Things That Go Bump in the Night (Dad's Army episode)

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This article is about a television episode. For the monsters said to inhabit a house during the night, see Bogeyman.
"Things That Go Bump in the Night season 1"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series one
Episode 058
Directed by David Croft
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date 5 December 1973
(recorded 22 July 1973)
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Honourable Man"
Next →
"The Recruit"

Things That Go Bump in the Night is the sixth episode of the sixth series of the British television sitcom Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on 12 December 1973.

Synopsis[edit]

It is a dark and stormy night. The platoon is lost. Jones' van has only half a gallon of petrol in its tank. Tired, cold and miserable, the men decide to spend to the night in a nearby house. It appears to be deserted, but is it?

Plot[edit]

Due to a miscalculation by Sergeant Wilson, the platoon are lost in a thunderstorm miles from anywhere. Jones informs Captain Mainwaring that his van only has half a gallon of petrol left (Walker hadn't been able to forge the petrol coupons in time), so Mainwaring decides to shelter in a house nearby. Mainwaring has a slight head cold, so Jones restrains him from going out in the rain fearing he might catch pneumonia. The platoon march to the door holding a tarpaulin sheet above their heads. However, when Pike rings the doorbell, he lets go of his corner and ends up soaked.

Once at the house, they find that the front door is open, the electricity is off and the fire is still burning. However, the house appears to be completely deserted. Frazer suggests it is like the Mary Celeste. Pike has to change out of his wet clothes, so ends up wearing a flag-bearer's uniform and a bear-skin rug. Suddenly, they hear the sound of hounds howling. Mainwaring tells them not to be worried and they go upstairs to find somewhere to sleep.

Once in a bedroom, Captain Mainwaring claims a bed for himself, informing the others to sleep in the double bed. However, Jones feels Mainwaring's bed and refuses to let him sleep there until he has warmed it up. Jones puts a bed warmer in the sheets, but unfortunately sets it on fire. The platoon try to blow it out with pillows, but just end up with feathers everywhere. Mainwaring tips a basin of water over the bed and Sponge tells Pike to get some more. Mainwaring is annoyed at Jones for ruining his bed, and tells Frazer to shut the door. Frazer closes the door just as Pike is coming through with some water, and Pike ends up soaked again.

Later, as everybody is asleep, Pike wakes up Sergeant Wilson (who gets a fright at the sight of the bearskin), and asks him whether he can accompany him to clean his teeth. Wilson reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, Godfrey wakes up Jones because he needs to visit the bathroom. They set off and meet Pike coming back around a corner, frightening both parties.

Later, Pike, still unable to sleep, is woken up by the sound of heavy boots coming up the stairs. He warns the others, and they turn out the candles. The boots come towards the bedroom. The door opens slowly to reveal Captain Cadbury, who is surprised to find them in his bedroom.

In the morning, the platoon are having breakfast. It turns out that the house is a dog training school, and that Cadbury had left to fix the generator. Pike ends up wearing a German uniform that they use for training purposes. Outside, Cadbury shows them the dogs, pointing out one, Prince 439, that is a troublemaker. The platoon set off to get some petrol, each carrying an empty gin bottle.

While out in the country, Captain Cadbury informs them that the dogs are only half-trained and that they have not been taught how not to tear their victim to pieces. Walker then notices that the noise of the hounds is getting louder. They realise the dogs must have got out. Cadbury then realises that they must be tracking them, because Pike's uniform is covered in aniseed. Thus, the platoon make a run for it, carrying Godfrey aboard a sheep hurdle. Once they reach a stream, Mainwaring tells the platoon that dogs cannot follow a scent across water, so Pike is made to cross downstream. Mainwaring refuses to get his feet wet, and is carried across on the hurdle. Meanwhile, Pike falls in the river.

Once across, the platoon relax. However, Mainwaring's plan has failed, and they end up climbing trees to get away from the hounds. Cadbury suggests that Pike should throw his clothes down to the dogs, meaning that Pike has to strip naked. This allows the platoon to escape and they continue their walk, with Pike wearing a potato sack.

Notes[edit]

The location scenes were the final appearance of James Beck as Walker, as these were filmed weeks earlier than the studio scenes. For the studio scenes Walker is referred to but not shown, with the assumption that he is guarding the outside of the house, whilst Private Sponge was given most of Walker's lines.

Cast[edit]