theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
The inimitable Dad’s Army is one of my favourite comedy series of all time. I find it extraordinary that it is 50 years old this year, which means I was eleven or twelve years old when the first episode was broadcast. Such joy it provided and still does. Funnily enough, I associate it with the Isle of Wight as it always seemed to be showing when we were here for our summer holidays and it was raining. We’d snuggle down inside our Victorian railway carriage and watch it on a tiny black & white television. There is nothing today that provides such perfect family entertainment.
To explore the history of Dad’s Army, you have to enter a near-military environment. Speed bumps, vehicle checks and CCTV impede the route to the building in Caversham, Berkshire, where the paperwork about the show’s creation is stored. These levels of security are because the BBC Written Archives are housed on the grounds of BBC Monitoring, whose duties include listening to global media on behalf of MI6.
But if the records of any TV show were to deserve such protective apparatus, it would be Dad’s Army, the BBC’s single most durably valuable…
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