Summer Winos»Uncategorized»Series 5 Episode 6: Here We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Series 5 Episode 6: Here We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder

In which Compo plans to take to the air…

Bob: Increasingly, these opening scenes are my favourite parts of the episodes… the conversations between our three heroes are always fabulously funny and well-observed.

Compo: We used to roll Eileen Watkins down this hill.
Foggy: What did she look like?
Clegg: Very dusty, and covered in bits of grass.

Cracking stuff, as is the traditional childhood reminiscing, complete with typically florid names and descriptions for unseen characters. Eileen Watkins, it transpires, was in love with Chunky Rumbelow, and was actually a dead ringer for the late King Farouk of Egypt. Complete with twirly moustache, do we assume?

Eileen Watkins

Andrew: It’s quite stylishly directed as well, with each character literally as well as figuratively having their own perspective; Clegg standing, Foggy sitting, and Compo lying. It just seems a little more carefully composed than recent episodes. Maybe the director had a little bit of extra time.

Bob: Should I be surprised that Sid and Ivy have a microwave oven in 1979? I always think of them as a quintessentially 1980s invention, and am taken aback that someone as – ahem – traditionally-minded as Ivy would have one anywhere near her precious kitchen! I’m pretty damn sure I’d never even HEARD of a microwave in 1979. It were all pressure cookers and deep-fat fryers when I were a lad.

Andrew: It’s never been mentioned before, but if they don’t know how to use it then this might explain why our trio are so often unimpressed by their grub.

The scene in the café is great though, with a rare chance to see the dynamic between Ivy/Sid and Nora/Wally. There’s still something quite antagonistic between Nora and Ivy here, but I love how quickly they bond in their natural habitat – the kitchen. I love how, even on her day out, Nora isn’t content until she resumes domestic duties.

And just what is the expression of a man who knows what he’s doing with a microwave?

Bob: This is, of course, Wally’s idea of taking Nora out for a meal, the old smoothie. ‘Your pastry’s not light enough,’ she snaps, stony-faced, reducing Ivy to tears! At which point Nora softens too, and offers gentle advice. It’s interesting how we’ve seen the relationship between these two women develop over the years, am I right in thinking that they barely seem to know each other in the early series? Here, there’s clearly at least a grudging respect between, and then – in later years – they become firmer friends.

Andrew: Yes, I think the first sign we saw of a developing relationship was during the seaside episodes. This is a pleasant continuation.

Sid and Ivy share a joke…

Bob: It’s interesting to see friction between Sid and Wally as well, when it comes to repairing the microwave! Women are competitive about baking, men are competitive about fixing things. Them’s the rules in Summer Wine world.

Andrew: People whose sauce bottle tops looked like they had ‘bunches of raisins on ‘em’ were the bane of my childhood existence. I loved and still love red sauce (I’d even fill my Yorkshire puddings up with the stuff), but I equally hated the muck that would build up. Just the thought of one dropping off into my food… ugh. May Earnshaw bless the inventor of the squeezy plastic bottle!

Odd to see a bit of casual racism directed towards the Japanese, too… although there’s not a hateful bone in the script’s body, and I like this line from Wally…

Wally: They do say the Japanese are very gifted in the trickier aspects of the marriage bed.

Bob: And so, after some nice character work, we get to the crux of what is clearly shaping up to be a stunt episode… Compo wants to go hang-gliding. And Wally volunteers to build the craft in question. Should I be ashamed of saying that I find Compo a bit annoying in this episode? I prefer his darker-edged persona of the early series, when he was almost a drop-out from normal society. Here, he’s essentially a child in an old man’s body, pulling faces and putting on comedy voices.

Although, again, there’s some lovely dialogue floating around. ‘He’s got a throat like a flush lavatory’ comments Foggy, deliciously, as Compo throws another pint down his neck. Compo, meanwhile, points out that he learnt his boozing skills from Slack Edna, a woman he accompanied on bat-hunting expeditions! Another one for the database, Drew…

Anywhere know where this actually IS? We need to visit it!

Anywhere know where this actually IS? We need to visit it!

Andrew: Done and done.

Bob: And so we finish with a tree-climbing competition between Foggy and Compo, and – hooray! – a credit for Stuart Fell, the former Parachute Regiment stuntman beloved of Doctor Who fans. It’s a rare CV that includes spells doubling for both Bill Owen and Katy Manning, but Stuart’s pulled it off with aplomb! Is he also the only performer to have appeared in both Last of the Summer Wine and The Empire Strikes Back? Or do we have a Michael Sheard guest appearance to look forward to?

Andrew: That sounds like a challenge to me. So I’ve done the leg-work and discovered that stuntman Peter Diamond, a Snowtrooper Guard and Stunt Arranger for Empire played the role of  ‘Motorist’ in the 1990 episode Barry’s Christmas. Now, I am the master.

Bob: He’s the Tusken Raider who attacks Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars film, too! Anyway… an enjoyable enough episode with some nice moments, but I have a curious feeling we’re being set up for another sequel.

Andrew: That’s just ‘cos you’ve seen the back of the box. Based solely upon viewing this episode, I would never have suspected another instalment was coming.


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    October 29, 2012 12:55 pmPosted 9 years ago

    It’s an odd episode this, it’s fun but not memorable. I do however really love the Ivy/Nora moments, going from antagonism to bonding over pastry 🙂

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    September 29, 2016 1:35 pmPosted 5 years ago
    Simon S

    The opening, with Eileen Watkins rolling, and Foggy’s youthful nasal issues, sets up the premise, which I believe is the first instance of Compo expressing a daredevil ambition of any kind.

    The café scene with Ivy and Nora butting heads, and Wally and Sid’s microwave mischief, sets up the enormously dubious “kamikaze Compo” skit, which would not pass muster these days.

    That viaduct is presumably the same one from the later Mangle episode. I’m with Clegg on the desirability of such places, I suspect.

    The final virility contest between Compo and Foggy makes a strange score-draw end to the episode.

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    February 26, 2020 7:53 pmPosted 1 year ago
    L. Grey

    Currently enjoying a rewatch of my LOTSW DVDs and, of course, referring to this site- an interesting point in this episode: Compo’s father was apparently a man surnamed “Withenshaw” (per Foggy “away before you got a good look at him… in fact, he was away before your mother got a good look at him”). I suppose it stands to reason that the Simmonites were his mother’s family all along given previous episodes’ references to Compo having been raised by his mother, but it was rather surprising for such a clear statement to suddenly crop up in the middle of their idle “kamikaze pilot” bit!

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    April 6, 2020 10:49 pmPosted 1 year ago

    For some reason the name “Slack Edna” just tickles me. I can’t hear it or read it without laughing. Weirdly reminds me of Cold Ethyl, of Alice Cooper fame.
    Edna should have at least had a spin – off series.

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    March 3, 2021 6:04 pmPosted 9 months ago
    Mike Jenkins

    When they are in the bar and foggy shouts I’ll get them in,the guy collecting glasses looks a lot like crusher from porridge


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