The Big Parade

Series 4 - Episode 1 The Big Parade

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Review

This jovial knockabout sees the platoon preparing for a parade of all civil defence units. In one of those lovely, evocative scenes in the local cinema, a Gaumont newsreel gives Mainwaring the idea for a regimental mascot. And Pike is piqued by having to leave early (“I haven’t seen the Donald Duck yet”).


Some ram-chasing antics enable the cast to give little thumbnail sketches of their characters: timid Godfrey, furtive Frazer and mellow Wilson lying back in the buttercups. 


There’s another nice variation on Jones’s catchphrase (“Permission to stop panicking, sir”) and some enthusiastic gurning from Bill Pertwee as Hodges. At one point the warden is so thoroughly upstaged that even Mainwaring is forced to laugh, and the Home Guard/ARP rivalry reaches a ludicrously funny conclusion.

Summary

War Weapons Week is to be marked in Walmington-on-Sea by a parade of all auxiliary services, including air-raid wardens, fire brigade, nurses, the rescue squad and of course, the Home Guard. Mainwaring decides the platoon needs a mascot for the event and plumps for a ram, but catching a suitable candidate for the job proves easier said than done. Comedy first broadcast in 1970, starring Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn and John Le Mesurier.

Cast & Crew

Capt Mainwaring Arthur Lowe
Sgt Wilson John Le Mesurier
Cpl Jones Clive Dunn
Pte Frazer John Laurie
Pte Walker James Beck
Pte Godfrey Arnold Ridley
Pte Pike Ian Lavender
ARP Warden Hodges Bill Pertwee
Mrs Pike Janet Davies
The Verger Edward Sinclair
Director David Croft
Writer Jimmy Perry
Writer David Croft
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Sitcom