2 September 2001 | hernebay
"Though you're in the RAF, you'll never see a plane"
If "It Ain't Half Hot Mum" has suffered acutely from Politically Correct retro-censorship, being rarely repeated (and then only the odd episode that gets past the new puritans), "Get Some In!" has been officially airbrushed out of late 70s British sitcom history. The total ban on repeats of this series means that I have not seen it since it was originally aired. Set in the 1950s, when young British men were still obliged to undergo compulsory National Service in one of the armed forces, my recollections of this series take me back, nevertheless, to the late 1970s, when such National Service seemed a dim and remote memory (to teenagers like myself, smugly ineligible). It aired in that bizarre cusp or hinge of time between decadent hippie-dom (concept albums, and rock stars in mansions) and early punk, and sought to demythologise the wizard-prang, pipe-between-the-teeth image of the RAF by showing the lowly, earthbound National Service recruits to the air force ("Though you're in the RAF, you'll never see a plane" went one line of the theme song). The recruits ("erks", if memory serves) were the standard-issue collection of heterogeneous types, running the gamut of the English class system and its miscellaneous sub-categories, most notably including the brilliant David Janson, subsequently much under-used, and the no less brilliant Robert Lindsay, in his first starring role (pre-"Citizen Smith"). Presiding over these raw recruits was the fearsome NCO, Tony Selby, a superb utility actor who had graced "The Avengers", "Ace Of Wands" and many another must-see British series of the late 60s and early 70s. With a strong cast, and what seemed at the time to be funny scripts, it is puzzling that this series has never re-aired, but perhaps it reflected too closely the PC insensitivities of the 50s. Our loss!