For the crew of Troutbridge a summons to Captain Povey's office is a two-edged sword and both edges are too flaming sharp for comfort. Either they're in the muck or he is, and if he is - well they are anyway. Only one thing is certain, they can't possibly win.
At Captain Povey's office, Povey tells Pertwee, Phillips and No.1 how he is having trouble at home.
- Murray - 'You sir, but I thought this was your week of err.... how shall I put it, freedom from errr... that your wife was errr... that you'd be on your...'
- Povey - 'Allow me, this is the week my dear wife Ramona is away and I should've been alright Jack!'.
Povey tells them that, although his wife is away for the week, his mother-in-law is staying with him to keep an eye on him.
- Sub Lt. Phillips - 'Oooo nasty!'.
Povey asks the crew for their help, saying that the only way he get out of the extra work Mrs Crump is making him do is if there's some sort of naval emergancy or crisis.
- Phillips - 'Oh I get it! You want us to go to sea!'.
Povey instruscts the crew to accidentally bump into Makepeace - so that he will be called back to the office. The crew are hesitant but agree when Povey assures them he will say that their steering was faulty and they wont get into trouble.
Later, aboard Troutbridge, Mr Phillips is being confused by his First Steps For The Young Navigator book.
- CPO Pertwee- 'I wish you could have warned me Sir. When Mr Phillips has a dab at really navigating I likes to av' mi life jacket and tin helmet on.
Goldstein calls the bridge and, eventually, reports that they are approaching HMS Makepeace.
- Murray - 'Next time would you mind giving the naval information first and the morning story afterwards?',
- Goldstein - 'Well I used to, but you always used to cut me off which I thought was a bit rude and I...'.
- Murray - 'Well?',
- Goldstein - '... still do!'
They arrive at Makepeace and Mr Phillips sets about trying to ram her. However, they only succeed in liberating Commander Stanton's fishing rod, and miss Makepeace completely.
- CPO Pertwee 'Mr Phillips, Mr Phillips, you were having us on weren’t you. You must have been Sir, we've never missed anything before!'
That night Povey is cleaning under the supervision of mother-in-law,' Stop calling me Mother-in-law, you’re not Dr Dale.' and enjoying it as much as usual. He receives a call from Inspector Burt Tiddy of the Customs and Excise Water Guard Service and is told the frigate Troutbridge has been observed going backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards in close vicinity to HMS Makepeace, 'luckily' however Troutbridge missed Makepeace - 42 times!
The next day Povey quizzes the crew on why they didn't hit Makepeace, and finds out that Troutbridge's steering really was faulty. The crew decide to try again, this time planning to run aground on one of two well-known sandbanks.
- Phillips' - There's talk of renaming the two sandbanks, they were going to call one Trout, and the other Bridge!'
But again the plan is foiled, this time due to a flood tide, making the sandbanks to deep to run aground on. And so once again Povey is called by Inspector Burt Tiddy - Customs and Excise Water Guard Service, and is told how Troutbridge was seen going backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards over the same bit of sea - 42 times!
However - coming into the dockyard - they get an urgent message from Povey saying that Mrs Crump has got measles, and 'For Heaven’s Sake' not to hit anything or run aground. And guess what happens - 'Straight into the side of Makepeace'
- 'And wouldn't you know it? We're aground!'
Cast and crew
- Richard Caldicot as Commander Povey
- Ronnie Barker as Lieutenant-Commander Stanton / Ableseaman Johnson / Commander Bell - Ronnie Barker
- Laurie Wyman as Inspector Burt Tiddy
- Janet Brown as Jessie Crump
- Stephen Murray as Commander Murray
- Jon Pertwee as CPO Pertwee
- Leslie Phillips as Sub Lt. Phillips
- Tenniel Evans as Ableseaman Goldstein
- Written By: Laurie Wyman
- Produced By: Alastair Scott Johnson