‘TURKEY DINNER’ (TV)
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This should be one of the Christmas Specials of ‘Dad’s Army’! It feels very festive! In ‘Turkey Dinner’, Corporal Jones accidentally shoots a turkey when he and his section are out on patrol. Very soon, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team and everyone else give a special turkey dinner to the local old age pensioners.
I enjoyed how Jones and the others admit to Mainwaring that they ended up shooting the turkey during their ‘drunken parade from pub to pub’. I laughed at some Pike’s wry comments during the explanations and also when Jones says his mother has gone onto another place but not so heavenly.
There is a location scene where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team try to pay for the turkey at Mr. Boggis’ farm. Eventually, they end up counting how many turkeys there should be at the farm in order to see if one of them has gone missing. It was funny when they used hoopla-rings to count the turkeys and the turkeys run away.
It was also funny to see the ‘Dad’s Army’ characters at the general purposes committee, discussing the preparations for the turkey dinner for the OAPs. Mainwaring obviously takes charge as chairman. I found it funny when Hodges caused trouble and how it’s decided who will cook the bird.
The episode’s guest cast includes Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges; Edward Sinclair as the Verger; Frank Williams as the Vicar; Harold Bennett as Mr. Blewett; Pamela Cundell as Mrs. Fox; Janet Davies as Mrs. Fox and Olive Mercer as Mrs. Yeatman. They attend the turkey dinner meeting.
I’m surprised Mr. Gordon the Town Clerk wasn’t in attendance at the general purposes committee. He is a Walmington-on-Sea member. Shouldn’t he have a say in the arranging of the turkey dinner event for the OAPs. There is also Dave Butler as the Farmhand who keeps saying “It’s Wednesday!”
At the end of the episode, it was very funny when Pike spilt gravy all over Mr. Mainwaring’s dinner suit. Mainwaring got very annoyed about that. This episode also features the last appearance of Talfryn Thomas as Mr. Cheeseman. A shame really, but then again he wasn’t as good as Walker here.
‘Turkey Dinner’ is one of the best ‘Dad’s Army’ Christmas episodes I’ve seen. It is right that it should be one of the best ‘Dad’s Army’ Christmas episodes, even though it’s a part of Series 7. Thankfully the episode gets shown every Christmas or so on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer when that time comes. 🙂
On Disc 11 of ‘The Complete ‘Dad’s Army’ DVD collection’, there’s ‘We Are The Boys…Arthur Lowe’, focusing on the actor who played Mainwaring in the series. There’s also a photo gallery of Series 7.
‘Turkey Dinner’ (TV) rating – 10/10
‘Dad’s Army’: Series 7 – 9/10
‘TURKEY DINNER’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Turkey Dinner’ was transmitted as the twenty-second episode of Series 3 in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I love the radio version of ‘Turkey Dinner’. I consider it to be one of my favourite ‘Dad’s Army’ radio episodes. It’s possibly better than the TV version, despite the changes made in the adaptation.
A notable difference between the TV version and radio version of ‘Turkey Dinner’ is that Larry Martyn plays Walker in it. Walker says most of the dialogue that Cheeseman would’ve said in the TV version. I did enjoy hearing what the episode would have been like on TV had Walked appeared in it.
The episode also features Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges and Frank Williams as the Vicar. They reprise their roles in the radio version as they did in the TV version. There’s also Pearl Hackney as Mr. Pike in the radio version of the episode. Harold Bennett also reprises his role as Mr. Blewitt here.
It’s interesting to note that this Harold Bennett’s first appearance as Mr. Blewitt in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Beforehand, Mr. Blewitt had been played by Timothy Bateson. I’m glad Harold Bennett played Mr. Blewitt at last in the radio series, albeit this was the only radio episode he’s appeared in.
Not every character from the TV episode appears in the radio version of the turkey dinner meeting. There’s no Verger and Mr. Yeatman and there’s no Mrs. Fox. I’m surprised Mollie Sugden didn’t play Mrs. Fox in the radio episode. Jonesy speaks on behalf of Mrs. Fox’s behalf that she’ll cook the turkey.
There’s an amusing new bit in the radio episode where Jones suggests that Mrs. Mainwaring should cook the turkey. I like how Mainwaring responds by saying that it’s not a good idea. Hodges’ remark to Mainwaring’s excuse for his wife not cooking the bird is good. I’m surprised it’s not in the TV version.
The episode doesn’t feature the outdoor scene where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team visit Mr. Boggis’ farm and meet the Farmhand before finding out if one of the turkeys is missing by using hoopla rings. I suppose it would’ve been tricky to do in radio and it would’ve also spent a lot of time in the episode.
I enjoyed how the radio episode ended with Pike ruining Mainwaring’s dinner suit by spilling the jug of gravy. Mainwaring is rather mean to Pike compared to the TV version, saying “If I say you’re stupid, you’re stupid!” I liked how Mainwaring asked at the end, “What are you, Pike?” Pike says, “A stupid boy.”
‘Turkey Dinner’ (Audio) rating – 10/10
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