VE Day – and Dad’s Army 2016 on Television

VE Day was very memorable with street parties in every village – social distancing fully adhered to no doubt – and beautiful warm sunny weather – and then just to add perfection The Queen addressed us all with her usual beautifully and carefully chosen words that evoked Wartime Memories by her reference to standing on the Buckingham Palace Balcony -and her father – the King’s speech to the nation and then right up to date with an oblique reference to our current situation.

Then we had Dad’s Army 2016 – the latest film version with great performances from Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring and Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson.

Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring

Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson.

I love this version and think it was a well filmed story with terrific locations around Bridlington and Flamborough.

The casting was excellent. The characters were close enough to the original but still brought enough of their own interpretation to make something new.

By bringing Captain Mainwaring’s wife into the film – we never saw her in the TV series although she was frequently referred to – we added another dimension particularly when the final climatic action takes place.

Corporal Jones was still pursuing his ‘hinted at’ liaison with Mrs. Fox and Sergeant Wilson, as suave as ever, seemed close to losing his heart to Catherine Zeta Jones who was actually a German spy

She, in fact, was seen through quite quickly by Private Godfrey’s sisters played by Julia Foster and Annette Crosbie, but they were not listened to until close to the film’s end when they came up with information that really sealed it.

The final sequence saw Mainwaring heading the parade along with Sergeant Wilson through the streets of Walmington On Sea ( actually the old town of Bridlington ) through cheering crowds as three Spitfires swooped overhead – when I saw it in the Cinema on first release on the big screen, I felt like standing on my seat and cheering.

Also when Catherine Zeta Jones and Toby Jones are seen standing on the beach – filmed at Flamborough – and suddenly a German U Boat rises up out of the waters in front of them on that wide screen, I thought that was really impressive.

In a later interview, Holli Dempsey the young actress who played Vera, Pike’s girlfriend, said how enjoyable it was, and quite daunting, to play in this film with such a big cast of experienced and well known actors

Holli Dempsey and Catherine Zeta Jones approaching the film’s exciting climax

Catherine Zeta Jones has just clubbed Vera ( Holli Dempsey) to the ground

When the film was being made, there was much publicity, so when it was released I just had to be there and see it, and in fairness I did go with the intention of enjoying it and not being critical in comparing it with the original cast. That was, I know, inevitable but you just have to make adjustments mentally I think.

I, for one, was not disappointed – I thought and think that it is a good and very enjoyable film

Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson head the parade through Walmington On Sea

Walmington On Sea – Bridlington Old Town

Walmington On Sea – Bridlington Old Town

Those Spitfires swoop overhead

We must not forget to mention that a couple of the original cast members appeared in this 2016 film – Frank Williams who played the vicar Reverend Timothy Farthing – and does so again here and Ian Lavender who as a very young man was Private Pike, here he plays Brigadier Pritchard

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