‘THE KING WAS IN HIS COUNTING HOUSE’ (TV)
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In this ‘Dad’s Army’ episode, Captain Mainwaring invites Wilson; Jones; Frazer; Walker; Godfrey and Pike to a party at his house. There, they hope to meet Mrs. Mainwaring. But soon, a bomb hits Mr. Mainwaring’s bank during an air raid. Mainwaring and his men must go and recover the bank’s money.
This was a very interesting character-driven episode, especially as Mainwaring makes an attempt to be sociable with his men. It’s with good intentions, but the party isn’t as lively and carefree happy as Mainwaring had hoped. It was funny once Mainwaring called his men by their first names at the party.
Walker brings his girlfriend Wendy Richard as Shirley to the party. It was very funny when Shirley turned up with Walker and Mainwaring was embarrassed by her. It was even funnier when Shirley goes with Mainwaring and his men to the bank to assist them and recover the money against her will.
Something unusual though. Wendy Richard played the same Walker’s girlfriend character in ‘The Two and a Half Feathers’ and ‘Mum’s Army’. Yet she’s called Edith Parish in those episodes. Why was her name changed? I am assuming that Edith Parish and Shirley are the same person. It’s never confirmed.
There was a lot of speculation before and after the series on what Mrs. Mainwaring, Captain Mainwaring’s wife – Elizabeth – was going to look like. It seemed we were going to find out in this episode. Thankfully, Mrs. Mainwaring doesn’t make an appearance at the party. Her mystery is kept secret.
The episode’s other guest stars include Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges; Frank Williams as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair as the Verger. There’s also Colin Bean as Private Sponge. In this episode, Sponge’s section of the platoon are very disgruntled that they never got invited to Mainwaring’s party.
I enjoyed those scenes where Mainwaring and his men bring the money in from the bank back to the church hall and they count it to check how much they’ve recovered. It was rather funny when Jonesy kept counting the five pound notes over and over again and Frazer hated counting those copper coins.
‘The King Was In His Counting House’ is a pretty good ‘Dad’s Army’ episode that starts showing the ‘Dad’s Army’ team being on a social level before they go to the bank to rescue the money. It highlights how the ‘Dad’s Army’ team prefer to work on a professional level instead of a social level in the series.
‘The King Was In His Counting House’ (TV) rating – 9/10
‘THE KING WAS IN HIS COUNTING HOUSE’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘The King Was In His Counting House’ was the fifteenth episode transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I wouldn’t call this a faithful radio adaptation of the TV episode. There were a lot of changes made in the adaptation process, especially in regards to the climax of this particular episode.
First off, the cast includes our main regulars as well as Larry Martyn as Walker. There’s also Wendy Richard as Shirley, Walker’s girlfriend, who reprises her role from the TV version of this episode. Once again, it isn’t established if Edith Parish and Shirley are the same person and why her name has changed.
This is pretty unusual since Wendy Richard played the same character three episodes ago in ‘Mum’s Army’ in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Why wasn’t she called Shirley in that episode instead of Edith Parish. This is also the third occasion Wendy Richard has appeared in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series.
Rather unusually, Mainwaring doesn’t have Shirley help him and his men carry the bank’s money back to the church hall as on TV. Instead, he has her come to the bank and gets rid of her there and then. I don’t know why Mainwaring didn’t have Shirley assist them in carrying the bank’s money back to the church hall.
Bill Pertwee reprises his role as Chief Warden Hodges. This radio episode however doesn’t have Frank Williams as the Vicar; Edward Sinclair as the Verger and Colin Bean as Private Sponge. Thus the scene where Sponge’s group are sulking because of not being invited to Mainwaring’s party is removed here.
The scenes featuring Hodges in the radio episode are rather different compared to the TV version. Whilst Hodges’ first scene in visiting Mainwaring’s house is intact, the scene where Hodges and the wardens are at the bank taking the money before Mainwaring points a gun at Hodges is omitted in radio.
This gets replaced by a scene where Hodges visits Mainwaring; Wilson; Pike and Godfrey at the church hall when they’re meant to guard the bank’s money before it gets taken away by a laundry van. Oh yeah, the final scene where Mainwaring rides a horse and cart with the bank money in the laundry basket is omitted.
Instead it’s Pike who gets a small cart without a horse instead of Walker getting a horse and cart. Mainwaring calls Pike a ‘stupid boy’ for that. Frazer and Walker go home whilst Mainwaring and Godfrey have to guard the bank money overnight before Wilson and Pike come in to see the laundry basket gone.
‘The King Was In His Counting House’ (Audio) rating – 7/10
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