Despite his mother's advice to get out of service, Pike proudly announces he passed the medical for the real army's recruitment, and he's to become an RAF Airman. Meanwhile Mainwaring is ...
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Despite his mother's advice to get out of service, Pike proudly announces he passed the medical for the real army's recruitment, and he's to become an RAF Airman. Meanwhile Mainwaring is jealous of Hodges's promise to raise 50 pints in the town's blood drive just to get a fancy certificate, so he rashly pledges 100, despite Wilson's warning, but finds the platoon's health and Hodges's promise of onions leave his team at three! At the last minute, Jones and Frazer bring most surprising 'reinforcements'. Now everybody feels they've earned celebrating with the fish and chips 'surprise' party for Frank's departure, but he willingly withheld a surprise result of his blood donation..Written by
Warm-Hearted Episode that Pays Tribute to the Value of Community
While watching this episode of the well-loved comedy, concentrating on Private Pike's (Ian Lavender's) decision to join the Air Force, we might be prompted to wonder just what it is that makes the series so endearingly watchable, over forty years after its first broadcast.
There are the obvious answers: the strength of the script, characterization, and performances. But there might be some subliminal answers that tell us a lot about how we view the past through the prism of the present. Although Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) considers Pike a perpetually "stupid boy," it's clear that he harbors an underlying affection for the youth, one of life's misfits cossetted by his mother. Otherwise why would he always ask Pike about his welfare? The rest of the platoon also love the unfortunate boy, even the perpetually gauche Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn), who shares his experiences of going in service for the first time, even though they are invariably unpleasant.
This episode has a certain degree of uncertainty about it, as it seems that Chief Warden Hodges (Bill Pertwee) and his ARP Wardens are going to win a competition to give the most pints of blood to a national campaign, but Mainwaring's platoon are rescued by Jones's last- minute intervention. Although this makes everyone happy, we realize that no real conflict has ensued: both the ARP Wardens and the Home Guard have made a genuine contribution to the war effort, even though they like to pretend that they are deadly rivals. In fact both were an integral part of the Civil Defence Force that kept British morale high at that time.
The episode ends, appropriately enough, with a celebration for Pike at the local fish-and-chip shop. We discover the truth about his decision to join up, but as we do so we understand just how much the supper ritual means to the entire platoon - not just Pike himself, but to everyone, Mainwaring, Wilson and all the others combined. It is celebrations like that these that keep people together and focused on the task in hand whatever happens. This episode is a tribute to British stoicism in the face of adversity both in the past and the present.
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