Reaction Weekend

Sitcom remakes show a lack of adventure in modern entertainment

BY Alexander Larman   /  9 August 2019

The front cover of this week’s Radio Times has an unlikely trio of cover stars: Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Lance Corporal Jones. For those who believed that the heyday of Dad’s Army, the programme in which all of them first appeared, had come to an end in 1977, when the first incarnation of the series finished, there is a surprise in store.

As portrayed by Kevin McNally, Robert Bathurst and Kevin Eldon respectively, the new version of the Walmington-on-Sea platoon has gathered for a recreation of three lost episodes from the 1960s. Even if this promises to be more of a cover version than an original, it would take the most blinkered – or Mainwaring-esque – of viewers not to realise that there is the clear potential, should these be warmly received, to commission a new and original series, with a new group of writers having the formidable task of following in the footsteps of Jimmy Perry and David Croft, Dad’s Army’s creators.

It is not the first attempt over the past few years to resurrect one of Britain’s best-loved comedies; there was a so-so film of a few years ago, mainly notable for Toby Jones proving a better Mainwaring than Arthur Lowe was


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