Get Some In!

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Get Some In!
Created by John Esmonde
Bob Larbey
Directed by Michael Mills
Starring Tony Selby
David Janson
Robert Lindsay
Karl Howman
Gerard Ryder
Brian Pettifer
Lori Wells
John D. Collins
Jenny Cryst (Jenny Clarke)
Composer(s) Alan Braden
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 34
Production
Producer(s) Michael Mills
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Thames Television
Distributor FremantleMedia
Release
Original network ITV
Original release 16 October 1975 (1975-10-16) – 18 May 1978 (1978-05-18)

Get Some In! is a British sitcom about life in Royal Air Force National Service broadcast between 1975 and 1978 by Thames Television. Scripts were by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, the team behind the BBC TV sitcom The Good Life.

The programme drew its inspiration from late 1950s/early 1960s National Service situation-comedy The Army Game, and from nostalgic BBC TV sitcom Dad's Army, but the RAF setting gave it enough originality not to seem formulaic. Thirty-four (commercial) half-hour episodes were made. The title is a contraction of "Get some service in!", which was a piece of World War Two-era military slang sometimes shouted by conscripted soldiers at civilians of conscription age whom the conscripts may have believed were avoiding call-up.

The series has never been repeated in full on terrestrial TV in the UK, although the UKTV Gold cable channel has aired the episodes uncut. It screened in Australia in the early 1980s.

The whole series has been shown on Forces TV (UK) in 2016

Characters[edit]

National Service Recruits[edit]

  • Ken Richardson. A grammar school pupil, Ken is very well-mannered much to the disgust of Corporal Marsh. Due to his, by then higher standard of education, he often finds himself on the receiving end of insults from Corporal Marsh such as "poofhouse" and "Nance" (short for "Nancy Boy", i.e. homosexual). Far from being homosexual, Richardson falls quickly for the charms of Lilley's sister Agnes, and later for Mrs. Fairfax - an officer's wife. He is played by David Janson.
  • Jakey Smith, a former Teddy Boy from London. Jakey soon finds himself at odds with Corporal Marsh, and dislikes the whole concept of National Service. He has little or no respect for authority but is at heart a decent individual. Marsh delights in calling him "Edward VII", an allusion to his former Teddy Boy culture, though on leave Jakey finds himself no longer accepted amongst the Teds. Played by Robert Lindsay (Series 1–4) until Lindsay got his own show Citizen Smith, and then by Karl Howman (Series 5).[1]
  • Matthew Lilley, a vicar's son who plays the harpsichord and is very well-mannered. Raised to be God-fearing, Lilley prides himself on not hating anybody - not even Marsh! Though naturally shy, Matthew is usually the first to object to Corporal Marsh's shady schemes. Marsh sometimes calls him "Holy Joe" or "Christopher Robin" - the latter an allusion to the popular poem Vespers by A.A. Milne (in which every stanza ends with the line "Christopher Robin is saying his prayers"). Played by Gerard Ryder.
  • Bruce Leckie. A Scotsman from Glasgow, Bruce has a very cynical view of life and is a pessimist. Like Jakey, he does not like being conscripted for National Service. Bruce is very shy around women but eventually falls in love with and finds happiness with Corporal Wendy (Jenny Cryst), though this happiness is short-lived as after Bruce completes his trade training they are both posted to different RAF stations. Played by Brian Pettifer.

Officers and Instructors[edit]

  • Corporal Percy Marsh GM. Corporal, later Sergeant, later Corporal, later AC1, later Corporal Marsh is a drill instructor (or devil's instrument) who becomes the bane of the recruits' lives. A man with a sadistic sense of humour and few (if any) friends, he continually makes his charges' lives miserable. He possesses an eidetic memory and an eerie aptitude for mental arithmetic which are sometimes mistaken for intelligence. Marsh always craves promotion but his own schemes usually backfire preventing him from attaining his goal. Played by Tony Selby
  • Squadron Leader Clive Baker. Medical Officer of RAF Skelton and later anatomy instructor at RAF Midham. Played by John D. Collins.
  • Flight Lieutenant Roland Grant. Commanding officer of C Flight and Marsh's superior at Skelton. He dislikes Marsh's bullying but his public school code of conduct prevents him from doing much about it; when forced to exert his authority he generally sides with Marsh. Played by David Quilter.

Other Characters[edit]

  • Alice Theresa Marsh. Corporal Marsh's long-suffering wife. She is constantly irritated by her husband's lack of advancement in the RAF. She is also a kind-hearted woman and is good to the recruits, much to the irritation of Marsh, she left him during the fourth series only to return in the end. Played by Lori Wells.
  • Mrs Fairfax. Wife of one of the senior officers, a beautiful and compassionate lady who despises Marsh and is kind to recruits. Richardson develops a crush on her in Series 2. Played by Angela Thorne.
  • Corporal Wendy. A WRAF corporal, married in the fourth series to Bruce Leckie. Played by Jenny Cryst (a.k.a. Jenny Clarke).

Series[edit]

  • Series 1, 16 October – 27 November 1975, Thu 8:30pm, 7 episodes
  • Christmas Special, 25 December 1975, Thu 7:30pm
  • Series 2, 28 June – 9 August 1976, Mon 8:00pm, 7 episodes
  • Series 3, 6 January – 17 February 1977, Thu 7:05pm, 6 episodes
  • Series 4, 16 June – 21 July 1977, Thu 7:00pm, 6 episodes
  • Series 5, 6 April – 18 May 1978, Thu 8:00pm, 7 episodes

Theme song[edit]

The theme song composed by Alan Braden, quickly communicated to audiences that national service would not be a fulfilling experience for the recruits with the lines "Though you're in the RAF, you'll never see a plane" and "There's only one way to get out and that's to get some in. Get Some In!"

Stage Show[edit]

A stage version of Get Some In! was produced for a 1977 Summer season at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

Settings of the Series[edit]

Series 1–2 were set at the fictional Royal Air Force station RAF Skelton. At the beginning of the third series, the recruits' barracks hut is destroyed by fire and so in series 3–4 events were set at fictional RAF Midham. Series 5 was set at fictional RAF hospital Druidswater.

The Christmas special (broadcast between Series 1 and 2), set at RAF Skelton, was captioned "Christmas 1955", but the remainder of the series (involving two changes of camp) continued to be set in 1955.

DVD[edit]

All five series including a 5-Disc set of the complete series of Get Some In! have been released by Network.

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1 19 September 2008
The Complete Series 2 28 January 2009
The Complete Series 3 6 April 2009
The Complete Series 4 20 July 2009
The Complete Series 5 5 October 2009
The Complete Series 1 to 5 Box Set 2 November 2009

References[edit]

External links[edit]