‘WE KNOW OUR ONIONS’ (TV)
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In this episode, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team go off on a series of efficiency tests for the weekend. But Private Walker has loaded a pile of onions in Jones’ van. They are meant for Bill Pertwee as Hodges who wants to sell them at his greengrocer’s store. Hodges demands that he has his onions from Walker.
But Hodges gets denied his onions when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team go away for the weekend. Hodges follows after the ‘Dad’s Army’ team with Edward Sinclair as the Verger accompanying him. It’s very funny that Hodges and the Verger kept chasing after the ‘Dad’s Army’ team to get the onions from Walker.
The ‘Dad’s Army’ team meanwhile bumble in their tests. The episode features special guest star Fulton MacKay as Captain Ramsey. I’ve seen MacKay in episodes of ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Them’. He also did ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’ with Jon Pertwee as well as a future ‘Dad’s Army’ episode.
Fulton MacKay’s performance as Ramsey is very funny, as he speaks in an unusual tone and criticises the ‘Dad’s Army’ team a lot in this episode. There’s also Alex McAvoy as the Sergeant in this episode. Alex McAvoy also guest starred in the ‘Dad’s Army’ episode ‘If The Cap Fits…’ as a different sergeant.
I certainly enjoyed it when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team were in a room with Captain Ramsey. The leaders Mainwaring, Wilson and Jones are given questions. Jonesy is funny when Ramsey tells him that he’s a Gestapo officer before he uses his rumāl, a thuggee scarf, to strangle the captain with from behind.
It was also funny when Pamela Manson as the Tea Lady (the NAAFI Girl as she’s called in the credits – NAAFI stands for ‘Navy, Army and Air Force Institute’) gets jumped upon by the ‘Dad’s Army’ team as they assumed she was a spy in disguise. Pike throws out the tea urn for Hodges and the Verger to catch. 😀
I also enjoyed the scenes where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team attempt to get over a fence without touching the electrified fence. They fail miserably, but what’s so funny is that they keep trying until they’re over the fence. They even do this up until midnight. They still haven’t got it right and get electrified. 😀
‘We Know Our Onions’ is a pretty good ‘Dad’s Army’ episode that I’ve enjoyed. It was funny to see the ‘Dad’s Army’ team getting tested and I like how they eventually use the onions to win the final test. There are plot-holes I’ve noticed about this episode when watching it again, but it’s still pretty good.
‘We Know Our Onions’ (TV) rating – 8/10
‘WE KNOW OUR ONIONS’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is the fourteenth episode in Series 3 of ‘Dad’s Army’. I enjoyed the radio adaptation of ‘We Know Our Onions’ very much. Like with the other radio adaptations though, there are noticeable differences in terms of the casting of characters and plot structural changes that either make it for better or worse.
Once again, Larry Martyn reprises his role as Walker in the episode. There’s also Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges in the episode who tries to get his onions off from Walker. Surprisingly, Edward Sinclair as the Verger doesn’t accompany Walker in the story as he did in the TV version. Hodges does it alone.
Alan Tilvern guest stars as Captain Ramsay in the radio version of the episode instead of Fulton Mackay as in the TV version. Alan Tilvern is well-known in ‘Dad’s Army’ circles for guest starring in the TV versions of ‘Battle School’ and ‘My British Buddy’. He also did the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Planet of Giants’.
It’s a surprise that Alan Tilvern is playing Captain Ramsay instead of Fulton Mackay in the radio version. Then again, Alan Tilvern could be making up for not playing Colonel Schultz in the radio version of ‘My British Buddy’ compared to when he was able to play Captain Rodrigues in the radio of ‘Battle School’.
With that said, I found Alan Tilvern very good as Captain Ramsay in the radio version. He does a very good Scottish accent and whilst not sounding at all like Fulton Mackay, I did enjoy the scenes he had when interacting with Jonesy. This is especially when he kept telling Jones, “I’m a Gestapo officer!” 😀
The radio episode also features Michael Middleton as Sgt. Baxter instead of Alex McAvoy who was just credited the Sergeant in the TV version. As well as the Verger not appearing in the TV version, there’s also no scene featuring the Tea Lady which was unusual. It may have been difficult to adapt for radio.
The structuring of the second half of the episode is very unusual. Instead of spreading the test for two days on the weekend, it was decided to have it on one day for the radio version. That means the scenes that feature the electrified fence and utilisation of the onions in the test are compressed into one scene.
This is disappointing. Stuff gets cut out in the radio version. The amusing moments of Jonesy and the ‘Dad’s Army’ getting electrified going over the fence are omitted. It’s just Walker jumping on a plank for Jones to get across and failing miserably. It also makes the electric fence redundant in the radio episode.
‘We Know Our Onions’ (Audio) rating – 7/10
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