12 August 2007 | Spondonman
This was a six part serial, a set of entertaining cum "instructional" films for post-War children to profit by the Children's Film Foundation admirably carried on in the same vein. The entertainment consists mainly of amateurish and farcical slapstick, the morals laid on thickly such as Don't steal and Always help others.
Peter Joe is True British youngster who decides to travel from his home at 6 Tangier Mews SE14 to Southampton to buy a schooner in his removal van pulled sedately by Duffy the horse. On the way he meets with 2 tramps Nobby and Albert who are taken on as bo'sun and first mate and help him (as Captain) in his many adventures on the road. These range in complexity from helping a house removal, saving someone's livelihood at a fair, helping a farmer keep his farm, building a pre-fab for an ex-soldier and his family, becoming laundry workers to preventing a valuable stamp from being stolen. And always up against the not very redoubtable baddie Mister Grinder. Peter Joe was played by the young Peter Beck who can come over a bit patronising now with all of his "Hello boys and girls" intro's; Albert was played by Graham Moffat, Will Hay's ex partner - still only 27 but with all of his best films long before; I'm sure Nobby's character was meant for Moore Marriot to play, he would have been perfect in the role. From Oh Mr Porter Dennis Wyndham, Agnes Lauchlan and Charles Rolfe are all in here in bit parts.
It was made on a shoestring budget for children, nowadays even 5 year olds would probably sneer at its quaintness and that its heart was in the right place would also be forgotten by todays critics out to ridicule everything non-cynical. The song Clop Clip Clop wears a bit thin by the end though! I like it because it doesn't involve too much thinking, it's quaint and charming and is a perfect antidote to the violent sleazy tripe you can see every day on TV if you're unlucky enough. But as a warning, I doubt that many people would share my opinion after sitting through these two and a half hours!