At the forefront of this expeditionary force is the HMS Camden Lock, helmed by the irrepressible, if a little tetchy, Commander Henderson. Ably assisted by a crew of misfits, the Commander steers his ship through the stars, giving orders from his big swivelly chair. Experience the highs, the lows, the anti-gravity failures, the annoying talking mops, and, of course, the wars with alien races.
Henderson is determined to sell business space in the Peterborough Enterprise Zone to The Glish, a race of permanently-moist aliens who lick each other in greeting. However, the meeting doesn't go as planned, the Glish are hesitant and must do a lot of hand and facelicking before they sign. When the deal falls through, Space Force demands that the Camden Lock crew finds another investor by the end of the week.
Henderson has arranged a meeting with the strange, new planet of Queppu. This is his chance to speak to the peoples of a planet and make history. Instead, Henderson, Teal and York are greeted with crossbow fire and accused of being rebels against the leader. When they are sentenced to a lingering death, the Princess Layvia begs her father for their release.
It's Gary Neville Day, the holiday which celebrates the 21st-century footballer and inventor of Artificial Gravity. Everyone on the Camden Lock has been given the whole weekend off to let their hair down and take a well-earned break. Traditionally, the crew hold the Cadet's Ball and extend a courtesy invitation to the Commander. This year, attendance may be a bit thin, is someone deliberately reducing the numbers?
Henderson has his eye on a Nobel Peace Prize when the Bulaah and the Lallakiss arrive at the Camden Lock for negotiations over the rights to an asteroid. Discarding Teal's complex agendas in favor of a 'man-to-thing' chat, Henderson raises the stakes of the negotiation by threatening to blow up the disputed rock if they don't agree to share it. The game of chicken goes wrong and the asteroid is destroyed. The two feuding alien species forget their differences, and declare war on Britain.
While scanning the galaxy for drug smugglers, the Camden Lock encounters the ship of famous round-the-galaxy solo spacewoman, Clare Winchester. Concerned that being so long alone in space might have made Clare a bit loopy and excited by the thought of meeting a real celebrity, Henderson drops in for an ill-advised visit.
During a round of routine psychological tests, the Camden Lock is fired upon. Mistaking it for part of the evaluation, Henderson ignores the sounds of the destruction. Furious with Henderson's continuing incompetence, Space Marshal Clarke orders a "Category J' inspection. No one has ever passed a Category J, that's why it was invented. Henderson finally admits defeat and retreats to await his dismissal. York, however, is determined to whip the crew into shape in time.