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Fallen Idol
Series 4, Episode 13
Air Date 18th December 1970
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode Uninvited Guests
Next episode Battle of the Giants!
List of episodes

Fallen Idol is the thirteenth episode of the fourth series of Dad's Army, and was first broadcast on Friday 18th December 1970.


Mainwaring has always epitomised the principle of military sobriety to his men, but, after Captain Square leads him astray one day in the Officers' Mess, he ends up inebriated. Only something genuinely heroic now can restore his damaged reputation in the eyes of his men.


The platoon arrive at a weekend country training camp to teach them about bombs. The camp is run by the twitchy Captain Reed, who is frightened by the enthusiasm and lack of awareness shown by the Home Guard. He is particularly unsettled by the Walmington-on-Sea platoon, especially Corporal Jones.

The story largely follows Captain Mainwaring's fall from grace in the eyes of his platoon, and subsequent redemption. When the men are bivouacked in a tent, he falls under the influence of Captain Square who convinces him to set up an officers only section, much to the outrage of his men. He subsequently offends them by attending a select officers mess, drinking whisky with Captain Square and colleagues, while his men enjoy a couple of bottles of ale elsewhere. Most of the men are disgruntled, while noting this is not Mainwaring's normal behaviour. Frazer goes so far as to threaten to resign (his general surly attitude of late has led Mainwaring to suspect he is a communist, noting he "never plays monopoly with the others" as evidence of his suspicions). A drunken Mainwaring returns to their tent only to be jumped on by Corporal Jones, thinking he is a thugee.

The next morning, a rather hungover and worse for wear Captain Mainwaring joins his men for training. While at first things go seemingly to plan, potential disaster soon strikes when a stray grenade is fired trough the roof of the platoon's van. Mainwaring immediately goes to warn Jones, who abandons the van while it is moving. A cool Mainwaring then stops and evacuates the van, leaving it to crash into an electricity sub-station's fence. When he hears it is vital for England's defences he looks for and finds the grenade and throws it, only for a dog to return it to him, his command of the situation restoring his reputation in the eyes of the platoon.