Povey plots to bring Troutbridge into line by forcing Cmdr Murray to resign on age grounds.
'If there's one thing Captain Povey really enjoys it’s getting to his office every morning, and if you've ever met Mrs Povey you can understand his enthusiasm. But for Old Thunderguts Portsmouth dockyard isn't the place where he has to slave over a hot desk, its sanctuary. However this morning his desk is incredibly hot - at least the signal from the Ministry of Defence that’s lying on it most certainly is. Not that he'll see it immediately because his secretary, WREN Chasen, opens all the mail - and she knows a Top Brass Whizbang when she sees one. So it’s at the bottom of the pile of codswallop the civil servants will insist on sending....'
Povey receives a signal about redundancies of older personnel and is irrate until he realises his job is safe, and then delighted when he works out he can use this signal to get rid of Troutbridge's No.1 Commander Murray, ' Once I get rid of him, the rest of that shower on Troutbridge will fall like house of cards!'
On board Troutbridge, No.1 receives word of Povey's attempt to make him redundant and is understandably angry and shocked. The signal Povey received stated that sea-going officers over a certain age are elligible for redundancy
- Cmdr Murray: 'Just a minute, why only me. How old are you Mr Phillips?'
- Sub Lt. Phillips 'Me err... Oh I'm err... I'm err - twdiddlyumpty 4!'
Murray vows that he will fight Povey all the way - willingly backed up by CPO Pertwee when he realises Mr Phillips might be promoted to Captain of the ship!!
Murray storms into Povey's office, whos meeting with the admiral, and after berating Povey is told by the Admiral that he can appeal the decision at an appeals board taking place later that month.
At the appeal board, Murray has found himself accompanied by Sub Lt Phillips, who is going to appear as his character witness.
- Sub Lt Phillips: 'Nothing to worry about. Leslie is here Sir'
- Cmdr Marray: 'That is precisely what I am worried about!'
They are shown inside and introduced to the board, Captain Ormanroy, LC Whetherby, Captain Atcherson and the Admiral. Povey makes his case, Lt Murray is over the age stated in the signal, twdiddlyumpty 6, and so should be made redundant.
Then Mr Phillips starts to speak... at length.... about nothing that makes sense
- Cmdr Murray: 'Mr Phillips what are u talking about?'
- Sub Lt Phillips: 'I've no idea Sir - but I’m hoping they haven’t either. I'm just collecting my thoughts'
- Cmdr Murray: 'Well that shouldn’t take long!'
Mr Phillips then explains his interpretation of the signal - that it only applies to officers that have been sea-going for twdiddlyumpty 6 years, not ones who are twdiddlyumpty 6 years old.
The board are convinced by Mr Phillips 'argument' and agree that Murray will not be made redundant, but that Povey might be!
- Sub Lt Phillips 'Do you mean that what I said actually made sense?'
- Cmdr Murray: 'I realise it’s a terrible shock - but yes!'
- Sub Lt Phillips: 'Cor - I am proud'
Cast and Crew
- Heather Chasen as WREN Chasen
- Richard Caldicot as Captain Povey
- Stephen Murray as Commander Murray
- Jon Pertwee as CPO Pertwee and Lt Cmdr Whetherby
- Leslie Phillips as Sub Lt. Phillips
- Michael Bates as The Padre and Captain Atcherson
- Tenniel Evans as the Admiral
- Laurie Wyman as Captain Ormanroy