Please feel free to comment on my review.
I like how the first episode of ‘Oh Doctor Beeching!’ sets up the series with its characters and situation at Hatley railway station in 1963. In this episode, everyone is preparing for the arrival of new station master, Cecil Parkin. But things get erratic that cause Mr. Parkin to get so unimpressed.
I enjoyed the introductions of Jack Skinner, his wife May, Ethel Schumann, her son Wilfred, Harry Lambert the signalman, etc. The scenes where Arnold teaches Ralph to drive the train and gets annoyed are funny. I also enjoyed the scenes inside Harry’s signal box when he gives Jack a haircut.
Parkin eventually arrives and is very strict upon arrival when meeting the staff at Hatley station. He demands to be shown to his office and it’s in a complete mess. Gradually, characters like Jack and Ethel find him unbearable. I enjoyed it when Wilfred looks for the keys to the station master’s office.
Very soon, Cecil Parkin finds May, Jack’s wife, running the station buffet. It turns out that Parkin once had a romantic affair with May before she married Jack. The past romantic relationship Parkin and May had becomes a running joke in the series, as it gets repeated and developed in many forms.
The episode ends with Parkin seeing everyone in his office before they all discover the newspaper article that Dr. Beeching is closing down thousands of railway station. Hatley station could be next. The first episode is very good in setting up the series and I was looking forward to seeing more of it.
‘All Change’ rating – 8/10
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