Dad’s Army is a British sitcom about the Home Guard in the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. The series ran for 9 series and 80 episodes in total, plus a radio series, a feature film and a stage show. The series regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers and is still repeated today on BBC Two.
The Home Guard consisted of local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age, and as such the series starred several veterans of British film, television and stage, including Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Arnold Ridley and John Laurie. Relative youngsters in the regular cast were Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn (who was made-up to play the elderly Jones), Frank Williams, James Beck, (who died suddenly during production of the programme’s sixth series, despite being one of the youngest cast members) and Colin Bean.
Captain George Mainwaring (Mannering)
Mainwaring (pronounced /ˈmænərɪŋ/ (MAN-ər-ing)) was played by Arthur Lowe. He was the pompous – if essentially brave and unerringly patriotic – local bank manager. In the series pilot Mainwaring appointed himself leader of his town’s contingent of Local Defence Volunteers. Of the platoon, he and Joe Walker were the only adult members with no prior combat experience, and, therefore, had no medals – a fact which sometimes caused tension with the other members of the Home Guard. He did, however, serve in France, “during the whole of 1919—somebody had to clear up the mess.” Although an ensemble piece, the series focused particularly upon Mainwaring, who has invested all his efforts into the platoon as a way of escaping from an unhappy marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of a Bishop, and a stalled career at the bank.