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Number Engaged
Series 9, Episode 5
Number Engaged
Air Date 6th November 1977
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director Bob Spiers
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode The Miser's Hoard
Next episode Never Too Old
List of episodes

Number Engaged is the fifth episode of the ninth series of Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on 6th November 1977.


A 'highly secret invasion warning device' (aka telephone wires) has been set up along the coast, and the platoon is assigned to guard it. When the Vicar arrives to give an open-air service, Mainwaring raises his face to the heavens—and notices an unexploded bomb caught in the wires. Wilson then has a bright idea...


Captain Mainwaring reveals to the platoon that they will be in charge of guarding a 2-mile stretch of telephone wires that are vital to the war effort. Once the platoon arrive at the site, Frazer states that he cannot begin to cook the porridge for the morning, as he has to head down to the river to catch the trout for supper. Mainwaring details Pike to prepare the porridge, so Frazer gives him the recipe of one mug of oats to one jug of water for every man.

During the night, there is an air raid, but the platoon do not worry about it too much. As they are sitting around eating breakfast in the morning, Pike asks Mainwaring what he should do with all the left over porridge. When Pike reveals that he got the recipe around the wrong way, Mainwaring states that there is enough for 100 men, and calls Pike "a stupid boy".

As the Vicar arrives to perform the morning Holy Communion open-air service, the platoon raise their heads as a prayer is said and notice an unexploded bomb in the telephone wires. After a number of comic attempts to dislodge the bomb, Wilson suggests they use the crane at the construction site up the road. Jones is then raised up on to the wires where he grabs hold of the bomb. However, he eventually loses his grip and drops it, but it lands in the pot of porridge that Pike had made more breakfast. Mainwaring apologises to Pike for calling him a stupid boy and before Jones can get off the wires, he suffers an electric shock.

Interesting footnote is that Godfrey only appears in internal shots, in the external shots he is played by and other.... try to see the face in the episode.


Main cast[]