It is hard to know what to make of this episode of 'The Worker'. The show had been off the air for three years when it went out. Mr.Pugh ( Henry McGee ) is telling Labour Exchange staff that it is exactly three years to the day since Charlie ( Charlie Drake ) last walked through the doors in search of work. Since then there has not been a sign of him. Guess who should appear at that point? Charlie is wearing a hat with corks on it and carrying a toy duck-billed platypus. He's been to a land down under. Pugh is furious at seeing his old enemy again, and a row ensues, culminating in the manager throwing away Charlie's boomerang. When it returns, it strikes the Worker on the head, and he loses consciousness. He experiences a strange dream concerning his Australian adventure; on the boat he is accosted by a strange man looking for a treasure map. After the boat explodes, Charlie is then brainwashed ( literally ) by some beautiful girls in a room that looks like something out of 'The Prisoner', and turns witch-doctor in order to make rain for the benefit of an Aboriginal tribe. He is then arrested and put on trial. The courtroom scene is quite extraordinary; Charlie plays all the parts ( including the women ) and an operatic song ensues. It climaxes with Charlie in a grave with the name 'Figaro' on the headstone. At which point, he wakes up.
The dream sequence is weird not only by today's standards, but also when compared to 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' and Spike Milligan's 'Q' shows. It is almost as though Charlie had a premonition that this was the way comedy was going to go in the future. While admiring him for this, unfortunately, the episode as a whole is not particularly funny. Drake, while an accomplished comic performer, was none too hot as a script-writer, meaning that while on a slapstick level the show is enjoyable, the dialogue is frankly dire. He indulges himself a bit too much here.
Two versions of this exist; one in colour and one not ( both are on the D.V.D. ).
Funniest moment - Charlie's brainwashing, a process involving three lovely girls pushing a towel into one ear and out the other end.
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