Dad’s Army creators were ‘woke’ back in 1960s and 1970s without even knowing it

Dad's Army creators were ‘"woke’" back in the 1960s and 1970s – without even knowing it.

The comedy show writers made sure Captain Mainwaring and his platoon referred to the Home Guard’s enemy as “Nazis” and not “Germans’’ to avoid causing offence.

This was to differentiate between the fascist supporters of Hitler and the actual nation.

The BBC classic sitcom – which starred Arthur Lowe, John LeMesurier and Clive Dunn – focussed on the volunteer effort to stop a Nazi invasion during World War II.

But it launched back in 1968 which was more than 20 years after the war.

Actor Frank Williams – who played the vicar Timothy Farthing – claims writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft were very careful about the language they used.

Most of the time Capt Mainnwaring (played by Lowe) and his platoom would only refer to the Germans as ‘‘Nazis”.

Frank explained: ‘‘There was a discussion at the start about the language that was used in the show.

“Anything Geman and the word German was seen as unacceptable.

“During the war, people did talk about the Germans in a way like ‘The Germans did this’ and ‘The Germans did that’.

“But when Dad’s Army started, a conscious decision appears to have been made not to offend the country.

“I agree with it in a way. The decision was not to offend the German nation but to make it clear we are not talking about them as a whole. We are talking about the Nazis.”

Frank – who is now 90 years old and also president of the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society – still cannot believe how popular the show is thanks to endless repeats on TV.

He says: “It appeals to kids now as much as adults who saw it first time around.”

Dad's Army ran for nine series and 80 episodes in total.

A feature film got released in 1971 as well as a stage show and a radio version based on the television scripts.

The series regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers, and is still shown internationally.

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