5 items from 2016
Don't panic! Oliver Parker's big screen version of classic British sitcom Dad's Army (48 years old this year) is remarkably faithful to Jimmy Perry and David Croft's much-loved original and by no means the travesty that some had feared. It benefits chiefly from a note-perfect cast and a warm glow of reverential nostalgia that pervades the entire project, but it's slightly let down by a meandering script and the playing-it-safe comedy moments tend to generate amused smiles rather than out-and-out laughter.
Set in 1944, in the fictional seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea, the film stars Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, the leader of an elderly platoon of the Home Guard that comprises Oxford-educated Sergeant Wilson (Bill Nighy), doddery Private Godfrey (Michael Gambon), excitable Lance Corporal Jones (Tom Courtenay »
In his 1974 book The Real Dad’s Army, the historian Norman Longmate used the memories of ordinary people to document the impact of extraordinary events
The Home Guard was one of the strangest and least military armies ever formed – an improvised band of volunteers set up early in the second world war, which had grown, by 1942, into a conscripted, disciplined and well-equipped force of nearly 2 million men. Immortalised in the sitcom Dad’s Army, still a well-loved staple of TV’s repeat repertoire almost 40 years after its last episode was first broadcast, it is about to reach new generations through a film version of the series, with Bill Nighy and Toby Jones in the parts made famous by Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier.
It is a good moment to reissue my 1974 book, The Real Dad’s Army, which was originally commissioned to accompany an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. »
- Norman Longmate
It has an antiquated look and Arthur Lowe may occasionally fluff his lines, but the historical setting of Dad’s Army has helped it endure, and rank as some of the finest British farce
The episode of Dad’s Army that goes out tomorrow on BBC2 at 8.35pm is a piece of TV with two cinematic shadows. Uninvited Guests, in which the air raid wardens are forced to share the church hall with the Home Guard platoon, was one of the shows in the fourth series (out of an eventual nine) that the cast recorded in late 1970 after a break to shoot a Dad’s Army movie for release the following year.
Related: Dad's Army review: who don't you think you are kidding?
Related: Toby Jones webchat – as it happened
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- Mark Lawson
Are you a Stoke fan? Were you worried about playing Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army? Do you know how to operate a metal detector? Toby Jones answered all of these questions and more. See below
Thanks for your questions. I've enjoyed it. Sorry I didn't have a chance to answer all of them. Cheers!
Stoke City – brilliant or overrated?
Brilliant. And getting better.
Really looking forward to seeing Dad’s Army, what were your first thoughts when you read the script? Were you apprehensive about filling the shoes of Arthur Lowe?
I was extremely apprehensive about playing Captain Mainwaring. I was extremely sceptical about the project as a whole. When I saw the script, I was really impressed with how the 25-minute format of the TV series had been adapted and extended, into 100 minutes. The script has a scale »
- Guardian Staff
Zayn Malik has cancelled his first TV appearance since he quit One Direction last year. The 23-year-old singer was set to appear on 'The Graham Norton Show' later this week, with the show being aired on Friday night (29.01.16), but he's been forced to pull out of the highly-awaited gig due to alleged ''scheduling'' issues. His representative told the Daily Mirror newspaper: ''Unfortunately there was a scheduling conflict as Zayn is currently in the studio completing his album.'' Zayn was lined up to appear on the show alongside the cast of the new film 'Dad's Army', as well as actors Will Smith »
5 items from 2016
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