‘Something Nasty in the Vault’. This is John Barron’s second appearance in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. He’d go on to appear in the radio episode of ‘Things That Go Bump In The Night’.
And of course it would be remiss of me not to mention the fact that John Barron was a regular in the sitcom series ‘All Gas and Gaiters’. Colonel Pierce is still the instigator of the huge wheel project as was the case on TV. It’s pretty intriguing how much dialogue is with Pierce and Stewart in one scene.
John Barron’s character and Michael Knowles’ character are the only ones involved in the wheel project during the episode. There’s only the two of them in the first scene and there’s only the two of them at the demonstration. The Minister and the Wireless Operator characters don’t appear here.
In the crypt scene, Jonesy is the one who hears something coming in to interrupt the ‘Dad’s Army’ team and not Wilson. The chase scenes for the ‘Dad’s Army’ team in Jones’ van and the huge wheel are limited in terms of a radio adaptation, although it was amusing when Jonesy utilised his bayonet.
In the radio version, Jonesy’s van doesn’t break down on the way back to Walmington and Jonesy doesn’t dangle to cut off the wheel’s aerial to stop it in its tracks. It’s also rather quick Walker establishing to Mainwaring that Pike had a portable radio in Jones’ van compared to the TV episode.
The episode ends with a more comical way of how the wheel gets ‘killed’ compared to the sombre, sad way that it dies and everyone is mourning for it. There are comical sound effects as it dies and everyone cheers at the end. I’m inclined to go along with the TV version compared to the radio one.
‘Round and Round Went The Great Wheel’ (Audio) rating – 8/10
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