‘Sons of the Sea’ (TV)

dad's army series 3 dvd


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Captain Mainwaring decides for the platoon to take river patrols when they acquire a rowing boat from a dead bank client. They try it out by rowing the boat in the river, but soon get lost in the fog. They eventually find themselves out on sea. Before long, they could end up in the middle of France. 😀

This is a fantastic episode to conclude Series 3 of ‘Dad’s Army‘. I remember seeing this episode on a ‘Very Best of Dad’s Army’ VHS when I was young. It was very funny when Mainwaring chooses six ‘volunteers’ including Pike; Desmond; Frazer; Jones; Walker and Godfrey as well as him and Wilson.

Desmond Cullum-Jones as Desmond must have been honoured to join the regular ‘Dad’s Army’ cast and take part in the rowing boat scheme, even though he doesn’t say anything in the episode. Many Home Guard platoon members don’t say much in these episodes. It’s Private Sponge who got lucky.

I enjoyed it very much when Frazer gives commands to row the boat by saying “Catch, pull, up, feather!” to the ‘Dad’s Army’ team. Sometimes Frazer got annoyed with Mainwaring dictating and sometimes taking over boat duties from him. He gets very sulky even when the platoon’s lost at sea.

I found it funny when they discover that they’re at sea and Jonesy goes “Don’t panic!” in that moment. I also laughed when they shouted “Ahoy!” to call for help and Jonesy does it so quietly. They try to find the ‘north’ to get back home. It was funny as Frazer gets rather difficult with Mainwaring.

John Leeson makes a guest appearance as the 1st Soldier in presumably where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team believe to be France. I’ve met John Leeson as he would later go on to voice K-9 in ‘Doctor Who’. How amazing is that?! There’s also Jonathan Holt who plays the 2nd Soldier in the TV episode.

The episode also features Michael Bilton as Mr. Maxwell who informs Mainwaring and Wilson about a dead bank client’s boat at the bank at the beginning of the episode. There’s also Ralph Ball as the ‘man’ at a railway station where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team assume they are in France. Is it really France?

‘Sons of the Sea’ is a fantastic ‘Dad’s Army’ episode! It was very funny when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team try out a boat exercise and seem to fail miserably before they find themselves on a train, believing that they’re in the middle of France. I’m glad this episode closed off Series 3 as it is a pretty good one.

On Disc 3 of ‘The Complete ‘Dad’s Army’ DVD collection’, there’s ‘We Are The Boys…Arnold Ridley’ focusing on the actor who played Godfrey in the series. On Disc 4, there’s a photo gallery of Series 3.

‘Sons of the Sea’ (TV) rating – 10/10

‘Dad’s Army’: Series 3 rating – 10/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Sons of the Sea’ is the twentieth episode in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Like on TV when ‘Sons of the Sea’ closed off Series 3 of ‘Dad’s Army’, this radio version of the episode closes off Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. It’s interesting these two versions of the episode parallel each other.

Joining Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Corporal Jones in the boat rowing exercise are John Laurie as Frazer; Arnold Ridley as Godfrey and Ian Lavender as Pike. Walker does appear in the episode but he’s silent throughout. How come Walker doesn’t say anything since we know he’s a vocal person?

Walker more or less takes the role Desmond played in the TV version of the episode. And yes, Desmond doesn’t appear in the radio version at all. A lot of Walker’s lines are given to other characters like Jones, Frazer and Godfrey in the radio version. Sometimes the lines work for a character’s context.

Jones is the one who gets water from the sea to give to Pike when he’s thirsty before realising the water’s salty. Godfrey is the one who corrects that Jones’ ‘cotton and needle’ idea to find the north is for pregnant women. Frazer also remarks ‘what choice have they got’ with Mainwaring in command.

In the mock-up boat scene from the radio version, more description is given in the outline for rowing the boat with technical terms compared to the TV version. Frazer corrects Mainwaring on more technical terms in the radio version compared to TV. This includes naming the boat’s front as a ‘stern’.

Timothy Bateson guest stars as Mr. Maxwell in the radio version, not Michael Bilton from the TV version. There’s a misunderstanding on Wilson’s part as Mainwaring and Maxwell talk about the boat ‘Naughty Jane’. Wilson assumed it was a woman. I did like how that misunderstanding was played out.

As well as Mr. Maxwell, Timothy Bateson plays the ‘man’ at the station instead of Ralph Ball from the TV version. The John Leeson and Jonathan Holt soldiers from the TV version don’t appear in the radio version. Timothy Bateson as the ‘man’ at the station tells Mainwaring’s men about the French soldiers.

I don’t think the radio version of ‘Sons of the Sea’ is as good as the TV version. It would’ve worked better if Walker said something in the episode instead of being reduced to Desmond. But I suppose it’s good to end Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series on that story like they did with Series 3 on TV.

‘Sons of the Sea’ (Audio) rating – 7/10

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