Dad’s Army is on the march again

Hunting a German spy are, from left, Blake Harrison, Danny Mays, Tom Courtenay, Toby Jones, Bill Paterson, Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon in a scene from Dad's Army
Hunting a German spy are, from left, Blake Harrison, Danny Mays, Tom Courtenay, Toby Jones, Bill Paterson, Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon in a scene from Dad's Army
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It remains a jewel in the crown of BBC comedy, with nine series between 1968 and 1977 – and on Friday (Feb 5th) the film version of Dad’s Army hits the big screen.

England, 1944. The Second World War is on a knife edge and in the cosy community of Walmington-on-Sea, blustering bank manager George Mainwaring (Toby Jones) proudly leads the local Home Guard.

His hapless rank and file includes Sergeant Wilson (Bill Nighy), Lance Corporal Jones (Tom Courtenay) and Privates Frazer (Bill Paterson), Pike (Blake Harrison), Walker (Daniel Mays) and Godfrey (Michael Gambon), a mild-mannered soul who frequently drifts off into his own world.

The fate of the Home Guard hangs in the balance when Colonel Theakes (Mark Gatiss) reveals that he intends to sort the military wheat from the chaff and ‘Walmington feels chaffy’.

Soon after, Mainwaring learns that a German spy has infiltrated the town and is transmitting secrets back to Berlin.

This search for a traitor coincides with the arrival of glamorous magazine writer Rose Winters (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who intends to pen a flattering article about the heroics of the Home Guard.

George is smitten and finds Rose most charming and agreeable.

“They said that about the Ripper,” coldly retorts Mrs Mainwaring (Felicity Montagu), hard-nosed leader of Walmington-on-Sea’s women’s auxiliary army, which includes Pike’s mother (Sarah Lancashire) and Walker’s sweetheart Daphne (Emily Atack).

How will it end? You can find out when Dad’s Army (PG) opens on Friday at Lynn Majestic Cinema, Fakenham Hollywood and The Light at Wisbech.