‘THE MAKING OF PRIVATE PIKE’ (TV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a Pike-focused episode as indicated in the episode’s title. This episode is where Pike meets a pretty young girl who tries to seduce him into taking her to the ‘pictures’. As a result, Pike inadvertently steals Mainwaring’s staff car and it breaks down on the journey back from the cinema.
I have to say I’m not very fond of this ‘Dad’s Army’ episode much. It’s an interesting attempt to deal with Pike’s character, but I was hoping for this episode to see Pike coming of age in being more grown-up and getting more respect from Mainwaring. Sadly this episode didn’t do any of those things here.
Pike comes across as immature and twitchy towards females, especially when he meets Jean Gilpin as Sylvia, Chief Warden Hodges’ niece. He doesn’t get appreciated for who he is by Sylvia. She pushes him into taking the car without Mainwaring’s permission and is named a ‘soppy boy’ a times.
Pike and Sylvia return the next day after going to the cinema. Everyone gets the wrong idea about Pike and Sylvia from Bill Pertwee as Hodges, Janet Davies as Mrs. Pike and Captain Mainwaring. I felt for Pike in that scene. He was misjudged by that point. Thankfully Frazer and Jones sort-of save Pike.
I did think Mainwaring was rather grumpy and pretty unreasonable in this episode. This isn’t just in misjudging Pike with stealing the car and taking Sylvia with him. It also occurs when they’re trying out the new staff car, which was funny to watch. Mainwaring scolds Pike and even Godfrey at times.
I did like that scene between Wilson and Pike where they have their man-to-man talk in the episode. Pike doesn’t understand what Wilson’s trying to say to him and the scene ends with him not comprehending. But I did like how Wilson tries to have a man-to-man talk with him if unsuccessfully.
The episode also features guest appearances of Frank Williams as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair as the Verger. There’s also Anthony Sharp (who I’ve seen in ‘Steptoe & Son’ episodes) as the Colonel and Jeffrey Segal as the Brigadier. There’s also Pamela Cundell as Mrs. Fox dating Jones in this story.
So yeah, ‘The Making of Private Pike’ was a disappointment for me. It wasn’t the episode I’d hoped for in showcasing Pike’s true potential into becoming a properly grown-up character. I would’ve written the episode very differently by having it emotionally-driven instead of just played for laughs.
‘The Making of Private Pike’ (TV) rating – 5/10
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