Worzel Gummidge 5.7 – Worzel to the Rescue

In the second half of this adventure, the usual slapstick is mostly set aside for an interesting battle of magic between the Crowman and the Traveling Scarecrow Maker. I say interesting and not satisfying because the villain ends up being dispatched far, far too easily for my taste, but I do enjoy the feel of the Crowman’s magic. It’s not the sort of anything-goes incantations that wizards normally use (and which we enjoyed tremendously when the previous Crowman, Geoffrey Bayldon, employed them in Catweazle, when they worked, anyway), but far smaller powers which can only be employed with what I’d call earth magic, using twigs and roots. This fits perfectly within the folksy and rural world of the Crowman.

My favorite scene, however, didn’t have anything to do with their duel. It’s a delightful little gag that starts on a signpost whose letters are all scrambled before the camera tracks to Worzel, who cannot read the sign. When the camera tracks back to it, the letters have been reordered so that the audience can read it. Our son was really happy when the action briefly moved to a traveling fair, but that’s mainly because he likes bumper cars, I think. Also, carnivals in New Zealand also give away coconuts for prizes in the test-your-skill games.

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