The Dad’s Army Genome is progressing well, with the whole of series 1 scanned, converted to text, broken down into lines of dialogue and loaded into the database. I’ll soon be moving on to the second series, but before that I wanted to delve into series 1 and see what I can find about it on a quick scan. Later I’ll be delving a lot deeper but for now I’ve concentrated on the basics.
As all Dad’s Army fans will know there are six episodes in the series, beginning with the opening episode The Man and the Hour. There are 31 roles with dialogue but a number are unnamed and identified only by function (including two German airmen, a scout and various nameless soldiers).
The dialogue of very unevenly split, with Mainwaring having more than a third of all the lines. After the brave captain, only Wilson and Jones have more than 10% of lines each with Godfrey having just 51 lines (3%). In fact Major Regan, the main thorn in the platoon’s side in this series, has more lines than Pike, Frazer or Godfrey. And Mrs Pike, who would become a fixture of the series, has the same number of lines (37) across the 4 episodes she appears in as Captain Winogrodski who is in just one episode (and is never seen again after Walker gets him arrested).
Although Frazer would later accuse the captain of’ ‘useless blether’ and he would become famous for his long speeches, Mainwaring has fairly short lines in this series, averaging just 13 words. Jones and Walker are almost as wordy, at 11 words per speech while Wilson is a man of few words, confining himself to 8 words per line. The most long-winded character is Henry (the milkman) who manages 54 words in just 2 speeches.
In the first series we begin to see the development of what would become the Dad’s Army catchphrases – Corporal Jones’ two most famous lines both appearing. But future classics such as ‘do you think that’s wise’ and ‘you’re doomed’ do not appear in this episode, and ‘stupid boy’ is heard only twice. I expect to see much more of the catchphrases when I move on to the second series.
There will be much more later, but for now I want to complete scanning all the other episodes and this is going to take a while. so for now, enjoy the series 1 infographic here.