Press clippings

Dad's Army at 50: sitcom celebrates half-century

BBC's classic Second World War comedy centred around pompous Captain Mainwaring's attempts to instil strict discipline into ageing band of brothers.

Joe Sommerlad, The Independent, 30th July 2018

Why Dad's Army has never been beaten in British comedy

They wouldn't get away with it today. No black faces, nor any character remotely ethnic other than John Laurie's tetchy Scotsman. Women only in subsidiary roles. And certainly no suggestion of sexual ambiguity beyond a wet clergyman. The BBC's modern cultural commissars wouldn't give the pilot script a second glance. White. Middle class. Home Counties. Show him the door, Doris.

Michael Henderson, The Telegraph, 25th October 2016

Radio Times review

It's funny to think that what was unpopular back in 1977, when this episode was first broadcast, remains unpopular today. When Private Frazer rounds on Mainwaring with the words "I don't trust banks, I don't trust bankers and I don't trust you!" he gets a warm round of applause from the studio audience. You see, the captain has been dropping unsubtle hints when he learns that the wily Scot keeps his savings in the form of a stash of gold sovereigns.

It's a not-so-familar episode that gives plenty of airtime to the manic gibberings of John Laurie (who plays Frazer), but there are other delights, too: the rare spectacle of a tiddly Sergeant Wilson, a scene set in Hodges' greengrocer's, Fulton Mackay in his second (different) guest role for the show and Jones blowing accidental raspberries during a gas-mask drill.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 18th April 2015

BBC angers Yes camp with ill-timed Dad's Army episode

"A total of 80 episodes of Dad's Army were made by the corporation - and which one does it choose to show on the Saturday ahead of the vote?" a Yes campaigner [for Scottish Independence] wails. "The one in which Frazer - played by John Laurie - tells Mainwaring that he can run the platoon better than him, is put in charge and then makes a total mess of things. Thank you very much, Auntie Beeb."

Tim Walker, The Telegraph, 16th September 2014

There are TV characters who cling to our memories long after their series have been laid to rest. I'm sure many have speculated about those indomitable triers of Dad's Army. Whatever would happen to them when their pikes were taken away?

And that's the inspiration behind It Sticks Out Half a Mile, which transports John Le Mesurier, Ian Lavender and Bill Pertwee[/i] into 1948 - into a situation where John is now a bank manager, timid Ian is now a trainee manager at Woolworths and Bill is a wheeler-dealer.

Missing from the contingent are Arthur Lowe and John Laurie, now sadly dead. Ian Lavender says, "I played with that team for 10 years. The atmosphere... was so great between us - and I think that carries on, now we are supposed to be three years older." The advantage of radi, he says, "is that I don't need so much Brylcreem and eyeshadow to disguise myself, my voice is more or less the same."

Robert Ottaway, Radio Times, 12th November 1983

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