With the forth coming new ‘Dad’s Army’ film, I think before we see another reboot or rewrite, We should take a quick look at want went before.
For the people who don’t have any idea what ‘Dad’s Army’ is and was. its a BBC television sitcom about the united kingdoms Home Guard in the second world war nicknamed ‘Dad’s Army’, made up from the male population to young or to old to be in any of the regular armed forces.
All 80 episodes were written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, they also wrote a feature film and a stage show,
The show was set in the fictional seaside town of Walmington on Sea, the home guard platoon would have been on the front line if invasion came,
The first episode called ‘The Man and the Hour’ began with Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) addressing the platoon in the present day of 1968, then in flash back to the founding of the platoon after Mainwaring hearing the Anthony Eden 1940 radio broadcast.
The first two series filmed in black and white dealt with building and arming the platoon as well as each of the characters
Captain George Mainwaring – Arthur Lowe
Sergeant Arthur Wilson – John Le Mesurier
Corporal Jack Jones – Clive Dunn
Private James Frazer – John Laurie
Private Joe Walker – James Beck
Private Charles Godfrey – Arnold Ridley
Private Frank Pike – Ian Lavender
The humour ranged from the sublime to out and out slapstick but at many points it reflected the on the dark situation and how woefully under equipped they were, As the show when on catchphrases were given to almost everyone in turn,
Having such an old cast of character actors many people though the show wouldn’t last very long, but the sadist and most shocking thing of all was death of James Beck in 1973 at the end of shows fifth series he was only 44 years, the character was only mentioned once after that in a episode called The Recruit.
The show ran for another four series and five specials and of course the 1971 film, The final episode, Never Too Old focused on the wedding of Corporal Jones and Mrs Fox which at very and brakes the fourth wall toasting the real Home Guard, the TV show ended in 1977 the radio show based on the TV scripts end the year before with story the broadcast to the Empire.
As the years when by many of the cast when on to other things or just retied altogether but in 1981 three of the cast were reunited Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier and Ian Lavender of a radio show called It Sticks Out Half a Mile created by Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles, but with death of Arthur Lowe the idea was changed so that former ARP warden and nemesis of Mainwaring’s Home Guard unit Bert Hodges (Bill Pertwee) the show only lasted 14 episodes.
So please when you have seen the new Dad’s Army film go back and seek out the old TV show and see want has been before