‘SGT. WILSON’S LITTLE SECRET’ (TV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
In this episode, Janet Davies as Mrs. Pike is expecting to take in an evacuee child from the war. Wilson overhears her conversation with Frank Pike about this new family addition. He’s worried, thinking Mrs. Pike’s actually pregnant. He’s surprised Mrs. Pike’s being calm after asking her about it.
Whilst distracting during parade and after telling Captain Mainwaring about this, Wilson is advised to ask Mrs. Pike to marry him. Wilson soon goes to see Mrs. Pike at her house and pops the question of marriage to her through the letterbox. 😀 Mrs. Pike embraces Wilson before she brings him inside. 😀
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ isn’t one of the missing episodes from the BBC Archives. It was the only one to survive Series 2 before ‘Operation Kilt’ and ‘The Battle of Godfrey’s Cottage’ was recovered. The episode is okay, but I wouldn’t call it a classic or a memorable episode to watch from the series.
The episode delves into more interesting character development for Wilson and his relationship with Mrs Pike in the series. I know it’s hinted at that maybe Wilson might be having a romantic affair with Mrs. Pike and that maybe Frank Pike might be his son. But it’s never officially confirmed in the series.
I enjoyed the opening scenes with the platoon where Mainwaring tries to teach a lesson in camouflage and Jones messes up the backstage scenery. I also enjoyed it when Frazer and Walker demonstrate their own weapons to the platoon. I like Walker’s idea of a rubber type on Jones’ back.
The introduction of an evacuee into Mrs. Pike’s ‘family’ was interesting to see in this episode. Sadly, this is the only time that little Arthur (the evacuee boy) makes an appearance in the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series. Little Arthur never returned, which I found strange as I wondered what had happened to him.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ is a fairly average episode of ‘Dad’s Army’. I found it a good character piece for Wilson in his relationship with Mrs. Pike. But this doesn’t stand out for me as one of the best episodes of the ‘Dad’s Army’ series. I did enjoy some comedy moments when I saw the platoon.
In July 2018, I saw a stage production of ‘Dad’s Army’ produced by the Everyman Theatre at the Open Air Festival in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. This included stage adaptations of ‘The Godiva Affair’, ‘The Deadly Attachment’ and ‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ of all episodes. I assume it had an impact. 😀
On Disc 2 of ‘The Complete ‘Dad’s Army’ DVD collection’, there’s a behind-the-scenes documentary called ‘Missing Presumed Wiped’. There are also radio versions of the remaining lost episodes of Series 2 including ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’; ‘A Stripe for Frazer’ and ‘Under Fire’.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ (TV) rating – 6/10
‘SGT. WILSON’S LITTLE SECRET’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ is the seventh episode transmitted in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. This is an intriguing, unusual adaptation of the original TV episode for radio. To start off with, John Laurie does not appear as Frazer in the radio version, despite getting a mention in this episode.
Because of Frazer’s absence, a lot of scenes had to be reworked. This includes the weapons demonstration scene. Instead of Frazer presenting his plates idea, it’s Jones who presents it instead. Walker has Godfrey help him with the rubber tyre idea on audio instead of Jones for the TV version.
Also with Frazer absent from the radio episode, there isn’t him dressed as snowman whilst Walker’s disguised as a haystack; Godfrey’s disguised as beehive; Jones is disguised as a butcher and Pike is just…himself. I wonder why Frazer didn’t use that snowman disguise in ‘The Love of Three Oranges’.
The backstage scenery scene is omitted in the radio version of this episode. I prefer the backstage scene in the TV version as it was hilariously played out between Mainwaring and Jones. In the radio version, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are talking about using plants for camouflage which isn’t so hilarious.
The biggest change from TV to radio for this episode is Bill Pertwee’s guest appearance as Chief Warden Hodges. Bill Pertwee didn’t appear in the TV version of this. It’s intriguing he appeared in the radio version. I liked it when Hodges found Wilson at Mr. Pike’s house at night instead of Walker.
Bill Pertwee also does the voice of little Arthur in the radio version of this episode. No disrespect to Bill Pertwee, but I found his performance as a little boy awkward. He doesn’t sound convincing as a little boy. Why couldn’t they get Graham Harboard who played little Arthur on TV to reprise his role?
Though thinking about it, we should be grateful for small mercies. Little Arthur doesn’t return again in ‘Dad’s Army’ both in TV and radio shows. Imagine Bill Pertwee having to voice little Arthur for future episodes. Pearl Hackney also returns as Mrs. Pike in this episode. She still sounds seductive. 😀
One thing more I did notice in terms of a difference between the TV and radio versions of this episode is that Pike lets on to his Uncle Arthur that her mum’s getting a new kid – even though he promised not to tell him by his mum. This is so different compared to Wilson overhearing the news!
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ (Audio) rating – 6/10
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