‘THE TEST’ (TV)
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This is one of my favourite ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes! I’m surprised this wasn’t on one of ‘The Very Best of Dad’s Army’ VHS releases. Perhaps it was. In the episode, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team led by Captain Mainwaring get challenged to play a cricket match against the ARP Wardens by Chief Warden Hodges.
This episode is full of laughs and has moments of sheer character development. It also has some superb cricket brilliance. I utilised this ‘Dad’s Army’ episode for my story-writing especially when developing the Fifth Doctor for my ‘Fifth Doctor’ stories of ‘Doctor Who’ which includes ‘The Stockbridge Terror’.
This is unlike any other ‘Dad’s Army’ episode I’ve seen. It doesn’t pit our ‘Dad’s Army’ heroes against any Nazi forces. It shows them playing a game that is very pleasurable and puts them at their ease. Even though Hodges cheats during the cricket match, our heroes still enjoy themselves in the tale. 😀
I enjoyed the first part of the cricket match where Mainwaring’s men are fielding and Hodges’ men are batting. It was funny when Jonesy kept knocking the wicket out with his gloved hands as wicket keeper. It was also amusing when Godfrey lost the ball at the end of the field and he’s unable to find it.
The second part of the cricket match was equally fun. This time, Mainwaring’s men are batting whilst Hodges’ men are fielding. In his cheating, Hodges hires a professional bowler, Fred Trueman as E.C. Egan. It was very funny when Egan walked a long distance away before he bowled against Mainwaring.
Mainwaring is clearly bemused by what’s going on and is a little scared when Hodges tells him of Egan’s bowling record. Egan then bowls and Mainwaring ducks, saying, “He wasn’t bowling at the stumps! He was bowling at me!” Thankfully Egan does his shoulder in, meaning he can’t bowl anymore.
I felt sorry for Pike when he got bowled out in an instant and it was so funny when Jonesy got bowled out and he didn’t even notice. Bill Pertwee guest stars as Hodges as well as Frank Williams as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair as the Verger who appear as umpires. There’s also Harold Bennett as Mr. Blewitt.
‘The Test’ (or ‘The Cricket Match’ as I’d like to call it) is one of the best ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes I’ve seen. I enjoyed every moment of it and it makes me want to watch a cricket match sometimes. The episode ends on a high note where Godfrey manages to save the day by actually hitting the cricket ball. Wow!!!
‘The Test’ (TV) rating – 10/10
‘THE CRICKET MATCH’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘The Cricket Match’ is the title of the twentieth episode of Series 3 in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. It’s also the title for the radio adaptation of the TV episode ‘The Test’ from Series 4 of ‘Dad’s Army’. I’m very glad they re-titled the episode for radio. ‘The Cricket Match’ is a better title than ‘The Test’.
This is also another one of my favourite episodes from the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. ‘The Cricket Match’ radio episode is a superb adaptation of the TV episode. They mostly stick to what’s in the original TV episode with subtle technical and casting changes. Everything from TV is all there in radio.
Larry Martyn returns as Private Walker in the radio version of the episode. There’s also Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges; Frank Williams as the Vicar and Edward Sinclair as the Verger who reprise their roles from the TV episode for radio. There’s also Anthony Smee who plays G.C. Egan in the tale.
Anthony Smee didn’t play G.C. Egan in the TV version. It was Fred Trueman who played him. I found Anthony Smee’s portrayal of the character friendlier than Fred Trueman’s. Don Estelle doesn’t return as Gerald, the ARP Warden from the TV episode. Neither does Harold Bennett as Mr. Blewitt.
There’s not much to say in terms of many differences from the TV version to the radio version. Thankfully Pike does have more time spent in the batting position than he did in the TV version. Although, Pike does have keeping his trousers up which fall down once he gets the chance to bat. 😀
Jonesy also seems very keen on the fielding aspects of the game in the radio episode, much to the annoyance of the Vicar who has to keep putting the wicket back up again. It was funny when Mainwaring told Jones they’re batting next instead of fielding during the second round of the match.
In the radio episode, Walker makes Mainwaring pay for the two cricket balls especially when Godfrey loses one during the match. This is different in the TV version as Walker lets Mainwaring off buying the second cricket ball. I’m surprised they changed this aspect in the radio version of the tale.
The radio episode ends still on the same note where Godfrey saves the day and wins the cricket match for the ‘Dad’s Army’ team. Godfrey is permitted to be excused by Mainwaring once he returns. There isn’t an air raid siren made at the radio episode’s end as was the case in the TV episode.
‘The Cricket Match’ (Audio) rating – 10/10
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