The comic adventures of a group of misfits who form an extremely bad concert party touring the hot and steamy jungles of Burma entertaining the troops during World War II. Written by
Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Michael Bates, who played Rangi Ram, died after series 5 was shot, but was never written out of the series officially - he just disappeared all of a sudden, and it was never explained what happened to him. The same goes for Punka Wallah Rumzan (Barbar Bhatti), who left the series about a year later. See more »
In early episodes Gunner Graham claims to be educated at Oxford but later on he claims to be educated at Cambridge. See more »
This was the follow up to the immortal 'Dad's Army'and while sharing a wartime setting and comedy based on character had a somewhat harder and cruder edge and was less reliant on whimsy. Perhaps as a result of this, despite the fact that it lasted several series it never gained a real place in the nation's affections to the same extent as Dad's Army. It also straddled a changing period in Britain's attitude to racial stereotyping. The 1970's had begun with the crude 'Love Thy Neighbour' but ended with the first sitcoms featuring more than token black casts (e.g 'The Fosters') and 'It Ain't Half...' was increasingly criticized for its attitude even though as another correspondent says, the Asian characters usually outwit their British 'masters'. Michael Bates as Ranji Ram is probably the last comical asian character to be played by a white actor in makeup a la Peter Sellers. (Bates had lived in India as a boy). Interestingly 'The Simpsons' contains an Indian family whose 'jolly good, sahib' voices and behaviour would be pretty much unacceptable on a British TV programmae today and is very similar to the portrayal of the asian characters in 'It ain't half hot...'. The pint size singer Don Estelle formed an unlikely duo with Sergeant Major Windsor Daies for a few UK hits. Sadly Don is now reduced to busking round Lancashire towns in his 'It Ain't Half...' costume these days.
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