Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Dad’s Army at 50: the secret history of ‘comedy’s finest half-hour’ | Television & radio | The Guardian

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.

‘This is going to be a complete disaster’ … the Home Guard regulars in a 1968 episode. Photograph: BBC/Sportsphoto/Allstar

‘This is going to be a complete disaster’ … the Home Guard regulars in a 1968 episode. Photograph: BBC/Sportsphoto/Allstar

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…

via Dad’s Army at 50: the secret history of ‘comedy’s finest half-hour’ | Television & radio | The Guardian

11 comments on “Dad’s Army at 50: the secret history of ‘comedy’s finest half-hour’ | Television & radio | The Guardian

  1. Teagan R. Geneviene
    07/27/2018

    How timely, Sarah. I don’t know the series, but I spotted it on Netflix recently. It sounds great. I’ll be sure to check it out. Hugs!

  2. beetleypete
    07/27/2018

    A wonderful slice of TV history, with unparalleled performances. Much of it was filmed near here, in Thetford. There is a museum in the town, dedicated to it.
    https://dadsarmythetford.org.uk/ And a statue. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10359953

    Best wishes, Pete.x

  3. First Night Design
    07/27/2018

    Oh, do! It’s charming, gentle and perfect for any age. Hugs!

  4. Brilliant and BBC just moved it to Saturday night at 8.30PM on BBC ….. ⭐️😊👍

  5. First Night Design
    07/27/2018

    How lovely!

  6. Jennie
    07/29/2018

    This sounds wonderful. I wonder if it was like McHale’s Navy or MASH in the US. They were great shows.

  7. First Night Design
    07/29/2018

    MASH – one of my favourite US series. I’d say MASH was reality plus black humour. Dad’s Army is more bumbling Brits with stoicism and charm. How would the rest of you describe the difference between the two shows?

  8. Jennie
    07/29/2018

    I get it. McHale’s Navy was like your Dad’s Show. Best to you, Sarah.

  9. First Night Design
    07/29/2018

    Ah, I was going to look McHale’s Navy up. I don’t know that any other aficionado of Dad’s Army would say this but as I started to write this comment, I thought of elements from Phil Silvers!

  10. Jennie
    07/30/2018

    Yes! And Phil Silvers was just that same image.

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