UKTV channel Gold are to recreate the missing episodes.
Tough act to follow: the original Dad’s Army cast.
“What a way to start the New Year. Back in khaki again – just like I was in 1947.” – Bernard Cribbins
Kevin R. McNally, Robert Bathurst and Bernard Cribbins are set to star in Gold’s remake of Dad’s Army: The Lost Episodes alongside Kevin Eldon, Mathew Horne, David Hayman and Tom Rosenthal.
McNally will be heading up the platoon as Captain Mainwaring, with Bathurst following suit as Sergeant Wilson and acting legend Cribbins stepping into the role of mild-mannered Private Godfrey. Eldon will try not to panic as Lance Corporal Jones, whilst Horne reports for duty as Private Walker, Hayman as Private Frazer and Rosenthal as Pike.
The episodes are being re-made not out of choice, but due to the BBC destroying the original tapes after the original airing in the 1960s, a practice common place at the time due to videotape being expensive and space to store such programmes also costly.
“Now look here men, HQ tells me that three episodes of Dad’s Army have gone missing. And it has fallen to us to step in and replace them. I have been asked to double for Captain Mainwaring and daunting as that may be, I accept the responsibility and look forward to leading the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard in three last pushes against the Jerries. I hope you’ll join us and enjoy the ride.” – Kevin R. McNally
Dad’s Army: The Lost Episodes will air on Gold in 2019 to celebrate fifty years since the episodes were first broadcast and last seen, before they disappeared from the archives. The remakes will use the original scripts, which were written for the second series of Dad’s Army by Jimmy Perry and David Croft.
The wartime set comedy, which followed the adventures of the home guard in the fictional coastal town of Walmington-On-Sea originally starred Coronation Street actor Arthur Lowe as pompous Manwaring, Hancock’s Half Hour star John Le Mesurier as mild-mannered Wilson, Crossroads actor Arnold Ridley as elderly Godfrey, film actor John Laurie as Frazer and Dick Emery regular Clive Dunn as Jones. Other cast included future EastEnders actor Ian Lavender as Pike and James Beck who had numerous small parts in shows such as Coronation Street as Walker.
The three episodes being recreated for Gold are from the original second series and titled The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Walker, A Stripe for Frazer and Under Fire. The UKTV Original series is the second reimaging of Dad’s Army in recent years. In 2016 a new version of the comedy hit the big screen, but proved to gain a mixed reception from cinemagoers.
“I’ve played soldiers before, but find I handle guns with all the bloodcurdling authority of Sergeant Wilson. I’m looking forward to playing him. I hope we can honour Croft and Perry’s lost episodes. It’s a celebration of their writing, with understudies.” – Robert Bathurst