Why did the BBC almost modify the title of the wartime comedy Dad’s Army?
DAD’S ARMY is a classic British comedy sitcom that is still popular today, but it almost had a different title.
Dad’s Army was a BBC television series that aired from 1968 to 1977 and portrayed a ragged group of Home Guard recruits during World War II. The show became an immediate comedic classic, and practically every part of it is now regarded legendary, resulting in a cinematic version with the same title being released in 2016. However, the BBC almost went with a different title than the one that fans are familiar with now.
Dad’s Army, which follows a troop of Home Guards as they prepare for the impending German invasion during World War II, has been adored by numerous audiences throughout decades.
The show originally aired on the BBC for nine years, and its legacy has lasted for decades, with a devoted following.
Its enduring influence is so strong that a film adaptation was commissioned in 2016, starring Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, and Toby Jones.
However, the show’s development was similar to that of any other series, with unused ideas and alternate choices littering the path to its conclusion.
One of the most notable distinctions is that the show was not originally titled Dad’s Army, with the BBC changing the title at the last minute.
Michael Mills, the BBC’s then-Head of Comedy, was the one who decided to change the title substantially.
The Fighting Tigers was the initial title proposed by the series’ creators, director David Cross and writer Jimmy Perry.
Mills decided to change the name, giving it the now-iconic moniker of Dad’s Army, which he coined himself.
Mills didn’t stop at modifying the title; the BBC executive made a number of other changes before the show’s premiere.
The most significant difference was the name of the town where Dad’s Army was stationed, which was changed from Brightsea-on-Sea to Walmington-on-Sea.
Captain George Mainwaring was played by the late veteran stage actor Arthur Lowe.
Lowe was first hesitant to join what he regarded to be a lowbrow comedy show before he accepted to be a part of it.
In fact, he included a clause in his contract that reads, “Brinkwire Summary News.”