‘Hampered’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s the penultimate episode of Series 7 and it’s the last one to feature Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki-Woo. And Hodgekin! Aww! And we will never know if it was the same dog playing Tricki-Woo or not.

Seriously, it can’t be the same dog! Thankfully Peter Davison as Tristan is back! At last! Apparently, he’d been away assisting Stewie Brannon with his practice. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it!

Remember Stewie Brannon? He was last seen in ‘Food For Thought’, played by Dinsdale Landen, where he got himself and Siegfried severe stomach cramp from having somebody’s potato bread. 😀

Don’t worry, Tristan’s okay when we see him in this episode. But I’m wondering why he went away to help Stewie Brannon when he could’ve helped at Skeldale. It’s not probably explained in this tale.

‘Hampered’ is by Roger Davenport, not by Johnny Byrne as I’d expect. It’s strange that considering that two Tricki-Woo episodes are close together and you’d think they would be by the same author.

This is Roger Davenport’s last contribution as a writer to the ‘All Creatures’ series. It’s also Richard Martin’s last contribution as a director for this episode. Richard Martin’s a pretty good director here.

The title sequence has changed again. This time it features the three farmhands James Garbutt as Charlie, Tubby Andrews as Hughie and Nicholas Hamnett as Bert who are working on their farmland.

These three farmhands have been in ‘All Creatures’ before. I checked and apparently Charlie, Hughie and Bert were in that Series 6 episode ‘The Nelson Touch’. That episode was by Roger Davenport. 😀

The only difference in their appearance for this episode from the other episode is that the actor for Bert has changed. In ‘The Nelson Touch’, Bert was played by Terry Gunn. Here it’s Nicholas Hamnett.

From watching this episode, Bert tends to say “Aye!” a lot when he’s talking to James and in agreement with Charlie and Hughie. Did I mention James Garbutt starred in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’?

In ‘The Nelson Touch’, Charlie, Hughie and Bert weren’t very talkative to James at first before he won their favour by putting bets on for them. In this episode, they say that James knows everything.

James gets uncomfortable when he hears the three farmhands praising his efforts. This is especially when he visits Frances Cox as Mrs. Baxter, Charlie’s mother (I believe) to advise about her budgie. 😀

Going back to the title sequence! We have our regulars Robert Hardy and Christopher Timothy with Peter Davsion, Lynda Bellingham and Jean Heywood. And there’s Margaretta Scott’s Mrs. Pumphrey.

I’m surprised Tricki-Woo does not get a credit in the title sequence. 😀 Teddy Turner as Hodgekin is in this episode. I wonder if he’s recovered from the drunkenness he had in the previous episode. 😀

The episode also introduces us to Mrs. Pumphrey’s very attractive niece – Chloë Annett as Angela. Wow! Mrs. Pumphrey has a niece?! It’s nice to know that before ‘All Creatures’ comes to close here.

By the way, I’ve seen Chloë Annett in Series 3, Episode 4 of ‘Jeeves & Wooster’ where she played Gertrude Winkworth. She had shorter hair in that episode whereas here she has longer, dark hair. 😀

Angela is a very pretty, glamorous girl, but she’s also miserable – never smiling and seeming to be terribly unhappy. This is due to a recent break-up she had with her fiancé. Aww! That is sad that is.

James gets to meet Angela after attending to Tricki-Woo at Mrs. Pumphrey’s. My Dad commented that James fancied her when looking at her the first time. Stop it, James! You’re married, remember? 😀

Actually to be fair, James does show concern for Angela’s well-being when chatting to Mrs. Pumphrey. He even shares meeting Mrs. Pumphrey’s niece to Tristan when he is driving back home.

And you know where this is going? That’s right! Tristan finds himself fancying Mrs. Pumphrey’s niece before they even met as he makes an excuse to visit Mrs. Pumphrey so he can attend to Tricki-Woo.

This is so he can meet Angela Mortimer (that’s her surname by the way) for the first time. I wish I had Tristan’s courage nowadays. To meet a pretty girl like Angela like that would be wonderful here.

Of course when he meets Angela for the first time, Tristan’s in love already. He even suggests to bring over a special diet for Tricki-Woo to Mrs. Pumphrey in order to see Angela again in the story. 🙂

But despite Tristan’s attempts to win Angela over, it’s not so easy. Every time they have walks together, she comes across as always miserable. She’s still nice to Tristan, but it’s not with a smile. 😦

But Tristan isn’t one for giving up as he suggests inviting Angela to go on a picnic. This she does. I liked the romantic attempts Tristan makes to entertain Angela. It’s very charming and sweet indeed.

Even when Tristan suggests to Angela that she’d accompany him on a call, he manages to get her to smile for a bit. It’s a weak smile, but still a smile. I wonder if Tristan will get Angela to laugh anytime.

And yes, Angela does go with Tristan on a call to see Jeff Nuttall as Mr. Wilson to attend to his horse. Siegfried saw Mr. Wilson earlier in the episode and he got a broken bone in his foot from that horse.

This was from Mr. Wilson shaking a blue handkerchief which caused his horse to go angry and stamp on Siegfried’s foot in the process. I’ll return to Siegfried’s foot problems later on in the episode here.

As Tristan attends to Mr. Wilson’s horse this time in the episode, Angela unintentionally waves her blue scarf in front of the horse. The horse goes ballistic and sends Tristan off into some muck nearby.

Thankfully Tristan’s alright with no bones broken. But his mucky state causes Angela to laugh out loud at him. Ah well, at least she’s happy. It doesn’t make Tristan happy when Angela laughs at him.

It even gets worse when Angela keeps on laughing as Tristan’s driving her back home. She’s still laughing even when he asks her to stop it. This puts him off her. Aww, shame! And it was going well.

Anyway, back to Siegfried. Apparently his wife Caroline and his children are away on holiday and he’s moved into Skeldale House temporarily. So wait, hang on! Siegfried still has a wife and children?

(processes information) Well, why haven’t we been allowed to see them? I mean, we’ve seen James, his wife Helen and his kids (on the odd occasion). But we’ve never seen Siegfried’s family not once!!!

I know the behind-the-scenes reasons for why Robert Hardy didn’t want Annie Lambert back as Caroline from the 1983 Christmas Special, but you could’ve re-cast the character! It’s not a huge deal!

Considering that Helen’s been Lynda Bellingham for the past four seasons, you’d think they would recast Caroline to keep in tone with the reboot era. I know I’ve argued over this many times already.

But we’re coming to the end of the series and I think it would be beneficial to see Siegfried’s family just one to know that they’re there. For the most part, it feels like Siegfried’s family’s non-existent!!!

(sighs) Where was I? Oh yes! So, like I mentioned before, Siegfried got a broken bone in his foot from attending Mr. Wilson’s blue trigger-happy horse. This means he’ll have to be immobile a while.

Once he’s immobile, Mrs. Alton attends to his needs by giving him rations of chicken soup. This is something Siegfried’s not very happy with. He prefers heartier meals since that is what he’s used to.

Mrs. Alton however is determined to put Siegfried on a strict diet. I found it funny when there was a competition between Siegfried and Mrs. Alton as she plays church music whilst he plays loud jazz. 😀

Siegfried also has difficulties with client Malcolm Rogers as Mr. Collins who’s very rude. He thinks Siegfried’s laughing as he attends to his dog’s bad breath. Why he thinks he’s laughing I don’t know.

In fact, I don’t believe Mr. Collins has been in ‘All Creatures’ before. I’ve checked and this is his only appearance in ‘All Creatures’. I have discovered Malcolm Rogers was in two ‘Doctor Who’ TV stories.

They’re small roles in ‘The Chase’ and ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ with William Hartnell. Mr. Collins is rude to Siegfried when pleased he’s not judging a vegetable show and gets annoyed when James judges it.

Mrs. Alton becomes worse for wear when attending to Siegfried and has a funny turn herself. Siegfried witnesses this and helps Mrs. Alton upstairs to lie on a bed, despite still having his bad foot.

Thankfully Helen turns up (yeah she’s only in one scene of this episode) to attend to Mrs. Alton’s needs whilst Siegfried goes out to get Tristan back. He’s not so happy when Tristan is out and about.

Meanwhile, James gets chosen to be the judge…by Tricki-Woo of all dogs 😀 …of a local vegetable show organised by Mrs. Pumphrey. This is something he’s not so comfortable with. I can sympathise.

James hasn’t had a good amount of outings being a judge of something in episodes like ‘Judgement Day’ and ‘Ace, King, Queen, Jack’. But surely a local vegetable show cannot be all that difficult, right?

Well, as it turned out the results are unexpected. It surprises James, Mrs. Pumphrey as well as Renny Krupinski as Mr. Simmons. For you see, the winner of all the entries of the competition is…Hodgekin!

I’m not even kidding! Hodgekin is the winner for all the competition entries. You name it! Cabbage, carrots, onions and such. He won it all! I don’t know how that’s possible. Clearly something went wrong!

Everyone of course is angry by this outcome. Mr. Collins is outraged whilst the three farmhands Charlie, Hughie and Bert defend James’ judgement. Mrs. Pumphrey will be talking to Hodgekin later. 😀

I think what should’ve happened is that once Hodgekin won something, if he won again, the prize should go on to the next person. It does seem unfair that Hodgekin would win all the veggie entries.

James found it difficult to judge mind since he considered all the veggie entries to be all the same. I wonder if Hodgekin sabotaged things during the veggie competition. I guess we’ll never find this out.

‘Hampered’ was a fun ‘All Creatures’ episode to watch. At least the episode ended with a happy note for Siegfried. He got the hamper he wanted from Mrs. Pumphrey as Tristan gave it to him from James.

‘Hampered’ rating – 8/10

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