List of Dad's Army characters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Reverend Timothy Farthing)
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a list of characters in the British television comedy series Dad's Army. In addition to the seven main characters, all members of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon, the series featured a large cast of recurring characters, many of whom began to appear regularly in episodes, particularly following the death of James Beck (who played Private Walker). In addition, a number of characters appeared in significant roles for a single episode or series.

Main platoon members[edit]

Captain George Mainwaring (born 1885)[edit]

Mainwaring (/ˈmænərɪŋ/ MAN-ər-ing) was played by Arthur Lowe. He was the pompous - if essentially brave and unerringly patriotic - local bank manager. Mainwaring appointed himself leader of his town's contingent of Local Defence Volunteers. Of the platoon, he and Joe Walker were the only adult members with no prior combat experience, and therefore had no medals, which was a source of embarrassment for Mainwaring and sometimes caused tension with the other members. He did, however, serve in France, "during the whole of 1919—somebody had to clear up the mess." Although an ensemble piece, the series focused particularly upon Mainwaring, who has invested all his efforts into the platoon as a way of escaping from an unhappy marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of a Bishop, and a stalled career at the bank.

Sergeant Arthur Wilson (born 1887)[edit]

Wilson, played by John Le Mesurier, was a diffident, upper-class bank clerk and Mainwaring's inferior in the bank and on parade. Nevertheless, his suave, understated social superiority, public school education and handsome looks led to a certain amount of jealousy on Mainwaring's part, which Wilson was never particularly bothered by. He would also subtly question Mainwaring's judgement by asking "do you think that's wise, Sir?" after Mainwaring had given an instruction. Their rivalry came to the fore in "A. Wilson (Manager)?", in which Wilson is appointed manager of another bank, and "The Honourable Man", when Wilson inherits a title. Wilson lodged with Mrs Pike and her son Frank and it is implied, though never explicitly stated, that he is Frank's father. During the First World War Wilson had been a Captain and fought in the Royal Artillery at Mons, Gallipoli and the Somme.

Lance-Corporal Jack Jones (born 1870)[edit]

Jones was the oldest member of the platoon (born 1870), but was played by Clive Dunn, who was in his forties when he took the role. Jones was an old campaigner who had joined the British Army as a boy soldier and served under Kitchener of Khartoum in the Sudan between 1896 and 1898, the Boer War, and the First World War. By 1940 he worked as the town butcher, which enabled him to occasionally supplement his superiors' meat ration. Jones was leader of the platoon's first section. He has a story for every occasion, and will never hesitate in telling it, regardless of how long-winded or irrelevant it is. Despite his age Jones demonstrates an almost boyish enthusiasm for combat, in particular the use of the bayonet, accompanied by his catchphrase "they don't like it up 'em!" He was easily excitable and would repeatedly yell "don't panic!" during moments of crisis. He was also keen to volunteer for any task, no matter how ill-advised it might be. In Battle of the Giants Jones suffered a malaria relapse.

Private Joe Walker[edit]

Main article: Private Joe Walker

Walker was played by James Beck in the television series and seven episodes of the radio series, Graham Stark for five radio episodes with Larry Martyn for the remainder of the radio series. A black market "spiv" (he called himself a "wholesale supplier"), Walker was the only fit, able-bodied man of military age in Walmington-on-Sea's home guard. His absence from the regular armed forces was due to a corned beef allergy, although it was implied that Walker had probably found a way to play the system. Mainwaring often turned a blind eye to his profiteering as he could supply the platoon (and Mainwaring) with useful items. On more than one occasion, Walker's willingness to use underhand tactics allowed Mainwaring's platoon to triumph over rivals in the Home Guard, Army and ARP. He irritated Mainwaring with his penchant for making wisecracks at inappropriate times. Following Beck's death in 1973, Walker was written out of the series. The platoon found a note from Walker, explaining that he had gone to "The Smoke" to conduct some business and he was not heard from again.

Private Frank Pike (born 1922)[edit]

Main article: Private Frank Pike

The youngest platoon member - played by Ian Lavender - Pike, a cosseted mother's boy and often the target of Mainwaring's derision ("You stupid boy"), was a junior bank clerk. He called Wilson "Uncle Arthur", and although never explicitly stated, it was often evident that Wilson and Pike's mother were having a relationship, which they unsuccessfully tried to hide, and Walmington is rife with gossip about the two of them. Wilson is often seen having meals at Mrs Pike's house with Frank, and Pike mentions several times that Wilson spends the night (although he believes he sleeps on the sofa, whilst Wilson accidentally lets slip that he was in fact in bed with Mrs Pike.) It was also occasionally suggested that Wilson was Pike's father (although the writers only acknowledged this in interviews after the programme ended). In an early episode when asked by Captain Mainwaring why Frank calls him "Uncle" when he is not a blood relation Wilson states that it was Mrs Pike who had insisted from an early age Frank call him "Uncle" and that this dates from a point in Frank's childhood when Frank had started to "accidentally" call Arthur Wilson "something else ...Daddy". He frequently threatens to set his mother on Mainwaring whenever he is shouted at or forced to do anything he doesn't want to do. He has the lowest position at Swallow bank, subordinate to both Wilson and Mainwaring.

Private James Frazer (born 1882)[edit]

Main article: Private James Frazer

Frazer was played by John Laurie. The character was a dour Scottish coffin maker and a retired Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy who fought at the Battle of Jutland (although as a cook). Frazer was blunt, tight with money, and had a gloomy outlook on life; he would proclaim "We're doomed!" during bleak moments faced by the platoon. In the early episodes Frazer was the keeper of a philately shop, but by series four the writers had decided that he should become the local undertaker, in keeping with his gloomy nature. Openly eager for more power within the platoon, he sometimes led rebellions against Mainwaring; in response Mainwaring temporarily let Frazier take over as captain in "If the Cap Fits...". Frazer was the only member of the platoon to be portrayed as a villain in episodes such as A Soldier's Farewell and The Two and a Half Feathers, though for the most part he was loyal and well-intentioned. He is one of the more competent members of the platoon.

Private Charles Godfrey (born 1881)[edit]

Played by Arnold Ridley, Godfrey was the most frail member of the platoon, and as such was the platoon's medical orderly. He had served in the First World War as a conscientious-objecting stretcher bearer, winning the Military Medal before becoming a tailor at the Army & Navy Stores. Godfrey was an amiable, vague, lifelong bachelor who lived with his sisters in an idyllic cottage, and was a martyr to his weak bladder, leading to many requests to be "excused". He was very loyal to Captain Mainwaring, except on one occasion when he took part in a plot to make Mainwaring's feet hurt.[1]

Non-platoon characters[edit]

Chief Air Raid Precautions Warden William (Willie) Hodges (born 1897)[edit]

Hodges (Bill Pertwee) is Captain Mainwaring's main rival and the main antagonist in Walmington-on-Sea. A greengrocer by trade, following outbreak of war he has been given power as Chief Air Raid Warden, and that power has gone to his head. He can be as pompous and officious as Mainwaring, but is more uncouth and coarse. Even the usually calm Godfrey tells Hodges he is a "rude, common and nasty fellow".[2] He delights in antagonising the platoon, in particular Mainwaring, whom he calls "Napoleon".[3] This rivalry increased after he was forced to share the church hall with Mainwaring after his headquarters was bombed.[4] Unlike Mainwaring, Hodges did fight in the First World War.[5] Hodges tries to take charge of important situations as an 'ARP matter' - however, as he also displays a cowardly streak, in any danger he is quick to transfer command back to Mainwaring and withdraw.[6] In several episodes, Hodges refers to having "funny turns", which hints that his mental faculties are less than perfect.[7] In many episodes, Hodges, and his co-conspirator, the verger, try to sabotage the platoon's efforts, usually at the command of Captain Square.[8] but these efforts typically backfire - a running gag being that Hodges would be thrown into a lake or river.

In the episode "High Finance", Mrs Pike (Janet Davies) reveals that Hodges is her Landlord, and raised the rent on her house from one pound a month to two pounds a month, which she couldn't afford. He told her she could owe it, only to later say that she owed him fifty pounds in back rent, which he would forget if she was 'nice' to him. He claims to have 'admired Mrs Pike for years', although she is 'besotted' with Sergeant Arthur Wilson.

His feelings towards both Mainwaring and his wartime responsibilities were summed up in the episode "Time on my Hands":

"I hope you stay up there to let me enjoy this war in peace. Because I do enjoy this war. I've never enjoyed anything as much in all my life... And you! You always spoil it." - Hodges (shouting to Mainwaring, who is stuck up the town hall clock tower).

Mrs. Mavis Pike[edit]

Mrs. Mavis Pike (Janet Davies) was Pike's mother, who appeared in many episodes. She is fiercely protective of Pike and Wilson, to the point that she is accused of "mollycoddling" by Captain Mainwaring. Pike often claims his mother will be 'furious' whenever he gets wet or muddy whilst with the Home Guard. Pike often threatens to "tell mum" when Wilson will not let him get his own way, and tries to frighten Mainwaring by setting Mrs. Pike on him. She can be quite formidable when she wants to; in the episode The Making of Private Pike, Mainwaring threatened to arrest Pike and his mother vowed to Wilson that she would make the rest of his life a misery if he let Mainwaring take him away.

It is also implied very heavily that Mrs. Pike is Sergeant Arthur Wilson's lover, and there are many rumours of Pike being Wilson's son, a fact often pointed out to Wilson by Mainwaring. Both arrived from Weston-super-Mare around the same time. It is not clear if Mrs Pike is an actual widow, as her late husband has never been clearly mentioned, although Wilson admits as a child, Pike called him "daddy." Wilson claims that "She's a widow and she has my ration book and I go round to her house sometimes for meals... and that sort of thing" and there are instances in which people remark on the similarity of Sgt Wilson and Private Pike (in particular their mannerisms in the episode "Boots, Boots, Boots"). In the episode "Sgt. Wilson's Little Secret" Wilson agrees to marry Mrs Pike when the impending arrival of an evacuee child at the Pike household is miscommunicated to him in such a way that he believes Mrs. Pike to be pregnant. When the misunderstanding is resolved Sgt. Wilson jilts her at the altar - as is explained in the opening dialog of the next episode "A Stripe for Frazer". In the movie, Mrs. Pike is played by Liz Frazer.

The Reverend Timothy Farthing MA[edit]

Farthing (Frank Williams) is the petulant, ineffectual, but kind and well-meaning vicar of St Aldhelm's Church, Walmington-on-Sea. Neither on the side of the Home Guard, nor the ARP Wardens, he attempts to care for "The spiritual needs of (his) parishioners", despite the many setbacks presented during the war, such as having to share his church hall and office with both the pompous Captain Mainwaring and the uncouth Warden Hodges. He is portrayed as a spiritual and learned man, and is shown to be a Master of Arts of the University of Oxford by his academic hood, worn in the episode "All Is Safely Gathered In". In many episodes he ends up embroiled in the escapades of the platoon, often by accident, and he joins the Home Guard briefly in "The Recruit". In the episode Time on My Hands it is revealed that his hobby is archery, when he uses his skills and equipment to rescue the platoon. This episode also includes one of many insinuations from Chief Warden Hodges that the slightly effeminate Vicar may have homosexual tendencies: "I've heard you're an expert in fairies". The Vicar's sexuality is left open to speculation but he is never seen to have a romantic attachment to anyone of either sex; however in the episode "The Captain's Car", the Vicar expected a kiss from a visiting French general and was annoyed when he did not receive one. The Reverend Timothy Farthing is also fond of whisky and there is a recurring gag (in pub situations) where Captain Mainwaring will offer to buy the Vicar a drink and the Vicar will respond "a double whisky (or scotch) please" at a time when whisky was in short supply and expensive. Just as Captain Mainwaring is resigning himself to pay for this expensive beverage the Verger will usually insist that Captain Mainwaring change "his Reverence's" order to a single rather than a double as "he's a martyr to it". When Mainwaring orders a single rather than a double the Vicar will then inform him that he has "noticed" this and insinuate that Captain Mainwaring is mean.

Maurice Yeatman[edit]

Mr. Yeatman (Edward Sinclair) was the local verger and captain of the local Sea Scouts unit. Although his name is Maurice, in the episode 'War Dance,' Jones announces both he and his battleaxe wife as "Mr. and Mrs. Henry Yeatman. He was often hostile to the platoon. Labelled a "troublemaker" by Jones, he is ridiculously loyal to the vicar, and his good friend and accomplice to Mr. Hodges when it comes to causing problems for the platoon. He is constantly asserting the Vicar's opinions on subjects often only to have the Vicar tell him to "be quiet, Mr Yeatman" and over-ride him or simply to restate what Mr Yeatman has already said in his own words. Often when the Verger puts forward a morally judgemental opinion the Vicar will respond that "I've really no idea". Apart from the menial task of cleaning the hall (Mr Yeatman is referred to in early episodes simply as "the caretaker" and almost always seen to be carrying a yellow duster) he occupies a position of complete political impotence and when the need for his presence at an event is questioned he will respond "I'm here in my capacity". Often when Captain Mainwaring and the Reverend Timothy Farthing or other members of the cast hand each other a physical MacGuffin important to the plot (for example the money in High Finance) the Verger will interject snatching the object off the person it has been given to only to hand it back to them in order to make clear his "important" but superfluous role in the administrative processes of the parish. Mr Yeatman is also in charge of counting the church collections after services which he often does in the "Red Lion" public house. Throughout the series, there are numerous insinuations from Lance-Corporal Jones and Chief Warden Hodges that Mr Yeatman is engaged in the systematic embezzlement of church funds, but the Vicar seems to be either in denial of this reality, too trusting and naive to believe it or he simply turns a blind eye.

Other platoon members[edit]

In addition to the seven featured players, 1st Platoon 'B' Company also included a "Second Section" and a "Third Section" who filled the platoon up to size while on parade or display. The men of the platoon wear the cap badges of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. The back rows rarely spoke, although according to Jimmy Perry instead of "extras", they were normally retired actors, playwrights or singers.[9] A handful of platoon members had a secondary but significant role in particular episodes:-

  • Private Sponge (Colin Bean) - a sheep farmer, and de facto leader of the platoon's Section Two (the extras), although he never actually achieved the corporal's stripe(s) normally associated with a Section leader. Appearing throughout the series, he made more frequent appearances as the show went on, particularly after the death of James Beck.
  • Private Thomas Bracewell (John Ringham) was an upper-class buffoon who was set to be a major character in the series. Due to the large number of major characters that were introduced (and also because he was too similar in character to Godfrey), it was decided that he was to be dropped. He only appears in the first episode of the programme, and was mentioned in the second episode. Ringham also appeared in two episodes as Captain Bailey.
  • Private Cheeseman (Talfryn Thomas) - originally a Welsh journalist who appeared in one episode in series six; after the death of James Beck he joined the platoon for series seven. Although there was nothing wrong with Thomas' ability as an actor, David Croft wrote that the character was "irritating without being funny", and as an exotic Celt he was too similar to Private Frazer (John Laurie was strongly against the character). The writers decided that Cheeseman should not return for series eight and nine, but they would make more use of the existing minor characters.[10] A character called Charlie Cheeseman (played by Jimmy Perry) appeared in the sixth episode, but he was unrelated.
  • Private George 'Nobby' Clarke (John Cater) - joined the platoon briefly when he tried to dig up dirt about Jones' history in the Sudan. He was revealed to have had an affair with his commanding officer's wife, and when this was revealed in Jones' retelling of events, he fled Walmington never to return.
  • Private Desmond (Desmond Cullum-Jones) - features in the episode "Sons of the Sea", where he joins the First Section on a river patrol. He reappears in subsequent episodes with a non-speaking role.

Other members of the platoon were named as:

  • Private Hancock - played by actor George Hancock
  • Private Elgood
  • Private Woods
  • Private Meadows
  • Private Agnew
  • Private Bailey
  • Private Day - Peter Honri
  • Private Hardcastle
  • Private Hastings - Hugh Hastings
  • Private Hope
  • Private Locke
  • Private Lovekin
  • Private Macey
  • Private Wiper
  • Private Woods
  • Private Dowding
  • Private Eccles
  • Private Forkus
  • Private Taylor

These were played by Leslie Noyes, Vic Taylor, Freddie White, Freddie Wiles, Hugh Cecil, Richard Jacques, Peter Whitaker, Alec Coleman, Frank Godfrey, Michael Moore, Evan Ross, William Gossling, Vernon Drake and Jimmy Mac.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Mrs. Yeatman (Olive Mercer) (series 5,8) - Yeatman's forbidding wife. In "War Dance" Mrs Yeatman is referred to as Anthea, and, in Knights of Madness, her name is Tracy, and in "Everybody's Trucking" her name is Beryl. She appeared from time to time, mostly in situations when she was able to express impatience: for example, as a member of an over-large committee planning a social function or in a queue in the butcher's shop of Lance Corporal Jack Jones. She led the Walmington on Sea ladies netball team. It emerged, after Mrs Yeatman had caught her husband taking an afternoon's ride on a motor-cycle with the flirtatious Mrs Fox, that, somewhat improbably, she herself was involved in an extramarital relationship with the elderly Sidney Blewett (Harold Bennett)
  • Norman Blewitt (Harold Bennett) (series 3-9) - Mr Blewitt was an elderly gentleman who recurred in a variety of roles, but always under the same name. During the series, he was seen as a photographer and the vicar's gardener, but often as a passer-by who became involved in the platoon's escapades. Norman was sometimes referred to as 'Sidney', see above and No Spring for Frazer.[11] He also had a brother called Horace.
  • Mrs Fox (Pamela Cundell) (series 2-9) - Corporal Jones's lady friend and finally wife. Described as a "flashy woman" by Captain Mainwaring, her first name in the episode "Mum's Army" is revealed as Marcia, although this changes to "Mildred" by the final episode. Mrs Fox is an ebullient woman, whom we assume loses her husband early on during the war. In her first scene she quite clearly states that her husband "...will have his little bit of brisket, you know." By "The Big Parade" she is referred to as a widow. What followed was a long running saga in which Corporal Jones wooed Mrs Fox. That part of Dad's Army's success came from its ability to juxtapose comedic situations such as the rivalry between various ladies of the town to play Lady Godiva and the exploration of far deeper, more complex emotions between older people. For example, Captain Mannering's feelings for Mrs Gray ( Carmen Silvera) in Mum's Army ( S4, E9). As the series drew to an end co creators David Croft and Jimmy Perry debated whether to marry off Jones and his "Merry Widow". This finally came to pass during the last ever episode of the series, giving the show a happy ending.
  • Mr Gordon (Eric Longworth) (series 5-9) - the efficient but pompous town clerk, described by Wilson as a "silly bald-headed old duffer".[12] Involved in administrative issues in the town, he has a penchant for saying things are "very nice".
  • The Mayor of Walmington (Fred McNaughton) - Walmington's highest public official. His appearances usually involve playing the straight man to his excitable Town Clerk. Once when watching a 'keep-fit' display, he responds to Mr Gordon's remark of "that's very nice" with a straight-laced "Yes, if you like that sort of thing". He also takes part, in full ceremonial dress, in a thrilling train-chase in the episode The Royal Train. There are allusions to a habit of making long-winded speeches.
  • Shirley (Wendy Richard) (series 4-6) - Walker's recurring girlfriend appeared in 4 episodes, Shirley (although she is referred to as Edith Parish in "Mum's Army" and is credited the name of Edith Parish in her first appearance in the series 4 episode "The two and half feathers"), is a cinema usherette and was played up to be a bit of a 'tart'. In particular, she annoys Mainwaring by suggesting that he fancies her.[13]
  • Janet King (Caroline Dowdeswell) (series 1) - a young blonde female employee at Mainwaring's bank. According to the series' creator David Croft, she was introduced at a fairly late stage in the scripting because the BBC's head of comedy Michael Mills believed that the programme needed a "soupçon of sex".[14]
  • Elizabeth Mainwaring (Unseen character) - Captain Mainwaring's wife, never seen or heard directly; she "hasn't left the house since Munich". Her presence is mainly felt by her telephone calls to her husband. The nearest we get to seeing her is in one episode where we hear her footsteps, and another where we see her very large posterior hanging down above Mainwaring when they are in bunks in an air raid shelter, giving a clue to her figure. Wilson is the only one who has ever met her, but when asked to describe her, he cannot, although he admits she looks "a bit odd." Through dialogue it is clear that Mrs Mainwaring is cold, reclusive, withholding of affection and that she is blatantly the dominant figure in the marriage. Mainwaring often uses the Platoon as a means of avoiding her and prefers not to introduce her to other people, lest she upset them. Sometimes Captain Mainwaring appears sporting minor physical injuries such as black eye in the episode "War Dance" for which he offers comically unconvincing explanations such as "walking into the linen cupboard door". It is strongly insinuated that these injuries are actually the result of incidents of domestic violence and they often seem to occur prior to a function or event where other women may be present to which Elizabeth is invited but cannot attend as it would involve going out. It is possible that she is an agoraphobic but she does venture out of the house (off camera) in "The Godiva Affair", and is away, visiting her sister, in various episodes. We discover in Never Too Old that Mrs Mainwaring was the daughter of the Suffragan Bishop of Clegthorpe (a fictional see) and her parents look down on Captain Mainwaring for "marrying beneath her". In A Soldier's Farewell Mainwaring claims she is vegetarian.
  • Dolly Godfrey (Amy Dalby, later Joan Cooper) Private Godfrey's younger sister. Renowned for the quality of her upside-down cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Like Mrs Mainwaring she rarely appears, but is constantly referred to by her brother. Joan Cooper, Amy Dolby played her in one episode of series 2, The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage, and then Joan Cooper played in one episode of series 8, Is There Honey Still for Tea?, a Christmas special, The Love of Three Oranges, and the final episode, Never Too Old. Joan Cooper was married, to Arthur Lowe in real life, and appeared in two other different roles: as an undertaker's secretary in No Spring for Frazer and then as a tea shop owner in Time on my Hands. Dolly rarely appears but is often mentioned by her brother. Cissy recurringly appears but is rarely mentioned by her brother.
  • Cissy Godfrey, Private Godfrey's other sister, appeared in one episode of series 2 and 3 episodes of series 3 (1969), played by Nan Braunton. Braunton reprised the role in two episodes of the radio series, in which Cissy was Private Godfrey's only sister. The role of Cissy was later taken over by Kathleen Saintsbury in an episode of the eighth television series, and by Joan Cooper (who had previously played Dolly Godfrey in the television series) in an episode of the third radio series. Braunton played Cissy in one episode of series 2, The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage and three episodes of series 3, The Day the Balloon Went Up, War Dance and Branded. Saintsbury played Cissy in one episode of series 8, Is There Honey Still for Tea?.
  • Colonel Pritchard (Robert Raglan) (series 3-9) - The superior officer from whom Captain Mainwaring most frequently received his orders. A stern, serious man, he unexpectedly appeared to admire Mainwaring, frequently commenting on his successes and warning people not to underestimate him.[15] Raglan also played Captain Square's sergeant in one episode, and Inspector Hardcastle in the feature film, Dad's Army.
  • Captain Square (Geoffrey Lumsden) (all series) - commander of the Eastgate platoon of the Home Guard and rival of Captain Mainwaring. A stereotypical military buffoon, with a handlebar moustache, in early episodes he was "Corporal-Colonel Square", being a Corporal in the Home Guard and a former Colonel in the Army. He had a serious military record, fighting in the desert with Lawrence of Arabia and winning several medals, including the DSO. Square was even more pompous than Mainwaring, and condescending towards his inexperienced rival, e.g. he would deliberately mispronounce Mainwaring's name phonetically. Square could be overconfident at times, and Mainwaring and the Walmington platoon did sometimes get the better of Square and the Eastgate platoon.
  • Gerald (Don Estelle) - Diminutive Lancastrian ARP Warden, seen in various episodes. He usually appears as a friendly, but slightly frustrating sidekick to Hodges. He played cricket for the Wardens XI during The Test.
  • Reg Adamson (Stuart Sherwin) - Easygoing warden who is sometimes overpowered by Hodges' zeal and unscrupulous methods - particularly his vendetta with Mainwaring's platoon. He gave evidence against Mainwaring during "A Brush with the Law".
  • General Kitchener (unseen and dead character) - Although long dead by the time of the Second World War General Kitchener and his military tactics are often referenced by Corporal Jones in almost any situation - the starting point for Jones's advice often being what General Kitchener would have done in a similar situation. As a result very many episodes contain an apocryphal General Kitchener anecdote to the point that he is, debatably, a character in his own right. When speaking as or quoting "General Kitchener" Corporal Jones will very often put his hand on his hip. This is unexplained until final episode when Private Pike asks Jones why he does this and Jones seems to insinuate that it is a reference to the rumours of homosexuality that surrounded the General. In their interviews on the complete DVD box set David Croft and Jimmy Perry reveal that a specific stage direction was indeed given to Clive Dunn and that it is indeed a reference to Kitchener's rumoured homosexuality.

Guest characters[edit]

  • Barry Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) - The long-lost brother of Captain George Mainwaring, he appeared once in the entire series, in My Brother and I. He and his brother apparently always clash due to their differing personalities, with Barry repeatedly referring to his brother as "po-face". He worked as a travelling salesman for a joke shop, and was an alcoholic.
  • Colonel Schultz (Alan Tilvern) - Commander of an American advance party detachment posted in Walmington-on-Sea. After a fight between US troops and the Home Guard, Mainwaring is ordered to make a public apology.
  • Captain Stewart (Michael Knowles) - A smarmy officer from the War Office who informs Mainwaring that his platoon have been picked for 'special duties' (which in fact means digging latrines and peeling potatoes). One of several similar characters portrayed in the series by Michael Knowles.
  • Captain Ramsey (Fulton Mackay) - A tough but fair Scottish officer who runs a training course to test Home Guard units and assess whether they are 12-star material. His attempts to make the weekend a serious test of the men are frustrated (largely by the idiocy of Corporal Jones and a stray consignment of onions) and he quickly becomes exasperated. Ramsey's favourite catchphrase appears to be "you haven't done very well", which is quickly amended when Mainwaring and his men pull off "the best bit of initiative I've seen in this whole war" for which he awards them the coveted 12-stars. Fulton MacKay's character seemed to have come straight out of his Mr Mackay personae in Porridge. (Fulton Mackay also appeared as a doctor in the episode The Miser's Hoard.)
  • U-Boat Captain (Philip Madoc) - Commander of the crew of a captured U-Boat, brings Mainwaring face to face with the Nazi enemy in The Deadly Attachment. A supercilious brute who is making a list of Britons who offend him to be brought to account "when we have won the war" which unsurprisingly get Mainwaring's dander up. He is also cunning, as when he tricks his captors by feigning illness. He presents Mainwaring with one of the platoon's most dangerous and deadly situations in the entire war, when he takes the entire platoon prisoner and plans to take them back to France with him, only to be foiled in the nick of time.
  • General Monteverdi (Edward Evans) - The senior Italian officer in a POW camp who tries to defend the scruffiness and general laziness of the Italian detainees. Serving in North Africa he was captured, apparently, because he refused to fight against the English. Mainwaring clearly does not think much of him. It is revealed that Monteverdi is complicit in Walker’s scheme to smuggle prisoners out at nights to work for him.
  • Mrs Prentice (Brenda Cowling) - An old friend of Godfrey, now in possession of her late husband's farm which needs harvesting. Mainwaring volunteers the platoon's services. In gratitude she organises supper and potato wine for the platoon which leads to some high spirits. A widow, having spurned him to marry a farmer, Godfrey hints at a more intimate moment when he tells her he hasn't touched potato wine "since that night".
  • Captain Rodrigues (Alan Tilvern) - A Spanish Civil War veteran who is only interested in 'killing Nazis'. He dislikes the platoon of 'amateurs' and thinks Mainwaring should go back to running a bank. He is portrayed as a vicious, unpleasant character. He appears closer to a bandit than a Captain in the British army.
  • Mr West (Robert Dorning) - Bank Inspector from Head Office. Shocked at the irregular running of the Walmington-on-Sea branch. A pompous and highly-strung character.
  • Violet Gibbons (Sally Douglas) - An ATS girl to whom Pike is briefly engaged, much to Mainwaring's disapproval. She had previously worked at Woolworths, a Fish and Chip Shop and for a while dated Private Walker. She appears at the platoon dance, where Pike announces their engagement. Looking bored and chewing gum she does not entirely appear to return Pike's unquestioning adoration and, much to everyone's relief, the engagement is quickly broken off.
  • E.C. Egan (Fred Trueman) - A professional fast-bowler recruited by Hodges as an ARP Warden in an underhand attempt to win the friendly cricket match between the Wardens and the Home Guard. Egan reckons he can skittle Mainwaring's men out in about four overs. However he badly injures his shoulder after his first delivery and has to leave the field. In his absence, the Home Guard go on to win the match due to Hodges declaring early. In reality, Trueman played many matches for England.
  • Lady Maltby (Mavis Pugh) - A local aristocrat who lends the platoon her Rolls Royce for the duration of the war. She is socially acquainted with Sergeant Wilson, much to the irritation of Captain Mainwaring. Her late husband was a greengrocer.
  • Mrs Gray (Carmen Silvera) - A charming lady, recently arrived from London, who joins the platoon after it begins recruiting women in the episode "Mum's Army". She shares a Brief Encounter-style relationship with Captain Mainwaring before leaving unexpectedly.
  • Patrick Regan (J. G. Devlin) - A suspected member of the Irish Republican Army, the platoon are ordered to arrest him, but only a few are available. Trouble comes when his 'associates' come looking for him, leading to a brawl. Fortunately Wilson proves to be handy with his fists.
  • Police Constable (Arthur English) - a Walmington police constable deputed to arrest Regan. He came alone, as the rest of his station were busy playing a darts match with the Free French. He warns that Regan may be an "ugly customer", but Mainwaring ignores his advice.
  • General Menzies (Campbell Singer) - Local commander. Visiting the platoon while Fraser is in temporary command in the episode If the Cap Fits... he mistakes him for Mainwaring. He invites his fellow Scot to a dress dinner to pipe in the haggis. Fraser hopes this will embarrass the English Mainwaring, but to everyone's shock Mainwaring had learned the bagpipes on his honeymoon, foiling Fraser's scheme.
  • Mr Palethorpe (Jack Haig) - Landlord of the Six Bells just outside Walmington. When the platoon, dressed as Nazis for the production of a film, enter the bar and demand to be served he is convinced the balloon has gone up and triggers an invasion alert. Haig had previously been considered for the role of Lance-Corporal Jones and also appeared briefly as a gardener in the episode The Day the Balloon Went Up.
  • Sir Charles McAllister (Campbell Singer) - A distinguished Scottish politician. He appears in Is There Honey Still for Tea? where he is blackmailed by Fraser (who threatens to expose his unsavoury past) into re-siting the proposed aerodrome that threatens Godfrey's cottage.
  • Mr Bugden (Peter Butterworth) - A harassed Walmington printer, whose firm's error leads to Corporal Jones being interned as a dangerous Prisoner of War.
  • Mr Rees (Edward Evans) - The Welsh town clerk of Walmington as seen in Big Guns. His administration appears to have preceded that of Mr Gordon, as he only appeared once early in the series. Mainwaring's strained dealings with him appears to be typical of his relationship with small-town officialdom.
  • Mr Sedgewick (Erik Chitty) - Mild-mannered Walmington shoe-shop proprietor.
  • Sylvia Hodges (Jean Gilpin) - Hodges' niece, a member of the ATS, appears in Walmington during the episode The Making of Private Pike. She attracts the interest of both Wilson and Pike. She and Pike go on a date together to Eastgate cinema, during which they ‘borrow’ Mainwaring’s new staff car. Relations between them begin to disintegrate when the car breaks down on the way back - forcing them to spend the night together. This leads to some widespread assumptions, causing Wilson to now regard Pike as a ‘kindred spirit’.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Boots, Boots, Boots"
  2. ^ Time on my Hands
  3. ^ A Brush With the Law
  4. ^ Unwelcome Guests
  5. ^ The Big Parade
  6. ^ Something Nasty in the Vault
  7. ^ Put that Light Out
  8. ^ Don't Forget the Diver, Gorilla Warfare
  9. ^ McCann, 64
  10. ^ David Croft, Dad's Army: The Complete Scripts, Orion 2003, p.13
  11. ^ Episode No Spring for Frazer, 1969
  12. ^ "The Godiva Affair"
  13. ^ "Mum's Army"
  14. ^ Graham McCann (2001) Dad's Army
  15. ^ "Gorilla Warfare"