Series Three (1976) Episode Reviews

Which is your favorite Series Three episode?

  • The Man From Oswestry

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Mending Stuart's Leg

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • The Great Boarding-House Bathroom Caper

    Votes: 6 37.5%
  • Cheering Up Gordon

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Kink in Foggy's Niblick

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Going to Gordon's Wedding

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • Isometrics and After

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    16

David Piper

Dedicated Member
The end credits of The Great Boarding-House Bathroom Caper and Cheering Up Gordon feature a beautiful shot of Scarborough at night. That vivid imagery must be powerfully nostalgic for Brits with fond memories of spending holidays in places like Scarborough. I'm fascinated by the imagery of the British seaside holiday.

There is an episode of Coast in which a present-day carpark or empty lot is superimposed with the long-since-demolished buildings of an earlier age. It brings to mind Morrissey's classic song "Everyday is Like Sunday."
 

theatrically_inclined

Dedicated Member
As someone who was born by the seaside, in Cleethorpes, we nearly never frequented the beach. Although we did move away when I was about five. We made fairly frequent trips back to see grandparents, until they passed away. Over 30 years ago, Cleethorpes had started to decline in terms of attractions and the typical promenade arcades. The decline has continued, there are more semi-derelict and disused ex-cafes and amusement arcades now. Despite what wstol has heard about Blackpool, it is miles ahead of most seaside resorts, considering the Tower, Piers, "Pleasure Beach" (theme park) the illuminations and the trams - especially the illuminated ones! Chip shops, cafes, arcades and souvenir emporiums as far as the eye can see. It's all shiny glossy, common tat, but that's what we want for a few days of respite from the reality of life.
 

Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
On the subject of Blackpool I have to side with WSTOL, I was there a few weeks ago and I've been every year since the early 90's. It's more of a tradition for us now hence why I still go. But Blackpool is one of the grimmest places around, in the 90's and before it was a bustling seaside resort. Now if you go back one street from the Prom you can see extreme poverty and deprivation everywhere you look. Blackpool now has the dubious honour of having the highest percentage of the population on anti-depressants in the UK. Years of under-investment have taken it's toll on Blackpool and when they didn't get the super casino they bid for in the early 00's that was the death knell for it. Will I be going next year? yes as it's traditional, and I go for the company more than the location these days!! :D:D:D
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Does the British seaside vacation atmosphere as depicted in these episodes still exist? I know Blackpool is still a big deal, but how goes the rest of the coastal areas?

Update: Cheering Up Gordon's rating bumped up to a 9.

Don't try the Lincolnshire coast. You'd have to live there or be extremely passionate to enjoy it. Boredom factor 11/10!
 

codfanglers

Dedicated Member
(S03 E04) Cheering Up Gordon

Original Airdate: November 17, 1976

The gang are still at Scarborough. The trio encourage the lonely Gordon to pursue girls, and Gordon teaches the trio how to fish.

"In a jungle, I could have crept up on you and cut your throat from ear to ear. Come on, wake up, man! It’s a beautiful day outside!”

~Foggy Dewhurst


I never gave this quote much thought until you put it in writing here. It is a hilarious quote. Thanks for sharing.
 

lotsw1984

Well-Known Member
On the subject of Blackpool I have to side with WSTOL, I was there a few weeks ago and I've been every year since the early 90's. It's more of a tradition for us now hence why I still go. But Blackpool is one of the grimmest places around, in the 90's and before it was a bustling seaside resort. Now if you go back one street from the Prom you can see extreme poverty and deprivation everywhere you look. Blackpool now has the dubious honour of having the highest percentage of the population on anti-depressants in the UK. Years of under-investment have taken it's toll on Blackpool and when they didn't get the super casino they bid for in the early 00's that was the death knell for it. Will I be going next year? yes as it's traditional, and I go for the company more than the location these days!! :D:D:D
They are supposed to be doing part of it up though i don't live that far but i will agree past few times i have been on days out well pub crawls me and my friends have said it needs some major investment

 

David Piper

Dedicated Member
(S03 E05) The Kink in Foggy's Niblick

Original Airdate: November 24, 1976


Foggy talks up his golf game, but his skills are even worse than his clubs.

"Yes, it's funny, isn't it? We went to school all them years. We got the three Rs and a bit of woodwork, but not a word about how to fight the Third Reich.”

~Norman Clegg

The opening scene is of the trio playing football on a gloriously sunny day. However, it looks to be freezing if Clegg and Compo’s actions are any indication.

Foggy says “Football is a very physical game.” He then proceeds to throw out his back after kicking the ball straight in the air. Foggy stiffly lowering himself to pick up the ball is all too familiar to some of us! Clegg clutches his calf in cramped agony after Compo moves Allan Clarke-like around him.

The best joke in the scene is when Compo’s wellie flies off his foot and hits Foggy in the proverbial bread basket, which hardens Foggy’s opinion of football:

“It’s a crude, unpolished game” which “lacks finesse, it’s very much the rough, knockabout sport of the working classes.”

Foggy spends a lot of the episode talking about the different social classes, claiming that golf is the “queen of sports” which has an “indefinable social prestige.” He says he hasn’t played golf since 1939, when “that fool Hitler invaded Poland” and the war put the kibosh on his golf-playing.

Compo’s wristwatch somehow ends up in the cafe sugar bowl. This leads to a series of good sight gags, such as Compo stirring tea with his sugar-coated watch and a good line from Clegg about the tea stripping off the watch’s plating. This is the kind of madcap sequence that makes this program so appealing…if only “real life” were like this.

Foggy was once stationed in the Suez Canal Zone.

Sid is breathing heavily–or nervously–when Ivy confronts him about his going off with the trio (“those three idiots”) for golf. Ivy’s chastising of Sid is rather subdued–for her–up until she brains him with the serving tray three times. Only a small portion of the studio audience laughs at the conclusion of the Sid and Ivy row.

The attic of Foggy’s landlady is seen; it’s a fine set, too. Clegg thinks it “looks like the den of the Great Wardrobe Spider”; sounds like a Jon Pertwee-era Doctor Who serial. Clegg and Foggy muck about, to Foggy’s annoyance.

Clegg tows Compo to the golf club on his bicycle. A common promotional photo of Peter Sallis-as-Clegg in a “butch” open-shirt look comes from this episode.

Foggy is most unkind to Compo in a way Cyril never was. Foggy is irritated by Compo’s clothes. Wouldn’t he have accepted or at least been resigned to Compo dressing the way he does? It’s Foggy’s golf outfit that gets the smirks and lingering stares from the other golf club members. Foggy wants Compo to remain out of sight behind some plants at their table at the bar. When insisting that Compo be his caddy, Foggy says: “I want you to hide behind them. When I look in your direction, I want to see plenty of golf bag, and very little you.”

Clegg says that “Gary Player gave his caddie all his winnings.”

Well, not all his winnings, at least not to his caddie:

For the [1965 U.S. Open] win, Player received $25,000. But he kept his word to [USGA executive director] Dey, who had presented the winner’s check to him. Player handed it right back, donating $20,000 to junior golf and $5,000 to cancer research.

“Player also received a $1,000 bonus for participating in the playoff. He gave that money – along with an additional $1,000 – to Pagel the caddie. The $2,000 was, at the time, believed to be the most any TOUR pro had given his caddie for a single win.”

“In essence, it cost Gary Player $1,000 to win the U.S. Open that year. Money well spent, of course.”
[PGATour.com]

The trio and Foggy in particular receive a chilly, unfriendly reception at the club.

There are several “wacky” scenes of Foggy attempting to golf that aren’t funny. Perhaps one must be a golf enthusiast to appreciate those sequences.

It’s also odd that Foggy persists on using the warped clubs. These antics push things too far into situations that seem out of place for LotSW, at least at this stage of the show’s history. Surely the socially-obsessed Dewhurst would have foreseen his embarrassment and bought another set of clubs. Do British golf clubs not rent out golf clubs for use?

Ronnie Hazlehurst must have put in some serious overtime for this episode, as he contributes cartoony music for the golfing sequences.

Clegg, Compo, and Sid, who has joined in watching the wackiness, do not golf at all. Sid could really use a break from Ivy, as she has been terrible to him throughout Series 3.

Compo vanishes and accumulates numerous golf balls in clever and funny ways. The distant shot of Compo “disguised” as a moving bush along the vast golf course expanse is the episode’s best visual gag.

The cars zipping by in the rock-filled stream as Foggy attempts to play his submerged golf ball makes no sense.

The last scene is one of the rare scenes of Summer Wine filmed at night. If one is feeling charitable, it could be said that the night scene demonstrates Foggy’s persistence in getting back into his youthful golf-playing form.

The Kink in Foggy's Niblick doesn’t sweeten Foggy’s character for the viewer nor are the golf scenes all that funny. The episode does have some fine moments, such as the trio cafe scene with Sid and those golf scenes showcasing Compo’s antics.

My Rating: 7/10
 

captain clutterbuck

LOTSW Fanatic
Clegg namedrops the apparently heavily-advertised music show of Max Jaffa

Just spotted this I think this was a plug because Max Jaffa and his orchestra played seasons at the Spa in Scarborough and the Grand Hotel for many years and no doubt Roy Clarke would have probably attended some of the concerts at one point.
 

captain clutterbuck

LOTSW Fanatic
You can rent clubs at certain UK Golf clubs but not that many . I have visited a few and the professionals sometimes rent out half sets but happier to sell you a half or full set as I am sure you can imagine.
 

theatrically_inclined

Dedicated Member
(S03 E05) The Kink in Foggy's Niblick
The attic of Foggy’s landlady is seen...

...
The cars zipping by in the rock-filled stream as Foggy attempts to play his submerged golf ball makes no sense. ...
Although Compo remarks on the landlady’s stuff in the attic, it is Foggy’s house. The line probably missed being rewritten after the sudden need to write Blamire out of the scripts. Blamire lived in rented digs, but Foggy owns his home.

The cars that splash Foggy are all rally cars. In "Special Stages" rallies cars are timed competing on private or closed roads. They are (/were) popular in the area due to the twisting rural roads. Although the situation is contrived, it is probable these cars were supposed to be on a closed road "Special Stage". Dad was an enthusiast (driver and timekeeper) and a bit of it rubbed off on me!
 

David Piper

Dedicated Member
Although Compo remarks on the landlady’s stuff in the attic, it is Foggy’s house. The line probably missed being rewritten after the sudden need to write Blamire out of the scripts. Blamire lived in rented digs, but Foggy owns his home.
Just-demobbed sign-painter Corporal Dewhurst sure secured home ownership rather quickly! He also must have had several more trunks on the way after The Man From Oswestry; the man was quite the pack rat! Roy should have made the edits.
The cars that splash Foggy are all rally cars. In "Special Stages" rallies cars are timed competing on private or closed roads. They are (/were) popular in the area due to the twisting rural roads. Although the situation is contrived, it is probable these cars were supposed to be on a closed road "Special Stage". Dad was an enthusiast (driver and timekeeper) and a bit of it rubbed off on me!
I noticed the racing stripes on the roofs of the cars, but the incongruity of their speeding by in an active brook threw me off; that'll teach me to watch LotSW late at night.
 
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theatrically_inclined

Dedicated Member
Just-demobbed sign-painter Corporal Dewhurst sure secured home ownership rather quickly!
Summer Wine (like many comedies) often omits large chunks of practical activity - In "The Man Who Nearly Knew Pavarotti", that was on UKTV Gold today, there is no evidence of Foggy organising the concert, apart from posters being pasted and flower arrangements being moved!
However, when Clegg is reading Blamire's letter announcing Foggy's arrival in series 3, Compo says he remembers Foggy "Great, long gormless steak from Arnold Crescent". According to Blamire's letter, this was the family home, and there being no other surviving relatives it seems Foggy has inherited it and that is where Compo and Clegg end up carry his luggage to.
 
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David Piper

Dedicated Member
RE: Foggy's ancestral home. I watched the episode 3 times, have a fairly good ear, but still hadn't caught that reference!
 

David Piper

Dedicated Member
(S03 E06) Going to Gordon's Wedding

Original Airdate: December 1, 1976


The Gordon Trilogy concludes, with Compo’s nephew set to marry Josie, the girl he met on holiday at Scarborough.

"Why don’t we go to some other wedding?”

~Norman Clegg

Compo peeks from behind the enormous corsage he insists on wearing and says, “Veddy interesting”, the catchphrase made famous by Arte Johnson (1929-2019), who spoke the words from behind a bush while wearing a German soldier uniform in the US sketch comedy show, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967-73).

Another Laugh-In sketch featuring Arte Johnson has similarities to Summer Wine. Johnson plays a “dirty old man” character not unlike Compo, who lusts after a drab, Nora Batty-type character played by fellow Laugh-In regular Ruth Buzzi (b. 1936). Instead of shooing away her would-be lothario with a broom, Buzzi would wallop Johnson with her (empty) handbag. It’s surprising that Laugh-In aired in the UK, as it’s very “California” (specifically beautiful downtown Burbank) and 1960s counterculture in tone.

Gordon’s Mum (Margaret Burton) is a real doll who steals every scene in which she appears. She’s a whirlwind of nervous, oblivious energy and a joy to watch. Too bad Burton couldn’t have returned in future episodes, even if it were as a different character; she would have fit in brilliantly.

The sequence involving the gift travel clock is a gem. Foggy’s wrapping the gift without the clock inside, and his frustrated “karate chop” motion especially are funny. It can be written without a hint of sarcasm that Foggy wrapping gifts is much funnier than Foggy playing golf.

Director Sydney Lotterby employs another shot of the trio walking toward the still camera from a long distance while reading their dialogue. This type of camerawork wouldn’t be out of place in a Woody Allen film.

The trio make their way to Gordon’s mum’s house. They have their coats slung over their arms; it looks hot outside.

Big Malcolm (Paul Luty) makes another appearance. He is Compo’s cousin, so he is also related to Gordon. It was a nice touch to have brought him back. Malcolm’s beer bottle looks as though it’s about to foam over with every sip! Malcolm and Eric (Barry Hart) shove one another while arguing over which of them is more suitable for Gordon’s mum.

Eric, referring to Foggy, asks Malcolm, “Who’s that poof?”

Compo says “our Malcolm and our Eric”, so is Eric also a relative of Compo’s? While the two men appear to get on with Compo, the two otherwise come off as the “shaggy, terrifying creatures” Clegg says they are.

Inside Gordon’s house, there’s a charming framed photo on the mantelpiece of Gordon wearing a long wool cap. The character is growing on me, but this episode is his final appearance. Gordon never speaks much, but Philip Jackson’s stone-faced expression conveys great comic tension.

The trio have lipstick smudges on their faces from when Gordon’s mum kissed them. Clegg’s attempts to tell Compo about it without alerting the other guests (John Rutland, Gwyneth Owen–no relation to Bill) in the room is amusing in a “comedy of manners” sort of way.

Josie’s sister Julie and her boyfriend make out during the entirety of the scene. Neither of them has a speaking part or a screen credit at the end.

Rab C. Nesbitt regular Brian Pettifer plays Gordon’s injury-accumulating best man (Brian Pettifer). I recognized him as “Bert” from the Wummin episode of Still Game.

Gordon’s bus from The Great Boarding-House Bathroom Caper makes another appearance; it takes everyone to the church.

Compo shows Josie mum (Joan Scott) a “bit of leg”; she is not amused.

Liz Goulding-as-Josie shows great restraint as she nearly boils over in rage at the missing wedding ring, which has gone away in an ambulance along with the best man, who slipped and injured himself again.

The roar of the alarm clock is obviously an overhead alarm, and it’s plenty loud! Compo’s facial expression and body language as he clutches the gift clock box is brilliant.

Going to Gordon’s Wedding does well in capturing all the comedic tension that goes with wedding day jitters, for the bride and groom, their family, and the wedding guests.

My Rating: 9/10
 
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theatrically_inclined

Dedicated Member
(S03 E06) Going to Gordon's Wedding
Compo says “our Malcolm and our Eric”, so is Eric also a relative of Compo’s? While the two men appear to get on with Compo, the two otherwise come off as the “shaggy, terrifying creatures” Clegg says they are.
Although Eric's exact relationship to Compo is unknown, he is referred to in the series 1 episode "Short Back and Palais Glide". The Trio are in the police station and the desk sergeant asks Compo, "How's your Eric?” implying that he is known by the police. His dishonest conduct is confirmed when Compo says Eric hardly touches a drop of alcohol, to which Foggy counters “What your Eric touches tends to drop straight into his pocket”.
 
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