|Dad's Army episode|
|Directed by||David Croft|
|Story by||Jimmy Perry and David Croft|
|Produced by||David Croft|
|Original air date||Wednesday 25/12/68
(recorded Sunday 27/10/68)
|Running time||10 mins|
It's Christmas but Mainwaring can't forget his sense of duty, especially when GHQ come up with an idea of exercise using telegraph poles...
Although it's Christmas Day 1940, Captain Mainwaring can't forget his sense of duty and orders his men to parade as normal. Sergeant Wilson, being more relaxed about the festive affair, says they can wear civvies. Mainwaring doesn't like the sergeant's sudden burst of decision making and subsequently, the men arrive at the parade all dressed as Father Christmas, with various reasons why. Mainwaring views this as proof that you cannot be seen to let discipline drop for one moment.
GHQ have come up with an idea of using telegraph poles as a means of exercise and Mainwaring runs through the instructions with his men and as usual, forgets the age of some of them, especially when he shouts 'jump' to the aged Private Godfrey and expects him to sit cross-legged on the floor. Eventually Mainwaring has to show them how it's done, but everyone is saved by the bell as the Major phones through to the office with his seasonal greetings.
Mainwaring returns to the hall and delivers a speech which show how confident he is regarding the outcome of the war. In return, the men show their respect and affection for him as they wish him and each other a Merry Christmas.
- This sketch is sometimes referred to as "Present Arms", although confusingly that is the name of a Dad's Army radio episode (number 021) which has a completely different plot.
- This sketch is currently missing from the BBC television archives, most likely due to the re-use of the then expensive videotape.
- Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring
- John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson
- Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jones
- John Laurie as Private Frazer
- James Beck as Private Walker
- Arnold Ridley as Private Godfrey
- Ian Lavender as Private Pike
- Edward Sinclair as The Verger