After Dunkirk, coastal town Walmington-on-Sea's banker, Rotarian and alderman George Mainwaring, a commissioned 'veteran' without actual war experience, appoints himself commander of the ...
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After Dunkirk, coastal town Walmington-on-Sea's banker, Rotarian and alderman George Mainwaring, a commissioned 'veteran' without actual war experience, appoints himself commander of the local defense committee, with his bank staff, chief clerk Arthur Wilson and junior Frank Pike. They enroll town volunteers for the Local Defence Force, although mostly unfit and/or over the 55 age limit and almost no military supplies are available.Written by
David Croft intended the ending sequence to have actual wartime footage of Nuremburg marches and newsreels of refugees being bombed behind the cast members marching which caused controversy at the BBC, forcing him and Jimmy Perry to change the outro to what it is today. See more »
When Cpl Jones is asking for identity card on guard duty he is in the Royal Warwickshire regiment then when he is in the hall at the petrol bomb lecture, he is in the Royal West Kent regiment. See more »
[during the platoon's first parade]
Where did you get that gun?
The gun. Where did you get it?
Well it belongs to my friend, actually.
[Mainwaring takes Wilson aside]
He's got a friend... A gun.
Yes, I see that, sir.
Well. I am the officer. You're the sergeant. We ought to have that.
[...] See more »
I think I perhaps saw this when it was transmitted in 1968. I remember not taking to the series for some reason - I found the credits with their superimposed figures rather ghostly and a little creepy. The series just didn't click with me.
47 years later I have a wholly different opinion - particularly of this the first episode. I am surprised how all the characters - and all the performances - were fully formed, up and running and how the entire ensemble clicked. This first episode revealed the likely relationship between Wilson, Pike and his mother was when Pike innocently mentions in everyone's hearing that Mrs Pike had known Mr Wilson since before he was born. Mainwaring's disapproving expression makes clear that he at least has put two and two together. Arthur Lowe's performance gives a great energy and movement to the episode - it also makes clear just how enthusiastic Mainwaring was to set up and lead Warmington on Sea's Local Defence Volunteers. Just why Mainwaring was so keen to be out of the house and be a respected man of action we gather in later episodes when we learn more about his home life. The template for the entire series seems to have been complete from the very beginning. Everything was there in finely chiselled detail, all drawn from life as it was in 1940.
By pure chance I was lucky enough to meet Jimmy Perry perhaps 10 years ago. He was jogging nearly opposite his old junior school (which had left deep and lasting impression). He was very civil, very willing to answer questions. In passing he mentioned that he had just written a book about the Dads Army series. I hadn't realised till reading the book that Pike was based on him as a youth - and that he had been the original "Stupid Boy!"
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