Number Engaged

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"Number Engaged"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series Nine
Episode 079
Directed by Bob Spiers
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date 6/11/1977
(recorded 15 July 1977)
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Miser's Hoard"
Next →
"Never Too Old"

Number Engaged is the fifth episode of the ninth series of the British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on 6 November 1977.


A 'highly secret invasion warning device,' otherwise known as telephone wires, has been set up along the coast, and the platoon is to guard it. When the vicar arrives to give an open-air service, Mainwairing raises his face to heaven - and notices an unexploded bomb caught in the wires. Wilson, however, has a bright idea.


Mainwaring reveals to the platoon that they will be in charge of guarding a one-mile stretch of telephone wires that are vital to the war effort. Once the platoon arrive at the site, Fraser states that he cannot begin to cook the porridge for the morning, as he has to head down to the river to catch the trout for supper. Mainwaring details Pike to prepare the porridge, so Fraser gives him the recipe of one mug of oats to one jug of water for every man.

During the night, there is an air raid, but the platoon don't stress about it too much. As they are sitting around eating breakfast in the morning, Pike asks Mainwaring what he should do with all the left over poridge. When Pike reveals that he got the recipe the wrong way round, Mainwaring states that there is enough for 100 men, and calls Pike "a stupid boy."

As the Vicar arrives to perform the morning Holy Communion service, the platoon raise their heads as a prayer is said and notice an unexploded bomb in the telephone wires. After a number of comic attempts to dislodge the bomb, Wilson suggests they use the crane at the construction site up the road. Jones is then raised up on to the wires where he grabs hold of the bomb. However, he eventually loses his grip and drops it, but it lands in the pot of poridge that Pike had made more breakfast. Mainwaring apologises to Pike for calling him a stupid boy and before Jones can get off the wires, he suffers an electric shock.