Trivia / Dad's Army

  • Acting for Two: In one episode Arthur Lowe starred as both Mainwaring and Mainwaring's estranged brother.
  • Actor Allusion: Ian Lavender is a fan of Aston Villa and chose to wear a claret and blue scarf (the club's colours) as Pike as a way of showing support for his team.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Most of the cast were veterans, some of both World Wars. John Laurie and Arnold Ridley were particularly affected by their experiences (Ridley suffered from blackouts and nightmares for most of his life).
    • In addition, Laurie was the only member of the cast to have actually served in the Home Guard.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: It's "Don't tell him, Pike!", not "Don't tell him your name, Pike!"
  • The Character Died with Him: Averted. When Jimmy Beck suddenly died, Walker was phased out (one episode explained his absence by having Mainwaring reading a note saying that he'd gone to London to do a deal). Rather than recast the role, his spot was filled by other characters.
  • Dawson Casting: Inverted with Clive Dunn (who was 47 when the series began) playing the septuagenarian Corporal Jones. Played straight with Ian Lavender, who was 22 at the start of the series and playing the 17 to 18-year-old Frank Pike, and 31 when the series ended while Pike had not aged.
  • Development Hell: BBC executives were not confident that the public would react well to a comedy about World War II and constantly tried to kill the project. Jimmy Perry and David Croft had to fight tooth and nail to even get a pilot approved and had trouble casting the role of Mainwaring (their early choices refused to participate because of issues like the subject matter and the low salarynote ). After the pilot was completed, the executives constantly asked for changes (see below), with Perry and Croft having to walk a very fine line in order to make sure that the show would be transmitted in a reasonable time slot. To add to their woes, the pilot was nearly killed by an early version demographics testing saying that the sample audience didn't like the concept.
  • Executive Meddling: Worried that the sitcom would be criticised for ridiculing the Home Guard, the BBC insisted on adding an opening scene to the first episode. It shows Mainwaring, in 1968, giving a speech at a formal dinner in which he explains how he and his men "backed Britain" in 1940. The scene lasts a minute-and-a-half, has no jokes whatsoever, and has no relation to the rest of the story. Had it been broadcast in an age when there were more than just three TV channels in the UK, it could well have killed the series before it even began, and co-writer Jimmy Perry suspected it was responsible for the overwhelmingly negative feedback from the test audience who got a preview screening of the first episode.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Unlike Mr. Hodges, Bill Pertwee was known for being a lovely man in Real Life.
  • Missing Episode: Until 2001, "Sgt Wilson's Little Secret" was the only known surviving episode from Series 2. Two episodes ("Operation Kilt" and "The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage") were subsequently recovered and remastered, but three ("The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker", "A Stripe for Frazer",note  and "Under Fire") remain lost. One of the colour episodes only survived in black and white; it has since been recolourized, though the colour version has not yet been released on DVD. The BBC have also made an animated reconstruction of "A Stripe for Frazer".
  • The Other Darrin: Mrs Pike was recast for The Movie because the studio felt the original actress wasn't high-profile enough. During the live stage show, several parts were recast while the TV actors had other commitments.
  • Playing Against Type: Arthur Lowe usually played Drill Sergeant Nasty types and was thus originally supposed to be the barking sergeant to John Le Mesurier's Officer and a Gentleman (to see them in these roles, check out Jones' Sudan War flashback in "The Two and A Half Feathers").
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Pike's occasional girlfriend Ivy was played by Ian Lavender's wife in one of her appearances, the episode "My British Buddy".
    • Arthur Lowe's wife, Joan Cooper, took over the role of Godfrey's sister Dolly towards the end of the show's run and played other guest roles during the course of the series.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Fans of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may be surprised to know that Jean Gilpin (who voiced Elenwen of the Thalmor) had a role in "The Making of Private Pike" as Pike's abusive Girl of the Week.
  • What Could Have Been: Jimmy Perry initially wrote the role of Walker for himself, believing that this would be the ideal opportunity to show off his comedy skills and further his acting career. David Croft had to dissuade Perry of this notion, pointing out that having the show's creator and writer in the cast would breed resentment since the other actors would constantly be wondering if Perry was giving himself all the good lines.
    • Jon Pertwee was offered the role of Captain Mainwaring, but he turned it down, as he was in the middle of a theatrical tour.
    • David Jason was considered for Corporal Jones, as he had a knack for playing older characters.
  • Word of God: Ian Lavender waited until very late in the show's run to ask Jimmy Perry if Pike really was Wilson's son. Perry replied, "Of course he was!". David Croft also confirmed it as fact in interviews.
  • Write Who You Know: Jimmy Perry drew on his experiences in The Home Guard.

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