The Man and the Hour

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"The Man and the Hour"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series One
Episode 001
Directed by David Croft[1]
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft[1]
Produced by David Croft[1]
Original air date Wednesday 31/7/68 8.20pm[1]
(recorded Sunday 15/4/68[1])
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"N/A"
Next →
"Museum Piece"

"The Man and the Hour" is the pilot episode of the British comedy sitcom Dad's Army. It originally aired on Wednesday 31 July 1968 and was later adapted for radio.

Synopsis[edit]

On the outbreak of the Second World War, a local bank manager, George Mainwaring, takes it upon himself to form a unit of Local Defence Volunteers in the Kent town of Walmington-on-Sea.

Plot[edit]

It starts in present-day (1968) with Captain Mainwaring announcing to his former platoon that he is backing Britain. A flash back shows on a TV screen showing scenes from the Second World War and the Army.

It then reverts to Swallows Bank (1940), Walmington-on-Sea. George Mainwaring and his clerks, Arthur Wilson and Frank Pike, are laying sandbags at the window. Mainwaring then receives a message saying that he can set up a LDV unit to protect Britain. He finds out more about this on the wireless, having been told by a clerk, Janet King, that Anthony Eden is about to make a Ministerial broadcast. Pike is told to go round to all the LDV volunteers and tell them to meet in the church hall.

At the church hall, many people are waiting and Mainwaring (now the self-appointed commander) begins to enroll them. He makes Wilson his sergeant and Jones his lance-corporal. ARP warden Hodges bursts in and tells the commander to "shove off" because he needs the hall for an ARP lecture. Mainwaring is forced to let Hodges use it and instructs the platoon to meet in the hall later.

Later, Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson are inspecting the platoon, Godfrey has a gun and Mainwaring believes that he should have it because he is the officer, but Godfrey refuses. The platoon are told about tanks and how to defeat then. The men play at being tanks and how to destroy them. Frank's mother, Mavis, arrives to pick up Frank because it's his bedtime. The uniform (armbands) and weapons (pepper) arrive. It is not what the platoon expected. They are handed out.

Mainwaring gives a speech and the platoon cheer.

Cast[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. This was the only Dad's Army episode to feature an audience laughter track during the opening titles.
  2. A scene involving the fire brigade wanting to use the hall for practice was also filmed, but was deleted from the final programme for unknown reasons.
  3. This episode was originally planned for transmission on Monday 5 June.

Radio episode[edit]

"The Man and the Hour"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series One
Episode 001
Story by Harold Snoad & Michael Knowles[1]
Produced by John Dyas
Original air date Monday 28/1/74 6.15pm[1]
(recorded Sunday 3/6/73[1])
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"N/A"
Next →
"Museum Piece"

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Croft, David; Perry, Jimmy; Webber, Richard (2000). The Complete A-Z of Dad’s Army. Orion. p. 134. ISBN 0-7528-4637-X. 

References[edit]