Listed below are synopses for the Dad's Army radio episodes, which were adapted from the earlier television scripts. It also spurred the creation of radio sequel It Sticks Out Half a Mile.
1. The Man and the Hour
In May 1940, the small town of Walmington-on-Sea is to host a defensive stronghold by way of laying the sandbags by Arthur Wilson and Frank Pike. Captain Mainwaring also receives permission to set up a Local Defence Volunteers unit to protect the country with volunteers required. Enrolment begins at the nearby church hall with Mainwaring making Wilson his sergeant and Jones his lance-corporal. Managing to select the recruits, the platoon regroup in the hall with improvised weaponry. General Wilkinson meanwhile has a gun, though refuses to hand it over to Mainwaring who believes he should have it, due to his senior rank. A parcel arrives for the platoon, with an expectation of weaponry and uniforms for the men, which turns out to be pepper and armbands.
2. Museum Piece
Mainwaring is upset at his men and their lack of unthinking obedience when they take to crossing a "demolished" bridge rather than get wet. The crew also continue to await the arrival of the uniforms and weapons. With the closure of the Peabody Museum of Historical Army Weapons, Mainwaring sets about enacting "Operation Gun Grab" to requisition equipment, though Wilson is uncertain as Jones' eighty-eight year old cantankerous father, George Jones, is looking after the building. George refuses to let them take any weapons, which results in them using cunning to find their way in to the building. However, they only find a Chinese Rocket Gun which they take back to the church hall, which the men are tasked with getting working again.
3. Command Decision
Jones is having problems keeping up with the others when standing to attention as the platoon are feeling down due to the lack of weaponry. A local nobleman, Colonel Square, offers weapons to Mainwaring in exchange for being in charge of the group, after Mainwaring promises to get them in a rash bid to improve morale. In the meantime, Mainwaring takes to training the men on how to deal with combat scenarios, which leads to Jones collapsing when he cuts off his gas mask air supply. With Mainwaring's promise looking unlikely to be met, he agrees to Square's terms. The platoon soon find out that the colonel is slightly unhinged when he reveals his weapons to be elephant-shooting muskets, and Mainwaring calls off the deal. However, news comes through that he is able to uphold his promise.
4. The Enemy Within the Gates
Equipment arriving though problems continue when it is incorrect, and meant for another group. Mainwaring discusses the topic of enemy agents attempting to infiltrate the country though the session however is interrupted by Captain Winogrodzki of the Polish Forces who the platoon is immediately suspicious of, leading to his interrogation. Eventually managing to convince them, he informs the platoon that there will be a ten pound reward for capture of each enemy parachutist. Jones, Walker and Pike eventually capture an enemy and set about taking him in to capture their reward. When the military police arrive to take the German soldier, the platoon also manage to get them to take Winogrodzki as well, claiming a further reward of twenty pounds.
5. The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage
ARP Warden Hodges is in the area doling out orders to remove usable transport - bicycles - from view. Meanwhile, Mainwaring announces plans which include using Godfrey's cottage as a machine gun post. In the evening, most of the platoon has a special showing at the cinema of a training film when the church bells begin to ring to signal an invasion. Mainwaring misses the sounding however until alerted to the situation by Jones and Frazer, as they head to Godfrey's cottage to take up a defensive position. Wilson, Pike, Walker and Sponge are unable to find the others, and also head to the cottage where they begin firing at Jones who has taken to wearing an old German helmet while Godfrey's sisters shake a tablecloth from the window which is interpreted as a surrender.
6. The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones
The men are all wearing gas masks as training for an attack. Hodges is expected along due to GHQ suggesting there is not enough communication between the ARP and Home Guard, which immediately leads to an argument about who has the church hall on a Wednesday. Jones meanwhile is working the butchers and takes to accepting bribes from the local women, who put the charm on. The butchers van is also put to use by the Home Guard, which has been prepared by Jones at the suggestion of Walker who is hoping to get some petrol coupons. The plan however is ruined when the van is converted to gas ready for a Home Guard practice as an ambulance. However, when Jones forgets the door keys, it is the start of the event going completely wrong.
7. Sgt. Wilson's Little Secret
Assembled in the church hall, Mainwaring attempts to showcase camouflage, and has the men come up with ideas for their own disguises. Mrs. Pike meanwhile is asked and agrees to take in an evacuee, with her looking forward to having a child around the house and giving her the chance to be a mother again. Pike attempt to keep a secret however ends up having Wilson believing that she is pregnant. Walker's ideas for plans also prove popular with Mainwaring, though the struggle to obtain rubber leads it to being almost useless. Wilson discusses the situation he believes Mrs. Pike is in, with Mainwaring suggesting the pair get married to avoid an embarrassing situation. However, a ten-year-old evacuee appearing with Mrs. Pike resolves the situation.
8. A Stripe for Frazer
Mainwaring is given permission by Captain Bailey to make another man a Lance Corporal, with Private Frazer being chosen. The situation also leads to another man being open for promotion to Corporal, and with Frazer's new position, it results in competition between Jones and Frazer for the new senior rank. Both men desperately attempt to impress Mainwaring, with some underhandedness thrown in as Jones suggests withholding Mainwaring and Wilson's rations until they make the decision. Frazer meanwhile fills out a significant number of charge sheets for transgressions by the other men. When Frazer gets into trouble with Corporal-Colonel Square and ruins his chance of becoming a Corporal, he attempts to break into the office with a boat-hook.
9. Operation Kilt
The Home Guard are required to take part in PT exercises which are being lead by Mainwaring, though the session is interrupted by Mrs. Pike who brings a rifle bolt her son has left at home. Captain Ogilvie of the Highland Unit arrives soon after to inform them of a training exercise the platoon will be joining in with. Ogilvie however feels the platoon have little competence, and punches Pike in the stomach to test him - but ends up punching the rifle bolt stuffed down his pants. The group sets about winning the training exercise, with Walker and Frazer sneaking into enemy territory via a Trojan Horse hay-cart. The platoon also setup traps inspired by a Tarzan film, which results in them finding out what is worn up a Scotsman kilt.
10. Battle School
Travelling to 'Battle School' out in the country. The journey is mostly uneventful apart from Godfrey's weak bladder, until they arrive at the train station and open the secret instructions given to Mainwaring when it becomes apparent he can not read a map. Eventually finding the school where they are greeted by cheery Major Smith and introduced to tough Spaniard Captain Rodrigues. The platoon, waking up after missing breakfast, are challenged to break into Rodrigues' base which is protected by dogs and an electric fence. Mainwaring ends up falling down a large hole and into a tunnel, while the rest of the platoon heads down to help. They discover that they are in Rodrigues headquarters escape tunnel, and meet the goal of capturing it as Rodrigues is bad mouthing them to Major Smith.
11. Under Fire
With Britain under fire from the Germans, Corporal Colonel Square takes to ordering the platoon around. On fire-watch for Walmington-on-Sea, Frazer and Godfrey discover a suspected secret agent, Mr Sigmund Murphy, who they believe is signalling to the enemy from his home. Suspicion is increased when he has an apparent German accent and Daschund named Fritz though he insists on being a British citizen naturalised from Austria. Detaining Murphy who is monitored by Wilson, the others have to deal with an incendiary device which sets fire to the church hall though it ends up being put out by Mrs. Pike. When another bomb is dropped, Mrs. Pike and Mr. Murphy question how they are going to win the war.
12. Something Nasty in the Vault
It is exactly a year since Mainwaring appointed himself leader of the platoon, and bank inspector Mr. West is paying a visit with complaints about his regular reports becoming irregular. Mainwaring is also in trouble when West spots a machine gun perched on the windowsill, and suggests he is puting the bank in danger. When the air raid siren sounds, they have to seek shelter. Returning to the bank two hours later, a hole has appeared in both the ceiling and floor, in which Mainwaring and Wilson promptly fall in and land with an unexploded bomb wedged between them. Jones sets about getting help from the bomb disposal team, while Pike is left to guard the room. However, the pair can't hold onto the bomb much longer.
13. The Showing Up of Corporal Jones
With an attempted Nazi invasion expected, the platoon is on coastal watch. Major Regan from GHQ is also expected to arrive to inspect the platoon, while Mainwaring has to deal with a report of inappropriate behaviour the previous evening, to which Jones owns up. Regan eventually arrives with a stern attitude and puts the men to test. Jones age soon becomes a contentious issue, with Regan suggesting he should retire, when he fails at using his bayonet correctly. He does however give him a reprieve by suggesting that if he can complete an assault course in less than fifteen minutes, he can stay. The platoon sets about an elaborate plan to keep Jones in the military.
14. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Walker
GHQ issue advice to use brass bed knobs as dummy grenades, which leaves Mainwaring and Wilson wondering how to convey the news. The platoon meets with Private Walker running late, with him eventually arriving to reveal he has been called up and is due to undergo a medical test. Jones and Wilson attempt to convince the War Office to reconsider, which fails. Walker then applies to the Military Service Hardship Committee to avoid service, though they reject his appeal due to his lack of accountancy records for his business. Jones sets about helping Walker to fail his medical by making him get flat feet, which also proves to be a failure, though in the end he is able to get out of service via an unexpected means.
15. Sorry, Wrong Number
Mainwaring gives a lecture on communications and identifies four key targets in Walmington-on-Sea - the gasworks, railway bridge, telephone exchange, and reservoir - which are vital to the town. Posting two men at each location, the task has the platoon batting around mad ideas for signalling about the enemy before having a lesson using the payphones to reach assistance, which has Pike in trouble for disobeying his mother about using a call box. While on night patrol, Frazer and Walker spot a German plane which crashes into the reservoir and results in a gunfight between the men and the Germans when they refuse to surrender. The platoon also has to deal with the Coldstream Guards asserting control of the situation.
16. The Bullet is Not for Firing
The platoon return from an air raid, with Mainwaring asking them to turn in their ammunition. Everyone but Godfrey admits they haven't got any after they used it shooting at a low-flying Nazi aircraft. Mainwaring insists that the platoon clean their weapons though Jones has problems cleaning his pull-through. Several methods are tried to remove it, which results in a destroyed stair banister and a broken string. The platoon are also sent out to try to find the missing rifle cartridges, which are eventually recovered. Mainwaring however decides to hold a Court of Inquiry to find out what happened with the missing ammunition which is overseen by Captain Marsh and Captain Pringle, who would rather be elsewhere.
17. Room at the Bottom
Captain Turner arrives with news that Mainwaring is not a captain, and must be told by Wilson that he is downgraded to lieutenant. When Mainwaring turns up, Wilson reveals the news as well as saying he has found a Drill Sergeant for practice. Mainwaring puts down the downgrade suggestion to Wilson being jealous, but eventually finds that he was telling the truth. News gets worse when Wilson is put in charge of the platoon as Mainwaring is told he isn't even commissioned as a lieutenant, and must instead join the ranks. When the drill sergeant Gregory arrives and begins to bark orders at the platoon, Mainwaring attempts to stand up for the men result in him being picked on for speaking out of turn.
18. Menace from the Deep
The Home Guard are tasked with looking after the coast at night and are lodged on the pier which is only accessible by boat. Jones provides food, while Walker will bring the whisky, and Wilson has acid drops. Setting up on the pier, Pike manages to lose the boat when it gets loose from its mooring, leaving the platoon cut off. Jones suggests signalling with a light, which is seen by ARP Warden Hodges who rows over in a childrens boat to get them to turn off the light. The platoon see the children's boat as suspicious, and resort to firing at him with a warning shot, though end up hitting the boat causing him to sink and also marooning him on the pier. The men however have their minds taken off their growing hunger when a mine is spotted in the sea drifting towards the coastline.
19. No Spring for Frazer
Godfrey, Jones, and Frazer have their weapons inspected though Frazer has left the butterfly spring for the Lewis Gun in his wood workshop, resulting in the men stopping by to pick it up. However, the box - coffin - he stored it in has been taken by undertaker Mr. Drury, leading the platoon over see him to collect the spring. The coffin however has a new owner, Mr. Horace Blewitt, who has since died and is resting in peace on his dining table. Desperate to get the spring as he is unable to obtain a spare spring, Mainwaring decides that Jones and Frazer should break into the house at night after his brother is asleep and search the coffin though find the lid screwed on. Still determined to get it back, the platoon use the ruse of an unexploded bomb at Blewitt's funeral to clear the churchyard and retrieve the spring.
20. Sons of the Sea
The bank inherits a boat to cover a debt, which leads to the platoon launching a river patrol when Mainwaring comes up with the idea. The platoon hold a practice session in the church hall using mops and chairs, with Mainwaring's lack of nautical knowledge irritating Frazer before setting out onto the river, though the group end up lost at sea in foggy weather conditions. Awaking as dawn breaks, the platoon hear voices coming from the now nearby shore, where they row and find French singing. Mainwaring believes they have drifted to France, and decide to settle down into an empty railway cattle truck to plan an escape the following night. They soon find the train moving, and make plans to return to England every man for himself, however a station stop reveals that the men are in Eastbourne.
Present Arms (Christmas Special)
This episode had a sixty minute runtime.
Jones is leading the rest of the platoon in a bayonet practice while Mainwaring and Wilson complete paperwork. Conversation about the upcoming parade of the Home Guard platoons in the area has Mainwaring contemplating wearing his new hat until Pike puts a bayonet through it as well as the door. Captain Square also turns up to confront Wilson about a memo requiring medals to be worn at the parade, though the note was hidden due to Mainwaring not having any medals, which grates on him when even ARP Warden Hodges even turns up wearing his medal. News arrives that the platoon will be escorting the prime minister on a tour of the local coastal defences. Mainwaring turns up prior to the parade wearing civvies and claims his wife has sent his uniform to the dry cleaners, though Pike turns up with the uniform while collecting his own dry cleaning. After the parade, the platoon attends the pub along with Square and Hodges, which leads to an argument between Mainwaring, who lets slip about the escort duty, and Square. The situation leads to a competition to find out which platoon will provide the escort, which requires the teams to compete at map reading and shooting. The platoon are invited to the hippodrome to see a variety performance, which ends with Walker bringing in sharpshooter The Great Alberto into shooting for them as a ringer. They quickly persuade Mainwaring to allow it, though find in the competition that The Great Alberto requires his act to perform, though they manage to win via Frazer who proves to be a crack shot. However, the map reading contest has them encounter more problems when Jones has a malaria fit which gives the Eastgate platoon chance to raise their flag, though they discover they have hoisted the Walmington flag by mistake resulting in the Walmington platoon being declared the winners, who also find the flag they are carrying is the same.
1. Don't Forget the Diver
Mainwaring is trying to hold a parade in which he will be discussing tactics for planting a dummy bomb in a windmill being defended by the Eastgate platoon, but finds the verger snooping around who is unhappy at the way he is treated. Wilson comes up with the idea of disguising them all as bushes to attack the windmill, while Pike suggests pushing a log containing Jones along the river to a convenient spot, while Frazer pushes along in a diving suit. The platoon practice the plan which goes somewhat badly, before putting it into action their plan with an additional twist of using sheep with tin helmets in the field which distracts the men, and allows Jones to dispatch the bomb before falling onto the water wheel and ends up going round and round, while Mainwaring and Square argue about who won.
2. If the Cap Fits...
The platoon is required to attend another irrelevant Mainwaring lecture on a fine summer evening, with the slides being operated by Jones and hampered by the verger, as well as Walker and Pike who interrupt with silly questions. After the presentation, Frazer tells Mainwaring that his lecture was useless, which results in his punishment for insubordination being given command of the platoon for forty-eight hours. Frazer immediately fires Wilson for a discrepancy of the store stock counts and is particularly rude to Jones leading him to resign, while promoting Pike to sergeant. He is visited by General Menzies who invites Frazer to play the bagpipes at the regimental dinner, though mistakes him for Mainwaring, who discovers he will be playing when he retakes charge of the platoon.
3. Put That Light Out!
The platoon has permission to use the lighthouse as an observation post, with Jones taking charge of their watch from 20:00 to 08:00 which proves a problem for Godfrey who needs to use the toilet once they reach the top. Heading downstairs to use the bathroom, Godfrey disappears for quite some time which leads Frazer to tell a scary story from his friend Wally Reagan who was also asked to watch a lighthouse. The story however leaves the men panicky, and when they find their phone line disconnected, they accidentally turn the lighthouse lamp on which leaves them desperate to find a way to disable the light. Meanwhile, ARP Warden Hodges is furious when he spots the shining light and sets about handling the situation.
4. Boots Boots Boots
Mainwaring is performing an inspection of the platoon members feet, and sets about getting them in shape with long route marches and bare-foot football games. After a few days, the marching and games have taken their toll on the men, especially Pike, who comes up with the idea of swapping Mainwaring's boots a half size smaller to get their own back and get them out of further marches. However, the rest of the platoon has the same idea resulting in Mainwaring's ending up with a pair of boots much smaller than his original boots. However, Mainwaring is onto the rouse and manages to hobble into the office before leading them all on a twenty mile venture.
5. Sergeant - Save My Boy!
Mainwaring is giving a lecture on progress in the war, and announces that the platoon has secured a patrol hut along the coastline. Setting up camp in the hut and awaiting Pike with a flask of tea, his mother arrives and is surprised that he hasn't arrived, leading her to believe he has been targeted by the "Walmington prowler". However, they eventually hear shouts of help and discover him entangled in barbed wire beside the beach which is only accessible through an active minefield, after he had walked up the water-side to find the beach hut. After calling for help from the engineers who are busy with another job and the tide quickly coming in, the platoon set about enacting their own rescue mission.
Godfrey tenders his resignation by way of letter though Mainwaring is unwilling to let him go without a reason. He eventually admits admits that he was a conscientious objector during the first World War and believes himself to be unable to kill after being unable to deal with a mouse. This leads him to be ostracised by Mainwaring and the other men, with the exception of Wilson who is tolerant of his opinion. Mainwaring demands that Godfrey stay with the platoon until he can be replaced and sets about him joining in a fire rescue task with the rest of the platoon, though Mainwaring decides to increase the amount of smoke to dangerous levels resulting in everyone fainting and having to be rescued by Godfrey, after which, they discover Godfrey's true bravery in service.
7. Uninvited Guests
Hodges' headquarters has been bombed the previous night resulting in his team having to move into the church hall with Mainwaring and the platoon. Appalled at having to share his office with Hodges who insists on drawing a chalk line down the middle of the room, Mainwaring orders his men to deal with Hodges as Jones chases him out with a bayonet. Hodges soon returns with the vicar and the verger, and Mainwaring has to relent on sharing the office space, while Walker takes the chance to sell a firelighter to light the stove. A call soon comes through that the church is on fire, which leads them to discover a chimney fire. Both the wardens and Home Guard have to work together to put out the fire from the church roof, though a thunderstorm rolling in leads to the wardens being stuck on the roof.
8. A Brush with the Law
Warden Hodges has a report that Mainwaring was showing a light from his office, which leaves him delighted that he has finally managed to pin something on the captain. Mainwaring meanwhile hears from Captain Square that the platoon's fire arms and uniforms have not recently been inspected as he reports he found them in a sorry state. Inspecting the men, Mainwaring is soon summonsed which sets the platoon about memorising the story for when they are questioned as witnesses. At his court date, Mainwaring finds that Captain Square is the judge which leads him to be worried that he may actually be found guilty. The verger eventually confesses that it was he who showed the light having used the office after the platoon went out on patrol which leaves Hodges furious.