The Recruit (Dad's Army)

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"The Recruit"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series Six
Episode 060
Directed by David Croft
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date 12 December 1973 6.50 pm
(recorded 22 July 1973)
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
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"Things that Go Bump in the Night"
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"Everybody's Trucking"

"The Recruit" is the seventh episode of the sixth series of the British television sitcom Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on 12 December 1973.


Captain Mainwaring is indisposed due to an ingrowing toenail, so Sergeant Wilson takes charge temporarily of the platoon. When, however, he allows the vicar and the verger to join the ranks, the rest of the men are far from happy.


With Captain Mainwaring absent from the platoon, Sergeant Wilson signs on two new recruits into the platoon, the vicar and the verger. When Mainwaring returns from hospital, he learns of the changes that Wilson has made and does not approve. However he can do nothing about it as the official papers for the vicar and verger have already been sent to GHQ. Mainwaring states that he will not go easy on the two of them.

On their first night on watch, the vicar and the verger have a run in with a young boy who gives them nothing but trouble. Unable to handle the situation, they call for rest of the section, who identify the boy as a local trouble maker. Mainwaring arrives and asserts his authority on the boy and tells him to clear off. The boy states that he is going to "tell his Uncle Willie," who turns out to be the Chief Warden, Hodges.

Hodges confronts Mainwaring and his platoon about the way they treated his nephew. After a war of words breaks out between Hodges and the platoon, his nephew states that "they are as bad as the Wardens," which prompts Hodges to turn his anger on his nephew and they both storm out of the church hall. After having a laugh, Mainwaring turns to the vicar and the verger and states that "this never would have happened if you had handled the situation properly." Upset with Mainwaring's attitude, the vicar resigns, prompting the verger to do the same.[1][2][3]



This is the first episode not to feature James Beck (Walker), who was in a coma with acute pancreatitis during its recording. Beck died shortly thereafter; in this episode he is still billed during the end credits, but was removed from series 7 onwards. Walker's absence in this episode is explained by a note left in his place, saying he has "gone up to the smoke for a few days to do a deal" — this segment was hastily written into the script at the last minute by Jimmy Perry and David Croft when Beck became ill. Following this episode the character was never seen, heard from nor referred to again.[4]