‘THE RECRUIT’ (TV)
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In this episode, Captain Mainwaring is indisposed at hospital with bad toes. Sergeant Wilson takes charge of the platoon and he recruits Frank Williams as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair as the Verger, who join the Home Guard. But Mainwaring isn’t happy about this when he returns from the hospital.
Yeah, Mainwaring voluntarily discharged himself from hospital when more beds were required for sick patients. It was funny when Mainwaring had to walk about on crotches and still had his big toes bandaged up. It was equally funny when Mainwaring kept telling Wilson to stand away from his feet.
I liked that line-up scene in the episode when Mainwaring inspects the troops. He gets a shock when Pike carries the Tommy gun in a violin case; Godfrey wears sunglasses and white paper to protect his nose and Frazer has a mouse in his pocket. He’s more shocked upon seeing the Vicar and the Verger.
Walker’s absence in this episode is filled in by a note left in his place. This was to cover James Beck’s absence as he was in hospital at the time during the making of this episode. This amusing moment is sadly tarnished by the fact that James Beck had passed away after the end of the making of Series 6.
The Vicar and the Verger are terrible in their new roles as members of the Home Guard platoon. They try to deal with a mischievous little boy, who turns out to be Hodges’ nephew and Mainwaring ridicules them for their efforts. Thankfully, the Vicar and the Verger resign from the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon.
Criticism is laid against the boy Lindsey Dunn who played Hamish, Hodges’ little nephew. And….yeah, I can see where the criticism’s coming from. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what he’s saying when speaking. It was funny when Jones tried to teach the Vicar on night-watch though.
‘The Recruit’ is a very good ‘Dad’s Army’ episode to end Series 6. It was interesting how Mainwaring copes with having bandages around his big toes whilst on duty as captain and how the Vicar and the Verger attempt to be members of the platoon. I also remember watching this episode first on a VHS.
I would like to make a dedication to James Beck who played Private Walker in the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series. It’s so sad that James Beck passed away during the making of Series 6 in 1973. This is also tragic as James died young. He is greatly missed as a memorable and lovable member of the platoon.
On Disc 10 of ‘The Complete ‘Dad’s Army’ DVD collection‘, there’s ‘We Are The Boys…John Le Mesurier’ focusing on the actor who played Wilson in the series. There’s also a photo gallery of Series 6.
‘The Recruit’ (TV) rating – 8/10
‘Dad’s Army’: Series 6 – 9/10
‘THE RECRUIT’ (AUDIO)
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This is the eighteenth episode of Series 3 in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I enjoyed this radio version of ‘The Recruit’. It was interesting how they adapted the TV episode into radio with certain changes made to the plot structure and to the characters. One thing stands out pretty well from this radio episode.
It has Walker in it! Yeah! Larry Martyn plays Walker in the radio version of ‘The Recruit’. James Beck sadly didn’t appear as Walker in the TV version of ‘The Recruit’ due to him being ill at hospital and sadly passing away afterwards. So, the radio episode is adapted from the original TV script of the story.
It was interesting to hear what might’ve been had Walker actually appeared in the TV version of ‘The Recruit’ and had James Beck not been in hospital. Instead of the note in his place for the line-up, Walker is inspected by Mainwaring and gets criticised for an ear-ring he wears to do business with a gypsy.
There are also some pretty funny moments featuring Walker in the radio episode, especially as Mainwaring inspects Godfrey next after him. Walker also tries to persuade Jonesy to purchase some new razor blades as well as new razor when he and Jones’ section are on patrol at night in the episode.
Bill Pertwee reprises his role as Chief Warden Hodges in the radio episode as he did in the TV version. There’s also Frank Williams who reprises his role as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair who reprises his role as the Verger. It’s interesting how the Vicar and the Verger’s time in the platoon gets handled in radio.
In the TV version, the Vicar and the Verger resign from being in the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon after they’re insulted by Mainwaring at the end. In the radio version, the Vicar and the Verger resign too soon after dealing directly with the cheeky boy. This is before the boy tells his uncle about the ‘Dad’s Army’ team.
It’s interesting how Mainwaring does his utmost to get rid of the Vicar and the Verger in the radio version compared to the TV version. I know he didn’t want the Vicar and the Verger at all in his platoon for both versions. But in the radio version, he doesn’t give them a chance as he dismisses them quickly.
Elizabeth Morgan also guest stars as the Nurse instead of Susan Majolier from the TV version. She also plays the cheeky boy instead of Lindsey Dunn and she’s very easy to understand instead of being unintelligible. Intriguingly, the boy is called Wilfred in the radio version instead of Hamish as on TV.
‘The Recruit’ (Audio) rating – 8/10
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