‘THE DAY THE BALLOON WENT UP’ (TV)
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This is one of the best episodes of ‘Dad’s Army’! I remember seeing this episode in one of ‘The Very Best of Dad’s Army’ VHSs. Captain Mainwaring and his platoon have to stop a barrage balloon from getting out of control with the Vicar, the Verger and Chief Warden Hodges to help. Will they succeed?
I enjoyed the first line-up scene. Wilson mucks it up with the “Platoon attention!” word of command. Jones stands at ease, whilst everyone else stands to attention. It was especially funny when Wilson told Jones to ‘get his legs together’ and Mainwaring was outraged in the way Wilson makes that request.
There are also some moments when the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon are made to salute properly. I found it very funny when Jonesy commands the platoon to salute and there’s a moment when they do a ‘wiggle, wiggle’ in their salute. I had to re-watch that scene again and hear how funny it all sounded.
I like how Frank Williams as the Vicar; Edward Sinclair as the Verger and Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges take active roles during the episode. The Vicar is very cross with Mainwaring. Apparently somebody had put an obscene word on the back of the harmonium. What was this word then?
We never find out what that word was! I suppose it must have either been the F word or the s**t word. Either way, I’m glad the word was never revealed in this episode and later on in the series. It would’ve been inappropriate especially for a classic BBC wartime comedy that was gentle as can be.
I enjoyed it when the ‘Dad’s Army’ cast joined in to help hold a rope each that was attached to the barrage balloon, keeping it steady whilst it was in the church courtyard. Nan Braunton guest stars as Cissy Godfrey, one of Godfrey’s sisters in the episode. Even she get to hold onto a rope in the story.
It gets even funnier when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team take the barrage balloon into a field before Mainwaring gets swept with it by accident. Everyone else chases after him in Jones’ van! The whole chase scene was hilarious and I did like how there were varying layers added to make it entertaining.
‘The Day The Balloon Went Up’ is a funny ‘Dad’s Army’ episode and is considered one of the best. I liked the chase scenes when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team try to rescue Mainwaring caught on the cable of a barrage balloon. Jack Haig, who was originally meant to plays Jones, makes a cameo in this episode.
‘The Day The Balloon Went Up’ (TV) rating – 9/10
‘THE DAY THE BALLOON WENT UP’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘The Day The Balloon Went Up’ was the twentieth and final episode of Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. It’s interesting that this episode from Series 3 of the TV series became the season finale of Series 2 of the radio series. The radio adaptation is decent, however there are noticeable changes.
Once again, Larry Martyn doesn’t make an appearance as Walker in the episode. He would return proper at the beginning of Series 3, but it does mean a lot of his dialogue gets cut out or transferred to another character. One of Walker’s lines gets said by Frazer to take the barrage balloon into a field.
Frank Williams; Edward Sinclair and Bill Pertwee reprise their roles as the Vicar, the Verger and Chief Warden Hodges as they played the characters in the TV episode. But the Vicar and the Verger don’t accompany the ‘Dad’s Army’ team to escort the barrage balloon into a field as they did in the TV story.
Hodges accompanies the ‘Dad’s Army’ team however, but he doesn’t follow them on his motorcycle like he did in the TV version. He joins them when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are chasing Mainwaring and Jones on the barrage balloon. Thus a lot of Hodges’ montage scenes in the TV episode get cut in this.
And yes! Mainwaring and Jones both get caught on the cable of the barrage balloon when it gets swept away from the empty field. This is different in the TV version, as it was just Mainwaring, not Mainwaring and Jonesy together. It’s interesting how the radio adaptation does it so differently here.
Godfrey’s sister Cissy doesn’t appear in the radio version of this episode as she did in the TV version. Godfrey mostly says what Cissy says about the Verger getting caught on the cable of a barrage balloon to the Vicar. This is before the Verger says he’s caught on a ‘ruddy string’ instead of Godfrey.
Michael Knowles guest stars as Squadron Leader Horsfall in the radio episode, instead of Kenneth Watson as the RAF Squadron Leader in the TV version. Interestingly, it’s Horsfall who takes down the details of the barrage balloon from Mainwaring and Hodges instead of the W.A.A.F. Sergeant on TV.
In fact, the W.A.A.F. Sergeant doesn’t appear at all in the radio version. At the end of the episode, Hodges laughs at Mainwaring and Jones in their filthy state after they’ve been pulled up by Wilson and the others. Surprisingly, Mainwaring and Jones get pulled up after the train has gone through the tunnel.
‘The Day The Balloon Went Up’ (Audio) rating – 8/10
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