Dad's Army

Dad's Army is a BBC sitcom about the British Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, and originally broadcast on the BBC from 1968 to 1977. It ran for nine series and 80 episodes in total; a feature film released in 1971, a stage show and a radio version based on the television scripts. The series regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers, and is still shown internationally.

Dad's Army
Series title card
Genre
Created byJimmy Perry
Written byJimmy Perry & David Croft
Directed by
  • David Croft
  • Harold Snoad
  • Bob Spiers
StarringListed in closing credits:
Opening theme
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series9
No. of episodes80 (3 missing) (list of episodes)
Production
ProducerDavid Croft
Running time30 minutes
Distributor
Release
Original networkBBC 1
Original release31 July 1968 (1968-07-31) 
13 November 1977 (1977-11-13)
External links
Website
Co-writers David Croft and Jimmy Perry during a Dad's Army event at Bressingham Steam Museum, May 2011

The Home Guard consisted of local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, either because of age (hence the title Dad's Army) or by being in professions exempt from conscription. Most of the platoon characters depicted in Dad's Army are over military age, and the series stars several older British actors, including Arnold Ridley, John Laurie, Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier. Younger members of the cast included Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn (who, despite being one of the younger cast members, played the oldest guardsman, Lance Corporal Jones), and James Beck (who died suddenly during production of the sixth series in 1973). Other regular cast members included Frank Williams as the vicar, and Bill Pertwee as the chief ARP warden.

In 2004, Dad's Army came fourth in a BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom. It had been placed 13th in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000 and voted for by industry professionals.[1]

The series has influenced British popular culture, with its catchphrases and characters being well known. The Radio Times magazine listed Captain Mainwaring's "You stupid boy!" among the 25 greatest put-downs on TV.[2] A 2001 Channel 4 poll ranked Captain Mainwaring 21st on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.[3][4] A second feature film of Dad's Army with a different cast was released in 2016.[5]

In 2019 UKTV recreated three missing episodes for broadcast in August that year on its Gold channel under the title Dad's Army: The Lost Episodes starring Kevin McNally and Robert Bathurst as Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson.[6]