High Finance

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"High Finance"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series Eight
Episode 071
Directed by David Croft
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date 3/10/75 8.00pm
(recorded Thursday 30/5/75)
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Come in, Your Time is Up"
Next →
"The Face on the Poster"

High Finance is the fifth episode of the eighth series of the British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally broadcast on 3 October 1975.

Synopsis[edit]

Jones is overdrawn at the bank, and after a long investigation Mainwaring discovers that this has been caused by The Warden exorbitantly raising Mrs Pike's rent.

Plot[edit]

Jones arrives at the bank to pay in his takings, and cash a cheque. Pike refuses to cash his cheque because he is overdrawn. In Mainwaring's office, Mainwaring attempts to explain why he cannot cash the cheque. Jones can't understand why, having just paid money in, he can't take money out. Mainwaring complains that the cheque is stained, and Jones explains it is from a piece of liver. Mainwaring then asks what Jones is going to do about 'it', meaning his overdraft, and Jones replies that maybe he could "keep the cheques away from the meat". Mainwaring insists on coming round to Jones's shop after work to try to see where his overdraft has come from.

After Jones has gone, rather upset, Wilson suggests Mainwaring could give Jones an overdraft because he is in the platoon, Mainwaring refuses to bend the rules.

In Jones's shop Mainwaring attempts to examine Jones books, but chaos ensues. Mainwaring gets a fly paper stuck on his bowler hat and Pike attempts to cut if off, but trims off the rim as well, so Mainwaring cannot lift his hat. Pike then tips all Jones's carefully sorted ration tickets onto the floor. Mainwaring takes all Jones's books home, much to Frazer's horror.

The next morning, Jones agrees with Mainwaring's laborious conclusion from Jones's chaotic books that his business is £50 short, and then tells Mainwaring that he has an unpaid bill from the orphanage for £50, which he produces from his pocket. Mainwaring is furious at having all his time wasted. In attempting to track down why the orphanage cannot pay the £50, Mainwaring interviews, in turn, The Vicar, Miss Twelvetrees and Frazer. He then convenes a meeting, inviting Wilson, Hodges, the Pikes, the Verger, the Vicar, Frazer, Godfrey and Jones.

In the meeting, Mainwaring tracks the £50. Mrs Pike borrowed it from Wilson, who borrowed it from Godfrey, who borrowed it from Frazer. Frazer then withheld his rent from Miss Twelvetrees, who could not make her usual donation to the vicar, who could not pay Jones's meat bill. The meeting hears with horror that Mrs Pike needed the money to pay a huge increase in rent demanded by her landlord, the Warden. Mrs Pike then says that Hodges had said he would "let me off if I was nice to him". At this, Wilson deliberately gets up, walks slowly but purposefully round the table and punches the Warden in the face, knocking him off his chair. The room is stunned, especially the Pikes, who are really impressed. Hodges complains that he's always liked her but that she is besotted with Wilson to which Pike says "Why don't you hit him again, Uncle Arthur!" the Warden is shamed into cashing a £50 cheque from Mainwaring, who gives it to Mrs Pike, who gives it to Wilson, to Godfrey, to Frazer, to Miss Twelvetrees, to the Vicar, via the Verger to Jones, who gives it back to Mr Mainwaring. All is concluded, and Mainwaring's triumph seems complete and unblemished, but then he is confronted in front of everyone by an irate grocer to whom Mrs Mainwaring owes £49 17/6, and he has to pay up.

Notes[edit]

Pike makes reference to the Charlie Chan series of films starring Warner Oland, in particular Charlie Chan in London which was released in 1934, when Mainwaring calls a meeting to reveal the identity of the villain.

Cast[edit]