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The Navy Lark - Impressions For Survival


We all know when we've done it once to often, there's the time you wake the following morning and you know you should have refused that last brown ale because your wrist watch sounds like Big Ben. Or when you gget home from work and your wife sits you infront of the fire, hands you your pipe, puts on your slippers and tells you she's prepared a special for your Guess What. And you have guessed what, you remember it's your anniversary, you havn't got her anything and the shops are shut. In the navy you never have to Guess What. You're very quickly told when your in the,' 'Ooh Nasty!' 'Exactly. And that applies directly to you Mr Phillips, and the rest of the crew of HMS Troutbridge.' 'Oh lumey! You don't mean Captain Poveys found out about my minute, hardly worth talking about, tiny little accident when we docked last night?' 'Not yet but he's about to. Infact the report is the first thing he's going to read when he arrives in the office this morning....'


After Povey reads the report of the damage, which includes a train, tug boat, crane, 2 wharehouses and a pillarbox, he decides to submitt a detailed report to the M.O.D. to try and get rid of Troutbridge and her crew once and for all.

Murray tells Pertwee and Phillips to meet him on the Quater Deck so they can talk without being overheard.

'The gauntlet has been thrown down and I intend to pick it up. If Captain Povey wants a fight then he's got one. I intend to make him rue the day he ever picked a fight with me!'

'Lumey, what're we going to do?'

'I'm not quite sure! I was hoping one of you two would come up with something!'

Mr Phillips does indeed have an idea, from a film he saw the preivious night. He starts explaining the idea and elicits the only respnse needed, 'Oh, Shut Up!' and a hit to the head. Pertwee comes up with a better idea, to make it look like Povey has gone mad so the Admiralty wont take his recommendation seriously.

Povey calls Lt. Burkett(sp?) at the M.O.D. to complain about Troutbridge and is informed to send all the infromation to them in triplicate, 'We don't need three, but we're liable to lose two!'

Pertwee goes to see Povey, to try and find a way to get him, and is told by WRN Chasen about Povey's love of farmyard impersonnations. Armed with this knowledge Pertwee goes in to Povey's office and tells him of a Ships Concert they're planning. Pertwee leads an all to eager Povey on, saying that he wants to do the farmyard impressions himself. He relents after some "impressive" demonstrations by Povey and agrees to let him in the show. Pertwee escapes Povey's office leaving Povey to his impressions

Murray and Phillips wait for Pertwee outside Povey's office in the dead of night. Mr Phillips is practising his card tricks, without any cards, for the concert despite Murray's repeated attempts at telling him it isn't going to really happen, 'Isn't it marvelous! Round it, through it, over it, under it, but nothing ever goes in it!' Pertwee arrives and lets them into the office so they can send fake letters from Povey. He tells Phillips to keep watch out and Murray to hold the door shut while he types a letter. Phillips says that he can type the letter, having been sent to Mrs Pheobe Arbuthknott's Secretarial School for the Son's of Gentlemen, he has a spped of 160 per minute. However, after reading the first page of Mr Philips typing - Pertwee retakes the control of the typewriter,

'I didn't say words. I do 160 letters a minute. You can't expect me to make the letters into words aswell'

Pertwee sets about typing the letters

At the M.O.D. Burkett and Deacon receive the letters suposedly from Povey. Thinking he's gone mad they send the letters to The Admiral so he can deal with Povey.

Pertwee, Murray and Phillips arrive at Povey's office just as The Admiral arrives to question Povey about the letters, 'Now then Povey, whats all this hear from the M.O.D. about you going cuckoo?'

'Oh no. No no no. I don't go cuckoo. I just tuck my elbows into my side, and flap my arms up and down like this, then I throw back my head, and I go Cock-a-doodle doooooo! And then I go quack, quaaack, quaaaack - ougalumph!'

Suitably convinced that Povey's gone bananas, The Admiral puts him on 14 days sickleave meaning he can't submitt his report about Troutbridge

Taking part were:

WRN Chasen - Heather Chasen

Captain Povey - Richard Caldicot

Commander Murray - Stephen Murray

CPO Pertwee - Jon Pertwee

SL Phillips - Leslie Phillips

The Admiral - Tenniel Evans

Lt. Burkett - Michael Bates

Lt. Deacon - Tenniel Evans

Flag Lt. Dingle - Michael Bates

Written By: Laurie Wyman and George Evans

Produced By: Alastair Scott Johnson