Dad’s Army Studies

Analysing and understanding the success of Dad’s Army

Dad’s Army has been described as the most successful situation comedy in the history of British television and one of the most successful even in world television entertainment. Created and scripted by Jimmy Perry and David Croft with the first broadcast episode in July 1968, it ran for eighty television instalments until 1977. There was a film spin-off and also a very successful radio drama series version recorded before live audiences, like the television series, between 1973 and 1976.

The radio drama scripts were adaptations by Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles.

Dad’s Army is iconic in terms of social entertainment history. It created comedy out of extraordinary and catastrophic events of 1940 at a time when the genration which experienced it were a very large part of the audience as well as the cast.

Features and analysis by Professor Tim Crook, who watched the original broadcasts during the 1960s and 1970s coming soon.

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Postings on Dad’s Army Studies in progress and under construction

Making comedy out of history and creating a version of the British as they liked to see themselves.

This online resource intends to be a comprehensive cultural study of the Dad’s Army phenomenon in all its multimedia dimensions. Why does it endure so well, more than half a century after its creation and first broadcast? What are the elements of the television series which are intrinsically successful for television and how did the radio version transfer so successfully to the sound medium and auditory imagination?

What are the parts which are now out-of-date, and potentially offensive to contemporary audiences in the 2020s? The characters and format sustained the making of a second feature film and the production of ‘the lost episodes’ with a new cast and the original productions are still repeated.

When the generations who lived through the early 1940s and indeed constituted the first television and radio audiences are passing on, why does this sitcom concept find new and appreciative audiences? In recent years it was even a GCSE media studies option for sitcom analysis.

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