Monday 19 March 2018

Scott On?

Terry Scott was an interesting addition to the Carry On team. I can understand why Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas wanted him involved in the mayhem at Pinewood. By the late 1960s, Scott was a celebrated star on the small screen with his own series and a fruitful partnership with Bill Maynard still in recent history. 

Terry had made a small appearance in the original, very first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant in 1958. Back then he was a supporting player in many British films of the period but was yet to become a star. A decade later he was invited to play a supporting role in the classic Carry On Up The Khyber and the rest is history. I'm never quite sure whether to include Scott as a full on member of the gang as while he did have starring roles in several memorable films, he only appeared regularly over a three year period and starred in just seven films. 

His arrival back into the Carry On fold came at an opportune moment. Jim Dale, the dashing romantic lead in the franchise throughout the 1960s, had taken a year out to concentrate on his blossoming stage career. While Roy Castle would take on Jim's part in Khyber and Julian Holloway would play "Jim" Tanner in Camping, by Up The Jungle in 1969, Terry was picking up those roles. The main problem I continue to have with this is fairly simple, I just don't really like him as a comedy performer.

I do think Terry is superb in Up The Jungle as the clumsy, Tarzan like character opposite Jacki Piper. He does an awful lot with a part that is largely dialogue free. Terry is also on good form in Carry On Camping as Betty Marsden's put upon husband Peter Potter and his final role in the series, as the gloriously named Dr Prodd in 1971's Carry On Matron, is deliciously filthy! There's just something missing though as far as I'm concerned. I feel the same way about Jack Douglas, they are talented at what they do but I'm just not really won over by them. 

I think my main problem with regards to Terry Scott is my loathing of Terry and June. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of middle class, middle of the road sitcoms from that era and I absolutely adore June Whitfield. I just find Terry's character overwhelming, over-bearing and well, over played. I don't think I'm alone in this. Perhaps being aware of what followed with decades of suburban sitcom antics, I just turned off to Terry in the Carry Ons. 

I'm sure there are plenty of Terry fans out there so why don't you get in touch and tell me why you love him, either in the Carry Ons or in Terry and June. I'd love to hear from you. 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan

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