Doctor in the House: Season 2, Episode 8

If You Can Help Somebody... Don't! (29 May 1970)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
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When Professor Loftus discharges elderly Mrs. Brown, claiming there is nothing wrong with her medically, Upton takes pity on her and visits to see if she is all right. In fact she is a very... See full summary »

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(based on the 'Doctor' books by), , 1 more credit »
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Title: If You Can Help Somebody... Don't! (29 May 1970)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Barry Evans ...
Ernest Clark ...
Geoffrey Davies ...
Robin Nedwell ...
George Layton ...
...
Alison Leggatt ...
Mrs. Brown
Pamela Cundell ...
Ward Sister
Barbara Angell ...
Margery Brown
Winifred Sabine ...
Doris
Olive Mercer ...
Lillian
Winnie Holman ...
3rd Old Lady
Lucy Griffiths ...
4th Old Lady
Harold Bennett ...
Jack
John Law ...
Policeman
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Storyline

When Professor Loftus discharges elderly Mrs. Brown, claiming there is nothing wrong with her medically, Upton takes pity on her and visits to see if she is all right. In fact she is a very manipulative woman who, from time to time, pretends to be ill in order to prevent her daughter Margery from leaving home. Upton dates Margery but she is too much under her mother's thumb to leave her for a life of her own. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy

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29 May 1970 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Mrs.Brown, you've got a sexually repressed daughter
28 August 2009 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Upton takes an interest in patient Mrs.Brown ( Alison Legatt ), who occupies a bed at St. Swithins despite not appearing to be suffering from anything. When Loftus orders that she be sent home, he objects. But Loftus' word is law, so home she goes.

Concerned that she cannot look after herself, Mike offers to do the shopping and cleaning. He even buys her a kitten to keep her company, before discovering she has several cats already. The malingering old lady also has a daughter - Margery - whom she curiously neglected to mention, as well as a number of friends who pop round regularly. She is terrified at the thought of Margery leaving home, so constantly feigns illnesses to gain sympathy. Mike takes pity on Margery and so a date is arranged...

A curious beast this. Its like 'Steptoe & Son' only with the sexes reversed. Upton is very much the gallant gentleman here, first helping Mrs.Brown and then her daughter, but the latter's devotion to the former is too strong and she meekly returns to Mummy's side.

Some familiar faces in the cast - Pamela Cundell, who plays 'Ward Sister', went to become 'Mrs.Fox' in 'Dad's Army', while Harold Bennett, cast in the small role of 'Jack', made a number of appearances in 'At Large' and 'In Charge' as senile 'Mr.Reeves' of the St. Swithins' Board Of Governors, before going onto 'Are You Being Served?' as 'Young Mr.Grace'. Barbara Angell later played 'Jennifer', David Jason's long-suffering wife, in the underrated spy spoof 'The Top Secret Life Of Edgar Briggs', also produced by Humphrey Barclay.

Interestingly, the policeman is played by an actor by the name of John Law ( not the 'Frost Report' writer of the same name, incidentally ). I cannot think of another example where an actor's name is so appropriate to the role. Actually, I can. In the 1974 play 'Mr.Ellis Versus The People', a drunk was played by ( wait for it ) Joe Belcher! I hope he got a repeat fee!

Funniest moment - Upton trying to awaken Mrs.Brown by throwing stones against her bedroom window. The first one rebounds and hits him on the head!


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