‘LOVE IS A VERY SPLENDID THING’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This ‘Oh Doctor Beeching!’ focuses on the character of Ethel. In this episode, Ethel has found a man. An American airman no less! This was nice to see a side to Ethel we rarely see in the TV series. Having a romantic fling with another man! Ethel is rather unlucky in love and she has her chance here.
The romantic interest in question is Mac McDonald as Joe. He appears in the second half of the episode but he gets talked about early on. Apparently Joe took Ethel to see ‘West Side Story’ at the cinema. The film was release in 1961. It must have taken a while for UK moviegoers to see it in 1963.
Mac McDonald seems to have done quite a number of American-related film productions as well as appearing in a BBC series like ‘Oh Doctor Beeching!’. He was in the 1989 ‘Batman’ film, ‘Superman IV: The Quest For Peace’ and a ‘Jeeves & Wooster’ episode. I liked the interplay between him and Ethel.
I did think Ethel was a little too over-the-top and enthusiastic about her recent love life with Joe when she was working in the booking office at Hatley Station. She was singing a lot, rather loudly and badly indeed. This even annoys Mr. Parkin who walks in to find her singing and tells her to stop.
After overhearing that Ethel may go with Joe to live in America, her son Wilfred decides to join the army. This does upset Ethel when he tells her the news. Wilfred also gets bullied by Jack when he is teaching him some marching techniques in the army. Even Harry criticizes the way Jack teaches him.
I like Su Pollard as Ethel when she was having scenes with Joe during their romantic picnic. It was funny when many of the ‘Oh Doctor Beeching!’ cast followed and eavesdropped on Ethel’s romantic picnic with Joe. It was also so touching when Ethel said goodbye to Joe, as he went back to America.
‘Love Is A Very Splendid Thing’ rating – 7/10
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