Dad's Army

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Dad's Army
File:Dad's Army.jpg
Series title card
Created by Jimmy Perry
Written by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Directed by David Croft
Harold Snoad
Bob Spiers
Starring Listed in closing credits:
Arthur Lowe
John Le Mesurier
Clive Dunn
John Laurie
James Beck
Arnold Ridley
Ian Lavender
Bill Pertwee
Frank Williams
Edward Sinclair
Janet Davies
Colin Bean
Opening theme Bud Flanagan
"Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?"
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 9
No. of episodes 80 (3 missing) (list of episodes)
Producer(s) David Croft
Running time 30 minutes
Original network BBC1
Original release 31 July 1968 (1968-07-31) – 13 November 1977 (1977-11-13)
External links
[{{#property:P856}} Website]
File:Croft and Perry.jpg
Co-writers David Croft and Jimmy Perry during a Dad's Army event at Bressingham Steam Museum, May 2011.

Dad's Army is a BBC television sitcom about the British Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on the BBC from 1968 to 1977. The sitcom ran for 9 series and 80 episodes in total, plus a radio version based on the television scripts, a feature film and a stage show. The series regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers and is still repeated worldwide.

The Home Guard consisted of local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, either because of age (hence the nickname "Dad's Army") or by being in professions exempt from conscription. Dad's Army deals almost exclusively with over age men and featured older British actors, including Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Arnold Ridley and John Laurie. Younger members in the cast included Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn (who played the oldest guardsman, Lance Corporal Jones), Frank Williams, James Beck (who died suddenly during production of the programme's sixth series in 1973) and air raid warden Bill Pertwee.

In 2004, Dad's Army was voted fourth in a BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom. It had been placed 13th in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000 and voted for by industry professionals.[1] The series has influenced popular culture in the United Kingdom, with the series' catchphrases and characters being well known. It highlighted a forgotten aspect of defence during the Second World War, although it greatly distorted the true history and function of the Home Guard. The Radio Times magazine listed Captain Mainwaring's "You stupid boy!" among the 25 greatest put-downs on TV.[2] A new feature film of Dad's Army with a different cast was released in 2016.[3]


Originally intended to be called The Fighting Tigers, Dad's Army was based partly on co-writer and creator Jimmy Perry's experiences in the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV, later known as the Home Guard). Perry was only 17 years old when he joined the 10th Hertfordshire Battalion. His mother did not like him being out at night and feared he might catch cold; he partly resembled the character of Private Pike.[4] An elderly lance corporal in the outfit often referred to fighting under Kitchener against the "Fuzzy Wuzzies" (Hadendoa) and was the model for Corporal Jones. Other influences included the work of comedians such as Will Hay whose film Oh, Mr Porter! featured a pompous ass, an old man and a young man which gave him Mainwaring, Godfrey and Pike. Another influence was the Lancastrian comedian Robb Wilton, who portrayed a work-shy husband who joined the Home Guard in numerous comic sketches during WW2.[citation needed]

Perry wrote the first script and gave it to David Croft while working as a minor actor in the Croft-produced sitcom Hugh and I, originally intending the role of the spiv, later called Walker, to be his own.[4] Croft was impressed and sent the script to Michael Mills, the BBC's Head of Comedy. After addressing initial concerns that the programme was making fun of the efforts of the Home Guard, the series was commissioned.[5]

In his book Dad's Army, Graham McCann explained that the show owes much to Michael Mills. It was he who renamed the show Dad's Army. He did not like Brightsea-on-Sea so the location was changed to Walmington-on-Sea. He was happy with the names for the characters Mainwaring, Godfrey and Pike but not with other names and he made suggestions: Private Jim Duck became Frazer, Joe Fish became Joe Walker and Jim Jones became Jack Jones. He also suggested adding a Scot. Jimmy Perry had produced the original idea but needed an experienced man to see it through. Mills suggested David Croft and so their partnership began.

When an episode was shown to members of the public, to gauge audience reaction prior to broadcast of the first series, the majority of the audience thought it was very poor. The production team put the report containing the negative comments at the bottom of David Croft's in-tray. He only saw it several months later, after the series had been broadcast and had received great acclamation.[6]


The show is set in the fictional seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea, on the south coast of England (the exterior scenes were mostly filmed in and around the Stanford Training Area [STANTA], near Thetford, Norfolk).[7] The local Home Guard platoon would be on the front line in the event of an invasion across the English Channel. The first series has a loose narrative thread, with Captain Mainwaring's platoon being formed and equipped—initially with wooden guns and LDV armbands and later on with full army uniforms; the platoon is part of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

The first episode, "The Man and the Hour", begins with a scene set in the "present day" of 1968, in which Mainwaring addresses his old platoon as part of the contemporary 'I'm Backing Britain' campaign. The prologue opening was a condition imposed after initial concerns of Paul Fox, the controller of BBC 1, that it was belittling the efforts of the Home Guard.[8] After Mainwaring relates how he had backed Britain in 1940, the episode proper begins; Dad’s Army is thus told in flashback, although the final episode does not return to 1968. Later episodes are largely self-contained, albeit referring to previous events and with additional character development.

As the comedy in many ways relies on the platoon's lack of participation in the Second World War, opposition to their activities has to come from another quarter and this is generally provided by Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Warden Hodges and sometimes by the verger of the local church (St Aldhelm's) or by Captain Square and the neighbouring Eastgate Home Guard platoon. The group does have some encounters related to the enemy, such as downed German planes, a U-boat crew, parachutes that may have been German and German mines; an IRA suspect appears in "Absent Friends".

The humour ranges from the subtle (especially in the class-reversed relationship between Mainwaring, the local bank manager and Wilson, his deputy at the bank) to the slapstick (the antics of the elderly Jones being a prime example). Jones had several catchphrases, including "Don't panic!", "They don't like it up 'em", "Permission to speak, sir" and talk about the "Fuzzy-Wuzzies". Mainwaring says "You stupid boy" to Pike in many episodes.

The first series occasionally includes darker humour, reflecting that, especially early in the war, the Home Guard was woefully under-equipped but was still willing to have a crack at the Wehrmacht. For instance, in the episode "The Battle of Godfrey’s Cottage", the platoon believes an enemy invasion is under way. Mainwaring, Godfrey, Frazer and Jones (along with Godfrey's sisters, who are completely unaware of the invasion) decide to stay at the cottage to delay any German advance, to allow the regular army time to arrive with reinforcements; "It'll probably be the end of us, but we're ready for that, aren't we, men?", says Mainwaring. "Of course", replies Frazer.


File:Dadsarmy 1.jpg
The characters of Dad's Army (left to right): Privates Pike and Frazer, ARP Warden Hodges, Private Godfrey, Captain Mainwaring, Private Walker, Lance-Corporal Jones and Sergeant Wilson

The show's main characters were:

  • Captain Mainwaring (/ˈmænərɪŋ/) (Arthur Lowe), the pompous, if essentially brave and unerringly patriotic local bank manager, Mainwaring appointed himself leader of his town's contingent of Local Defence Volunteers. He had been a Lieutenant in the First World War, but is embarrassed by the fact that he never saw combat, being sent to France after the Armistice and then part of the Army of Occupation in Germany.
  • Sergeant Wilson (John Le Mesurier), a diffident, upper-class bank employee who would quietly question Mainwaring's judgement ("Do you think that's wise, Sir?"). Wilson actually had served as a Captain in the First World War, but he does not admit that until the end of the series. He lodges with the Pike family and is implied to be in a relationship with the widowed Mrs Pike (and sometimes hinted to be Frank Pike's biological father) although this is never explicitly stated.
  • Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn), the local butcher, born in 1870. Jones was an old campaigner who had enlisted as a drummer boy at age 14 and participated, as a boy soldier, in the Gordon Relief Expedition of 1884–85 and, as a man soldier, in Kitchener's campaign in the Sudan in 1896–98. Dunn was considerably younger than he appeared, being only in his 40s at the start of filming and this allowed him to take part in some of the more physical comedy of the show.
  • Private Frazer (John Laurie), a dour Scottish undertaker and a former Chief Petty Officer on HMS Defiant in the Royal Navy. He served at the Battle of Jutland as a ship's cook and also has a medal for having served on Shackleton's Antarctic expedition.
  • Private Walker (James Beck), a black market spiv, the Cockney Walker was the only fit, able-bodied man of military age in Walmington-on-Sea's Home Guard. He was discharged from the regular armed forces because of an allergy to corned beef.
  • Private Godfrey (Arnold Ridley), a retired shop assistant, who had worked at the Army & Navy Store in London. He lives in Walmington with his elderly sisters and serves as the platoon's medical orderly. He often gets "caught short" and needs to "be excused". A conscientious objector during the First World War, he was nevertheless awarded the Military Medal for heroic actions as a combat medic. He also demonstrated bravery during his Home Guard service particularly during an episode where Mainwaring, seemingly unconscious in a smoke filled room, is rescued by Godfrey.
  • Private Pike (Ian Lavender), the youngest of the platoon, a cosseted mother's boy, constantly wearing a thick scarf with his uniform to prevent illness and often the target of Mainwaring's derision ("You stupid boy!"). He works for Mainwaring in his day job as an assistant bank clerk.
  • ARP Warden Hodges (Bill Pertwee), the platoon's major rival and nemesis. Mainwaring looks down on him as a greengrocer. As an ARP Warden, he is always demanding that people "put that light out".

Supporting characters included:

  • The Reverend Farthing (Frank Williams), the effete, huffy vicar of St. Aldhelm's Church. He reluctantly shares his church hall and office with Mainwaring's platoon.
  • Maurice Yeatman (Edward Sinclair), the brash verger at St Aldhelm's Church and Scoutmaster of the local Sea Scout troop. He is often hostile to the platoon while frequently sycophantic to the vicar, who often struggles to tolerate him.
  • Mrs Pike (Janet Davies), Pike's overbearing widowed mother and Sergeant Wilson's lover. She and Wilson have been in a relationship for more than seventeen years and Walmington is rife with gossip about them. Wilson actually asks her to marry him in one episode, but that is conveniently forgotten for the rest of the series.
  • Mrs Fox (Pamela Cundell), a glamorous local widow to whom Jones is attracted and finally marries in the last episode. She is a regular customer at his shop and helps the platoon with official functions. In the episode "Mum's Army", she gives her Christian name as Marcia, but by the final episode of the show she has become Mildred.
  • Private Sponge (Colin Bean), a sheep farmer. He represents the members of the platoon not in Corporal Jones' first section and thus has only occasional speaking parts while nonetheless appearing in the majority of episodes.
  • Private Cheeseman (Talfryn Thomas), a Welshman who works for the town newspaper. He joined the Walmington-on-Sea platoon during the seventh series after the sudden death of James Beck, who played Private Walker.
  • Captain Square (Geoffrey Lumsden), the pompous commanding officer of the rival Eastgate Platoon. He is frequently at loggerheads with Mainwaring (whose name he persists in mispronouncing as spelt, "Mane-wearing", instead of the correct "Mannering") and has the catchphrase, "You blithering idiot!"
  • Elizabeth Mainwaring (Unseen character), Mainwaring's reclusive, paranoid and domineering wife who is never seen on-screen. Her marriage with Mainwaring is not a happy one and Mainwaring does his best to avoid her at any given opportunity. The marriage is childless.

Opening and closing credits

The show's opening titles were originally intended to feature footage of refugees and Nazi troops, to illustrate the threat faced by the Home Guard. Despite opposition from the BBC's Head of Comedy Michael Mills, Paul Fox, the controller of BBC 1, ordered that these be removed on the grounds that they were offensive.[9] The replacement titles featured the now familiar animated sequence of swastika-headed arrows approaching Britain.[10] The opening titles were updated twice; firstly in Series 3, adding colour and noticeably better animation and then again in Series 6, which made some slight tweaks to the animation.

There were two different versions of the closing credits for the show. The first version, used in Series 1 and 2, simply showed footage of the main cast superimposed over a still photograph, with the crew credits rolling over a black background. The more familiar closing credits, introduced in Series 3, were a homage to the end credits of the film The Way Ahead (1944) which had covered the training of a platoon during the war. In both instances, each character is shown as they walk across a smoke-filled battlefield. One of the actors in Dad's Army, John Laurie, also appeared in that film and his performance in the end credits of The Way Ahead appears to be copied in the sitcom. Coincidentally, the film's lead character (played by David Niven) is named Lt. Jim Perry.


The show's theme tune, "Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?" was Jimmy Perry's idea, intended as a gentle pastiche of wartime songs. It was the only pastiche in the series, as the other music used was contemporary to the 1940s. Perry wrote the lyric himself and composed the music with Derek Taverner. Perry persuaded one of his childhood idols, wartime entertainer Bud Flanagan, to sing the theme for 100 guineas. Flanagan died less than a year after the recording.

The version played over the opening credits differs slightly from the full version recorded by Flanagan; an abrupt and rather conspicuous edit removes, for timing reasons, two lines of lyric with the "middle eight" tune: "So watch out Mr Hitler, you have met your match in us/If you think you can crush us, we're afraid you've missed the bus." Bud Flanagan's full version appears as an Easter egg on the first series DVD release and on the authorised soundtrack CD issued by CD41.[11] Arthur Lowe also recorded a full version of the theme.[12]

The music over the opening credits was recorded at Riverside Studios, Bud Flanagan being accompanied by the Orchestra of the Band of the Coldstream Guards. The closing credits feature an instrumental march version of the song played by the Band of the Coldstream Guards conducted by Captain (later Lieutenant Colonel) Trevor L. Sharpe, ending with the air-raid warning siren sounding all-clear. It is accompanied by a style of credits that became a trademark of David Croft: the caption "You have been watching", followed by vignettes of the main cast.

The series also contains genuine wartime and period songs between scenes, usually brief quotations that have some reference to the theme of the episode or the scene. Many appear on the CD soundtrack issued by CD41, being the same versions used in the series.

TV episodes

The television series lasted nine series and was broadcast over nine years, with 80 episodes in total, including three Christmas specials and an hour-long special. At its peak, the programme regularly gained audiences of 18.5 million.[13] There were also four short specials broadcast as part of Christmas Night with the Stars in 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1972.

Missing episodes

The first two series were recorded and screened in black and white, while Series 3 to 9 were recorded and screened in colour. Even so, one episode in Series 3, Room at the Bottom, formerly only survived in black and white and remains on the official DVDs in this form. This episode has benefited from colour recovery technology, using a buried colour signal (chroma dots) in the black-and-white telerecording to restore the programme and was transmitted on 13 December 2008 on BBC Two.[14]

Dad's Army is less affected than most from the wiping of videotape, but three second-series episodes remain missing - episode 9 "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker", episode 11 "A Stripe for Frazer" and episode 12 "Under Fire". Two further Series 2 episodes were believed lost until 2001. Two of the three missing episodes have since been performed as part of the latest stage show.

In 2008 soundtracks of the missing episode "A Stripe for Frazer" and the 1968 Christmas Special "Present Arms" were recovered. The soundtrack of the 5th episode of the 2nd series, "A Stripe for Frazer" has been mixed with animation to replace the missing images.[15]


1971 film

In common with many British sitcoms of that era, in 1971 Dad's Army was made into a feature film. Backers Columbia Pictures imposed arbitrary changes, such as recasting Liz Fraser as Mavis Pike and filming outdoors in Chalfont St Giles rather than Thetford, which made the cast unhappy. The director, Norman Cohen, whose idea it was to make the film, was nearly sacked by the studio.[16]:168

Jimmy Perry and David Croft wrote the original screenplay. This was expanded by Cohen to try to make it more cinematic; Columbia executives made more changes to plot and pacing. As finally realised, two-thirds of the film consists of the creation of the platoon—this was the contribution of Perry and Croft—and the final third shows the platoon in action, rescuing hostages from the church hall where they had been held captive by the crewmen of a downed German aircraft.

Neither the cast nor Perry and Croft were happy with the result. Perry argued for changes to try to reproduce the style of the television series, but with mixed results.

Filming took place from 10 August to 25 September 1970 at Shepperton Studios and various other locations. After shooting the film, the cast returned to working on the fourth television series.

The film's UK première was on 12 March 1971 at the Columbia Theatre, London. Critical reviews were mixed, but it performed well at the UK box office. Discussions were held about a possible sequel, to be called Dad's Army and the Secret U-Boat Base, but the project never came to fruition.[16]:164–169

2016 film

Michael Gambon as Private Godfrey on the set of Dad's Army in October 2014. Filming took place on the beach at North Landing, Flamborough Head, Yorkshire and at nearby Bridlington.

A new film was released in 2016, written by Hamish McColl and directed by Oliver Parker and featuring Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson, Tom Courtenay as Lance Corporal Jones, Michael Gambon as Private Godfrey, Blake Harrison as Private Pike, Daniel Mays as Private Walker and Bill Paterson as Private Frazer. The cast also includes Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sarah Lancashire and Mark Gatiss. The film was mostly made on location in Yorkshire.[17] It opened in February 2016 to mixed reviews.[18][19][20][21]

Stage show

In 1975 Dad’s Army transferred to the stage as a revue, with songs, familiar scenes from the show and individual "turns" for cast members. It was created by Roger Redfarn, who shared the same agent as the sitcom writers. Most of the principal cast transferred with it, with the exception of John Laurie (he was replaced by Hamish Roughead). Following James Beck’s death two years earlier, Walker was played by John Bardon.

Dad’s Army: A Nostalgic Music and Laughter Show of Britain’s Finest Hour opened at Billingham in Teesside on 4 September 1975 for a two-week tryout. After cuts and revisions, the show transferred to London’s West End and opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 2 October 1975. On the opening night there was a surprise appearance by Chesney Allen, singing the old Flanagan and Allen song Hometown with Arthur Lowe.

The show ran in the West End until 21 February 1976, disrupted twice by bomb scares and then toured the country until 4 September 1976. Clive Dunn was replaced for half the tour by Jack Haig (David Croft's original first choice for the role of Corporal Jones on television). Jeffrey Holland, who went on to star in several later Croft sitcoms, also had a number of roles in the production.[16]:178–180

The stage show, billed as Dad's Army—The Musical, was staged in Australia and toured New Zealand in 2004–05, starring Jon English. Several sections of this stage show were filmed and have subsequently been included as extras on the final Dad's Army DVD.

In April 2007, a new stage show was announced with cast members including Leslie Grantham as Private Walker and Emmerdale actor Peter Martin as Captain Mainwaring.[22] The production contained the episodes "A Stripe for Frazer", "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker", "Room at the Bottom" and "The Deadly Attachment".

Radio series

Many TV episodes were remade for BBC Radio 4 with the original cast, although other actors played Walker after James Beck’s death. These radio versions were adapted by Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles and also featured John Snagge as a newsreader who would set the scene for each episode. Different actors were used for some of the minor parts; Mollie Sugden played the role of Mrs Fox and Pearl Hackney played the role of Mrs. Pike for example. The pilot episode was actually based on the revised version of events seen in the opening of the film version rather than the TV pilot. The entire radio series has been released on CD.[23]

Knowles and Snoad also developed a radio series It Sticks Out Half a Mile, which told what happened to some of the Dad’s Army characters after the war. It was originally intended to star Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier reprising their Dad’s Army roles, but Lowe died shortly after recording the pilot episode and Bill Pertwee and Ian Lavender were brought in to replace him for a 13-episode series.

Jimmy Perry wrote a radio sketch The Boy Who Saved England for the "Full Steam A-Hudd" evening broadcast on Radio 2 on 3 June 1995. It featured Ian Lavender as Pike, Bill Pertwee as Hodges, Frank Williams as the Vicar and Jimmy Perry as General Haverlock-Seabag.

Other appearances

Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier and John Laurie themselves made a cameo appearance as their Dad's Army characters in the 1977 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special. As Elton John is following incomprehensible instructions to find the BBC studios, he encounters them in a steam room. On leaving, Mainwaring calls him a "stupid boy".[24] Earlier, Le Mesurier, Laurie, Beck, Ridley and Lavender had appeared as guests in the 22 April 1971 edition of The Morecambe and Wise Show on BBC2 playing pirates to Lowe’s captain in the Monty on the Bonty sketch. The cast also appeared in a 1970s public information film, in character but set in the modern day, showing how to cross the road safely at traffic lights.

A pilot episode for an American remake called The Rear Guard was produced by ABC and broadcast on 10 August 1976, based on the episode "The Deadly Attachment". However, it failed to make it past the pilot stage.[25]

Le Mesurier and Lowe made a final appearance in Dad's Army garb for a 1982 television commercial advertising Wispa chocolate bars.

Clive Dunn made occasional appearances as Corporal Jones at 1940s themed events in the 1980s and 1990s and on television on the BBC Saturday night entertainment show Noel's House Party on 27 November 1993.[26]

Arthur Lowe twice appeared on the BBC children's programme Blue Peter. The first time was with John Le Mesurier, in which the two appeared in costume and in character as Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson when walking around looking at and discussing a mural which schoolchildren had painted featuring the characters from the show at a Christmas party, among whom was Mainwaring's unseen wife Elizabeth – or rather, what the children thought she looked like (Mainwaring remarks "Good grief. What a remarkable likeness!"). Arthur Lowe made a second appearance as Captain Mainwaring on Blue Peter with the Dad's Army van which would appear in the forthcoming London-Brighton run and showed presenter John Noakes the vehicle's hidden anti-Nazi defences.


During its original television run, Dad's Army was nominated for a number of British Academy Television Awards, although only won "Best Light Entertainment Production Team" in 1971. It was nominated as "Best Situation Comedy" in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Also, Arthur Lowe was frequently nominated for "Best Light Entertainment Performance" in 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1978.[27]

In 2000, the show was voted 13th in a British Film Institute poll of industry professionals of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. In 2004, championed by Phill Jupitus, it came fourth in the BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom with 174,138 votes.[28]


File:Mainwaring Statue.jpg
Statue of Captain Mainwaring, erected in Thetford in June 2010

In June 2010, a statue of Captain Mainwaring was erected in the Norfolk town of Thetford where most of the exteriors for the TV series were filmed. The statue features Captain Mainwaring sitting to attention on a simple bench in Home Guard uniform, with his swagger stick across his knees. The statue is mounted at the end of a winding brick pathway with a Union Flag patterned arrow head to reflect the opening credits of the TV series and the sculpture has been designed so that members of the public can sit beside Captain Mainwaring and have their photograph taken. The statue was vandalised not long after the unveiling by a 10-year-old boy, who kicked it for 10 minutes and broke off Captain Mainwaring's glasses, throwing them into a nearby river. The statue has since been fixed.[29]

The British sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart paid tribute to Dad's Army in episode one of its second series in 1995, "Don't Get Around Much Any More". Here, lead character Gary Sparrow – a time-traveller from the 1990s – goes into a bank in 1941 and meets a bank manager named Mainwaring and Wilson, his chief clerk, both of whom are in the Home Guard. When he hears the names Mainwaring and Wilson, Gary begins singing the Dad's Army theme song.

Cultural influence

The characters of Dad's Army and their catchphrases are well known in the UK due to the popularity of the series when originally shown and the frequency of repeats.

Jimmy Perry recalls that before writing the sitcom, the Home Guard was a largely forgotten aspect of Britain's defence in the Second World War, something which the series rectified.[16]:12 In a 1972 Radio Times interview, Arthur Lowe expresses surprise at the programme’s success;

We expected the show to have limited appeal, to the age group that lived through the war and the Home Guard. We didn’t expect what has happened – that children from the age of five upwards would enjoy it too.[30]

File:Captain Mannering's.jpg
The fact that a pub in Shoeburyness has been named (albeit incorrectly) after a main character indicates the programme's popularity.

By focusing on the comic aspects of the Home Guard in a cosy south coast setting, the TV series did, however, distort the popular perception of the organisation. Its characters represented the older volunteers within the Home Guard but largely ignored the large numbers of teenagers and factory workers who also served. Many veterans were subsequently reluctant to tell their stories for fear that they would be treated as a joke.[31] A more gritty, working class, impression can be seen in Eric Kennington's illustrations to John Brophy's Britain's Home Guard: a character study (1945).[32] Accounts from Home Guard members and their regimental publications, inspired Norman Longmate's history The Real Dad's Army (1974).[33]

A brief visual reference to Dad's Army is made at the start of the episode Rag Week from the nineties British sitcom The Thin Blue Line. There are also a number of, possibly intentional, cross-references to Dad's Army in the Doctor Who episode Victory of the Daleks, set in wartime London.[34]

The Sega Mega-CD port of the arcade game Mortal Kombat, which was developed by British programmers Probe Software, contained a cheat code – known as the "Dad's Code" - which allowed the player to rename the fighters to those of characters from Dad's Army.[35]

Barmy Army referred the Australian team named to the 2015 Ashes team Dad's Army because including Michael Clarke, almost half the squad named is aged over 32.[36] When Nigel Farage was discussing proposals for an EU army in the European parliament he referenced the Dad's Army theme when he said to Jean Claude Juncker, "Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Juncker?" [37]

Media releases

Main articles: Dad's Army books and memorabilia, Dad's Army DVD and Video releases and Dad's Army Audio releases.

The BBC released two "Best of" DVD sets in October 2001 and September 2002, but it was not until September 2004 that the full series began to be released, with the first series and the surviving episodes of the second series being released first, along with the documentary Missing Presumed Wiped. By November 2007, the entire series had been released, with the final edition featuring the specials "The Battle of the Giants", "The Love of Three Oranges" and "My Brother and I", along with various other appearances including several "Christmas Night with the Stars" sketches and excerpts from the stage show. The DVDs also include short individual biographical documentaries about the characters and their actors called We Are the Boys. The Columbia film adaptation is also available, although as this is not a BBC production, this is not included in the boxed set.

See also


  1. British Film Institute TV100 URL accessed 4 June 2006 Archived 30 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "TV's top 25 put-downs published". BBC News. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Gambon and Courtenay to star in Dad's Army film". BBC News. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Clark, Neil (20 September 2013). "Jimmy Perry turns 90: a tribute to the genius behind Dad's Army". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Dennison, Stephanie (16 December 2001). "Life support". The Observer. Retrieved 4 June 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Last Word, BBC Radio 4, 30 September 2011 – in an obituary for David Croft, quoted by Jimmy Perry.
  7. Thetford tourist website discussing the reasons for shooting in Norfolk. Retrieved 5 June 2006 Archived 8 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Clark, Anthony. "Dad’s Army" at BFI Screen online. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  9. Memo[dead link] at the BBC Archive, URL accessed 23 October 2008
  10. "Row changed opening of Dad's Army". BBC News. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Vinyl record: On the Air: 60 Years of BBC Theme Music, BBC Enterprises 1982 (track 4). The Dad's Army title sequences and theme are viewable in RealPlayer at TV-Ark Archived 7 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  12. article about the recording by David Noades, URL accessed 14 August 2006
  13. Museum of Broadcast History website, URL accessed 4 June 2006
  14. Norton, Charles (11 December 2008). "Recapturing colour from black and white film". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 December 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "'Lost' Dad's Army show back on TV". BBC News. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Webber, Richard (1997). Dad's Army: A Celebration. London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0307-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Gambon and Courtenay to star in Dad's Army film, BBC News, 8 October 2014
  20. "Dad's Army review: Mainwaring's men are back. And better than ever". The Independent. Retrieved 27 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  22. "Dad's Army to be revived on stage". BBC News. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Dad’s page about the radio series, URL accessed 4 June 2006 Archived 7 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  24. Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special 1977 at IMDb, URL accessed 26 September 2006
  25. The Rear Guard at IMDb, URL accessed 26 September 2006
  26. The Last Hurrah of Lance Corporal Jones. YouTube. 15 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. List of awards at IMDb, URL accessed 4 June 2006
  28. The final top-ten of Britain’s Best Sitcom, URL accessed 4 June 2006
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Further reading
  • Croft, David; Perry, Jimmy; Webber, Richard (2003). Dad’s Army: The Complete Scripts. Orion. ISBN 0-7528-6024-0
  • Croft, David (2004). You Have Been Watching...: The Autobiography of David Croft. BBC Consumer Publishing (Books). ISBN 0-563-48739-9
  • Croft, David; Perry, Jimmy; Webber, Richard (2000). The Complete A-Z of Dad’s Army. Orion. ISBN 0-7528-1838-4
  • Longmate Norman (2010) The Real Dad's Army: The Story of the Home Guard. Amberley. ISBN 978-1445654034
  • McCann, Graham (2001). Dad's Army: The story of a classic television show. Fourth Estate. ISBN 1-84115-308-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • McKenzie, Simon (1995). The Home Guard: A military and political history. OUP. ISBN 0-19-820577-5
  • Perry, Jimmy (2003). A Stupid Boy. Arrow. ISBN 0-09-944142-X

External links