We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story
Directed by: Steve Bendelack
Writen by: Stephen Russell
Starring: Sarah Alexander, Keith Allen & Kevin Bishop
60-minute scripted comedy drama about how the legendary creators of Dad’s Army – Jimmy Perry and David Croft – overcame BBC management scepticism, focus groups and cast constipation to get the much-loved legend onto air.
Running from Perry’s initial idea in 1967 until the transmission of the first episode in 1968, this affectionate and witty film shows the beginnings of Perry and Croft’s writing partnership and the casting woes, personal clashes and production difficulties that put the show’s very existence in jeopardy. It reveals to fans and newcomers alike what went on behind the scenes in the making of the classic sitcom Dad’s Army and is a true love letter to British creativity.
Much like the television show itself, this drama is an ensemble piece. Show creators Jimmy Perry (Paul Ritter) and David Croft (Richard Dormer) accurately portray the creative team and their individual takes on the characters they created. As for the cast, John Sessions portrays Arthur Lowe with the gusto that encapsulated Capt. Mainwaring whilst, in complete contrast, Julian Sands portrays John Le Mesurier as the refined and daper gent he was.
The script is full of wit and charm in equal measures and proves that the original television cast were well chosen despite the hierarchy’s misgivings. Indeed, there are numerous references to the show’s memorable catchphrases (just too many to list) not to mention the recording of the famous theme song.
As for the filming of this drama, it is full of period touches such as the endless corridors at BBC London, the sub-standard conditions the cast and crew lived in whilst filming the television series, not to mention broom shafts for rifles!
For anyone who has watched repeats of Dad’s Army over the years and laughed at the silliness and antics of this motley crew “doing their bit for the war effort,” this wonderful drama gives an added insight into how the show came about (it was very touch and go it would ever air!).
With so many Christmas specials on television at this time of year, it’s very refreshing to have a quality drama that has great acting, a witty and fun script and something everyone can chuckle at.
BBC Two’s one-off drama We’re Doomed: The Dad’s Army Story will premiere on Tuesday December 22nd at 9pm and will repeat on Boxing Day.
4 out of 5 Nerds