Get Some In!: Season 1, Episode 1

Call-Up (16 Oct. 1975)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
6.7
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Jakey a teddy boy, initially acts tough, Ken all bright eyed, Matthew out of his depth, Bruce angry at his situation. Marsh happy to make their lives hell, tries to break their spirits, they have to find ways to survive the demoralization.

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Title: Call-Up (16 Oct 1975)

Call-Up (16 Oct 1975) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Tony Selby ...
Gerard Ryder ...
Brian Pettifer ...
...
David Janson ...
Ralph Watson ...
Cpl. Potts
Talfryn Thomas ...
Cpl. White
Lori Wells ...
Seymour Green ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Miriam Raymond ...
Candy Sinclair ...
Edna
Michael Travers ...
Barber
Tom Watson ...
Mr. Richardson
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Storyline

Jakey a teddy boy, initially acts tough, Ken all bright eyed, Matthew out of his depth, Bruce angry at his situation. Marsh happy to make their lives hell, tries to break their spirits, they have to find ways to survive the demoralization.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Release Date:

16 October 1975 (UK)  »

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Goofs

The RAF Policeman on the gate in the credits is shown wearing white webbing and a holster but his cross strap is shown on the same side as the holster, looped over his left shoulder instead of being a cross strap across his body. See more »

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User Reviews

 
"There are no curtains!"
26 December 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Granada's 'The Army Game' was the first British sitcom with a militaristic theme, and ran from 1957-61. Surprisingly, it would be fourteen years before I.T.V. attempted another. By then, the B.B.C.'s 'Dad's Army' was firmly established as one of the most popular shows on television, but you did not need a crystal ball to work out it could not last much longer. The mostly elderly cast was finding it harder and harder to continue working, and Jimmy Perry and David Croft did not want the show to fizzle out like a damp firework. Besides, they already had a replacement of sorts underway in the shape of 'It Ain't 'Alf Hot Mum' starring Michael Bates.

I.T.V. thought the time right to launch its own militaristic sitcom and over the next few years gave us 'Backs To The Land' ( about land army girls ), 'Yanks Go Home' ( in which randy G.I.'s invaded a tiny Northern village ), and, of course, 'Get Some In!', set in an R.A.F. base in Skelton in 1955.

John Esmonde and Bob Larbey drew inspiration from an episode of their series 'The Fenn Street Gang' entitled 'The Thin Yellow Line' in which loudmouth Frankie Abbott signed up with the army. Playing the brutal 'Corporal Elliott' was Tony Selby. 'Get' cast him as 'Corporal Percy Marsh', a man frightened of no-one except his wife Alice ( Lori Wells ). He would put the fear of God into Richard Widmark's character from 'Take The High Ground', being a racist, homophobic bully. No sooner has he been introduced to his new intake than he proceeds to make their lives hell.

Among the conscripts are teddy boy 'Jakey Smith' ( Robert Lindsay ), timid vicar's son 'Matthew Lilley' ( Gerard Ryder ), Scot Bruce Leckie ( Brian Pettifer - later to play 'Andra' in 'Rab C.Nesbitt' ), and scholar 'Ken Richardson' ( David Janson ).

Marsh initially only bullies the new boys because it is his job to knock them into shape, but when Ken accidentally causes the Corporal to lose a cushy posting to Hong Kong, the dislike turns to hatred. The scene is set for the rest of the series.

Watching this in 1975 I was shocked. Although National Service had been abolished a decade earlier, a number of right-wing politicians were effectively campaigning for its return as a means of stamping out teenage delinquency. Even today, the comment 'Bring back National Service, that'll sort those ruffians out' regularly appears on newspapers' letters' pages.

Unlike the Walmington-On-Sea platoon, these are young men cruelly snatched away from their families and homes to spend two years of their lives in a horrible environment, making 'Get' bleak by '70's sitcom standards. There is a poignant moment near the end of the first episode when Matthew tearfully recalls the life he left behind only that morning ( "Mother frying mushrooms and Father working on his sermon!" ) which is spoilt slightly by the laughter of the studio audience.

The cast are first-rate, particularly Selby as 'Marsh'. So convincing was he as a hard case that, during the run of the series, he could not visit a pub without someone expressing a desire to beat him up. Robert Lindsay became a star as a result of this show, going on to appear in John Sullivan's 'Citizen Smith' and Alan Bleasdale's 'G.B.H' among other things.

Unlike in later editions, the conscripts here do not manage to get their own back on Marsh. His final cry of 'I will kill you, bring you back to life, then kill you all over again'' is truly chilling.

Esmonde and Larbey, like Perry and Croft, decided to tell the truth about this particular period of British history, and while this is commendable, is probably the main reason why the show is not repeated now. Marsh's cries of "Nance!" and "Jockstrap!" would most likely offend modern audiences.

Funniest moment - Marsh asking Smith his name. When Smith tells him, the Corporal sneeringly responds: "Is that with one 'f' or two?".

Second funniest moment - Jakey giving instructions to the barber, only to lose most of his hair in one swift cut.


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