Dad's Army Wiki
Ring Dem Bells
Series 8, Episode 1
Ring Dem Bells title card
Air Date 5th September 1975
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures ?
Previous episode Turkey Dinner
Next episode When You've Got to Go
List of episodes

Ring Dem Bells is first episode of the eighth series of Dad's Army. It was first broadcast the 5th September 1975.


The platoon are going to be featured in a propaganda film to help the war effort, but are annoyed to discover that they are playing the Nazis. Chaos ensues when they are mistaken for real German soldiers, triggering an invasion alert.


The platoon are to be featured in a film to help the war effort. Pike, a keen cinema-goer, is very excited but once the film producers arrive to measure them for uniforms, it becomes clear that the platoon are going to be playing the Nazis. Despite his protests, Captain Mainwaring is informed that they will be only in the distance anyway. Mainwaring is measured for his uniform, but they do not have an officer's, or indeed any uniform to fit him. Instead, Wilson and Pike are chosen to be the officers. Mainwaring is excused from appearing in the film by Colonel Pritchard.

In the next scene, the platoon are dressed as German soldiers for their parts. Pike is enjoying his turn as an officer, goosestepping around and acting like the German officers he has seen at the cinema. Mainwaring informs the platoon that they must stay inside Jones' van to avoid being spotted and creating an alarm.

Once they reach the filming location, they are met by the producer who says that the filming has been postponed due to a problem with the lead actors, much to Mainwaring's disgust. Mainwaring halts outside the Six Bells public house to telephone Headquarters. Pike sees the pub and persuades Wilson that, now they are officers, they should all go for a drink. Thus the platoon converge upon the pub dressed as Nazis, much to the shock of the landlord. The landlord tells his barmaid to warn the village.

Mainwaring discovers what has happened and orders the men outside, where they are met by an angry mob. They accuse Mainwaring of being a quisling. The landlord telephones Walmington-on-Sea to tell the Home Guard that Nazis are heading that way. The telephone is answered by Hodges and the Vicar, who assume the landlord is drunk. After seeing the backs of the platoon, who are still dressed as Nazis, they decide to sound the alarm by ringing the church bells.

Wilson realises what has happened and Mainwaring tells Pike to phone Headquarters to inform them it isn't an invasion. Pike returns laughing to inform Mainwaring that the whole south coast was on red alert and the Brigadier himself wanted to know what "blithering idiot" was responsible. Pike informs Mainwaring that he has made him an appointment to see the Brigadier on Monday.


  • The episode is particularly noted for Ian Lavender's performance as Pike pretending to be a German officer. BBC Audience research at the time stated that he had "surpassed himself" in a story which had given him the "chance to display his versatility and comedy talent".
  • Ian Lavender has stated that this is one of his favourite episodes