Dad’s Army wins sitcom war

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In recent weeks the BBC has been celebrating sixty years since the birth of the British sitcom with a variety of special shows. We have had new episodes on BBC1 of Are You Being Served; Porridge, Keeping Up Appearances and Goodnight Sweetheart.

Some of these reimaginings ended up being more popular than others, with the general concensus being that Goodnight Sweetheart was the best.

But that was probably because it seemed like a continuation of the original series. Over on BBC4 there have been remakes of an episode of ‘Til Death Us Do Part and an episode of Hancock’s Half Hour both of which are no longer in the archives.

There have also been a remake of a Steptoe and Son episode which now only exists in monochrome rather than in colour. I am not sure what the point was of some of these new productions. Why not just transmit some of the surviving episodes of popular situation comedies of the past?

After all, on Saturday nights for quite a time now, episodes of Dad’s Army have been transmitted on BBC2 to good audiences. This week’s episode at half past seven is called Come In, Your Time is Up. Thankfully after the rather disappointing film, the BBC decided not to remake one of the three missing episodes.

Interestingly enough Dad’s Army was not always the beloved show that it has become.

When it was first transmitted in 1968 it garnered rather a lot of criticism. However as time has gone on attitudes to it changed. It had funny scripts. It had a cast of likeable actors whose characters always did their very best.

Many people will say that it still works today because of these attributes and also because it was set in a past when it was first made.

Ian K