Dad's Army - Best episode

Dad's Army. Image shows from L to R: Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn), Private Pike (Ian Lavender), Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe), Sergeant Wilson (John Le Mesurier), Private Frazer (John Laurie), Private Godfrey (Arnold Ridley). Copyright: BBC.

Dad's Army

Beloved sitcom about the struggles of a Home Guard platoon during World War II who are fighting incompetence, age and pomposity more than Nazis

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Rose2010

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 6:36pm [Edited]
  • Canada
  • 201 posts

Happily working my way through Dad's Army -- I'd seen a few episodes sent on tape by a fellow North American British comedy fan -- and enjoying it thoroughly.

Just when I think I've seen the funniest possible episode, I see another that I think is even funnier.

Two recent contenders for the title -- Menace from the Deep and Time on my Hands.

Love to hear other opinions.

Also, I have the "complete collection" but am I right that it doesn't contain Christmas specials?

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Ian Wolf

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 7:46pm [Edited]
  • Stockton-on-Tees, England
  • 2,837 posts

My complete collection contains the Christmas specials, but it doesn't contain the revived colour edition of "Room at the Bottom".

In terms of the best episode, it is widely regarded that the episode "The Deadly Attachment", in which the Home Guard finally come face-to-face with the Germans, is the best episode of Dad's Army, if not the best episode in the whole of British sitcom history and possibly in all of sitcom history (although I sense some angry Americans trying to argue that "The Contest" from Seinfeld is better).

In terms of personal favourites, I'm keen on the episode "High Finance", in which Jones owes £50 to Mainwaring's bank, but it is then revealed that he is owed money, and that they in turn are owned money and so on, so it builds and escalates over the course of the episode.

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Tim Azure

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 7:55pm
  • Kent, England
  • 2,037 posts

It has to be Mum's Army-an excellent pastiche of Brief Encounter, but there are lots to chose from. What about Museum Piece in the first series, guest starring Eric Woodburn as "Young" Jack Jones' father?

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 8:37pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,361 posts

Yes, the Deadly Attachment, 'Don't tell 'em Pike' is technically the best probably, I'd agree, but there are some close runners like the stuck on the town clock, or the training excercise one.

And yes, with DA you probably get a lot of personal favourites, it's that sort of sitcom. Several I like on a personal level, Mainwaring's brother, Wilson getting promoted. DA was great at giving you episodes which involved you in the characters' lives, second to none possibly in sitcom land.

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MTpromises

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 8:45pm [Edited]
  • New York, United States
  • 365 posts

I like the Battle of Godfrey's Cottage... kinda moving moments there when they think they're about to give up their lives slowing the German advance.

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John M

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 9:16pm
  • Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • 225 posts

'Asleep in the Deep' is my favourite.

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lofthouse

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 9:37pm
  • Nowhere, England
  • 9,923 posts

The one where Wilson becomes the Honourable Arthur Wilson

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Aaron

  • Friday 9th September 2011, 9:48pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,744 posts
Quote: Rose2010 @ September 9 2011, 6:36 PM BST

I have the "complete collection" but am I right that it doesn't contain Christmas specials?


Depends on the release you have; a Region 1 collection might not include the specials, but this Region 2 issue does. There should be 77 episodes in total.

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Steve Charlie

  • Saturday 10th September 2011, 1:58am [Edited]
  • EN, New Zealand
  • 195 posts
Quote: lofthouse @ September 9 2011, 9:37 PM BST

The one where Wilson becomes the Honourable Arthur Wilson


I think a few probably qualify as best episodes. I think though 'The Honourable Arthur Wilson' is my personal best. Not only is it funny but it is also very clever and the tension between Mainwaring and Wilson is honed in on and reminds me of the tension between Martin and Paul in Ever Decreasing Circles. The tension sort of mirrors the war tension to me, too. Also, the conflict of ideologies. A brilliant ending too.

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Rose2010

  • Saturday 10th September 2011, 7:03am
  • Canada
  • 201 posts

Now that I've looked at the package with my glasses on, I see that the Christmas specials are included on a final disc. Not sure why they wouldn't be on the discs in chronological order within the series.

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happychef

  • Saturday 10th September 2011, 8:56am
  • England
  • 124 posts

Don't know the name of it but Jones is accused of cowardice and there's a lengthy flashback sequence which includes some outrageous usage of the word fakir.

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Tim Azure

  • Saturday 10th September 2011, 9:06am
  • Kent, England
  • 2,037 posts
Quote: happychef @ September 10 2011, 8:56 AM BST

Don't know the name of it but Jones is accused of cowardice and there's a lengthy flashback sequence which includes some outrageous usage of the word fakir.


Is it worse than I'm Sorry I Read That Again's 'Martha Farquahar'...?

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Aaron

  • Saturday 10th September 2011, 6:06pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,744 posts
Quote: Rose2010 @ September 10 2011, 7:03 AM BST

Now that I've looked at the package with my glasses on, I see that the Christmas specials are included on a final disc. Not sure why they wouldn't be on the discs in chronological order within the series.


Ah, sounds like you have the Region 2 set from 2 Entertain then?

Well, the reason is quite simple. By packaging Christmas specials separately, they can squeeze another release out of the series, and another £10-20 from the public accordingly. And the box set is - unless they've changed fashion against every other box set they've released - literally the exact same content on each disc as released individually, but with a different design printed on the actual DVD face. They've not gone through any of the silly expense of re-authoring the DVDs for the complete set.

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Rose2010

  • Sunday 11th September 2011, 2:21am
  • Canada
  • 201 posts
Quote: Aaron @ September 10 2011, 6:06 PM BST

Ah, sounds like you have the Region 2 set from 2 Entertain then?

Well, the reason is quite simple. By packaging Christmas specials separately, they can squeeze another release out of the series, and another £10-20 from the public accordingly. And the box set is - unless they've changed fashion against every other box set they've released - literally the exact same content on each disc as released individually, but with a different design printed on the actual DVD face. They've not gone through any of the silly expense of re-authoring the DVDs for the complete set.


That makes sense. I will have to remember to watch them at the right time....

I read that Dad's Army participated in the "Christmas Night with the Stars" specials and there were four short episodes of which two survive. I don't see these listed on the episode guide for the boxed set.

Yes, I have Region 2 DVDs. Otherwise, it would be fairly slim pickings. That said, the only way I've been able to get Dalziel and Pascoe is to buy it from the U.S. Series 4 not yet released. Not a sitcom, I know...............

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Aaron

  • Sunday 11th September 2011, 2:29am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,744 posts

No, sadly no DVD company has ever seen fit to release either any of those Christmas shows (there were various, for both BBC and ITV), or any of the individual segments.

However, many can be found in private collections...