|The Man and the Hour|
|Series 1, Episode 1|
|Air Date||31st July 1968|
|Written by||Jimmy Perry and David Croft|
|Original Audience Figures||7.2 million|
|Next episode||Museum Piece|
|List of episodes|
The Man and the Hour is the first-ever episode of Dad's Army, and was originally broadcast on Wednesday 31st July 1968, on BBC1.
The episode starts in 'present day England' (1968) with Captain Mainwaring announcing to his former platoon that he is backing Britain. A flash back showing scenes from the Second World War and the British Army is then seen.
The action then switches to Swallow Bank, Walmington-on-Sea in 1940. Wilson, Pike and Mainwaring are laying sandbags at the window. Mainwaring then receives a message saying that he can set up an LDV unit to protect Britain. He finds out more about this on the wireless, having been told by a clerk, Miss King, that Anthony Eden is about to make a Ministerial broadcast. Pike is told to go round to all the LDV volunteers and tell them to meet in the church hall.
At the church hall, many people are waiting and Mainwaring (now the self-appointed commander) begins to enrol them. He makes Wilson his Sergeant and Jones his Lance-Corporal. An ARP warden bursts in and tells the commander to "shove off" because he needs the hall for an ARP lecture. He is forced to let him use it and informs the platoon to meet in the hall later.
Later, when Mainwaring and Wilson are inspecting the platoon, Godfrey has a gun and Mainwaring believes that he should have it because he is the officer. However, when Wilson mentions to this to Godfrey, he receives the reply "Well, I'm afraid he can't have it." Mainwaring is indignant on hearing this. "Are you refusing to obey an order on active service? Do you realise I could have you shot?" Walker then points out: "That'll be a bit tricky, seeing as he's the only one with a gun!"
The platoon are told about tanks and how to defeat then. The platoon play at being tanks and how to destroy them. Mrs Pike arrives to pick up Pike because it's his bedtime. When Pike points out he was just about to blow up a tank, his mum tells him "Well, you'll just have to blow it up tomorrow." The uniform (armbands) and weapons (pepper) arrive. It is not what the platoon expected. They are handed out.
Mainwaring gives a speech and the platoon cheer.
Main cast Edit
- Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring
- John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson
- Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jones
- John Laurie as Private Frazer
- James Beck as Private Walker
- Arnold Ridley as Private Godfrey
- Ian Lavender as Private Pike
- Janet Davies as Mrs Pike
Supporting cast Edit
- Caroline Dowdeswell as Janet King
- John Ringham as Private Bracewell
- Bill Pertwee as ARP Warden Hodges
- Neville Hughes as Soldier
- Jack Wright as Despatch Rider
- This was the only Dad's Army episode to feature an audience laughter track during the opening titles.
- A scene involving the fire brigade wanting to use the hall for practice was also filmed, but was cut from the final programme; it is unlikely that the scene still exists.
- This episode was originally planned for transmission on Monday 5 June
- David Croft intended the ending sequence to have actual wartime footage of Nuremburg marches and newsreels of refugees being bombed behind the cast members marching which caused controversy at the BBC, forcing him and Jimmy Perry to change the outro to what it is today.