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Down the hole
zeppo-226 September 2006
Another slice of non-hilarity from this desperately unfunny series. This time there is a spy on the loose in the allied bunker, through a series of incidents, Frankie and his superior are thought to be guilty. In the end it turns out to be Welsh boffin, Talflyn Thomas, who is the nazi spy. Caught out by his very own plan to find the snooper. This makes no sense but then nothing much does in the plots of these shows....

If the spy devised some formula that when painted on secret plans would make the hands and fingers of anyone touching them, turn green, wouldn't he avoid touching them? Especially if he knew all about it from the very beginning? That just shows you how brain-dead this entire series is.

Now sexual innuendo and double entendres can be very amusing (see any Carry On film for prime examples) but they have to make some kind of reasonable sense. When at the very end of the show, Frankie sees that the hand of the sleeping Winston Churchill is also green, he gurns and makes a comment about 'what has he been up to?' The studio audience squeal as if in pain with laughter. Er....why? The only reason the hands would be green is if they had handled the secret plans. Nothing in any way sexual orientated.

It's this desperate attempt at humour that makes this show fail so terribly. I'd like to know as well just what the audience was on to find this sad stuff so hilarious. Drink? Drugs? Sheer insanity? Has to have been something.
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es_sj1 September 2007
The series seems to combine the "fourth wall" comments and a little of the bawdy humour of the brilliant "Up Pompeii" with a slightly Blackadder-Season-Four-like element of plot farce. A nice bonus for Doctor Who fans is Nicholas Courtney ("The Brigadier") in the role of "Col. Witherton," with a decent amount of screen time.

In the "episodes" section, a review of the second episode (the review entitled "Down the hole" from 26 September 2006) mentions an example of meaningless attempted bawdy humor from an episode. There is actually some meaning. The sleeping Churchill's palm is green; Howerd's narrator-like character, Private Potts, observes this saying "I wonder where he's had it" (little pun there); and the audience find that one of the locations in which the green paint shows up is on the bum of Potts' own underwear, in two places like hand-prints over the bum.

There are some throwaway jokes I enjoyed, for example Private Potts, fawning over another character, General Hollocks, is saying how handsome he is and wondering aloud whom he calls to mind -- the other character is *also* played by Howerd. In another, Potts details aspects of a prisoner's punishment: "Terrible punishment. They made him watch those ENSA shows. You know, with people like Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan and Max Bygraves and Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howerd and people like that." (...) "They're so old-fashioned -- except one!" Another typical kind of joke from the series is: Man holding gun to Howerd: "One false move and I'll let him have it" Howerd: "No, thank you. I had it last night, thank you very much" (also potentially a reference to the green hand-prints/Churchill's green hand) As the show reviewer (entitled "Desperately un-funny" from 24 July 2004) says, it is no "Up Pompeii." But as long as you are not expecting brilliance, if you like Frankie Howerd and his antics, you may enjoy it. I know that I am glad to have the series.
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