The Navy Lark
Series Four - Volume 1
(September - December 1961)

Starring: Stephen Murray, Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips, Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans
BBC Audio
RRP: 65.00
ISBN: 978 1 4056 7735 6
Available 02 July 2007

Radio's longest running sitcom, sailing the airwaves for nearly 20 years, was originally based on Jon Pertwee's personal experiences in World War 2. During his time in the Navy, Pertwee joined the cast of the naval radio show
HMS Waterlogged after his senior officer had sent him to check the show for inappropriate jokes. After leaving the forces, Pertwee appeared in various other radio productions until The Navy Lark was created as a vehicle for his acting talents in 1959...

Series Four - Volume One of The Navy Lark features 14 episodes. The majority of the instalments included have not been previously released, and the rare recordings have been digitally remastered to provide the best possible reproduction. The box also contains an illustrated booklet with a detailed series history and cast biographies.

This collection includes:

Returning from Leave (originally broadcast 15 September 1961): The crew of Troutbridge return to Portsmouth to discover that they have an attractive WREN, Judy Cornwell, and that Potarneyland is celebrating a year of independence.

Captain Povey's Spy (originally broadcast 22 September 1961): Rear Admiral Ironbridge is look for fresh blood in Naval Intelligence and plans to send a scout called Lt Evans down to Portsmouth to look for potential material aboard Troutbridge.

The Secret of Nessie's Youth (originally broadcast 29 September 1961): Troutbridge has been floating aimlessly in the North Sea for days with two strange passengers: a professor and his assistant who want to investigate the Loch Ness Monster.

The Northampton Hunt Ball (originally broadcast 06 October 1961): A good deed by CPO Pertwee results in an invitation to a high class function - which by amazing coincidence Mr Phillips has also been invited to as a family friend.

Hijacked! (originally broadcast 13 October 1961): Mr Merrivale of Naval Expenditure decides that it is time that the crew of Troutbridge were disbanded and gives Captain Povey the job of removing the ship while his victims are away on leave.

Admiral Troutbridge (originally broadcast 20 October 1961): Celebrating the birthday of the late Admiral Sir Benjamin Troutbridge, the crew become curious about the fate of this legendary figure from the late eighteenth century.

Relatives and Reservations (originally broadcast 27 October 1961): Povey has to endure the annual visit of his sister-in-law which leads to a situation that can only be resolved by the reassignment of Captain Franklyn "Snogger" Pettigreaves.

Humgrummits on the High Seas (originally broadcast 03 November 1961): When Pertwee learns that AB Johnson's Mum Min still has her Humgrummit farm, he considers the lucrative international market of frozen transatlantic exports.

Are Captain and Mrs Povey Married? (originally broadcast 10 November 1961): The Poveys plan to celebrate their fifteenth wedding anniversary on the exact spot where they were married at sea by a liner captain... until Mr Phillips checks his maps and makes a discovery.

Cine Cameras at Sea (originally broadcast 17 November 1961): Mr Nigel Scott-Hanson from commercial television arrives to research a new naval sitcom called Muck Mates and Povey carefully selects the frigate for the camera crews to work on.

The Civilian Adjustment Course (originally broadcast 24 November 1961): Mrs Murray receives a memo about a redundancy drive by the Navy and so decides to consult Pertwee for the best strategy to avoid a civilian life.

A Hole Lieutenant (originally broadcast 01 December 1961): Automation arrives in the naval records office in the form of 'Fred's computicals' - which means chaos for the newly promoted Lt Phillips when Pertwee loses his record card.

Spy Catching in Casablanca (originally broadcast 08 December 1961): Troutbridge is sent on a secret mission to pick up an Interpol agent in Casablanca and return them to England, involving the crew in intrigue at Sam's bar...

Mount Pot Erupts (originally broadcast 15 December 1961): Sir Frederick Flatley is appointed the new ambassador to Potarneyland, but his planned arrival coincides with the regular volcanic eruption of Mount Pot.

It's great to see the BBC releasing this series in chronological order box sets. If you are a fan of The Navy Lark, there really is no better way of owning these classic episodes. And, as an added treat for fans, most of the episodes are being released here for the first time.

Pete Boomer

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