Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Dad's Army

The television writer David Croft who has died aged 89 is best known for co-writing Dad's Army.  I had a distant family connection to Croft - my mum's uncle was his cousin - but never met him.

That a comedy about the antics of a Home Guard unit in World War II was nearly not commissioned because some at the BBC thought it disrespectful to those who had served in the war seems strange now that it is rightly regarded as as a TV classic.

Comedies about army life had of course been done before and not just in Britain - another of my favourite shows is Sergeant Bilko - but what sets Dad's Army apart is the way it pokes fun at British class structures. The Home Guard unit in the fictional small town in which it is set replicates these - the bank manager is the captain, the butcher the corporal and the bank clerk the sergeant. The sergeant however is from an upper-class background and a lot of the humour derives from his effortless superiority over the pompous Captain Mainwaring:

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