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Introduction

"Dad's Army" was a long running British comedy series created and written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. The idea of a series came to Jimmy Perry when he realised that many people had forgotten about the contribution the Home Guard had made to the British Home Front during the years of the Second World War.

Commencing in 1968, "Dad's Army" ran on BBC Television for 9 years with over eighty episodes spread within 10 series. The series is set in a small fictional seaside town called Walmington-on-Sea somewhere on the South Coast of England. "Dad's Army" is also remembered for its first class actors which starred amongst its credits, Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring, John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Arthur Wilson and Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jack Jones.

The series plotline initially began as follows:

In May 1940, Sir Anthony Eden makes his historic speech calling for men under and over the age of active service in the armed forces to form a local defence corps. In Walmington, the Local Bank manager George Mainwaring set's up the town's Local Defence Volunteers,with the assistance of his Bank Clerk, Arthur Wilson and the Local Butcher, Jack Jones. The LDV later become known as the Home Guard or affectionately (to the TV audience) "Dad's Army" as the platoon mainly consist of Old Soldiers.From week to week they would become entangled in many exploits while defending Walmington from a possible invasion and any interference from the Local Air Raid Warden...

Although a comedy series, "Dad's Army" probably depicted more of an accurate version of the Home Guard than anyone could actually realise. Initially it was felt the series was maybe mocking England's finest hour and its first episodes were reviewed with great criticism. However, Jimmy Perry , David Croft and the cast felt that the show had many strengths and so did the steady flow of the British public which began following the Walmington-On-Sea platoon's exploits on Television each week.

In 1969, "Dad's Army" embarked on its first Colour TV series, and with that success followed. A feature length film based on the series was made by Columbia Pictures in 1971, and a stage show based on the series toured the UK between 1975 - 76. The programme was also adapted for BBC Radio.

Most of the cast are now no longer with us, but their memory lives on through regular repeats on BBC Television and UK Gold as well as many video and DVD releases.

Andy Howells, Revised: November 2002

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