‘UNDER FIRE’ (AUDIO)
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‘Under Fire’ was the season finale for Series 2 of ‘Dad’s Army’. It was also the eleventh episode transmitted in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. Sadly ‘Under Fire’ is one of the three missing episodes from the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series and there’s the radio version of that episode for everyone to enjoy.
The episode has our ‘Dad’s Army’ team demonstrating great resourcefulness when German high explosives rain down on Walmington-on-Sea. Captain Mainwaring and his men soon discover a spy in their midst and take him as their prisoner before they defend the church hall when it gets bombed in.
As well as Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier and Clive Dunn, the other regular ‘Dad’s Army’ cast members for this episode are John Laurie and Arnold Ridley. Sadly Pike and Walker don’t make an appearance despite getting mentioned. Presumably Ian Lavender was unavailable and James Beck had died recently.
The guest cast includes Pearl Hackney as Mr. Pike and Geoffrey Lumsden as Corporal-Colonel Square. I did wonder why Square went from colonel to corporal-colonel to captain in the series. I found it amusing when Square got annoyed with people like Corporal Jones calling him ‘corporal’ instead of ‘corporal-colonel’. 😀
There’s also Avril Angers as Mrs. Keane, originally played by Queenie Watts in the TV episode. And there’s David Gooderson as Mr. Murphy, originally played by Ernst Ulman in the TV episode. I was amazed David Gooderson was in this as he played Davros in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Destiny of the Daleks’.
For points of trivia, John Ringham was in the TV version of this episode playing Captain Bailey as well as Bill Pertwee as ARP Warden Hodges. Why these two weren’t in the radio episode is a mystery to me. Mr. Murphy, who gets suspected for being a German, turns out to be Hodges’ uncle in the TV episode.
This is different in the radio version as it’s Mrs. Pike who recognises Mr. Murphy as a British citizen. The radio episode ends with Mr. Murphy commenting to Mrs. Pike that he doesn’t know how Britain will win the war. In the TV version, he says this to Wilson instead. Intriguing why they changed that bit.
‘Under Fire’ is a very enjoyable radio episode in ‘Dad’s Army’. I would like to see what the TV version of this episode is like. I hope the TV versions of ‘Under Fire’ with ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’ and ‘A Stripe For Frazer’ will get found some day. Godfrey was very funny in the radio episode.
‘Under Fire’ (Audio) rating – 7/10
‘Dad’s Army’: Series 2 rating – 8/10
‘UNDER FIRE’ (2019) (TV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The last of ‘The Lost Episodes’ of ‘Dad’s Army’ is of course ‘Under Fire’, which was the season finale for Series 2. I greatly enjoyed the 2019 recreation of ‘Under Fire’. After seeing it in live-action, it does feel like the most slapstick one of the lost episodes according to Kevin McNally. I laughed a lot with this one.
It was intriguing to note what was different in the 2019 remake compared to hearing the radio episode. In the 2019 remake, Jonesy refused to stand-to-attention at Square’s command as he winked at Mainwaring. It was also amusing that Mainwaring and Wilson arrived in pyjamas at the story’s start.
In terms of the episode’s guest cast, David Horovitch returns as Corporal-Colonel Square instead of Geoffrey Lumsden from the original as well as William Andrews as Captain Bailey instead of John Ringham from the original. Both these characters previously appeared in ‘A Stripe For Frazer’ as on TV.
The remake episode also features Tracy-Ann Oberman as Mrs. Pike instead of Janet Davies as in the original. I was surprised to discover Tracy-Ann Oberman played Mrs. Pike in the ‘Under Fire’ remake. She’s known for playing Yvonne Hartman in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series and in the ‘Torchwood’ audios.
The rest of the guest cast includes Tamzin Griffin as Mrs. Keene instead of Queenie Watts as in the original; Thelma Ruby as Mrs. Witt instead of Gladys Dawson as in the original and Philip Pope as Murphy instead of Ernest Ulman as in the original. There’s also Simon Ludders as ARP Warden Hodges.
There’s not enough screen time for Hodges in this episode as well as the whole of Series 2. I did enjoy Simon Ludders’ take on Hodges in the remake episode of ‘Under Fire’. He almost sounds like Bill Pertwee at times when hearing him. Mrs. Pike still puts out the fire with salt as was the case in the original.
I found the episode’s second half very funny with the slapstick. My parents and I couldn’t help laughing with Jones getting wet with water from fire buckets as well as tripping over. Mainwaring getting Pike to open a fire extinguisher before smashing the church hall stage and getting covered with foam was hilarious! 😀
I enjoyed ‘The Lost Episodes’ 2019 remake of ‘Dad’s Army’ very much. All three recreated episodes have been made with love for the ‘Dad’s Army’ series. They’re not an exact match in terms of the cast, but they retain to the original scripts by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. ‘Under Fire’ was worth watching!
The DVD/Blu-ray special features of ‘Dad’s Army: The Lost Episodes’ are as follows. There are cast interviews with Kevin McNally, Robert Bathurst, Kevin Eldon, David Hayman, Mathew Horne, Timothy West and Tom Rosenthal. There are also outtakes and a behind-the-scenes gallery.
‘Under Fire’ (TV) (2019) rating – 8/10
‘Dad’s Army: The Lost Episodes’ rating – 8/10
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