14th May, 1940: to protect Britain a new military force called the Local Defence Volunteers, later the Home Guard, is created. The Walmington-on-Sea bank manager George Mainwaring makes himself captain of the platoon. Surely nothing can go wrong - apart from the lack of weapons, uniforms, or even know-how.
In the second series, Mainwaring leads his men in an exercise against some full-time soldiers; the platoon mistakenly think the invasion has begun; and Wilson wrongly suspects that he has gotten Mrs. Pike pregnant. Most of this series was wiped by the BBC, but some recordings have been re-discovered.
The first series in colour sees Jones lending his butcher's van to the platoon only for it to be converted to gas; Mainwaring and Wilson having to hold onto an unexploded bomb in the bank's vault; and Godfrey being made an outcast after he reveals that he was once a conscientious objector.
Humiliated by Square's comments for his lack of old service medals, Mainwaring and his opposite commit their men to a high-stakes contest of skill, initiative and military cunning. Which is the better body of men - but more to the point, who is the better commander?
In the fifth series Mainwaring dreams of being Napoleon; Walker is responsible for causing a dramatic fall in the number of pigeons in Trafalgar Square; Frazer is temporarily promoted to captain; and Hodges manages to land Mainwaring in court, in front of chief magistrate Captain Square.
Mainwaring and his men finally get to meet some Germans when they asked to look after a captured U-boat crew. Also, the platoon welcome some American soldiers and Wilson suddenly becomes 'Honourable'. This is the last series to star James Beck as Private Walker, due to his untimely death.