|Series 4, Episode 10|
|Air Date||27th November 1970|
|Written by||Jimmy Perry and David Croft|
|Original Audience Figures||Unknown|
|Previous episode||Mum's Army|
|Next episode||A. Wilson (Manager)?|
|List of episodes|
The Test is the tenth episode of the fourth series of Dad's Army. It was first broadcast on Friday 27th November, 1970.
"We're ready for any challenge, whether it comes from you or across the channel!"
- Captain Mainwaring to Hodges
Mainwaring is holding a parade, and complains about the lack of attendance at last Sunday's church parade. Walker admits he could not come because he was delivering some knicker elastic to a group of ATS girls. Mainwaring wonders why he could not have waited until after the parade, and Walker replies that he could, but they could not! Mainwaring then moves on to commenting on the length of Pike's and Wilson's hair, and suggest they get it cut, commenting that they "aren't violin players, you know".
Mainwaring produces a letter given to him by Chief Warden Hodges, and announces that the wardens have challenged them to a game of cricket. The platoon readily accept. Mainwaring announces he is an opening batsman, while Wilson is the captain of the local cricket club; Jones then volunteers to keep wicket with a particularly long anecdote on an occasion when he stumped Ranjitsinhji (an Indian prince and Test cricketer who played for the English cricket team). Walker tells Mainwaring he can lay his hand on a couple of reconditioned cricket balls, and in typically autocratic fashion, Mainwaring decides that he will captain the side.
The next evening, they get some practice nets out and have a practice. Pike's bowling efforts are continually interrupted by Mainwaring, who is full of advice, although he is highly unsuccessful when he tries to demonstrate himself; his bowling is repeatedly hit, and after a long lecture on batting technique he is bowled by the first ball he faces from Pike. Godfrey reveals that he used to play cricket for the Civil Service Stores when he was younger. Jones arrives late, and when he bats, the ball ends up smashing a church window.
On Saturday, at the cricket changing rooms, Hodges is keen to introduce E.C. Egan, a world-class professional fast bowler, to Gerald, one of his ARP Wardens. Hodges tells them that he will not tell Mainwaring about Egan until he bats. Hodges then produces an ARP application form for Egan to sign, to make his competing in the match as a warden legal. When Egan asks what to do if the air-raid siren goes off, Hodges replies, "Resign".
The platoon arrive, with Wilson wearing a yellow, blue and brown striped blazer, Frazer in his funeral attire, Godfrey in the panama hat he wears for bowls and Pike wearing his bank clothes. Mainwaring is shocked, and lends Pike his spare cricketing trousers.
Hodges reappears, and asks Mainwaring to toss the coin to see who is batting first. Mainwaring insists on getting the umpires, the Vicar and the Verger, to do it. Mainwaring calls heads, but the result is tails; the platoon are fielding first.
Hodges and Gerald open the batting for the Wardens, and Mainwaring bowls the first over, insisting that Pike field close in at silly mid-off despite Hodges' threat that he shall "get his head bashed in". They do not start well, with Jones continually knocking the stumps out while Hodges has not run, forcing the Vicar to repair them again and again. When Hodges finally gets a chance to hit the ball, he finds Mainwaring's bowling singularly nonthreatening, his first two hits being a leg-side four and a straight six. After a horrendous wide, the Verger no-balls Mainwaring, deciding that his attempted googly is a chuck. When Mainwaring disputes this, the Verger books Mainwaring for gross impertinence and sarcasm, and then threatens to send him off, as would happen in football. Then Hodges sends a big hit towards Godfrey, who tries unsuccessfully to catch it and loses it in the long grass. While the platoon are searching for it, Hodges and Gerald keep running. When Walker produces a second cricket ball and they rush back, Hodges and Gerald have taken 24 runs. However, the platoon manage to take four wickets, with Jones' efforts behind the wicket finally being rewarded when he takes a stumping off a flighted ball from Pike, prompting Jones' typical "Don't Panic"-style celebration.
Hodges declares with the Wardens 151 for 4 at tea, so the platoon are now batting. Mainwaring opens the batting with Wilson. Hodges, who is keeping wicket, is keen to see Egan in action, and remarks over and over again that he is going to enjoy this. As Mainwaring prepares to bat, Egan walks down to the far end of the field. Mainwaring is confused, until Hodges gleefully informs him that the ball comes flying out of his hand at 95 mph! Egan charges towards Mainwaring, and delivers a ball which causes Mainwaring to dive to the floor, much to Hodges' delight.
However, the throw has pulled Egan's shoulder, and he goes off, injured, leaving a fearful Hodges to remark "now we're in trouble". The platoon now have a chance; Mainwaring does well, until the Verger gives him out LBW. Pike is bowled first ball due to his inattention, but Jones, Walker and Frazer all contribute (although Frazer apparently has no knowledge of the game). Meanwhile, Wilson holds the innings together, scoring 81 runs. Eventually, Godfrey is the only one left to bat, and they only need five more runs to win. Fortunately, Wilson is still in at the other end.
Frazer thinks that Godfrey will be out first ball. However, everyone is surprised when he hits it, and they start to run; Godfrey drops his bat, but with Wilson's help he retrieves it and makes it back to the crease. Godfrey hits his next ball, bowled by Hodges, over square leg, and Mainwaring is delighted to see that it is going to be a six, meaning that the platoon have won. Hodges comments that he should never have declared, but Mainwaring replies that the platoon are ready for anything, whether it comes from the wardens or the Nazis. As they give three cheers for the wardens, then one for Godfrey and Wilson, the air-raid siren goes, and the platoon take up their positions.
- After the ball where the wardens run 24, Wilson says that the over had been completed, when really, only 5 legal deliveries had been delivered.
- When the wardens are batting, a wicket falls when Hodges is not at the non-strikers end, meaning he is out, yet he is still in on the next ball shown.
- 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
- Bill Pertwee as ARP Warden Hodges
- Edward Sinclair as The Verger
- Frank Williams as The Vicar
- Don Estelle as Gerald
- Fred Trueman as E.C. Egan
- Harold Bennett as Mr. Blewitt