‘Meet the Gang’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

In the first episode of ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’, we’re introduced to the Concert Party characters as well as the officers, Sergeant-Major Williams, and the Indian characters featured in the series. The setting is at Camp Deolali in India and we’re drawing close to the end of World War II by this point. 🙂

I must admit, it’s a challenge to get into the characters of this series, especially when they perform different roles and this is your introduction to ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’. But as time goes on, you pick up who each of the characters are and what their specific character traits are throughout the series.

I also mention that the depiction of the Indian characters in the series might be dated by today’s standards. This is especially concerning the colonial themes in how Britain occupied India at the time. I can forgive the series in that regard, since it was 1974 and I enjoy the series in an ironic sense.

In the episode, the Concert Party are trying to rehearse a show without their pianist Gunner Graham. Graham has been sent on jankers – which is an official punishment for a minor breach of discipline, as opposed to the more severe punishment of detention – by Sergeant-Major Williams. 😐

Not sure why Graham should be punished by white-washing stones, but then the Sergeant-Major is likely to punish and bully anyone in the Concert Party. Incidentally, John Clegg (who plays Gunner Graham) has been in the ‘Dad’s Army’ episode called ‘Round and Round Went the Great Big Wheel’.

Don Estelle (who plays Gunner ‘Lofty’ Sugden) also played ARP warden Gerald in a few ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes. And of course Michael Knowles (who plays Captain Ashwood) has played a number of characters in the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series and has also written episodes for the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series.

Both Michael Knowles and Donald Hewlett (who plays Colonel Reynolds) would go on to appear in the Jimmy Perry/David Croft comedy series ‘You Rang M’Lord’. Donald Hewlett has also been in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Claws of Axos’ with Jon Pertwee. A coincidence recognising these people! 😀

Anyway, the Concert Party try to rehearse a production of ‘Top Hat’ to entertain the troops. But their show is interrupted when an anti-British protest by the locals takes place. Sergeant-Major ‘SHUT UP’ Williams ends up with cow dung on his tunic. Gunner Parkin also arrives at the Deoliali camp here. 🙂

‘Meet the Gang’ rating – 8/10

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