I’m beginning to think it is possible to have ‘too much of a good thing’, when the ‘good thing’ in question is a 51-year old television situation comedy once regarded as a classic, but having been re-created, re-staged and re-imagined so many times since it ended, even its most loyal fans must think “Enough!”
“Dad’s Army” began its nine-year, 80-episode run on BBC One so long ago (July 1968) the first two series were in black and white! Younger readers, ask your parents . . .
Between that first episode and the final one broadcast in November 1977, a successful feature film spin-off was released in 1971 and in 1975 a stage version was written by the series creators Jimmy Perry and David Croft, featuring the original cast performing songs and comedy routines.
It played to packed audiences in the West End from October 1975 to February 1976 before touring theatres around the UK later that year and the public clamoured to see their comedy heroes in the flesh.
When the TV series finished and the actors and writers moved on to other projects, it wasn’t a case of “At ease men! The war is over. You’ve all been de-mobbed!” Because “Dad’s Army” continues to march on and on – and I don’t just mean the BBC2 Saturday evening repeats that have been running for decades.
In 2007 and 2009 a whole new bunch of actors appeared in a stage tour based around three old episodes ‘stitched’ together and in 2016 a new “Dad’s Army” film was released (escaped?) which misfired on so many levels that it’s best-forgotten.
And now in 2019, the Gold Channel have re-made three 50-year old ‘lost’ episodes of “Dad’s Army” with a new cast.
If these three shows do well, some bright spark at the BBC might consider re-making all 80 episodes. To which I would say, in the languid style of John Le Mesurier …”Do you really think that’s wise?”
Put that light out!