‘WAR DANCE’ (TV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This ‘Dad’s Army’ episode has Pike falling in love with a girl from the ATS named Violet Gibbons. Mr. Mainwaring greatly disapproves of this romance Pike has with the girl. Meanwhile, a dance is held for the Home Guard platoon. Pike intends to announce his engagement to Violet during the dance.
I found this an interesting character-driven episode about Pike’s interest in girls. This is the first time where Pike falls in love and he’s rather immature about it since he tries to emulate some of the Hollywood movie stars when falling in love. It was funny and gut-wrenching when it falls apart for Pike.
It was also interesting how Mainwaring disapproves of the relationship, since he knows the girl’s background and believes it won’t do Pike any good in terms of his career. It’s interesting how the snobbish attitude of Britain in the Second World War is emphasised and touched upon in this episode.
I also enjoyed how Wilson and Pike’s relationship is touched upon. Mainwaring persuades Wilson to get to talk to Pike about the girl he’s having a relationship with. It’s clearly shown that Wilson is a father-figure to Pike, despite calling each other ‘uncle’ and ‘nephew’ when they’re talking about girls.
This episode also features Edward Sinclair as the Verger and Olive Mercer as Mrs. Yeatman. It’s interesting that Jonesy announces them as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Henry Yeatman’ at the dance. Really?! The Verger’s first name is Henry! They also dance together in a funny manner which you have to watch!
There’s also Frank Williams as the Vicar and Janet Davies as Mrs. Pike. Mrs. Pike clearly wonders who his son Frank Pike has brought with to the dance since she knows nothing about the girl. There’s also Nan Braunton as Cissy Godfrey, who attends the dance with his brother Private Godfrey, who’s dressed smartly.
It was also nice to see Sally Douglas as Blodwen, Frazer’s niece at the dance. There’s also Dora Graham as Dora and Doris Graham as Doris, Walker’s parties. 😀 There’s also Jenny Thomas as Violet Gibbons who does not say much and chews a lot and Eleanor Smale as Mrs. Prosser, Jonesy’s date.
‘War Dance’ is an enjoyable episode of ‘Dad’s Army’. I enjoyed the dance scenes in the evening when everyone attends. It highlights how the ‘Dad’s Army’ team gets to socialise during wartime. I liked the moments when Jonesy introduces everyone to the dance and when he performs his own cabaret.
‘War Dance’ (TV) rating – 6/10
‘WAR DANCE’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘War Dance’ was the eleventh episode transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I enjoyed this radio adaptation of the TV episode from the series. Most of what was in the TV episode remains, although there are some absentees in terms of the guest cast that attend the dance event.
John Laurie, Arnold Ridley and most especially Ian Lavender appear in the radio episode as their respective characters. Larry Martyn also appears as Private Walker. Despite that however, it’s Frazer and Jones that try to stop Pike’s engagement announcement in radio. Not Walker and Jones as on TV.
Pearl Hackney guest stars as Mrs. Pike in the episode when joining Wilson at the dance. I did wonder how Mrs. Pike’s reaction to Pike’s engagement to Violet Gibbons was going to be handled on radio. Surprisingly it works very well when Mrs. Pike faints and Wilson delivers a pretty funny line at the end.
Also surprisingly, Wendy Richard guest stars as Violet Gibbons in the radio version of the episode, not Jenny Thomas as on TV. Wendy Richard is well-known for playing Edith Parish or Shirley, Walker’s girlfriend in the series. So unusual that she’s playing Pike’s girlfriend, not Walker’s in the radio episode.
I also found it unusual that Violet Gibbons talked a lot in the radio episode compared to the TV episode. In the TV episode, Violet Gibbons doesn’t say much and just chews a lot. Mind you, with Wendy Richard playing Violet, it’s hard to discern her from being Edith/Shirley as she usually plays her.
The absentees in the radio version of ‘War Dance’ from the TV version are as follows. The Vicar and the Verger don’t make an appearance in the episode. Neither does Mrs. Yeatman, the Verger’s wife. Instead of the Verger and his wife being the first guests, it’s Godfrey and his sister Cissy that show up first.
And when I say Godfrey and his sister Cissy show up, I mean Cissy doesn’t make an appearance or say anything the episode at all. In fact, she’s often in the cloak room or being ‘excused’ like Godfrey does when attending the dance. I wonder why Nan Braunton was not able to play Cissy Godfrey in the episode.
The dialogue about treating bruises and handling linen cupboards between Godfrey and Cissy in the TV version is handled between Godfrey and Jones in the radio version. Blodwen, Frazer’s niece appears briefly in the radio version but Walker’s dates, Dora and Doris, and Jones’ date, Mrs. Prosser, sadly don’t.
‘War Dance’ (Audio) rating – 6/10
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