‘Jeeves & Wooster’, Series 1, Episode 4 (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is the first of a two-part story featured in Series 1 of ‘Jeeves & Wooster’. In this episode, Bertie tries to play Cupid in sorting out a few tangles at Brinkley Court. Bertie does that without Jeeves’ help.

It’s interesting that Bertie uses strategies to solve the love lives of his friends as well as his Aunt Dahlia and Uncle Tom. Sadly, these strategies end in disasters as is often the trend for Bertie’s character here.

A saga begins for Bertie here. This episode features the first appearance of Gussie Fink-Nottle, one of Bertie’s friends who is a newt-fancier. He’s played by Richard Garnett in Series 1 of ‘Jeeves & Wooster’.

Gussie happens to be in love with Madeline Bassett, played by Francesca Folan in Series 1 of ‘J&W’. He wants Bertie’s help in order to start a relationship with Madeline. Bertie is keen to help Gussie out.

It turns out that Madeline is staying at the house of Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia. Bertie arranges for Gussie to visit Brinkley Court to see Madeline as well as hand out prizes to boys at a grammar school in his place.

Incidentally, Madeline happens to be the daughter of Sir Watkyn Bassett who appeared in the show’s very first episode. Sir Watkyn fined Bertie £5 for stealing a police constable’s helmet in the episode. 🙂

This episode features Brenda Bruce back as Bertie’s Aunt Dalia. Aunt Dalia first appeared in the show’s second episode. Brenda Bruce has also starred in ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ with Sarah Sutton.

Aunt Dahlia visits Bertie to try and make him be the giver of prizes for a boys’ grammar school before Bertie gives the honour to Gussie. Aunt Dahlia even threatens ‘no more Anatole’s cooking’ to Bertie. 😀

There’s also another situation going on with Aunt Dahlia as she’s desperate to coax £500 out of her husband Tom Travers for her failing magazine ‘Milady’s Boudoir’. Bertie believes he can help with that.

Ralph Michael guest stars as Bertie’s uncle Tom Travers. I’ve seen Ralph Michael in other things since then such as the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Pirate Planet’ and ‘A Murder Is Announced’ with Joan Hickson.

In this episode, Uncle Tom seems a highly-strung man who keeps a gun to ward off intruders late at night. He also doesn’t seem very concerned or willing to help regarding Aunt Dahlia’s failing magazine.

Bertie also learns from her Aunt Dahlia that his friend Tuppy’s engagement to his cousin Angela is off. Robert Daws returns as Tuppy Glossop in the episode. It was terrific to see Tuppy back in the series. 🙂

Amanda Elwes guest stars as Angela Travers in Series 1 of ‘J&W’. Angela seems to be a loving cousin to Bertie but she’s ‘boiling mad’ with Tuppy over a ‘shark tale’ she shared. Thus their engagement’s off.

I grew with anticipation during the episode on how Tuppy and Angela would get back together and how Gussie would win Madeline’s heart. Bertie comes up with a ‘perfect’ solution for all parties involved.

Bertie suggests to Tuppy, Gussie and Aunt Dahlia to go on the ‘Wooster Diet’. They’re not to eat the wonderful food of Aunt Dahlia’s cook at dinner in order to prove how lovelorn and miserable they are.

This doesn’t quite work. Angela’s still mad with Tuppy; Gussie, although managing to get a meeting with Madeline, fails with sharing his favourite – newts; and Aunt Dahlia gets so furious with Bertie. 😮

John Barrard guest stars as Anatole the cook in the episode. Anatole is passionate about his cooking and he gets enraged when people are refusing to eat it at dinner. Therefore, Anatole gives in his notice.

That’s why Aunt Dahlia is angry with Bertie since Anatole kept Uncle Tom happy and Anatole’s resigning has depressed him. Thus, Aunt Dahlia’s chances to get money from Uncle Tom seem to be gone.

The climax to this episode is pretty amusing as well as gut-wrenching. Tuppy goes downstairs in the middle of the night to have a midnight snack. But he soon gets caught, causing everybody to wake up.

The episode ends on a cliff-hanger where Bertie gets kicked out of Aunt Dahlia’s house and Jeeves is asked to pack his bags. I didn’t know what was going to happen next and I did feel sorry for Bertie then.

This episode is a good beginning to a two-part story in Series 1 of ‘Jeeves & Wooster’. The cliff-hanger ending was quite tense. It’s not done like that ever again in the ‘J&W’ series. Will Bertie get redeemed?

‘Series 1, Episode 4’ rating – 9/10

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