A 1979 ITV series about the activities of a BombDisposal unit in Britain during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
Lieutenant Brian Ash is a newly-commissioned officer assigned to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Engineer_tunnelling_companies 97 Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers]]. He is shocked to find his job involves the defusing of UXB's (unexploded bombs), a task he must carry out with only rudimentary training. Even as the unit gains experience and better equipment becomes available, their German opponents are [[LensmanArmsRace continually adapting the bombs to make them more difficult to defuse]].
!!The series contains the following tropes:
* AluminumChristmasTrees: The tunneling companies that Ash is a member of were created in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI to dig mines under enemy trenches, fill them full of explosives and detonate them. Blitzkrieg warfare made them obsolete, but as it happens the skills were useful for those digging up bombs and handling explosives, if not for defusing them.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Many of the bomb-disposal devices, at least on first appearance. The fuse extractor can only be used on level ground (the bomb is stuck in a wall halfway up a building). The clockstopper is an enormous magnet that stops the timer but not the spring-loaded BoobyTrap. The steam sterilizer is too big for the section lorry and vibrates constantly. In the final episode they're using a primitive metal detector and assume it'll be unreliable too, especially as it's detecting a bomb where there's no impact crater. Turns out it's detecting a bomb that fell early in the war but was not reported.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Susan tells Ash that she fell in LoveAtFirstSight with him. Ash responds that he thought she was "annoyingly bossy" (not that Ash [[RightBehindMe didn't give her reason to be annoyed at him]]).
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Surprisingly Ash is still alive at the end of the series, and has been transferred away from Bomb Disposal, but his prospects are poor as a disabled veteran with no relevant skills in the civilian world. There are hopeful indications however that he'll be able to get on with his life with the support of his wife and friends.]]
* BlackWidow: Elspeth in "Dead Letter". Her husband and previous lovers have all been killed in action, and [[BrokenBird she romances Ash knowing full well he's likely to get killed too]]. Ash accepts her advances even though it's suggested she might be jinxed.
* BombWhistle: The characters comment it on at least the first two episodes. The first episode has a whistle without a corresponding explosion, claimed to be some delay action bomb. The second episode mentions that there's a special vein to make the whistle louder.
* BoobyTrap: The anti-handling device, designed to kill bomb disposal teams. The sophistication of such devices advance as the war goes on, with boffins like Dr Gillespie constantly struggling to keep up.
* TheCasanova: Ivor Rodgers -- Ash consults him on the best place to take a married woman on a date. Rodgers congratulates Ash on his good sense. "At your age there is no more dangerous sport than deflowering debutantes."
* CharacterClassSystem: Enlisted ranks do the dirty work of digging down to buried bombs or moving debris, but it is the Officers' task to do the actual defusing.
** Showcased in one episode where some of the enlisted men [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight go off on their own to save a trapped woman in danger from a UXB]] and generally make a hash of the whole process winding up lucky not to have been killed.
** Inverted in "Butterfly Winter" where the sheer number of bomblets needing to be dealt with requires even the lower ranks to be given basic training to help in disposing them.
* CoolCar: Ash's MG.
* DistantReactionShot: Whenever a bomb goes off.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: An InUniverse example occurs in "A Quiet Weekend". Ash and his married LoveInterest Susan Mount slip off to a country hotel for an illicit affair. The nervous couple break down in giggles at the sight of a painting of a rampant stag.
* DontAskJustRun: Ash is working with a naval officer to defuse a parachute-dropped mine. He's told that if he hears the fuze running, he's to run like hell. Being an OfficerAndAGentleman, Ash refuses to leave the other man behind, causing him to snap, "Don't be a bloody fool! When I say run, you run!" The reason is the naval officer will be running as well, and Ash hesitating means that he'll get in his way and get them both killed.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Cpl Salt is always willing to help a DamselInDistress, [[spoiler:which eventually leads to his death.]]
* EekAMouse: A sapper screams when he encounters a rat, [[CatScare just when Ash is about to defuse a bomb]] designed to blow up at the slightest touch.
* TheEndOrIsIt: In "Butterfly Winter" hundreds of anti-personnel bomblets are scattered over a village and the entire unit has to take part in disposing of them. As the unit drives away at the end of the episode, a bomblet they've missed is shown hanging from a tree above the road.
* EnsignNewbie: Every officer by default at the beginning of the war, as there's no training or experience in bomb disposal available. Furthermore there's no point wasting Sandhurst-trained officers on [[HighTurnoverRate a job that will get them killed in a few weeks]], so bomb disposal officers are just promoted up from the ranks.
* AFatherToHisMen: Major Luckhurst. Ivor Rodgers takes on this persona after he's promoted to command of the unit.
* GallowsHumor: Rodgers is a master.
-->"The Coffin Makers Worst Customer Club: We have graves but no bodies."
* GotVolunteered: Everyone assumes you have to volunteer for such dangerous work. They're wrong.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:A mine he's defusing goes off in Ash's face, and though he survives his psychological problems are likely to continue for years afterward.]]
* TheHomeFront: Which in this case is the front line.
* IdiotBall: The authorities have made no preparations for bomb disposal whatsoever, originally telling police and air raid wardens to just pile up UXB's somewhere out of the way.
-->'''Major Luckhurst:''' "Apparently some chap was hawking the details of these things (German detonators) in London before the war. No-one listened to him."
** Ash tries to free the detonator from a bomb stuck halfway up a brick wall by kicking it -- causing it to fall thirty feet to the ground. He gets strips torn off him by his CO, especially since the building it was stuck in was useless to the war effort.
* IfYouDieICallYourStuff: Ash finds himself being issued with the uniform and billet of the last man killed.
* InfantImmortality: In "Just Like a Woman" audience tension is created when a kid sneaks off to look at the bomb being defused, but when it goes off he suffers no major injuries despite having a hut collapse on him.
* KillItWithIce: The Y detonator has a mercury switch which detonates if the bomb is moved, so Dr Gillespie suggests using liquid oxygen to neutralise the battery long enough for the detonator to be removed. Needless to say Ash is the one who has to put this theory to the test.
* MadScientist: Dr Gillespie is building a HeathRobinsonMachine in his backyard for steaming explosives out of bombs. He even has a MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter in Susan Mount (who is distinctly unamused when [[RightBehindMe she overhears Ash describe her this way]]). However the steam sterilizer is the only available means of bypassing a booby-trapped detonator, so Gillespie, Susan and Ash have to work together to solve its teething problems.
* TheNeidermeyer: Captain Francis chews out Ash for burning toast, purely because he's jealous of a magazine article that Ash appeared in (under orders from his superiors). He also [[ApatheticTeacher fails to train Ash despite being Training Officer]], leaving him to pick up everything from his sergeant. When [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Francis becomes OC of the unit]], he starts making Ash's life miserable in surrogate revenge for [[JerkassWoobie his own wife having an affair]] with a young officer.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Because there's usually nothing left to find.
* OhCrap: Several of these, usually along the lines of "It's started ticking", "We have to move the bomb to get at the fuse" or "It's that new type that's blown up anyone who's tried to defuse it so far."
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Ash very much acts this trope, even though his family is middle-class and he's never been to a military academy.
* ReallyGetsAround: Norma Baker, who gets turned on by the danger of air raids and sleeps with any lodger who's willing.
* SacrificialLamb: A bomb disposal officer is killed in the opening scene. Ash is his replacement with a life expectancy of only seven weeks.
* SergeantRock: Sergeant James
* [[ScrewTheWarWerePartying Screw The War, We're Partying]]: "The Silver Lining" has an unexploded bomb drop in a notorious strip club. The men assigned to digging out the bomb help themselves to the food and booze lying around; it also turns out one of the girls slept through the whole commotion. Unfortunately her rendition of the [[YouCanLeaveYourHatOn Fan Dance]] is interrupted by the return of Sergeant James, who isn't fooled by their hasty disposal of the evidence.
* TheScrounger: Corporal Mould, the mess orderly. Sapper Wilkins from Ash's section.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Conscientious objector John Brinkley, who gets roughed up by one of the sappers on his arrival at the unit. Brinkley later becomes a bomb disposal officer [[spoiler:and gets blown up in front of the sapper who assaulted him; the latter breaks down in hysterics.]]
* TheSquad: 347 Section, Ash's command.
* StockFootage: Used for the opening credits, including a CreationSequence of (presumably German) bombs being manufactured.
* TimeBomb: The Germans discovered during the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar that bombs which failed to explode caused more disruption and fear than those that blew up right away, so some bombs have time-delay detonators that can explode days later.
* TruthInTelevision: The Nazis really did invent several types of booby-trapped detonators that were designed to kill the UXB officers trying to disarm them.
* VomitIndiscretionShot / StressVomit: Ash throws up after defusing his first bomb.
* WartimeWedding: One of which is a ShotgunWedding as well.