Thursday, 31 December 2015
We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story
"Sometimes you need to bow to the talent!"
It's good to know that these types of dramas are still happening even though all new drama has been sadly banished from BBC 4. This particular example is merely quite good rather than great, but long may this sort of thing continue.
The main interest for most of us, of course, is the casting. Shane Ritchie for Bill Pertwee works well, John Sessions as Arthur Lowe works well (although I'm glad they used real footage from Pardon the Expression as watched at home by Jimmy Perry), although the casting of Michael Crichton as Arnold Ridley doesn't work. Crichton is a bloody good actor but he's just, well, nowhere near physically frail enough. It's Keith Allen who really steals the show, however, as sceptical BBC executive Paul Fox.
You're reminded of just how counterculture and creative the BBC was in 1967; Jimmy Perry served in the war, yet he dresses like a hippy, as do an awful lot of people. There's a nice little in joke about Jon Pertwee turning down the part of Mainwaring because of money; shades of how he left Doctor Who there.
This isn't exactly a televisual highlight of 2015, but it's a pleasant way to spend an hour, with plenty of in-jokes for British TV nerds like me.