AUDIO COMEDY
Dad's Army
The Very Best Episodes - Volume 3

Starring: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier and Clive Dunn
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN: 978 1 8460 7169 0
Available 08 January 2007


In Absent Friends, Sergeant Wilson's been left in charge, but when Mainwaring suddenly returns he finds the platoon have gone AWOL. The Menace from the Deep sees them stationed at the end of the pier with a wayward mine, while in The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage, it's decided that Godfrey's home is the perfect place to repel invaders to Walmington. Finally, in When Did You Last See Your Money?, Jones realises he has lost £500 entrusted to him. Fortunately, the platoon agree to help their comrade...

Volume Three in The Very Best Episodes of Dad's Army series collects together another four classic episodes of the BBC series. For this collection the powers that be have asked comedian Phil Jupitus to choose his four favourite episodes. Jupitus is a long-standing and enthusiastic Dad's Army fan, and this CD features his four favourite episodes. In addition, he has written sleeve notes explaining what makes each one such a joy to listen to.

Absent Friends (originally broadcast on 13 April 1976) sees Mainwaring turning up at the office of the Home Guard unexpectedly to find his men have gone AWOL. Sergeant Wilson has been left in charge and he has let the majority of the men go to the local public house where they are taking part in a darts competition against the ARP wardens. A mini mutiny gets underway as Mainwaring attempts to get the men back to their posts. Meanwhile Corporal Jones mistakenly gets the idea into his head that Mainwaring's wife is pregnant. And when a violent criminal, who has been loose in the area, turns up at their front door Mainwaring is going to wish he had stayed at home after all.

In The Menace From the Deep (originally broadcast on 27 May 1974) the Walmington Home Guard are charged with guarding the end of the pier after the naval detachment that was stationed there are recalled. Trouble starts when Mainwaring tries to use his authority to commandeer the only hammock as well as schedule one hour thirty minute watches for everyone apart from himself. Pike manages to set their boat free and cut the telephone cable, effectively stranding them with no means of contacting the shore. They work out that by opening and closing a blind they can send an SOS to shore. ARP warden Bert Hodges sees the light and sets off to tell them to turn the light off in case an enemy aircraft spots it.

The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage (originally broadcast on 25 February 1974) sees Mainwaring and his men discussing the various tactical options that would help see of a Nazi invasion. Godfrey's cottage is seen as the ideal position to mount a machine gun post. When the church bells are rung, to sound an invasion, Mainwaring becomes separated from the majority of his men and heads to Godfrey's cottage to defend Walmington. However, unbeknownst to him, the rest of his men are also heading towards Godfrey's cottage and the two seem to think that the other are part of a German invasion force. This episode marks the first appearance of ARP warden Hodges as well as a guest spot for Percy Edwards as the Parrot.

When Did You Last See Your Money? (originally broadcast on 27 May 1975) sees Corporal Jones in a flap after he looses £500 that has been entrusted to him by the local traders' association. The Home Guard join forces to help Jones find the money, taking him back over the past through days in an attempt to unearth where the money has been left.

While the four episodes collected here are to your liking will be very much up to individual taste. To be honest though, the majority of the Dad's Army episodes represent classic comedy. Any collection is a good one, and this is no exception. Jupitus has impeccable taste.

Darren Rea

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