Belfast Telegraph

Gatiss' joy over Dad's Army remake

Mark Gatiss has said the big screen remake of Dad's Army which he appears in will maintain the humour and poignancy of the original TV series.

The 48-year-old, responsible for TV hits such as Sherlock and The League Of Gentlemen, and who has also written and acted in Doctor Who, will be playing the role of Captain Mainwaring's colonel in the remake.

But he said despite the pressure of filming something that is very dear to the nation, the new movie is being made by people who love the original.

"There's not too much pressure for me because I'm not playing one of the platoon so I can get away with it," he said.

"I'm playing Captain Mainwaring's colonel and chief, the sort of person who would come in and say 'it's a bloody shambles Mainwaring'.

"It's a lovely script and a fantastic cast, I think everyone involved loves the original. I was actually very sceptical when I first heard about it, but it's being remade by people who love the original and want to do right by it.

"It's very much in the flavour of the original, it's very funny but also very sad and poignant.

"I always used to think about Dad's Army that the backdrop is the worst conflict in history, but what we're doing in a very British way is managing to get through by having a laugh."

Gatiss, who is originally from Sedgefield, County Durham, was speaking ahead of a Teesside University charity event with the Mayor of Darlington.

"Two of my English teachers are coming this evening which is brilliant and they were a huge influence and inspiration to me, very encouraging right from the beginning," he said.

"My favourite show growing up was always Doctor Who and I read Sherlock Holmes from childhood and they've always been two of my obsessions.

"So to essentially make my career out of the pair of them is a dream come true and it's important to stress I've always felt passionate about them and they say if you can make what you love into what you do then you're alright and that's what I've done."

And having enjoyed huge success with Sherlock, who he co-wrote with Steven Moffat, he said he hopes to make them for as long as they can.

"We all want to make lots more, we're very happy to keep making them for as long as we can. But the trouble is now everyone involved is so famous that getting them all together is really tough," he said.

"We're doing a special and then three more later on and we'll carry on as long as we can.

"What is brilliant is starting with them much younger than they're ever usually done, what would be brilliant is get to Benedict and Martin the same age as Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce and we would have grown up with them which would be lovely."

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