A group of questionable talents try to entertain the troops in the hot jungles of Burma during World War Two. One big reason to watch this is Windsor Davies as Battery Sergeant-Major “Shut Up” Williams. He’s very funny as the over the top, by the book Sgt.-Major. Michael Bates is the Indian bearer Rangi Ram. Michael Knowles is Captain Ashford. The title comes from a letter Parkin is writing home to his Mum.
Opening episode: January 3,1974 – “Meet The Gang” – The concert party is trying to rehearse “Top Hat.” They don’t have a pianist and it’s blazing hot. For now they’re in an Indian outpost in 1945. Rangi tries to get their pianist off a rock painting detail by offering to substitute for him. Williams barks his objection. The Colonel says the pianist should be taken off a detail painting rocks and get back to the piano. He feels the men need the shows. In the office there’s a funny scene with Williams and Ashford.
Sgt-Major Williams can’t stand the whole show biz thing and makes their lives miserable. Making is worse for them is Gunner Mack. He’s got what he calls the Bombay Trots. The latest arrival, Gunner Parkin, is put in his place.
Word comes in that a mob of civilians is headed their way demonstrating against the British presence in India. Williams wishes the troupe would go to the jungles of Burma. Now it’s showtime.
Gunner Beaumont is into his Ginger Rogers number when Williams comes on stage. The mob is on its way and numbers five thousand. Stop the show and head to battle stations. At the fence Williams yells at the mob. Not his best move.
Michael Knowles played The Honourable Teddy Meldrum in “You Rang M’Lord?” (1988-93).