Kenneth More plays Royal Navy officer Lieutenant Commander ‘Bodger’ Badger – a likeable officer who is just too honest with his opinions.
When his latest feelings about the Royal Navy’s incompetence becomes national news, “the Bodger” is posted to the American Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean accompanied by a trio of hapless British cadet midshipmen – Dewberry (Jeremy Lloyd), Bowles (Dinsdale Landen) and Carson (Derek Fowlds) – from Dartmouth naval training College.
Arriving at Villefranche on the Riviera where the Sixth Fleet is at anchor, Badger has his first encounter with Vice Admiral “Tiger” Ryan (Lloyd Nolan) – commander of the Sixth Fleet – who is in mufti at the time of their meeting. What transpires does nothing for Anglo-American relations and serves only to confirm the Admiral’s initial suspicions that British naval personnel are a menace both to themselves and to everyone around them.
On reporting aboard the flagship, the three midshipmen are given jobs which they are least suited to carry out – it being the Admiral’s view that a good officer should be able to turn his hand to anything in case of emergency.
Dewberry is put in charge of ship’s entertainment; Bowles is responsible for sports, and the sea sickness-prone Carson is put in charge of the mail – which involves a daily journey over a choppy sea in a small launch. Scrape follows scrape for the midshipmen, and for “the Bodger” whose job it is to get them out of trouble.
The Admiral’s pet dog, Albert, also joins enthusiastically in the goings-on and, quite literally, really gets his teeth into things.
American Navy Nurse Lieutenant Carol Blair (Joan O’Brien) is attached to the Anglo-American Hospital at Villefranche.
Watch out for some brief cameos by Sid James, Warren Mitchell, Rodney Bewes, Michael Bentine, Brian Wilde and Dirk Bogarde as Doctor Simon Sparrow, the same character he played in the Doctor series of films.
Lt. Commander Robert “Bodger” Badger
Vice Admiral “Tiger” Ryan
Lt. Carol Blair
George Dewberry Sr.
John Le Mesurier
Mrs Cynthia Dewberry