As anticipation builds ahead of the new Dad’s Army feature film next month, fans of one of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms can whet their appetite with a previously missing story, “A Stripe For Frazer“, one of a handful of missing episodes of the show, not seen since it was first broadcast as part of the original BBC series nearly 47 years ago on 29th March 1969.
“A Stripe For Frazer” will be released exclusively on BBC Store, the new digital service which makes it easy for audiences to buy and keep copies of their favourite BBC programmes.
The BBC Store told us the animation is the work of a special team, who, thanks to downthetubes Twitter follower and top author Graham Kibble-White, were quickly revealed as including Doctor Who: Time Trips illustrator (and Pointless winner) Ben Morris, working with long time Doctor Who Magazine comics artist Martin Geraghty and Bristol-based animator Chris Bowles.
The Who connection extend to DWM illustrator Daryl Joyce, who, Martin tells us, “has done a superb job of recreating the background sets in which the action takes place.
“Luckily, this episode is restricted to only the interior sets of the church hall!”
“It’s been a treat animating them all,” says Ben.
“Martin Geraghty has done amazing work interpreting the characters, which I then created vector graphics from…I’m ooking forward to seeing the finished result.”
As part of the celebrations, BBC Store is inviting fans to nominate their favourite episodes for inclusion in an exclusive BBC Store Best Of Dad’s Army Collection by tweeting suggestions @BBCStore #BestDadsArmy or posting them on the BBC Store Facebook page.
The much celebrated sitcom about the British Home Guard during the Second World War was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and originally broadcast on BBC television from 1968 to 1977, running for nine series and 84 episodes in total. It regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers and is still shown on BBC Two and around the world.
In the run-up to Christmas 2015, BBC2 aired the comedy drama We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story, produced by Darlow Smithson Productions about the trials and tribulations of getting the series onto TV in the 1960s, which drew 2.7 million viewers.
Three episodes from the second series are missing, as many tapes of programmes from this era were either recorded over or discarded, along with two of the four Christmas sketches (1968 and 1970). But a recently discovered high quality audio recording of one of these. A Stripe For Frazer, means that an animated version of that story of can be created.
In the newly-animated episode Captain Mainwaring makes Frazer a Lance Corporal but soon regrets doing so. Newly promoted Frazer vies with Lance Corporal Jones for Mainwaring’s favour and resorts to issuing a series of increasingly bizarre charge sheets to the consternation of Mainwaring and other members of the Platoon.
The 30 minute flash-animation of “A Stripe For Frazer” will be available exclusively on BBC Store from Thursday 4th February 2016.
Jonathan Green, Director BBC Store says, “As the UK renews its love affair with Dad’s Army we’re delighted to be bringing fans an exclusive chance to buy this brilliant lost episode which has been missing from the Dad’s Army portfolio for nearly half a century.”
• Bookmark the BBC Store: https://store.bbc.com
• Dad’s Army Appreciation Society: http://dadsarmy.co.uk
The Dad’s Army film is in cinemas from 5th February, starring Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Blake Harrison, Daniel Mays, Bill Paterson. Box Office: www.dadsarmytickets.co.uk | Facebook at www.facebook.com/DadsArmyMovie