A toilet factory is the perfect place for a seventies Carry On, but this is just a little light on jokes and atmosphere. It’s hard to quite put my finger on what it's missing, since it lacks nothing entirely, only in degree, and there are many memorable moments: the subplot of Sid and Hattie’s race-winner-picking budgie is among the highlights of the whole series. But it just doesn’t quite move as carelessly as it should, and it proved a rare dip in terms of box-office for the series. (Verging on charmingly, some modern critics attribute this to its robustly conservative take on working relations, which they are certain must have alienated the proletariat.)
What is becoming increasingly obvious, however, is just how difficult they’re finding it to fit Hawtrey, a specialised turn if ever there was one, into these modern scenarios. The showdown already brewing, ostensibly over his alcoholic unreliability, that would soon lead to his dismissal from the series seems almost inevitable.