The Test

Infobox Dad's Army
episode_number episode_name=036 – The Test
script=Jimmy Perry and David Croft
director=David Croft
producer=David Croft
recorded=Friday 20/11/70
original_transmission=Friday 27/11/70 8.00pm
length=30 minutes
viewing_figures=16 million
preceding=Mum's Army
following=A. Wilson (Manager)?

"The Test" is the tenth episode of the fourth series of the British comedy series "Dad's Army" that was originally transmitted on Friday 27 November 1970.


The platoon are challenged to a cricket match by the ARP Wardens - who have recruited a top-class bowler to their ranks.


Mainwaring is holding a parade, and complains about the lack of attendance at last Sunday's church parade. Walker admits he couldn't come because he was delivering some knicker elastic to a group of ATS girls. Mainwaring wonders why he couldn't have waited until after the parade, and Walker says that he could, but they couldn't! Mainwaring then moves on to commenting on the length of Pike and Wilson's hair, and suggest they get it cut... "they aren't violin players".

Mainwaring produces a letter given to him by Chief Warden Hodges, and announces that he's challenged them to a game of cricket. The platoon readily accept. Mainwaring announces he is a good opening batsman, and Wilson is the captain of the local cricket club. Walker tells Mainwaring he can lay his hand on a couple of reconditioned cricket balls.

The next evening, they get the nets out, and have a practice. Pike's bowling efforts are continuously interrupted by Mainwaring, who gives Walker and Godfrey advice on how to bat. Godfrey admits he used to play cricket for the Civil Service Stores when he was younger. Jones arrive late, and when he bats, the ball ends up smashing a church window!

On Saturday, at the cricket changing rooms, Hodges is keen to introduce E.C. Egan, a world-class professional bowler, to Gerald, one of his ARP Wardens. He tells them that he won't tell Mainwaring until he bats. Hodges produces an ARP application form for Egan to sign, to make it legal.

The platoon arrive, with Wilson wearing a yellow and black striped top, Frazer in his funeral attire, Godfrey in his bowling outfit, and Pike wearing his bank clothes. Mainwaring is shocked, and lends Pike his spare cricketing trousers.

Hodges reappears, and asks Mainwaring to toss the coin to see who's batting first, but Mainwaring insists on getting the umpires, the Vicar and the Verger, to do it. Mainwaring calls heads, and it's tails. The platoon are fielding first.

They don't start well, with Jones continuously knocking the stumps out, forcing the Vicar to bang them in again and again. When Hodges finally gets a chance to hit the ball, he not only scores a run, but gets a six on his second hit! Then, Hodges gives it a big hit, sending it towards Godfrey, who tries unsuccessfully to catch it, and lose it in the long grass. While the platoon are searching for it, Hodges and Gerald keep running. When Walker produces the second cricket ball and they rush back, Hodges and Gerald have run 24 times! Also, during the course of the match, the Verger books Mainwaring for gross impertinence and sarcasm, even though it isn't football!

Hodges declares, so the platoon are now batting. Hodges is keen to see Egan in action, and remarks over and over again that he's going to enjoy this. As Mainwaring prepares to bat, Egan walks down to the far end of the field. Mainwaring is confused, until Hodges gleefully informs him that the ball comes flying out of his hand at 70mph! Egan charges towards Mainwaring, and gives the ball an almighty throw.

However, the throw has pulled Egan's shoulder, and he goes off, injured! The platoon now have a chance. Mainwaring does well, until he's caught LBW. Wilson comes on to bat, and manages to outlive the rest of the platoon, scoring 81 runs. Eventually, Godfrey is the only one left to bat, and they only need a few more runs to win. Fortunately, Wilson is still the other batter.

Frazer thinks that Godfrey will be out first bowl. However, everyone is surprised when he hits it, and they run. As Godfrey bats again, Mainwaring is delighted to see that it's going to be a six! The platoon have won! Hodges comments that he should never have declared. Mainwaring reminds him that they'll be ready for anything, whether it comes from the wardens or the Nazis. As they cheer the wardens, Godfrey and Wilson, the siren goes, and the platoon take up their positions.


*The working title for this episode was 'The Cricket Match'.
*It is one of the most commonly repeated episodes of Dads Army, because of its simple plot.
*Fred Trueman a former professional cricketer appeared as 'Ernie', lending credence to the suggestion that "he would have played for England if the war hadn't started". In the event 'Ernie' bowls only one delivery for the wardens before going off injured. Truman's appearance was one of the few guest appearances in Dads Army, a trend largely eschewed by British sitcoms.


Radio episode

Infobox Dad's Army
episode_number episode_name=061 - The Cricket Match
script=Harold Snoad & Michael Knowles
producer=John Dyas
recorded=Thursday 1/5/75
original_transmission=Tuesday 27/7/76 12.27pm
length=30 minutes
viewing_figures=0.5 million
preceding=A Jumbo Sized Problem
following=Time on My Hands


Hodges challenges Mainwaring and the Home Guard men to a cricket match.


Hodges challenges Mainwaring and his troops to game of cricket. Jones volunteers to keep wicket, Pike also wants to play with Walker offering to obtain cricket balls and some bails. Godfrey will also play as long he does not have to walk about too much or be too far from the pavilion. Frazer says he not too sure of the rules but will play. Mainwaring decides to accept the challenge and appoints himself Captain.

The Home Guard men begin a practice session with Mainwaring giving them the benefit of his wisdom - but is immediately bowled out by Pike. His bowling is just as bad with Jones scoring a six of one of his deliveries.

Meanwhile, Hodges appoints a famous bowler, G. C. Egan, as a temporary ARW warden so that he can play on their team. When Egan asks what he should do if the siren goes off, Hodges tells him he should resign.

Walker present two cricket balls to Mainwaring and asks for the sum of three pounds each. Mainwaring says to him that he would sell his own grandmother, but the Private retorts that there is market for her.

The troop turn up to the match, with some of then men wearing unsuitable cricketing clothes. Godfrey turns up in a panama hat, Frazer is his funereal garb, Wilson in a brightly coloured blazer and Pike in grey flannels.

The vicar and the verger are to officiate the game as umpires. The vicar tosses a coin to determine who goes first and Mainwaring calls heads, but it turns out tails. Hodges decides to bat first.

Mainwaring assigns the men to their fielding positions: Frazer and Walker, first and second slips, Wilson mid-on, Jones wicket-keeper, Godfrey deep-cover (conveniently close to the pavilion), Pike silly mid-on. Pike thought it might be an insult but Wilson reassures him that is the proper name.

Hodges is first up to bat and taunts Jones as 'Granddad', but he replies that he will soon whip his bails off, and Pike telling him not too stand to close as he'll get his head bashed in. Mainwaring bowls a wide. His next shot his hit for a four. Jones knocks over the bails annoying the vicar who has put it back up. Mainwaring attempts a googly, but it is given no ball by the verger. The verger tells him not to argue, or he will send him off. Mainwaring attempts a spin bowl, but Hodges hits for four again. Another hit sends the ball heading for Godfrey who fails to catch hit. Hodges starts to run, and turns out that Godfrey has lost the ball. When Hodges reaches 27 runs, Mainwaring buys another black market ball from Walker.

At tea, Hodges' team is at 154 for 4 and he declares. Jones is disappointed that he can't continue to be the wicket-keeper as he was just getting the hang of it. Egan tells Hodges he can bowl Mainwaring's team out in about four overs.

Mainwaring opens the batting with Wilson. Hodges is the wicket-keeper. Egan bowls a fast ball causing Mainwaring to fall over. However, Egan dislocates his shoulder and has to leave the field, and one of the wardens replaces him. Wilson bats well, but Mainwaring is bowled out LBW for 3 runs. Pike replaces him, but struggles to bat and hold up his trousers. Wilson on the other hand racks up 81. The total is 147 for 9, and Godfrey is in. Hodges bowls to Godfrey who actually manages to hit it and runs. Godfrey manages to hit again, this time for six, winning the game.

Hodges tells him didn't really win as he shouldn't have declared, but Mainwaring reminds him that he did. Hodges tells him to wait for the football season, and Mainwaring tells him not to import professionals who don't break their legs...



*cite book|title=The Complete A-Z of Dad’s Army|author=Croft, David; Perry, Jimmy; Webber, Richard|date=2000|publisher=Orion|isbn= 0-75284-637-X
*imdb title|0552336
* episode|67141

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