A Man of Action
|"A Man of Action"|
|Dad's Army episode|
|Episode no.||Series Seven
|Directed by||David Croft|
|Story by||Jimmy Perry and David Croft|
|Produced by||David Croft|
|Original air date||22 November 1974
|Running time||30 minutes|
A Man of Action is the second episode of the seventh British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on Friday 22 November 1974.
A parachute mine has ripped up 100 yards of railway track and the gas and water supplies have been cut, the telephone wires are down and Pike has got his head stuck through the bars of a gate. Mainwaring declares martial law.
Jones and Pike are out on patrol and whilst recreating a childhood prank, Pike gets his head stuck in the park gates. Mainwaring is in the church hall, conducting an interview and photo session with Mr Cheeseman, a member of the local press who is joining the platoon to report on its activities. Alerted by Jones, Mainwaring comes and rescues Pike - unable to free him, they lift the gates off their hinges and carry them back to the church hall (with Pike still trapped).
Once there they discover Walmington is in the grip of a crisis. The town has been heavily bombed, leaving the water, telephone and other vital services damaged. Walmington is, in effect, totally cut off. In light of this an emergency meeting has been called by the town elders. Realising that the bickering committee are not providing effective leadership, Mainwaring orders his men to fix bayonets and steps in, effectively performing a coup d'etat and putting the town under martial law. He begins issuing a number of stringent edicts, including all looters being shot, rumour-mongers being imprisoned and for no liquor to be sold without a permit. Then gathering his men behind him, he marches on the town hall, refuting accusations that he is behaving like "the dictator of some South American Banana republic".
Pike is still stuck in the gates, and several passers-by wrongly assuming this is some form of harsh punishment by Mainwaring. Despite the confident manner he had departed in, Mainwaring returns from his attempt to seize the town hall, indignantly explaining it was shut by the town clerk. He assures people that he will "deal with him in the morning". He again denies that he is behaving like a tyrant, and usurping the power of the land.
However when an officer from GHQ arrives to take command over from him, implementing much the same policies as he had, Mainwaring is himself outraged and the episode ends with him being locked out of his own office.
- Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring
- John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson
- Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jones
- John Laurie as Private Frazer
- Arnold Ridley as Private Godfrey
- Ian Lavender as Private Pike
- Bill Pertwee as ARP Warden Hodges
- Talfryn Thomas as Mr Cheeseman
- Frank Williams as The Vicar
- Edward Sinclair as The Verger
- Eric Longworth as the Town Clerk
- Harold Bennett as Mr Bluett
- Colin Bean as Private Sponge
- This is the first episode that introduces Mr Cheeseman as a member of the platoon. He had previously appeared in the episode "My British Buddy" as a reporter from the Eastbourne Gazette who photographed Mainwaring being punched by an American Colonel.