The Admiralty decide to hold a slogan contest to boost recruitment.
'Little do people appreciate what hidden tensions there are that run through the minds of various members at a board meeting when important aspects on the agenda are being discussed. Having attended some of these meetings, I'll tell you. Tension one is, "I wonder when that pretty secretary in the hot pants is going to drop her pencil and pick it up again." Tension two is, "I should never of had those onions for supper last night, they're making me rumble!" Tension three is, "If Charlie paid for the lunch last week, Sid the week before and Ted the week before that it makes it my turn. So I'd better start feeling 'not very well, so you can count me out chaps' right now!" When chaps get together to discuss things, these tensions always apply. Even at the Ministry of Defence - when an Admiralty board meeting is taking place, so called because they have met, and they are bored....'
In the board meeting, The Sea Lord is complaining about the recruitment situation, especially in Portsmouth,
- The Sea Lord: 'We spent £40,000 on television advertising, £30,000 on newspaper advertising, £15,000 on hoarding advertising, and 3 quid for two lines in the situations vacant column in The Times. and how many men signed on last week? One'
To try and encourage more people to the Navy the Sea Lord proposes a slogan competition for the Portsmouth service men, and the person who comes up with the best slogan will win a prize. They carry on discussing the competition until they realise its past opening time.
Povey is at home doing his best to come up with a slogan, to the annoyance of 'his dear wife' Ramona. She changes her tune when she finds out there's a prize at stake and promptly takes over the slogan writing, to make sure that they win!
On board Troutbridge, the crew are also busy at work thinking up slogans. All except Pertwee, who won’t write a word until he knows what the prize is,
- CPO Pertwee: 'Pertwee don't flog his verboscities in the dark you know!'
Mr Murray and the Padre are hard at work on their slogans and Mr Phillips, after much prompting, gets the crew to ask what his slogan is, 'Better the sea, the land or air. For our sailor chaps have savoir fair.' He then proceeds to explain its meaning, but loses them all after the first sentence. Pertwee however remains adamant,
- CPO Pertwee: 'Until Pertwee knows what the prize is, Pertwee don't take part, nor partake of any part of any competition in the first part. Until this party knows what the other party is going to part with, if this party partooks - Good morning!'
To find out whether the prize is indeed worthy of his time, Pertwee calls one of his many relatives in the service, Lt. Perregrin Pertwee - who just happens to be in a position to know what the prize is. He is greeted by the usual response to a phone call from Jonsey, 'Not a penny!' and the second favourite, 'I'm not bailing you out again!' Finally convincing Perregrin he's not after money, Pertwee asks him if he knows what the prize is, but Perregrin only knows that the prize is going under the code name QE2. Pertwee takes this to mean the prize is trip on the boat of the same name, and deeming this a prize worthy of his effort sets about coming up with a slogan - and also a plan to ensure his slogans wins!
Later in the week, Pertwee is called to Murray's cabin, and is suspicious when offered a sherry and cigar,
- CPO Pertwee: 'This condemned man would like to know what afore-unmentioned mischief he's done, and don't know about cause he wasn't there at the time, to justify a last hearty breakfast of stuffing himself full of booze and puffing himself full of smoke!'
All is explained when Murray asks whether Pertwee has entered the competition. Pertwee says that he hasn't, and doesn't intend to - hinting to Murray that he knows what the prize is and doesn't think it worth the effort. On the basis of this information Murray also decides not to enter the competition. The same thing happens when Pertwee is called to Mr Phillips' cabin, who also decides not to enter the competition. Later on Phillips and Murray meet and find out they've both got the same information from Pertwee, along with most of Portsmouth, and that neither one of them is entering the competition, and no-one in Portsmouth is either.
The Admiral arrives at Povey's office with Lady Quirk to reveal the winner of the competition. Due to Pertwee's widely known disapproval of the competition, there was only one entrant, CPO Pertwee. The crew's annoyance is not long lived however when they discover the QE2 prize is not a trip aboard the luxury liner, but "Lord Quirk's Expedition to Iceland for 2 Weeks"
Cast and Crew
- Captain Povey - Richard Caldicot
- Ramona Povey/Lady Quirk/Miss Simpkins - Heather Chasen
- Commander Murray - Stephen Murray
- CPO Pertwee/Vice Admiral Buttonshaw - Jon Pertwee
- Sub Lt Phillips/Nato Rep - Leslie Phillips
- The Padre/Lt. Perregrin Pertwee/Vice Admiral Ironbridge/Captain Come-up-from-the-ranks - Michael Bates
- AS Goldstein/The Sea Lord/The Admiral - Tenniel Evans