Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em: Season 3, Episode 7

Learning to Fly (25 Dec. 1978)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
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Courtesy of granddad Spencer, who visits from Australia, Frank gets the flying lesson he always craved. Alas, an airplane is a very dangerous place for his natural clumsiness - as his ... See full summary »




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Title: Learning to Fly (25 Dec 1978)

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Episode cast overview:
Michele Dotrice ...
Frederick Jaeger ...
Mr. Barker
Dick Bentley ...
Tenniel Evans ...
Air Traffic Controller
Tony Steedman ...
Mr. Jennings
Christopher Biggins ...
Linda Beckett ...
Jessica Forte ...
Alexander Moss ...


Courtesy of granddad Spencer, who visits from Australia, Frank gets the flying lesson he always craved. Alas, an airplane is a very dangerous place for his natural clumsiness - as his instructors find out the hard way. First Frank makes a mess of babysitting Jessica and her toddler friend Alexander. Frank's maiden flight goes from bad to worse, as he inadvertently knocks instructor Barker unconscious. Written by KGF Vissers

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25 December 1978 (UK)  »

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Frank's final flight!
18 May 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

To prepare for his new life in Australia, Frank is learning to fly a plane. His teacher is Mr.Barker ( Frederick Jaeger ). As you might expect, Frank is not terribly good at it. His first attempt takes them off the runway and into the car park. Finally they get airborne, and Frank knocks the pilot out, leaving him in control of the Cessna. The Air Traffic Controller ( Tenniel Evans ) tries to guide him down. On the ground, Betty and Frank's grandfather watch terrified...

On Christmas Day 1978, Frank Spencer made his final appearance ( barring repeats ) on B.B.C.-1. No official announcement was made that this would be the last outing for the accident-prone character, it just turned out that way. Michael Crawford had sworn not to play Frank again after the 1975 Christmas show, so an announcement along similar lines three years later would probably have been treated with scepticism. I think he was right to limit the use of the character. Had 'Some Mothers' continued into the alternative comedy '80's, most likely it would have been subjected to opprobrium as happened with 'Terry & June'. Crawford would next be seen on I.T.V. in the amusing but short-lived 'Chalk & Cheese', in which he played work shy hippie 'Dave Finn'.

How Frank, Betty and little Jessica fared in Australia we can only guess at. The final scene of Season One gives us an idea - it showed Frank on horseback looking for lost sheep.

The cast for this special includes Tenniel Evans ( from the Nicholas Lyndhurst sitcom 'The Two Of Us' ), Christopher Biggins, and Tony Steedman ( later to replace Peter Vaughan as security guard 'Charlie Johnson' in 'Citizen Smith' ). The flying stuff is pretty good.

Funniest moment - Mr.Barker kicking the wheel of the plane to check to see if it is secure. Frank follows suit, only to kick Mr.Barker's hand by mistake!

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