||GET SOME IN!
Young recruits are conscripted to do their National Service in the UK in the 1950s.
34 episodes of 30 minutes duration. Thames Television. 1975 - 78.
Written by the superior sitcom writing partnership of John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, 'Get Some In!' was, like 'The Army Game' years before, set in the 1950s at a time when all able-bodied men were drafted into the forces to do their National Service.
The action begins in 1955 at RAF Skelton, where the motley crew of draftees include 'teddy boy' Jakey Smith (played by a pre-'Citizen Smith' Robert Lindsay), dim Scotsman Bruce Leckie (Brian Pettifer), vicar's son Matthew Lillie (Gerard Ryder) and posh grammar school boy Ken Richardson (David Janson). Although each man is from a different background they are united in their loathing of the Corporal assigned to take them through their basic training and thereby make their lives complete misery, Percy Marsh (Tony Selby). Similarly, Marsh hates every one of them and sets about bullying them, especially young Ken who he dubs 'Poof House' Richardson, not because he is gay but simply because he is well spoken, well mannered and middle class. But ultimately it is Marsh who always comes off worse due to the fact that he's not exactly the brightest star in the sky and it doesn't take much for the new recruits to outwit him.
The series ran for three years, a lot longer than basic training would take, but following their induction the group were assigned to train as nurse assistants at RAF Middleton only to discover that Marsh had been sent there with them and after a very short posting to Malta they are back again within the clutches of their old enemy at RAF Hospital Druidswater. This is a series that deserved a longer run but by the 1970s National Service was just a distant memory for many and a completely unknown element to the rest of us - and that may well have contributed to its short run. It was certainly nothing to do with Esmonde and Larbey's writing which was as sharp as ever.
Oddly enough, at the time of writing 'Get Some In!' has never been repeated in full on terrestrial TV, so a recent release by Network DVD is especially gratifying as it is also the first time the series has been made available in any format. The first DVD release not only includes the entire six episodes of series one but also the 1975 Christmas Special.
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