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Dad's Army Museum chairman, Stuart Wright, with the Captain Mainwaring statue, situated between the Anchor Hotel, which was in the first episode, and the Bell Hotel where the actors stayed at Thetford.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Dad’s Army officials in Thetford have said they would welcome cast and crew to the town if a proposed new film version goes ahead.
Both chairman of the Dad’s Army Museum, Stuart Wright, and manager Corinne Fulford did raise fears however over plans to put a woman in the role of the bumbling Captain Mainwaring.
Much of the original series was filmed in and around Thetford, which became Walmington-on-Sea in the BBC sitcom and a statue of Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring now sits beside the river. Tours are run from the museum to former locations used in the series, and the town has become known for its links to the popular television series.
While both welcomed the idea of Thetford being used once again as a backdrop, they did raise fears at possible changes to the format. “It remains to be seen about the quality of the project so there’s a bit of trepidation - if it’s tainted you might devalue the brand a bit,” Mr Wright said.
“We’d be delighted if it did come back to Thetford but we’re a bit nervous about it because we want people to have a good feeling about Dad’s Army and the idea of a woman being put in the role goes against the detail that Perry and Croft were such sticklers for.
“You wonder, if they are changing something so massive, what else they would change.”
Jimmy Perry, 89, penned Dad’s Army with long-standing writing partner David Croft, who died last year at the age of 89.
He has said he will not be writing the script for the new film, but discussions are believed to be ongoing. No film studio has yet been attached to the project.
In 1971 Columbia Studios produced a feature film starring the original television cast, filmed in Buckinghamshire.
Manager of the museum, Corinne Fulford added that a woman in the Home Guard would have been unlikely.
“The first thing to say really is that Jimmy Perry is in talks about it and if he wants to do it we would respect his wish,” she said.
“Having said that, it’s a shame if he’s not writing it because the last time that happened it was filmed for America and it failed - if you mess with perfection, that’s what happens. The idea of having a female Home Guard is something that wouldn’t have happened in real life.
“Of course, anybody who wanted to do anything to do with Dad’s Army would be as welcome as anybody else in Thetford and it would be good PR for the town but I think we’re nervous to see what the plans are.
“There could be women in different roles maybe - a new recruit or somebody trying to get in - but don’t mess with the characters.”