Don’t Panic! Regardless of whether or not Dad’s Army has ever been on your radar, the forthcoming big screen treatment that is set to hit cinemas on Friday, 5 February 2016 is well worth a look. The original Jimmy Perry and David Croft British comedy that aired on BBC 1 from the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s followed the escapades of a group of amateur soldiers as they tried to protect a quiet seaside town from a Nazi invasion during WWII.
For the forthcoming big screen treatment, it is 1944 and World War II is reaching its climax. In the final months of planning before D-Day, the Allies are poised to invade France and finally defeat the German army. But in Walmington-on-Sea morale amongst the Home Guard is at an all-time low. Their new mission then – to patrol the Dover army base – is a great chance to revive spirits and reputation, that is until glamorous journalist Rose Winters arrives to write about their exploits, setting the pulses racing and putting the local women on red alert. MI5 then discover a radio signal sent direct to Berlin from Walmington-on-Sea. With the distinct possibility that there is a spy on the loose, the outcome of the war is suddenly at stake, and it falls to our unlikely heroes to stand up and be counted.
Toby Jones (Detectorists, Hunger Games, Harry Potter) has been cast as Captain George “This is war you know!”/”You stupid boy“ Mainwaring, originally played by Arthur Lowe, Bill Nighy as upper-class bank employee turned officer, The Honourable Sergeant Arthur “Do you think that’s wise, Sir?” Wilson, Sir Tom Courtenay takes on the role of Lance-Corporal Jack “Permission to speak, Sir?” Jones and Sir Michael Gambon trades in his Dumbledore robes for a Home Guard uniform taking on the role of retired shop assistant turned Home Guard’s medical orderly, Private Charles “I must have dropped off“ Godfrey. Ian Lavender, the original Private Pike, will also be making a cameo as a senior officer.
Danny Mays, who I thought was absolutely brilliant in Ashes to Ashes, takes on the role of Private Joe Walker, the man responsible for getting supplies that are supposed to rationed. Seems appropriate as, in the original TV series, Private Walker was discharged from the regular armed forces because of an allergy to corned beef.
Should you find yourself with nothing to do on Friday, 5 February 2016, you can put it on the books and get your tickets to the Dad’s Army premiere. If, by some chance, you already have plans, I would suggest you cancel them as soon as possible. This is going to be a good one.