In America, the Second World War carried with it several stories not of the men who went off to war, but of those men and women who stayed at home and attempted to serve the only way they knew how. In other countries, this phenomenon of helping the Allied cause on the home front was no different. In Britain, a portion of these willing spirits were represented by the Home Guard, men who were excluded from combat due to age or physical issues. It was these men that were the subject of one of British television’s most celebrated sitcoms. From 1968 to 1977, these old men, this Dad’s Army, was on the job protecting British borders and making comedy history.
1. The Pompous Boss
It was in 1968 that Captain Mainwaring (played by Arthur Lowe) appointed himself the leader of the Local Defense Volunteers in Walmington-On-Sea. In the decades since, Mainwaring has gone on to inspire some of the most wretchedly wonderful bosses in human history, including The Office’s David Brent (aka, the precursor to Michael Scott).
2. The Long Shot
Series creator/co-writer Jimmy Perry actually began his career as a background player. In fact, he wrote Dad’s Army and handed it off to showrunner David Croft in order to help secure a part for himself. Of course, Croft thought the script had merit, so he forwarded it to the BBC’s Head of Comedy, Michael Mills, to get the ball rolling. Once it was safely assured that the Home Guard wouldn’t be the subject of ridicule, the series was greenlit.
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