Episode Reviews Part 9

"Do You Take This Man?"

Like "Wedding Bells", this episode almost marries off Mrs. Slocombe as Mr. Mataxis and his bouzouki steal her heart. There's just one little problem, however…


Trivia: Britspeak:

Kew Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens, located in the London suburb of Kew.
National Front
Illegal right-wing organization.


Long-necked stringed instrument resembling a mandolin.
Colorless anise-flavored unsweetened liqueur.
Appetizer consisting of a creamy paste of salted fish roe mixed with bread or potato and seasoned with lemon juice.

Bons Mots:

Best Bits: Conclusion:
One of the most memorable of the post-Grainger episodes; probably Mr. Tebbs' finest (half) hour.

Shedding the Load

Downsizing (to use a distinctly 90s expression) hits the venerable department store. But who'll have to go?


For only the third time in the history of the show, Mr. Lucas' first name is mentioned (in this episode and "The Old Order Changes", it is Dick; in "The Clock", James).
Tacky Display:
The "Iron-Clad Hosiery" display, complete with steel wool brush, which eventually gets a little too intimate with Mr. Humphries.
Best Bits: Bons Mots: Personal Note:
Until I saw this episode for the first time (with the characters' names written on a blackboard), I thought Mr. Tebbs' name was "Mr. Thames".
In the end, the store's gallant staff members all volunteer to be the one to get the sack. When Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphries pour cream and sugar on Rumbold's head to provoke him to fire them, a delighted Young Mr. Grace ("I've always wanted to do that!") cancels the economy cuts and institutes the three-day work week—for himself.


Fairly entertaining, but not quite one of the classics.

A Bliss Girl

In this rewrite of 1973's "His and Hers", the Bliss Perfume girl fails to show up for an in-store promotion, forcing Mr. Humphries (the obvious choice) to man the perfume display.


Because of London's worst fog since 1953, Mr. Lucas has to spend the night in the camping department (shades of "Camping In").
Even though the episode takes place on a Monday, Mr. Lucas spends the night before (Sunday night) in the store's camping department. Grace Brothers isn't open on Sunday, according to "Roots?"
Best Bits: Bons Mots:

To better model the hat and coat for his new-found friend, Humphries removes his pants and dons a ladies' wig. Just as he makes the sale, Young Mr. Grace comes in and asks the "Bliss Girl" out to dinner!


A slow start to this episode, but a strong finish. We see Mr. Humphries' heterosexual side (somewhat)—but he doesn't actually sell any perfume.

Happy Returns

Click to see Fairy Prince and friendIn this quasi-Christmas episode [it originally aired Boxing Day 1978], the staff celebrate Young Mr. Grace's birthday with the customary free lunch and "generous" birthday bonus, followed by a performance of "The Ballet of the Toys."


Last episode featuring Mr. Tebbs (James Hayter). [Hayter either resigned or was bought out of his contract; in either case, his association with Mr. Kipling's Cakes adverts led to his departure.]

O level
"ordinary level"; lowest of three levels of examinations given to British students testing their grasp of secondary-school subjects (which presumably do not include "collecting dinner money").
an English silver coin worth 2 shillings (10p).

Best Bits:

"The Ballet of the Toys" Bons Mots: After the staff's rehearsal of "The Ballet of the Toys", a professional cabaret arrives to perform…"The Ballet of the Toys." With the help of some fairy dust, the staff magically change into silver lamé costumes to do "Steppin' Out." Young Mr. Grace then gives a singular rendition of "Bread and Dripping." Finally, the staff serenade Young Mr. Grace with "Happy Birthday" and shower him with gifts as the episode ends on a festive note.

Bread and Dripping

Bread and dripping, bread and dripping
Makes the stuff for me.
If it's given me every day,
Stowing it away.
I think there's worse off except for me
As I eat my bread and dripping,
A lump of bread as big as your head
To dip in the drip drip dripping!
This episode has a little bit of everything—costumes, musical numbers, slapstick comedy and even a sentimental ending (the cast members seem to be having the time of their lives during the celebration at the end).

Go to:
Next page of reviews!
Episode Reviews Part 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Back to the episode reviews list!
Back to the Virtual Video Vault!

©1999-2000 Emily Jackson