Dad's Army Wiki
Absent Friends
Series 4, Episode 6
Air Date 30 October 1970
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode Don't Fence Me In
Next episode Put That Light Out!
List of episodes

Absent Friends is the sixth episode of the fourth series of Dad's Army, which was originally transmitted on Friday 30 October 1970.


In Mainwaring's absence the platoon skips patrol for a dart game with the ARP wardens. Mainwaring returns early and has to deal with the platoon being absent without leave. He later receives a call and goes off to arrest an Irish man. The Irish man’s colleges catch up and fight with Mainwaring and the rest. Wilson ends by beating the Irish colleagues up.


Mainwaring returns early from an army meeting. Wilson tries to get rid of Mainwaring but without prevail. Pike enters without his uniform on; Mainwaring gets upset about this and tells him off. Mainwaring then receives a call from his wife; Wilson takes the call and is told off by Mainwaring for saying “Hello”. Mainwaring then takes the phone and talks with his wife. It transpires that Mrs Mainwaring wants Captain Mainwaring to get some ox tail from Jones.

Mainwaring then goes out into the hall for platoon inspection. It turns out that all of the platoon except Jones and Pike have gone to the pub and are playing darts against the ARP wardens. Mainwaring is outraged and tells Wilson to get the men back from the pub.

Wilson turns up at the pub and tries to get the men to go back. He then spots Pike’s mother and starts to talk with her. Hodges then comes back from the bar and gives the drinks to Mavis. He stands up and sees Wilson and shows his yellow streak. Hodges then goes over to the other men and talks to them about Wilson. After he has talked to the platoon, Hodges builds of his courage and bullies Wilson into going away. Wilson leaves with a dazed expression.

Mainwaring is then back to talking with his wife. She hangs up on him though. Jones then enters and Mainwaring begins to talk to him about his business in butchering. Jones starts to talk about customers wanting stuff under the counter. Mainwaring becomes flustered when he hears this and pushes on to talk about how Mrs Mainwaring has an urge for ox tail. Jones takes Mainwaring’s hints and says that he will deliver the ox tail to Mrs Mainwaring himself. Jones however misunderstands Mainwaring and goes on about what a surprise it is that Mrs Mainwaring wants ox tail. Mainwaring totally misunderstands Jones and pushes on about ox tail saying that his wife gets that way from time to time. Jones becomes worried about what Mainwaring says and gets all flustered. Mrs Mainwaring calls and asks about the ox tail, Mainwaring takes the call and gives her the good news while Jones continues to look worried. Jones then leaves the office.

Sgt. Wilson enters the office back from the pub. He continues to look dazed and does not fully understand Mainwaring’s orders. Mainwaring gets angry and asks where the men are. Wilson however is still confused and talks about Hodges and what he did to him. Both Mainwaring and Wilson take Jones to the pub to bring back to men.

Hodges gets angry with Mainwaring as soon as he enters the pub but Mainwaring just tells him to go away. Mainwaring goes over to the men and orders them to come back, however the men refuse to do so. Mainwaring and Wilson leave the pub. Walker, Fraser and Godfrey talk and Walker feels that they should go back but Fraser would not go. In the end Godfrey leaves and the other men stay back.

The scene cuts back to Mainwaring and Wilson talking about the men. Mainwaring is still upset about the men but Wilson is not really listening to him. Jones and Pike come into the office to report that the men have not come back yet. Suddenly Mainwaring gets a call and it turns out that they have to go around to a house to arrest an IRA suspect. So Mainwaring, Wilson, Jones and Pike go around to the house.

They arrive at the house and meet up with a police man. Mainwaring makes plans and tells the other men what to do when the suspect comes out. The suspect comes out but Mainwaring falls over. The suspect helps Mainwaring up and starts to brush him off. Mainwaring tells the men to grab the suspect instead. The suspect goes on about how they have the wrong man and they should be going after his twin brother.

The story goes back to the rest of the platoon. And the Home Guard have just lost the game and they head over to the hall again.

The scene goes back to Mainwaring the other men. The suspect’s friends have turned up and are trying to get into the office. The rest of the platoon arrives and Mainwaring makes plans for them to attack the Irish suspects. The men charge out but after a while are beaten back. Mavis has also turned up and she wants Wilson to protect her son. Wilson goes out and beats the suspects up and returns. Hodges gets scared and leaves.

It is then the next day and the men are on parade. Mainwaring gives a speech about his wife and how the stories Jones has told are untrue. The phone rings and Mainwaring goes and takes the call guessing that it is probably his wife.