There comes a morning in every man's life when he's awakened by a prolonged and spine-chilling high-pitched scream which has him out of bed and into his dressing gown before his befuddled wits finally identify it as the sound of the vacuum cleaner going full blast on the landing. Convinced he must have overslept he rapidly washes and dresses and hurries downstairs more quickly than usual, physically because he trips over the dustpan and brush that's been left on the top step. Picking himself up he limps into the kitchen only to fall flat on his dignity again the moment he puts his foot in the tin of floor polish that's been left on the lino. From this recumbent position he's able to stare up at the kitchen clock which mutely informs him it's still only half past six. But it's when his wife then tells him that there's no breakfast because she's too busy cleaning that he finally realises what the panic is about. One of her lot is coming to visit. Well in Captain Povey's household he always knows the night before because he's the one who's made to do all the cleaning and polishing. So, the following day all his wife Ramona has to do is to tidy up Captain Povey himself.
- Pull yourself together and don't slouch! Head up! Shoulders back! Chest out! Abdomen in! Knees braced! Heels together! Toes at angle of 45 degrees and thumbs inline with the seems of your nether garments.
This is how Captain Povey is told to great his nephew Cuthbert, 'on the wife's side you understand'. He is then informed by his beloved wife that Cuthbert is considering joining the navy and would like to try it out for a couple of days. Told to call the Admiral and organise it, Povey recounts the situation and the Admiral tells him to, 'bung him on a ship, sail him round the harbour until he's seasick and get rid of him'. So who does Povey choose to inflict Cuthbert on? Why, Troutbridge of course!
On board ship, Commander Bell eventually tells them that Cuthbert is coming aboard. Minutes later Povey arrives and Cuthbert is introduced to the crew, ('don't bother, I shant be wanting to mix with the staff anyway. Povey, inform these sailor fellows that I am to be refered to as Mr Spinks'.) Cuthbert announces that he's going to sit on the 'sun deck' and take china tea and a sweet biscuit, then leaves a flabbergasted crew to hear Povey's instructions to put Cuthbert off joining the navy by any means necessary.
After only one day at sea the crew are not impressed with 'the rude crude prude' and start their campaign to discourage Cuthbert in earnest.
The crew employ many and various tactics to put 'orrible Cuthbert off joining the navy:
Side to Side - left hand down a bit, right hand down a bit, left hand down a bit, right hand down a bit the crew make the voyage as unpleasant as possible and as a result are informed that they'll be reported for drunk driving when Cuthbert gets back to port.
Rapid Manovers - Having failed in their side to side tactic, the crew then try back to front, if we get Troutbridge going full speed ahead, then stop dead, clot face Cuthbert might keep on going. The plan fails and Cuthbert ends up 'spreadeagle against the flag pole'.Oooh Nasty.
Abandon Ship! - Pertwee starts sounding Abandon Ship outside Cuthbert's cabin while Johnson splashes water under the cabin door which has been wedged shut so that Cuthbert will jump out the port hole. The plan works, they think, and the occupent of the cabin jumps out of the port hole. Unfortunately it turns out that Cuthbert was in the Sickbay, 'sleeping off my unfortunate accident', and the person in the cabin was Commander Bell.
Back at Portsmouth, Cuthbert announces that 'The accommodation was inadequate, the food was inferior, the staff were insolent, the ship was inefficient, the weather was inclement and the trip was intolerable' and that he must join the navy as they need 'the benefit of my experience'.
Pertwee has insisted in filling out Cuthbert's signing on papers, gets Cuthbert to sign them and says that he'll make sure they get to the right office personally. After Cuthbert has left Pertwee reveals that Cuthbert has signed on for '21 years as an ordinary rating'.
'Carry on Chief, bung that form in, at the double'.
- Tenniel Evans as Able Seaman Goldstein
- Ronnie Barker as Able Seaman Johnson/Commander Bell
- Stephen Murray as Commander Murray
- Jon Pertwee as CPO Pertwee
- Leslie Phillips as Sub Lt. Phillips -
- Heather Chasen as Ramona Povey -
- Michael Bates as Cuthbert Spinks -
- Richard Caldicot as Captain Povey