‘The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones’ (TV)

dad's army series 3 dvd Dad's Army


Please feel free to comment on my review.

In the first episode of Series 3 in colour, Captain Mainwaring and his platoon try to work with the ARP wardens led by Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges. Also, Lance Corporal Jones donates his butcher’s van as platoon transport. But it goes pear-shaped when the petrol gets converted into gas.

I love the opening scene where Mainwaring gives a lecture to his platoon, wearing gas masks on and they can’t hear him. It’s a nice way to introduce the ‘Dad’s Army’ series into colour and it’s a brilliantly funny scene when Mainwaring can’t hear a word Wilson and Jones say with their gas masks on.

This is also the first time Hodges gets to have an active part in the ‘Dad’s Army’ series, compared to the previous two seasons when he briefly appeared in some episodes. I like how it’s clearly established Hodges and Mainwaring don’t get on well and both try to compete with each other in a power game.

This episode also features the first appearance of Pamela Cundell as Mrs. Fox, who becomes a potential love interest for Jonesy in the series. The episode also features the first appearance of Jones’ butcher’s van that gets used as the military transport for the ‘Dad’s Army’ team, which is great.

The guest cast also includes…Nigel Hawthorne as the Angry Man?! What’s he doing in this! This was the first TV appearance of Nigel Hawthorne apparently before he did ‘Yes Minister’, ‘Yes Prime Minister’ and ‘The Barchester Chronicles’. Harold Bennett makes his first appearance as Mr. Blewitt.

As well as Mrs. Fox, there’s Queenie Watts as Mrs. Peters and Jean St. Clair as Miss Meadows. There’s also Olive Mercer who first appears as Mrs Yeatman, not Mrs. Casson according to the episode’s credits. And there is Frank Williams who makes his first TV appearance as the Vicar in this.

It was funny when Jones and Walker are driving back in the butcher’s van with the massive gas bag on top of it. Jones’ bayonet accidentally punctures the gas bag supply and Jones and Walker soon start laughing. The gas bag scenes with Jones’ butcher’s van got later re-used in the 1971 ‘Dad’s Army’ film.

‘The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones’ is a fantastic opening episode for Series 3 of ‘Dad’s Army’. I remember seeing this episode for the first time while I was on a summer holiday with my parents in Scotland, August 2005 when we purchased the DVD. I hold cherished memories of this episode.

‘The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones’ (TV) rating – 10/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

This version of ‘The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones’ was the sixth to be transmitted in Series 1 of ‘Dad’s Army’. I enjoyed this version very much, although there were a number of changes in the adaptation that were pretty noticeable. This made it less exciting compared to the TV version.

John Laurie as Private Frazer and James Beck as Private Walker are the only low-ranking ‘Dad’s Army’ members to be in this version of the episode. Private Godfrey and Private Pike are mentioned participating in the episode, but Arnold Ridley and Ian Lavender do not voice their characters in this.

Bill Pertwee also makes his appearance as Chief Warden Hodges. The notable difference with his character in this episode is that he also carries the dialogue from the Nigel Hawthorne character in the TV episode. This makes sense as the Nigel Hawthorne character was not in the TV episode much.

Pearl Hackney also makes her first chronological appearance as Mrs. Pike in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series compared to the TV series. Pearl Hackney’s version of Mrs. Pike sounds more seductive compared to Janet Davies’ version. Mrs. Pike also hangs around a bit to watch the ambulance demo.

Richard Davies, who I’ve seen in the ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode, ‘The Kipper and the Corpse’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Delta and the Bannerman’ guest stars as the Volunteer in the radio episode. This replaces Harold Bennett’s Mr. Blewitt character from the TV episode. Richard Davies is so good here.

There’s also Elizabeth Morgan as Mrs. Lennon, who is a combination of Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Fox in the radio episode. Mrs. Fox doesn’t appear in this version of the ‘Dad’s Army’ episode at all as she would appear later on in the series. There’s also Diana Bishop who plays Miss Meadows in this story.

The Vicar doesn’t appear in this episode at all. Jonesy is the one who becomes sick instead of Pike. Walker also doesn’t get affected by the gas escaping in Jones’ van and Jones is the only one who gets light-hearted and laughs a lot. Jones and Walker also do not return to the church hall as seen on TV.

The radio version of ‘The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones’ is reasonably good. The changes are noticeable, but it didn’t stop me from being entertained and enjoying the episode as I heard it. It’s very interesting how the changes from the TV versions into the radio versions of these episodes varied.

‘The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones’ (Audio) rating – 8/10

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