Dixon of Dock Green episode review: Green Wedding

Following in our series of reviews on individual episodes of classic Police procedural, Dixon of Dock Green, this week we view the 8th instalment (the newly discovered episode makes it 9th), entitled Green Wedding.

The synopsis tells us roughly what to expect: there’s a wedding impending in Dock Green and there’s likely to be trouble. But why?

The episode gets under way with George Dixon (Jack Warner) and son-in-law Andy Crawford (Peter Byrne) in a boxing gym. There they admire PC Jones’ boxing talent. They are joined by another local ex-boxer, Micky Mulgrew. He tells them he’s getting married: to the daughter of the family with whom his own has a long standing feud.

He says there will likely be trouble between the families and invites George to come along with PC Jones in order to unofficially help keep the peace. After some protestation, George agrees and begins to make arrangements with Sgt. Flint and their colleagues to keep the hot situation under control. They are only taking precautions at this stage, after all Rosie’s Dad is away at sea and it is he who causes most of the disagreements.

Meanwhile, we see the B-plot introduced: an elderly lady, Miss Timson , has noticed flowers from her garden being stolen regularly and wants a Constable to get to the bottom of it for her. This is only tied in to the main plot by PC Jones who is assigned to keep watch over her garden. It is also fairly easy to guess at least part of the conclusion of this mystery: after all Miss Timson lives next door to the cemetery…

Developments in the wedding come in the form of the news that Rosie’s father’s ship is due to dock on the morning of the wedding. So he will have chance to make difficulties after all!

The mood of this episode of Dixon of Dock Green is jovial at times, as ever. But the supporting cast do a good job of grounding the plot in a threatening and anxious place. Although the action is not as gritty when played out at the longer running-time of 50 minutes, the dialogue and exposition have developed to contribute much more to the required atmosphere: in this case, we feel scared for Rosie and admiring of the determined way in which she deals with her family.

An early appearance by Phyllida Law as Rosie McCallion is accompanied by a couple of other well-known faces. Miss Timson is played by Mary Merrall and Frank Middlemass appears as a cafe owner. To balance out the Scottish or English actors portraying Irish characters, Rio Fanning plays Mickey.

In Conclusion…

This episode is exciting, and less cosy than the previous week’s instalment A Home of One’s Own. It is as I suspected: some of the cosiness came from the setting among the elderly.

Although it has its shortcomings in terms of representation, it is a classic Romeo and Juliet style conflict, thankfully with a happier outcome. And while, as usual ending with a neat resolution, Green Wedding is an engrossing story with compelling characters.

The comforting bookend of Dixon’s closing monologue is startlingly direct this time: in-keeping with the party theme, he reminds us that jollity can turn into tragedy if we drink and drive. One side of my brain says this is incongruous and not in-keeping with the drama and comedy from the main portion of the episode. But the other side says, this is nice. Dixon cares and I feel heartened by it. It’s a strange paradox, and something which almost shouldn’t work…but it just does.

Overall another thoroughly enjoyable episode, and of course we look forward eagerly to next week’s edition.

Green Wedding is available on Talking Pictures TV Encore until 9th March 2024. Dixon of Dock Green is on every Saturday evening around 7 pm on Talking Pictures TV.

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