Asleep in the Deep (Dad's Army)

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"Asleep in the Deep"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series Five
Episode 041
Directed by David Croft
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date 13/10/72 6.50pm
(recorded Friday 2/6/72)
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Battle of the Giants"
Next →
"Keep Young and Beautiful"

Asleep in the Deep is the first episode of the fifth series of the British television sitcom Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on 6 October 1972. The title may have come from the song, Asleep in the Deep that is referenced by Walker in the episode.


A bomb falls on the local pumping station, where Walker and Godfrey are on patrol. Efforts at freeing them result in the rest of the platoon becoming trapped with them, and a pipe bursting, filling the room rapidly with water...


The episode opens with the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard unit in an air raid shelter during a raid. Jones and his section arrive, Frazer complaining that the "shrapnel was coming down like hail". Pike makes a fool of himself by explaining why he gets 'hundreds and thousands' for his sweet ration to Captain Mainwaring, but to Pike's dismay his sweets all go on the floor when a bomb falls nearby. They are joined by Hodges, who mentions that a bomb has fallen on the local pumping station. Godfrey and Walker are on duty there, so some of the platoon, with Hodges, go to rescue them.

When they arrive, Walker and Godfrey are unhurt but Godfrey is asleep in an inner room and Walker cannot wake him up. Bomb damage has made the corridor very dangerous, and Mainwaring and Hodges form the head of a human chain to shift the rubble to gain access to the trapped men. Once inside, Jones slams the door, thus bringing the roof down in the corridor, so trapping everyone except Jones, who is left outside. When Jones goes for help he breaks the handle of the outside door, so he is trapped as well.

Mainwaring enlists Wilson's help to cheer the men up by singing 'Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree' but whilst doing this the inner room starts to fill with water, Pike being soaked first.

Later, the inner room is now waist high in water. Only Pike is standing in the cold water, pleading with everyone to do something otherwise he will drown. Hodges is floating in a tank, the rest of the platoon is crammed onto the bunks.

Much later, the water is neck high. Pike is still pleading, and the rest assure him that they are thinking about how to get out. Walker and Godfrey discover a manhole that can be opened to allow them all to escape. The spanner to do this is hanging high on the wall, and when Hodges tries to reach it, he falls out of his tank. Pike retrieves it from the floor, thus getting completely soaked again. After opening the manhole, they crawl through it to the outside of the pumping house, then run round to rescue Jones, who has managed to open another inspection hatch into the flooded chamber. Godfrey shuts the outside door ("there's a very nasty draught, and I wouldn't want anyone to catch cold"), thus trapping them all in the outer room again, leaving Wilson to have to go around again through the water to get help.


This episode displays genuine courage by Mainwaring. It is decided that lots will be drawn to decide who will be at the front of the chain, the most dangerous part. Mainwaring tears up a piece of paper for each man and marks 2 with crosses. When the lots are drawn Hodges is the first man in the chain. When Mainwaring draws his piece of paper he moves away from the crowd to look at it alone. The audience clearly sees it is blank, (meaning Mainwaring will not be at the front) however Mainwaring looks at his platoon, before saying "And I've got the second [cross]" Thus showing he is prepared to risk his own life rather than place the likes of young Pike and his loyal servant Jones in peril.



  • Croft, David; Perry, Jimmy; Webber, Richard (2000). The Complete A-Z of Dad’s Army. Orion. ISBN 0-7528-4637-X. 

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