‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’ is one of the missing ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes from Series 2. It’s also the fourteenth episode in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. As the TV episode is still missing from the BBC Archives; the radio episode remains to be enjoyed. Until the 2019 remake came along!

Sadly, James Beck isn’t playing Walker in the radio episode. This radio episode was recorded after James Beck’s death. The first time I heard this radio episode was on the Series 2 DVD. The radio versions of this episode; ‘A Stripe For Frazer’ and ‘Under Fire’ can now be heard on the Series 2 DVD.

This episode has Walker receiving his call-up papers. This shocks Mainwaring and the rest of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team who want him to stay in the platoon. Many attempts are made to prevent Walker going including applying to the Military Service Hardship Committee and sabotaging his medical test.

However, these attempts don’t work due to Walker not keeping any books for business. This shocks Mainwaring after the tribunal. Jones’ attempts to fail his medical test don’t go according to plan. Eventually, Walker gets invalided out of joining the regular army due to being allergic to corned beef.

I find it intriguing how this episode depicts Walker getting called up to join the army. I wondered why he never did due to him being a younger man than most of the Home Guard platoon. Of course he had his ‘reserved occupation’ being a spiff. It was intriguing that he never got called up until now.

Graham Stark voices Walker for the radio version of the missing TV episode. For me, this was the first time I heard Graham Stark as Walker. As I said in my review for the radio version of ‘The Showing Up of Corporal Jones’, Graham Stark is rather good as Walker, although he isn’t James Beck.

Neither is he Larry Martyn. I prefer Larry Martyn’s version of Walker than Graham Stark’s, though I’ve heard Larry Martyn more than Graham Stark. It was still fun to hear Graham Stark play Walker when he was getting called up. It was very amusing when he was suffering from eating corned beef.

John Laurie guest stars as Frazer and Arnold Ridley as Godfrey in the radio episode. But not Ian Lavendar as Pike! Jack Watson plays the Sergeant and the Brigadier; Judith Furze as the Chairwoman and Michael Knowles as Captain Cutts and Mr. Rees. Overall, this radio episode is fairly good here. 😀

‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’ (Audio) rating – 7/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

In 2019, the three ‘lost’ episodes of ‘Dad’s Army’ from Series 2 were remade. They were new versions of the episodes featuring a new cast and were based on the original scripts by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Naturally, I was very excited. I could not wait to see the new ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes.

The episodes were shown on the UKTV Gold channel. Sadly I missed seeing the episodes when they were shown in August 2019. Thankfully they were released on DVD/Blu-ray in November. I enjoyed seeing the episodes on Blu-ray, but was very disappointed they were in colour, not black-and-white.

It would’ve been better to show the episodes in black-and-white to match it authentically and to the other episodes of Series 2. The new cast for the ‘Dad’s Army’ ‘lost’ episodes remake are decent. There’s Kevin McNally as Captain Mainwaring. He was in the ‘Doctor Who’ tale ‘The Twin Dilemma’.

There’s also Robert Bathurst as Sgt. Wilson, Kevin Eldon as Lance Corporal Jones, David Hayman as Private Frazer, Mathew Horne as Private Walker, Timothy West as Private Godfrey and Tom Rosenthal as Private Pike. I did find Mathew Horne as Walker to be shorter than Mainwaring in this.

The first of the remade ‘lost’ episodes, ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’, is pretty decent. I found it a challenge to adjust to the new ‘Dad’s Army’ cast in the remake episodes. Over time, I grew to like them, but they couldn’t match to the authenticity of the actual ‘Dad’s Army’ cast.

The episode’s guest cast includes Christopher Villiers as the War Brigadier instead of Anthony Sharp as in the original version. There’s also Sam Phillips as Captain Cutts instead of Michael Knowles as in the original and there’s dear Julia Deakin as the Chairwoman instead of Diana King as in the original.

Incidentally, Julia Deakin played May Skinner in ‘Oh Doctor Beeching!’ which was co-written by David Croft. There’s also Andrew Havill, who was in the 2016 ‘Dad’s Army’ film apparently, as another Brigadier that was first portrayed by Patrick Waddington in the 1969 version of the episode.

There’s Gareth Benjamin as Mr. Rees on the Military Service Hardship Committee, originally played by Edward Evans in the 1969 episode. And there’s Jerry-Jane Pears as Judy, a blonde girl originally played by Gilda Perry in 1969. I was first shocked to see Mainwaring and Wilson sleeping with her. 😀

‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’ (2019) (TV) rating – 7/10

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