Dad's Army: The lost episodes

Started by Bisto, August 29, 2019, 18:17:19 pm

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August 29, 2019, 18:17:19 pm Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 00:50:03 am by Bisto
Contains Spoilers!

Just watched all three of the remade episodes back to back. Perhaps I had unrealistic hopes for these shows but, one or two performances aside (Kevin Eldon as Corporal Jones and Timothy West as Godfrey were both very good I thought, whilst Robert Bathurst made a passable Sergeant Wilson), the rest of the characters seemed either miscast or simply failed to adequately capture the idiosyncrasies and nuances of the original actors performances;  McNally's timing was ocassionally spot on but all too often it was just a little too rushed and he also failed rather miserably to convey Mainwairing's "little man (Napoleon) complex" whenever he was frustrated, undermined or slighted; it didn't help that, at 5' 10" Kevin McNally is 6 inches taller than Arthur Lowe was.

Also, I felt that, at times, the scripts seemed to have been altered or amended and were not quite in keeping with the Perry and Croft originals; would Mainwairing really have brought up, or berated Wilson for leaving Pike's mother at the alter so directly for example? Perhaps, but I think not; would Wilson really have undermined and embarrassed Mainwairing so obviously and directly in front of the (otherwise) civilian panel, of which he was a member, listening to Mainwairing's character reference in Private Walker's appeal against being called up? To me that was uncharacteristically vindictive; neither would Private Walker's spiv activities have been spoken about so openly or used so freely.

Perhaps the scripts were completely kosher but deliberately canned by Perry and Croft because of this lack of consistency but it does seem out of keeping. I'd be interested to find out.

Perhaps these refilmed scripts were untouched and if that is the case I suppose it just comes down to the casting, direction and acting. Shame.

Ultimately it feels like this was something of a wasted opportunity and perhaps the best thing about them is that they provide a reminder, if any were needed, just how brilliant and indispensable the original cast were.

However ernest and honest the intentions might have been, some things are just shouldn't be messed with,
No good deed goes unpunished!

No amount of anxiety can change the future. No amount of regret can change the past.


August 29, 2019, 20:27:38 pm #1 Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 22:02:51 pm by Bisto
No good deed goes unpunished!

No amount of anxiety can change the future. No amount of regret can change the past.



I hadn't actually heard about these. Still haven't seen the movie from a couple of years back, yet.

Kevin McNally as Mainwaring! I last saw him playing a hawkish senior military figure in the US Army in Designated Survivor. Versatile actor.

Nice to hear about Robert Bathurst getting some telly work. He was in a sitcom I liked in the '90s, but that apart I don't think I've seen him in anything save a couple of the later Comic Strip shows.

It's odd to think that I've reached Dad's Army age myself, now. Not quite as old as Privates Godfrey or Frazer yet, thankfully. But both Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier were in their 50s for most of the series run.

Just watched a YouTube video of outtakes and I'd say Bathurst is an inspired choice, McNally not so much.

Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons.