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The Navy Lark - Operation Recovery


'Marriage is an old institution, and like most old institutions should have been condemned years ago as structurally unsafe. Of course it works perfectly well sometimes, when your at the office and she's out shopping. Its when your at home together in the evening that it seems to go for the chop, espacially at bedtime,'

'Ha ha ha haa, by the time she's taken all her make-up off, slapped pounds of antiwrinkle cream on her face and put her hair in curlers, you've forgotten what you were hoping for in the first place!'

'If you've quite finished reminicing I was about to say the situations no different for Lt Commander Murray and his wife Rita when they go to bed....'


Murray is bemoaning Rita's choice, and smell, of face cream, Bouncing Betty's horse linament, 'And you know her coat shines!' Murray is further peterbed when Rita refuses a 'nighty nighty plonker!' due to the loudness of their bed springs and the fact that her mother and father are next door. Sulking, Murray starts bouncing up and down on the bed,

'Crumbs, what are you doing bouncing up and down like that?'

Boing, boi-boing

'I'm trying to wake up Mummy and Daddy and give us a hell of a reputation!'

Murray tries to use the horse linament to oil the offending spring. Rita holds up the bed but he ends up stuck under it when Rita drops it to scratch her nose. The Admiral comes in to check on the noise, 'Good greif, whatever are you doing Murray! You don't have to hide under the bed when I come in now, you're married!'

He tells Murray that he is to be aboard Troutbridge at 6 a.m. to meet Povey and someone from the M.O.D. to be told about Operation Recovery.

Aboard Troutbridge, the Padre, Phillips and Pertwee are in the ward room. Pertwee is non to happy about the hour, and is even less happy when Mr Phillips mentions one of his films, 'Oh please, please, not one of your films before breakfast!' But Mr Phillips continues anyway. Lukily the phone interupts him, calling Pertwee and Phillips to Murray's office.

In Murray's office, Povey and Vice Admiral Burwasher are there to tell them of their mission. Vice Admiral Burwasher, after much discussion amongst himself, tells them their orders but mumbles so much they have no idea what is going on,

'What was all that old guff about and what're we supposed to be doing?'

'You should know better than to ask silly questions like that lad, I did warn you it was top secret, you can't be to carfull! Goodmorning!'

Before he leaves they manage to persuade Burwasher to give them the sealed envelope containing their orders.

At sea in a thick fog, through which Mr Phillips managed to exit the harbour perfectly, the crew open their orders. They are to pick up an anti-satelite rocket, with armed warhead, before it self-destructs and take it back to Nasa Control Portsmouth. Pertwee is as unthusiastic as normal but dispite his suggestions No.1 decides they will try to find the warhead as ordered.

At Nasa control at Portsmouth, the American liason finally describes Troutbridge's mission to the Admiral and Povey, who are naturally concerned,

'If the crew of Troutbridge picked up a beachball they'd burst the blasted thing!'

They are just about to send orders for Troutbridge to return to Portsmouth, when the news comes in that Troutbridge has picked up the warhead and are on their way back.

Back on Troutbridge, the crew realise they have infact picked up a marker bouy,

'No Mr Phillips, the large painted letters on the side of it saying North-Goodwinds are not the name of the American firm that made it!'

Murray agrees with Pertwee that they should not reveale their mistake to Portsmouth. Nasa control calls the ship and tells them the method for disarming the warhead, struggling to keep up with the instructions Murray becomes evermore panicy,

'Now the final and most important instruction of all. What ever you do, don't disturb the arials on the top, because they motivate the self-destruct mechanism.'

'The arials? But there arn't any arials on top!'

'What? Captain, now don't panic - but get that warhead over the side quick. Without the arials that warhead could go up at any moment! Dump it overboard and sail like jumbojet out of here!'

'Aye, aye Colonel'

'What did he...'

'No time to tell you, get that thing overboard at once. Its primed and it coud blow us all to kingdom come! Come on Cheif! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!'

Reminded by Pertwee that the marker bouy is not likely to exploded anytime soon, Murray decides to throw the bouy overboard and carry on looking for the real warhead.

Hours later, they still havn't found the warhead. They carry on looking when they bump into the marker bouy again, or what they thought was the marker bouy. As they examine it closer they see there isn't any writing on the side of it, and they've knocked the arials off it, 'May I suggest, Gentlemen, in light of our present knowledge... Full Ahead Both! Belt the hell out of here before taht damn thing goes off!'

Pertwee, under Mr Phillips "guidance" guides the ship away from the warhead and manages to get far enough away before it explodes. They signal Portsmouth and tell them the warhead has been exploding

At Portsmouth, a band plays and a crowd cheers on the dockside at the return of Troutbridge, the only ship in the Home Fleet still afloat due to the strange disappearnce of the North-Goodwinds marker bouy. Mr Phillips is distracted more than usual but makes it through the harbour entrance with only minimal damage.

And the band plays... on as Toutbridge comes in to dock!

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

The Padre - Michael Bates

Rita Murray - Heather Chasen

Vice Admiral Burwasher - Jon Pertwee

LS Goldstein - Tenniel Evans

Nasa's Colonel - Michael Bates

Lucy Doll - Heather Chasen

Written By: Laurie Wyman and George Evans

Produced By: Alastair Scott Johnson