‘SGT. WILSON’S LITTLE SECRET’ (TV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Mrs. Pike is expecting to take in an evacuee child from the war. Wilson overhears her conversation with Frank Pike over this and becomes worried. He thinks that she’s actually pregnant. After telling Captain Mainwaring this, he is advised to ask Mrs. Pike to marry him. Will Wilson know of the truth?
This isn’t one of the missing episodes from the BBC Archives and was the only one to survive to date of Series 2. The episode is okay, but I wouldn’t call it a classic or a memorable episode. It delves into more interesting character development of Wilson and his relationship with Mrs Pike in the series.
I enjoyed the opening scenes with the platoon when Mainwaring tries to teach a lesson in camouflage and Jones messes up the backstage scenery. I also enjoyed it when Frazer and Walker demonstrate their own weapons to the platoon. I like Walker’s idea of a rubber type on Jones’ back.
The introduction of an evacuee into Mrs. Pike’s ‘family’ was interesting to see in this episode. Sadly, this is the only time that little Arthur (the evacuee boy) makes an appearance in the ‘Dad’s Army’ TV series. Little Arthur never returned which I found strange, as I wondered what had happened to him.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ is a fairly average episode of ‘Dad’s Army’. I found it a good character piece for Wilson in his relationship with Mrs. Pike. But this doesn’t stand out for me as one of the best episodes of the ‘Dad’s Army’ series. I did enjoy some comedy moments when I saw the platoon.
On Disc 2 of ‘The Complete ‘Dad’s Army’’DVD collection’, there’s a behind-the-scenes documentary called ‘Missing Presumed Wiped’. There are also radio versions of the remaining lost episodes of Series 2 including ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker’; ‘A Stripe for Frazer’ and ‘Under Fire’.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ (TV) rating – 6/10
‘Dad’s Army’: Series 2 rating – 8/10
‘SGT. WILSON’S LITTLE SECRET’ (AUDIO)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ is the seventh episode transmitted in Series 1 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. This is an interesting and unusual adaptation of the original TV episode for radio. To start off with, John Laurie doesn’t appear as Frazer in the radio version, despite getting a mention for this story.
Because of Frazer’s absence, a lot of scenes had to be reworked. This includes the weapons demonstration scene. Instead of Frazer presenting his plates idea, it’s Jones who presents it instead. Walker has Godfrey to help him with the rubber tyre idea on audio instead of Jones for the TV version.
The backstage scenery scene is omitted in the radio version of this episode. I prefer the backstage scene in the TV version as it was hilariously played out between Mainwaring and Jones. In the radio version, the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are talking about using plants for camouflage which isn’t very hilarious.
The biggest change from TV to radio for this episode is Bill Pertwee’s guest appearance as Chief Warden Hodges. Bill Pertwee didn’t appear in the TV version of this. It’s intriguing he’d appear in the radio version. I prefer it when Hodges finds Wilson visiting Mr. Pike’s house at night instead of Walker.
Bill Pertwee also does the voice of little Arthur in the radio version of this episode. No disrespect to Bill Pertwee, but I found his performance as a little boy awkward. He doesn’t sound convincing as a little boy. Why could they not get Graham Harboard who played little Arthur on TV to reprise his role?
Though thinking about it we should be grateful for small mercies since little Arthur doesn’t return ever again in ‘Dad’s Army’, even in the radio series. Imagine Bill Pertwee having to voice little Arthur for future episodes. Pearl Hackney also returns as Mrs. Pike in this episode. And she still sounds seductive.
One thing more I did notice in terms of difference between the TV and radio versions of this episode is that Pike lets on to his Uncle Arthur that her mum’s getting a new kid – even though he was told not to tell Uncle Arthur by his mum. This is very different compared to Uncle Arthur overhearing the news.
‘Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret’ (Audio) rating – 7/10
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