Worzel Gummidge 6.6 and 6.7

Well, I liked the second of these very much. It gives Jon Pertwee something very new to do as he dons a Sherlock Holmes head and costume, and he gets a one-off sidekick called Worty Yam. It also introduces Danny Mulheron, making the first of three appearances as Blighty Tater, and gives David Weatherly a second outing as Bulbous Cauliflower as the scarecrows try to deduce who stole the Crowman’s prized golden turnip trophy. The game’s afoot and it’s very silly and I laughed out loud several times.

Episode six was… less successful. It’s another example of the world suddenly not working like the real world, which is what Worzel Gummidge needs to feel right. This time, Worzel chases another scarecrow over a cliff for the sin of courtin’ Aunt Sally. Somehow he gets accused of murder for this and the police are offering a $3000 reward, which isn’t the sort of thing even small-town cops in Zoo Nealand would do if they can’t confirm there’s actually a corpse. I like that they’re building up a larger supporting cast, but they shouldn’t have done it at the cost of the show’s realism.

On the other hand, this one was so outlandish and full of slapstick that it turned out to be one of our son’s favorites in the whole run. He’s not quite viewing it through the same lens as I am. He just likes Worzel stabbing other scarecrows in the rear with pitchforks, and he is the target audience, after all.

Worzel Gummidge 6.4 and 6.5

Well, something just isn’t clicking with this series, and I don’t know what it is. These two episodes could have been made among the first four series, back in the UK. They don’t go anywhere near as off-key or strange as series five’s adventures with the evil Traveling Scarecrow Maker, or the previous two episodes’ heightened unreality. One is Aunt Sally misunderstanding something, acting posh, and causing a scene, and the other, written by Fran Walsh, introduces a new scarecrow, Bulbous Cauliflower, who appears in two episodes and is played by David Weatherley. But they both feel like there’s no energy to them. Episode four seems like a huge missed opportunity, because Aunt Sally having a mud fight with the staff of a beauty parlor should have been uproarious, and episode five does something quite new: it seems that certain toxic chemicals, like DDT, can permanently alter a scarecrow’s mind. The set pieces are too staid and too slow, a problem that hampered some of the earliest episodes. These need to be manic and raucous, and they aren’t.