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Gorilla Warfare
Series 7, Episode 3
Air Date 29th November 1974
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures ?
Previous episode A Man of Action
Next episode The Godiva Affair
List of episodes

Gorilla Warfare is the third episode of the seventh series of Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on Friday 29th November 1974.


During an exercise, Mainwaring casts himself as a highly important secret agent whom his platoon must escort to a clandestine destination. GHQ has put out counter-agents to catch him, so the platoon decides to trust no one—not the two stranded nuns, nor the woman with a pram, and definitely not the doctor who appears with some story about an escaped gorilla in the woods. Frazer comments that is it "sheer rrrubbish" and Mainwaring agrees, but then Hodges arrives with news of "an 'orrible hairy monster on the loose", and they have cause to think again.


The platoon arrive at the church hall and load their equipment onto Jones' van, ready for a weekend exercise. The exercise concerns guerrilla warfare, the objective of the exercise is to transport a highly important agent (Mainwaring) to a selected destination while avoiding the best efforts of the mock enemy to capture him. The importance of the exercise does not stop Godfrey and Wilson bringing a few luxurious items, to the consternation of Mainwaring.

Mainwaring briefs the men on the exercise, and takes the opportunity to ridicule Captain Square and the Eastgate platoon's efforts the previous weeks (he was captured after only an hour). Unbeknownst to Mainwaring, the Verger and Warden are watching them, discussing their plans to sabotage the platoon's efforts, on the orders of Captain Square who has offered them a pound each to foil Mainwaring.

The platoon embark on the exercise with various adventures, making surprisingly good progress, managing to avoid the schemings of Hodges and Yeatman. Hodges and the Verger, while walking through some woodland, are suddenly pursued by what appears to be a gorilla. Meanwhile; a man in a white coat approaches Mainwaring with a story about a missing gorilla, trained by the War Office for war work. Sensing a ploy, the platoon are very dismissive of this information, even when Hodges, having taken refuge in a tree, tells him of the animal he has encountered.

While the platoon are spending a night in an outlying barn, the gorilla hides in the straw unobserved, and later disappears—arriving at GHQ it is revealed to be an officer in disguise, spying on the platoon. Here Frazer tells the men the 'Tale Of The Auld Empty Barn' ("There was nothing in it!"). The following morning Mainwaring and his men attempt the final leg of the exercise, to transport Mainwaring to the special destination. Pressed for time, they commandeer Hodges motorbike, Mainwaring and Jones to proceed alone with the rest of the men following in Jones' van.

Hodges returns, having called the RSPCA and summoned their help. They have provided him with a large hypodermic, through Mainwaring still brushes aside any suggestion of a gorilla, until it suddenly appears brandishing a revolver. We next see it sitting on the back of the motorbike with him travelling along at high speed. Panicking Jones sticks the hypodermic in Mainwaring by mistake, causing him to lose control and head off the road, and Jones manages to get hold of the pistol. As the rest of the platoon and the Colonel arrive, the gorilla implores him not to shoot revealing himself as an army officer. The Colonel congratulates them on winning the exercise, while a slumped Mainwaring passes out.


Main cast[]

Supporting cast[]


  • This was Robin Parkinson's only Dad's Army role. Robin Parkinson died on May 7, 2022.