Preparations are underway for the wedding of Glenda, Wesley's daughter. Her uncle Seymour, a retired headmaster and enthusiastic inventor, is organising the stag party for the groom, Barry, and manages to lose him down a hole on the moors. With the assistance of Seymour's 'Self-propelled wheelbarrow' the groom gets to the church just on time. Written by
In this series Seymour is presented for the first in the episode "Uncle of the Bride". We are told he is meeting Compo and Cleggthem for the first time, yet in the prequel First of the Summer Wine Seymour is supposed to be a school and work colleague of theirs. See more »
This is the third age of Last of the Summer Wine with Brian Wilde leaving as Foggy and this programme introducing the new third man in Seymour Utterthwaite.
Both director Alan Bell and writer Roy Clarke expanded the cast in the previous series. We had Howard, Pearl and Marina. Wesley returned for a few episodes and bigger roles for Nora, Wally and Ivy with Crusher.
Here we see Wesley's wife Edie played by Thora Hird and their daughter Glenda who is the bride getting married to Building Society clerk, Barry. Seymour (Michael Aldridge) is Wesley's brother in law, a madcap inventor and former headmaster who now runs a correspondence school.
Wesley dislikes him, he thinks he is a pillock as he takes his clean washing back to him, this time accompanied by Compo and Clegg, now at a loss as Foggy has gone off to run a decorative egg business.
It is not long before they realise that Seymour is crackers as he demonstrates his latest cracking contraption, a self driving wheelbarrow. Seymour is a man out of his time, talking about his former pupils as little people. You can guess that to him the golden age was village life back in the 1950s, even if that might had been delusional.
Wally meanwhile has taken a shine to a lost whippet which he wants to adopt but Nora is having none of it. As Wally has a heart to heart with the whippet, he tells him that all they have to do is get Nora to like him and they will be alright.
Ivy gives some advice to Crusher that if he is looking for a woman it has to be the right one, someone in need of help. He ends up helping out Marina when she damages her shoe on the way to church much to Ivy's displeasure.
Uncle of the Bride which was a Christmas special was an expensive production made to look like a television film. As Alan Bell said in an interview at the time, the idea was to be like an Ealing comedy and this is the direction the show takes from now on. Even in the post credit sequence we see the police and fire engine arriving as the wheelbarrow explodes.
The episode is about Glenda marring Barry. The new trio take Barry out for a drink the night before his wedding and he ends up running across dales barefoot and falls down a hole.
I presume the couple were meant to be 30 something although young Barry was played by actor Mike Grady well known to viewers from the comedy Citizen Smith and he was 40 years old when this was made. It means young Barry was almost 65 years old when the series ended and he sort of looked it. Maybe a casting faux pas in retrospect.
This was an enjoyable episode, a sense of a long running show taking a new direction. However as a viewer the loss of Foggy was badly felt by me and Seymour was hard to accept. The show goes on with his weekly wacky inventions which they would later drop, they would also make this stranger as someone who Compo and Clegg once knew as kids.
However the way Seymour initially talks to Compo and Clegg in a pompous way, treating them like serfs makes it difficult for me to like him. (I let you into a secret, I was happy when Foggy came back.) I can sense with Seymour and Edie, writer Roy Clarke got the idea of Hyacinth Bouquet.
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