Last Of The Summer Wine – Getting Sam Home, 1983
In 1983, Last Of The Summer Wine had been running for ten years. Writer Roy Clarke had written a novelisation of the show.
Bill Owen suggested to returning producer, Alan J. W. Bell, that Clarke’s novelisation should be made into a feature length special. The idea itself was nothing new. Many sitcoms during the 1970’s found their way onto the big screen as feature films, so making one for television should be straightforward enough.
The BBC were initially sceptical as they had never before commissioned a film based on a comedy programme for original broadcast on television. Nevertheless they commissioned a ninety minute film named “Getting Sam Home”, which was broadcast in December 1983,
Unhappily married Sam, having just come out of hospital, asks his friends Compo, Clegg and Foggy to take him to see his old flame, Lily Bless Her, one last time.
Whilst enjoying his ‘one last time’ with her, he dies. This leaves the three friends in a panic to get him home in the middle of the night before his wife finds out.
Transporting a dead body proves to be no straightforward a task, so the trio enlist the help of Sid and his mobile Fish and Chip van. This proves to be wholly unreliable.
They get him home, but when Sam’s wife puts his body in the garden shed, they decide to spirit him away again to lie in state at Lily Bless Her’s house.
Sid’s The old mobile Fish and Chip van finally gives up. With no means of transportation, there is some doubt as to whether Sam will make it back in time for his funeral.
This is the full episode
Compo – Bill Owen
Clegg – Peter Sallis
Foggy – Brian Wilde
Sid – John Comer
Ivy – Jane Freeman
Nora Batty – Kathy Staff
Wally Batty – Joe Gladwin
Written By: Screenplay by Roy Clarke adapted from his novel
Produced By: Alan J. W. Bell
Original Transmission Date: 27th December 1983
Curtain Call: Getting Sam Home was John Comer’s last appearance on the programme, he died in February 1984 aged 59 of throat cancer. it is reported that , so bad was his voice during filming that his lines were dubbed over.