These were very clearly not shown in production order. In “A Little Learning,” Sue is calling Worzel “Mr. Gummidge” and he is looking for his clever head, which we saw in a previous episode. Worzel thoughtlessly makes a mess of the farm while trying to find the head, dumping pig swill and laundry everywhere. It really amused our son, but it’s performed in a very tame way, and really slowly. He could have created ten times as many catastrophes in the minutes given to his search, but the camera keeps spending time with people saying “Look at this mess, who could have done this?” Valuable chaos time is wasted on characters who are not causing chaos. The writers and directors should’ve watched a few Three Stooges shorts before staging this.
So I was a little disappointed in this one because there’s so little energy. Worst of all is a weird bit of alleged comedy where, clever head in place, Worzel answers a barrage of trivia questions about geography and history from John and Sue’s teacher. This character is inhuman in her reactions. She is as completely amazed by the presence of a genius tramp on the school roof as you or I would be if there were six or seven orange elephants up there. She simply has to inform the headmaster, with stars in her eyes about this incredible discovery she’s just made, at which point the show turns into mistaken identity comedy. The scene serves no purpose other than to make the teacher look like a moron, and to give Nicholas Smith a small part as the headmaster. Smith’s that fellow from Are You Being Served? whose name I invariably forgot until we started this blog.
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