Worzel Gummidge 4.6 – The Golden Hind

There are certainly a few really funny moments in this story, which introduces Bernard Cribbins as a ship’s wooden masthead figure, now doing service as an advertising dummy for a fish ‘n chips shop in the village. Another familiar face is the restaurant’s propreitor: Patrick Newell, who had played Mother in the Tara King years of The Avengers. Aunt Sally gets a job behind the shop counter, and the sight of Una Stubbs cramming fistfuls of French fries into her face is pretty hilarious. Our son especially enjoyed Worzel whining to the Crowman that he’s lost his Aunt Sally and his bestest friend and his fish and chips.

But really, with this series, there’s a strong sense of repetition. Cribbins is always a joy, but Jolly Jack doesn’t really bring any more of a dynamic to the show than any of the guest stars who preceded him. Weirdly, though, there are a couple of hints that this episode might just do something really different. For starters, there are flocks and flocks of seagulls chasing the rooks and crows away. There’s a weird sense that Jolly Jack should not be this far inland; it’s as though his presence is messing with nature.

There’s also a bit where Michael Ripper’s character, Mr. Shepherd, grumbles to the shop owner that there is a very weird crime spree going on in this village. He notes that Jolly Jack is missing, just like his Aunt Sally keeps disappearing and being returned. He almost starts to connect that Worzel, who the villagers just assume is a passing tramp when they’re not ignoring him completely, may be responsible for their disappearances. They don’t go anywhere with that idea, either. By far my favorite of these installments has been “Worzel in Revolt” because it’s so unlike everything else in the show. The other five episodes have been entertaining, but they also don’t do anything we didn’t see with more spark and energy in series two or three.

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