|Occupation||Junior Bank Clerk|
|Relatives||Arthur Wilson (father) |
Mavis Pike (mother)
|Affiliations||Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard|
|First seen||The Man and the Hour|
|Last Seen||Never Too Old|
|Portrayed by||Ian Lavender (TV, Radio, 1971 film)|
Blake Harrison (2016 film)
Tom Rosenthal (The Lost Episodes)
|List of Characters|
- "Whistle while you work,
Hitler is a twerp
He's half barmy!
So's his army,
Whistle while you work"
- ―Frank Pike[src]
Born in 1922 he lives with his mother and works at Swallow Bank.
Aged 17 when the Home Guard is formed, he is not yet old enough for the army, but upon receiving his call-up papers for the RAF it is revealed that he possesses a rare blood-type that excludes him from military service. (TV: When You've Got to Go).
His mother Mavis Pike, is in a semi-secret relationship with Arthur Wilson, referred to by Pike as "Uncle Arthur". He is frequently hinted to be Pike's father. If so, he also has an older half-sister by Wilson's estranged wife. The series' writers, Jimmy Perry and David Croft, confirmed after the series that Wilson was Pike's father. Although naïve, Pike is aware something is going on with his mother and Wilson:
- Pike: "By the time we finish supper, it's so late, you never leave our house until after I've gone to bed and you're back early for breakfast before I'm awake. But what I don't understand is that I never hear you leave at night and I never hear you come back in."
- Wilson: "I let myself in and out very quietly"
- Pike: "You never do anything else quietly!"
- — Pike and Wilson talking
Pike also has an aunt living in Scotland, whom he sometimes contacts via the bank's telephone, because his mother does not like him using public telephones due to the risk of "catching things off of the receiver" (TV: The Lion Has Phones).
Pike is naïve and acts childishly, possessing limited grasp of adult issues. He is frequently found with confectionery, is upset in The Big Parade to leave a cinema early because he had "missed the Donald Duck" and can be petulant to superiors.
He exasperates Captain Mainwaring, who refers to him as a "stupid boy" due to his carelessness and mistakes. Mainwaring himself treats Pike as a child, threatening to send him home from meetings if he does not behave. Pike is often used as a dogsbody by Mainwaring who refuses to 'mollycoddle' the boy, giving him menial, dangerous or undignified tasks. Because of this he frequently ends up wet, covered in mud or otherwise humiliated. On one occasion he was stripped several times and had to run naked through a field to escape dogs before marching home in a hessian sack. (TV: Things that Go Bump in the Night) At the same time he often manages to embarrass Mainwaring, occasionally shaking the Tommy gun and loudly yelling "NANANANANANANANANANANANANANANANANANANANA", knocking the Captain off balance.
A stereotypical mummy's boy it is not uncommon for Pike to threaten to set his overbearing mum on his superiors if he is shouted at or forced to do something.
Notoriously childish, he treats the journey to an application test to join at GHQ as if it is a school trip, displayed in the quote "I was so looking forward to this and now, as it turns out, this is rotten. That's what it is, rotten!" (TV: Battle School).
Though he and his over-protective but well-meaning mother believe Pike to be sickly and unhealthy an army doctor proclaims him healthy when he receives his calling up papers and he is only excluded by his rare blood-type. (TV: When You've Got to Go) It is likely that most of his 'illnesses' stem from his mother's protectiveness. Pike wears a scarf, usually claret and blue, with Home Guard uniform. This is because it prevents his croup, even though only infants and, apparently, chickens are supposed to get it (TV: Menace from the Deep).
Although Pike comes up with sensible solutions to problems encountered by the platoon, he treats "everything as if it's a game", to quote Mainwaring (TV: All is Safely Gathered In). Pike wound up on an ominous 'list' by a German U-Boat captain due to Mainwaring's incompetence at preventing the German from learning Pike's name ("Don't tell him, Pike!"), spelling his doom should the Germans win the war; however, as Pike had sung a childish song about Adolf Hitler in front of this officer, it is his own fault in refusing to take the situation seriously. (TV: The Deadly Attachment) At the end of the day he would rather play at being a Chicago gangster with the platoon's grenades or Tommy gun. Pike is one of the most timid members of the group but first in the series to fire on a suspected enemy even though it turned out to be a swan. (TV: The Enemy Within the Gates)
Pike is a fan of the cinema and relates the plots of films that relate to the platoon, even if the relationship is hazy. When the film example does mirror reality, he picks often scenarios which end badly such as when the platoon are about to draw lots as to who will be at the head of a rubble clearing party when and he relates to Sergeant Wilson how, in a familiar scene, the sergeant is chosen. (TV: Asleep in the Deep) As the platoon try to save him from sinking into a pit of soft mud he says "I saw this in a Tarzan movie once." (TV: The Big Parade)
Pike makes pointless comments while attempting to help; this is illustrated in Absent Friends. Jones, Mainwaring, Pike and Wilson are searching for an escaped convict, with the help of the police.
- Jones: "Perhaps they're hidin' behind the bushes, sir. They do a lot of hidin' behind bushes, do policemen. Especially when they're knockin' people off."
- Mainwaring: "I don't think that's very likely, Jones."
- Pike: "In that film, 'Public Enemy Number One', they hid behind cars. But there aren't any here."
In contrast to his usually gullible nature he can be very selfish and gleefully, but dishonestly, brags to Sylvia Hodges that he was going to be part of 'secret service'.
Assuming he stayed with the platoon until it was disbanded, his 3 years of Home Guard service would make him eligible for the Defence Medal.
Behind the Scenes
- Pike's name is a reference to the spear-like weapons issued to the Home Guard in 1942, generating 'an almost universal feeling of anger and disgust from the ranks'.
- Ian Lavender was invited to choose Pike's scarf from the BBC costume department. As a supporter of Aston Villa F.C., he chose the team's colours—resulting in many people mistaking it for a West Ham scarf, who share the same claret and blue colours.