Series 4 - Episode 227 stars
What the Butler Saw
by Brian Clemens
Directed by Bill Bain
A gritty drama as a turn about from the previous week's fancy dress, and it plays out well. Fine performances by all involved, but it's a bit staid.
|Emma's Fashions||Steed's Fashions|
|RN motor launch||-|
|Saracen armoured car||-|
|Lotus Elan S2||HNK 999C|
|Austin Taxi||VGF 345|
|Walters||Sergeant Moran V*||shot|
|Barber||Sergeant Moran V*||stabbed|
|Reeves||Sergeant Moran V*||bayonetted|
|Hubert Hemming||Benson V*||shot|
Continuity and trivia
- 1:35 + 32:25 - The villains use a silenced revolver, which simply doesn't work. Silencers don't work on most revolvers due to the gap between the barrel and the cylinder.
- 4:50 - Pamela Davies plays the WRN, as evidenced by this newspaper clipping.
- 5:00 - the Admiral's house set was reused as an Admiral's office in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station.
- 4:50-13:30 - Steed disguises himself as three different officers - one for each force - to infiltrate the abodes of the suspects in the case, sporting different false facial hair and medals for each one.
He patriotically gives them the names red, white and blue.
My favourite is his R.A.F. officer, all enormous curled moustache and "what ho! jolly good show!" accents.
He later enrolls at the Butling academy run by Hemmings and Benson and is sent to Group Captain Miles, dressed in butler's garb
- 10:35-11:23 - There's a hair stuck to the top edge of the transfer plate, from the location shot of the helicopter approach to Steed entering the house.
- 11:59 - Another Bond reference: In the scene where they parody the RAF's love of abbreviations, SL Hogg asks, "Downgraded to double-O 7?" and Steed replies, "Upgraded to BB5".
- 15:55 - Mrs Peel has a telephone in her car.
- 17:10 - The picture of Emma in Miles' bin is a publicity still from Man-eater of Surrey Green, the other photos of Emma are publicity photos.
- 19:50 - Patrick Macnee is replaced by a stand-in for the car ride and getting out to approach the butling school
- 22:15 - Steed's references are from the Duke of Duffup, the Earl of Isley, & The Honorable Flegghorn. Benson checks them and finds they're all the names of pubs (33:54).
- 29:14 - Shades of Get Smart as the officers climb into a polythene bag of silence to try to ensure complete secrecy.
- 30:45 - The enormous washing machine is a Bill Twenty.
- 31:32 - The photo of Steed is another publicity photo.
- 32:18/31:45 - there's no way Hemming would ever have fit through the washing machine door.
- 34:34 - Obvious product placement for Bollinger champagne.
- 34:41+47:39 - There are significant streaks on the RHS of film.
- 43:22 - Steed catches the tail of his jacket in the car door.
- 47:45 - A brilliant bit of editing in the fight sequence, as we cut from the two stuntmen back to John vLe Mesurier & Patrick Macnee.
- The new DVD masters have a superb picture compared to earlier releases, but the PAL masters seem remarkable at odds with the old NTSC masters, as these two pictures below will attest - the new release is significantly cropped at the top and right of the screen.
Even more strangely, the test-run timecoded episodes had more visible screen area but nothing like the NTSC version, so something may have gone wrong in the DVD pressing phase AND not every scene is affected.
NOTE: This seems to have been corrected in the blu ray release.
- Running time: 49'46"
- John Le Mesurier (Benson) is beloved by fans of Dad's Army worldwide - he normally plays quite pleasant chaps, unlike his rôle here.
- Howard Marion Crawford (Brigadier Percy Goddard) - who normally plays unpleasant chaps - turns up again as The Sixteenth Duke of Benedict in The Living Dead.