‘The Bullet is Not For Firing’ (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

In this episode, the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon return from a night patrol. They report that they have run out of ammunition. Captain Mainwaring is not happy about this and he arranges a ‘court of enquiry’ in order for his men to get more ammunition. The court of enquiry however ends with hilarious results.

I enjoyed this episode very much, as Mainwaring tries to be too honest in his approach and report the loss of ammunition to GHQ. I found it funny when Mainwaring tries to help with unjamming Jones’ rifle. Mrs Pike enters to find her son Frank Pike with dirty hands and manages to unjam Jones’ rifle.

This episode also marks Edward Sinclair’s return as the Verger. He previously made two ‘Dad’s Army’ appearances including ‘The Showing Up of Corporal Jones’ in Series 1 and ‘A Stripe For Frazer’ in Series 2. The Verger would have more reoccurring appearances in the rest of the series hence forth.

The Verger would be a nuisance or a ‘troublemaker’ to the ‘Dad’s Army’ team. Mainwaring manages to break down a stair-rail when trying to unjam Jones’ rifle. The Verger accuses Mainwaring’s men as being ‘vandals’ as he reports to the Vicar about this before they soon interrupt the court of enquiry.

Frank Williams returns as the Vicar in this episode. He previously made his first appearance in ‘The Armoured Might Of Corporal Jones’. The Vicar is more negotiable than the Verger, although he finds Captain Mainwaring very frustrating when he conducts the Home Guard activities in the church hall.

I was pleased to see Michael Knowles as Captain Cutts in this episode. Michael Knowles regularly makes guest appearances in the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series as well as adapting episodes for the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. He has also starred in the sitcoms, ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ and ‘You Rang M’Lord’.

Alongside Michael Knowles is Tim Barrett as Captain Pringle. Tim Barrett played the second Malcolm in the sitcom series, ‘Terry and June’. He would later guest star in the ‘Dad’s Army’ episode, ‘When You’ve Got to Go’. Both Captain Cutts and Captain Pringle attend this court of enquiry run by Mainwaring.

‘The Bullet is Not for Firing’ is so funny for its court of enquiry scenes. I enjoyed it when Jones was dressed up in his old battle uniform during the enquiry and also when Walkers gives his evidence. It was funny when all the men came in, escaping a rain storm and they give their evidence at the end.

‘The Bullet is Not for Firing’ rating – 10/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is the sixteenth episode transmitted in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I wouldn’t say it was a great adaptation of the original TV episode since a lot of scenes from the TV version are omitted in the radio one. Also many characters featured in the TV version aren’t in the radio version.

As well as Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Corporal Jones, there’s also Arnold Ridley as Godfrey and Graham Stark as Walker. Private Frazer and Private Pike don’t make an appearance in this radio version of the TV episode. Many lines of dialogue given to Frazer and Pike aren’t featured.

Mrs. Pike also doesn’t make an appearance in the episode, thus she doesn’t run in to find Pike’s hands dirty and helping to unjam Jones’ rifle. The Verger doesn’t make an appearance in the radio version of this episode either and it’s only Frank Williams as the Vicar who makes complaints in this.

Michael Knowles guest stars as Captain Pringle and Timothy Bateson guest stars as Captain Marsh in this episode. I don’t understand why Michael Knowles wasn’t called Captain Cutts and Timothy Bateson as Captain Pringle in this version. I’m sure Michael Knowles was Cutts in a previous episode.

John Whitehall plays the entire choir featured in this radio version of the TV episode. There aren’t any interruptions made during the court of enquiry when it’s about to begin. Thus Mr. Blewitt doesn’t make an appearance in this episode which is a shame. Timothy Bateson could’ve played him.

Jonesy is the one who gives the sword to Mainwaring instead of Frazer, though he hasn’t used it to make toast apparently. Godfrey is the one who suggests placing the union flag up on the wall instead of the door like Pike suggested in the TV episode. Mainwaring still hear Walker makes the joke on it.

Regarding Jones’ rifle being jammed, they use the stair-rail rod to get the string out, but the stair-rail rod remains stuck. Mainwaring gives some lame excuse to Jones for explaining how the stair-rail happens to be still stuck in his rifle. I’m not sure how they get the stair-rail unstuck from Jones’ rifle.

I enjoyed the radio version of ‘The Bullet Is Not For Firing’. But it is rather peculiar that it doesn’t feature Frazer, Pike, Mrs. Pike and the Verger in it. They helped to make the episode stronger in my opinion. By the end, the Vicar is the one who calls Mainwaring and the ‘Dad’s Army’ team ‘vandals’.

‘The Bullet Is Not For Firing’ (Audio) rating – 7/10

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