‘Every Dog His Day…’ (TV)

 

‘EVERY DOG HIS DAY…’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

I enjoyed this ‘All Creatures’ episode very much. There’s some pretty good comedy-drama stuff going on in this episode and it also has Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo in it. What more can you ask? 😀

‘Every Dog His Day…’ is adapted by Brian Finch from the ‘James Herriot’ books. Brian makes his first contribution as a writer to Series 3 of ‘All Creatures’. I am sure he’ll adapt more episodes later on. 😀

This ‘All Creatures’ episode is the first to be directed by Michael Hayes. He directed three ‘Doctor Who’ tales before this including ‘The Androids of Tara’, ‘The Armageddon Factor’ and ‘City of Death’.

The episode begins with James at Mr. Biggins’ farm. John Sharp as Mr. Biggins shares with James about his unhappiness with cowhand, Ned Finch, when the trio try to sort out one cow on the farm.

Apparently, according to Mr. Biggins, Ned Finch goes out drinking every night and is drawn to the bright lights of the big city. Kathleen Helme as Mr. Biggins’ wife agrees with her husband on the tale.

Now I’m not exactly sure what Biggins meant about Ned Finch being drawn to the bright lights of the big city. Perhaps he’s indicating Ned Finch wants to move into the big city and to leave Biggins’ farm.

Speaking of which, Robin Parkinson guest stars as Ned Finch in the episode. I thought I recognised him from somewhere. It took me IMDb to find out that Robin Parkinson was in the series ‘Allo, Allo’.

Robin Parkinson played Ernest Leclerc in that series. He was also in an episode of ‘The Brittas Empire’ and was the narrator of the kids show, ‘Button Moon’, with theme song by Peter Davison. 😀

As James discovers, Ned Finch happens to be a nice man who likes to have a quiet drink in his local pub. He also seems to be friendly with Mary Chester as Marion Bradley, who’s behind the bar there.

I liked that scene where James takes Helen to see Ned Finch at his local pub and where they witness his romantic attraction to Marion. It’s so intriguing James and Helen discover Ned Finch themselves.

In fact, by the end of the episode, Ned Finch is engaged to be married with Marion Bradley. This annoys Mr. Biggins, who seems so dependent on Ned’s help despite being quite a bully towards him.

It’s bizarre how Ned Finch considers his working relationship with Mr. Biggins as rather a pleasant one. He says they’ve had a few laughs together. Um…I do not recall seeing that in the episode here.

In fact, towards the end of the episode, Biggins tells Ned to get a move on in a ‘bullying’ fashion. Perhaps in the eye of the beholder since Ned sees his relationship with Biggins in a really different light.

Meanwhile in the episode, Skeldale House receives the visit of Mr. Barge who happens to be a very important person. Barge is known as the loquacious (very talkative) pharmaceutical representative.

And it also turns out James Cossins is playing Mr. Barge in the episode. I was delighted to see James Cossins in this episode as he played Mr. Walt in the ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode, ‘The Hotel Inspectors’.

Mrs. Hall is rather taken with Mr. Barge when he visits Skeldale House, since he compliments her highly on her cooking whenever he comes for dinner. I’m not sure if something else’s going on here.

Anyway, the purpose of Barge’s visit is to hand over a new special kind of sedative for Siegfried and his vets at Skeldale House to use. Siegfried is delighted, but we’ll get back to that new sedative later.

Oh by the way, Skeldale House gets a new temporary member to the family. This is Craig McFarlane as David Woodley, who has come on a work experience placement in his training to be a country vet.

I wish I could say a lot about David’s character but…there’s not much to say about him. I mean, he’s a nice person and he seems to get on well with James, Tristan especially, Siegfried and Helen in this.

But a lot of his dialogue seems very limited in this episode. I suppose maybe his character’s meant to be inexperienced and he’s to take on what the other vets are doing in the tale as part of his training.

However after this episode, I don’t know who David is and whether he had an actual point to be in the episode. I found Christopher Brown’s Richard Carmody in ‘Sleeping Partners’ interesting than David.

Anyway, let’s talk about the Mrs. Pumphrey part of the episode which has to be the best. Margaretta Scott returns as Mrs. Pumphrey. So do Tricki Woo and Teddy Turner as Hodgekin in this.

But it’s not Tricki Woo’s who has a problem in the episode. Oh no! And that’s despite Mrs. Pumphrey giving Tricki some of her chocolates (which she shouldn’t do) and James cuddling Tricki for a little bit.

Instead, Mrs. Pumphrey has a new boxer dog called Cedric who she’s become very worried about. Apparently, Cedric is a dog that happens to get excited a lot, which causes him to be…well, flatulent.

Yes, even in ‘All Creatures’, they have an episode where animals let off stink bombs. 😀 Hodgekin is pretty amused by it all when he’s working in the garden although Mrs. Pumphrey isn’t at all amused.

James sees about sorting out Cedric’s flatulency as he visits Mr. Pumphrey’s place again with Tristan and David in tow. This occurs at the same time Mrs. Pumphrey holds a morning party to guests.

One of the guests attending at Mrs. Pumphrey’s morning party is…Morris Barry as Colonel Buller! Morris Barry, a former ‘Doctor Who’ director who directed ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’, is in this tale!

Wow! And yes I know, Morris Barry would go on to be an actor after directing. He appeared in ‘The Creature From The Pit’ with Tom Baker. But seeing Morris Barry acting here in ‘All Creatures’! Wow!

I found it so amusing once Cedric the dog wandered off when James and Tristan weren’t looking. The two go out to find him and doing it amusingly before finding him inside Mrs. Pumphrey’s house.

Mrs. Pumphrey is shocked when she sees Cedric is in the house. Before that, it was funny when her guests smelled the strange odour in the living room. Cedric also ‘weed’ on one of the guests here. 😀

And it was Morris Barry’s character I believe. Cedric ‘weed’ on the Colonel’s trousers. This alerted James and Tristan when the Colonel called in shock, “Good God!” Thankfully James and Tristan took Cedric away. 😀

Mrs. Pumphrey wonders what to do about Cedric as she finds it difficult to give him up. But James may have found a perfect solution. He suggests Cedric to be given over to an ideal owner in the tale.

That happens to be Henry Livings as Con Fenton, who looks after Mrs. Pumphrey’s gardens I believe. Con makes beautiful flowers, but he can’t smell the scent from them. Thus, Con cannot smell Cedric.

Meanwhile, Siegfried attends to Kenneth Waller as Mr. Beresford who still has a problem with his dog. If you recall, Mrs. Beresford had previously starred in ‘Charity Begins At Home’ in a few scenes.

Once again, this tilts my head as to why all the Beresford stuff couldn’t have been included in the third episode as opposed to stretching it out in two episodes. Maybe it’s do with the timing of the episodes.

Anyway, Beresford tells Siegfried that his dog is still misbehaving in the car with his constant howling all the time. Siegfried tells Beresford not to worry as he gives the sedative given to him by Mr. Barge.

But as it transpires, the new sedative doesn’t seem to work. This is something Siegfried discovers when he goes to see Mr. Dent at his farm and sort out a mother sow refusing to have her own piglet.

Siegfried is joined by Tristan and David when they go to see Stan Richards as Mr. Dent and his father, John Barrett as Mr. Dent Snr. The young Mr. Dent was previously in the Series 1 episode, ‘Calf Love’.

At the farm, Siegfried tries to use the new sedative on the mother sow in order to calm her down before giving the piglet to her. After having a drink at the local pub, they come back to find the sow.

And she’s unchanged. Siegfried’s convinced the sedative has worked. But when he goes in with the piglet, the sow is wild and angry. Siegfried is shocked, climbing out of the sty with an inch of his life.

Eventually, it’s Mr. Dent Snr. Who has the answer! He calms the mother sow by giving her…two gallons of best Yorkshire bitter. Really?! Alcohol was what calmed the mother sow down? Intriguing!

Also, apparently, the sedative Siegfried gave to Mr. Beresford for his dog didn’t work either. He still howled away inside the car! Mr. Beresford informs Siegfried this when he and Diana Flacks as his wife visit.

Siegfried reassures the Beresfords about finding another solution, but they have already found some help from a Mr. MacGregor. Mr. Beresford asks for a refund from Siegfried. Siegfried gives it to him.

Of course, Siegfried is far from happy with what’s happened and goes into a boiling rage, blaming Mr. Barge and his new sedative. I’m surprised he didn’t smash the new tablets about in the surgery.

He insists on Mr. Barge coming over to visit him as he intends to give him a piece of his mind. James, Helen and Tristan try to calm Siegfried down, but Siegfried is so boiling mad, refusing to hear reason.

Siegfried even refuses to allow Mr. Barge to come over for dinner, saying ‘five for dinner’ to Mrs. Hall. He doesn’t even care how Mrs. Hall feels here, since he’s determined to have it out with Barge.

But when Mr. Barge does come over to see Siegfried on a matter of urgency, Siegfried is shocked to find Mr. Barge having an arm in his sling. Very soon, the boiling anger Siegfried had in him goes away.

Siegfried soon changes his mind to Mr. Hall about having ‘six for dinner’ instead of five. Barge asks Siegfried what it is he wanted to see him about, but Siegfried becomes pretty embarrassed to say it.

Meanwhile, Helen has trouble keeping up to date with managing the finances of Skeldale House as well as the new secretary job she has. Fortunately, it all works out to a new arrangement in the end.

The episode ends with David Woodley about to leave. Siegfried asks David if he’s going to consider becoming a vet. David says yes, but he finds it ‘a funny sort of life’. Tristan smirks at the comment. 😀

‘Every Dog His Day…’ is a good episode from ‘All Creatures’. There’s a lot going on and I enjoyed the storyline where James attends to Mrs. Pumphrey’s new dog, Cedric, and finding him so flatulent. 😀

‘Every Dog His Day…’ rating – 8/10


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