Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 26, 2013 0:02:03 GMT 12
That is a great little clip, wonderful to hear Jimmy Beck talking about the series like that. He was not always so well spoken of course, he had a very cockney accent as a kid, growing up in Islington. When he got into rep theatre people told him to lose it, which he worked hard to do. While living in Scarborough he got a lot of Northern parts on stage and TV and was typecast as a northerner, then with the success of Dad's Army he was typecast again as a cockney, the very accent he tried hard to lose!
An interesting titbit of trivia i read earlier on today in the express magazine.
Jean Alexander, who for those who may not know of her, played Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street and Auntie Wainwright in Last Of The Summer Wine, when she first moved to London from Liverpool in 1961 to work in television she lived with James and Kay Beck for a while.
Yes, I knew that. Jean, Jimmy and Kay were already good friends as Jimmy and Jean had worked together up north in theatre and on TV.
YORK CITIZENS THEATRE TRUST LTD. presents ANNA CHRISTIE by EUGENE O'NEILL
CHARACTERS IN ORDER OF THEIR APPEARANCE
JOHNNY-THE-PRIEST................DONALD PILMEAR TWO LONGSHOREMEN....................JOHN DAVIES ...................................................... JOHN LEYTON A POSTMAN............................ROBERT WALLACE LARRY (Bartender).................TREVOR BANNISTER CHRIS. CHRISTOPHERSON.........JEFFERY DENCH MARTHA OWEN........................JEAN ALEXANDER ANNA CHRISTOPHERSON....ALETHEA CHARLTON THREE MEN OF A STEAMERS CREW.................... ............JOHN DAVIES/ ROLF DIETER / KEN FINCH MAT BURKE (a stoker)......................JAMES BECK JOHNSON (deckhand on a barge).....JOHN LEYTON
Just to emphasise your post Dave.
Last Edit: Mar 9, 2013 11:52:52 GMT 12 by stephen68
Looking back over dates and events (which always interests me), I'm struck by the way Walker continued to be a big part of the Dad's Army legacy for quite some time after Jimmy Beck's death. I think sometimes, for those of us looking back on it all, there is a tendency to think the 'post-Walker era' begins in December 1973.
At the time, though, UK viewers would have been able to watch Jimmy as Walker in six new episodes in November/December 1973, followed by an episode in which he is referred to (and appears in the closing credits 'walk-by'). He was featured in the Dad's Army Annual 1974 (published in autumn 1973). Then in January 1974 the radio series started - Jimmy plays Walker in the first seven episodes of that (up to March 1974). In April/May 1974 there was a repeat run of the 1973 series - Jimmy onscreen again - and a further four episodes of the radio series in which Graham Stark played Walker. And in September 1974, the Dad's Army Annual 1975, which again featured Walker.
So in fact, even though Jimmy had sadly passed away in August 1973 (and everyone viewing would know that), the illusion of Walker being 'part of the team' would have persisted much longer, for contemporary viewers. It was probably November 1974 before viewers really had to start accepting Dad's Army without Private Walker.
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2013 3:57:27 GMT 12 by hawksmoor
And the stage show too, with John Bardon and then Jeffrey Holland in the role.
Indeed. I guess a 'James Beck' thread isn't really the right place to discuss this, but what are people's views on the 'other Walkers'? To my ears, I just don't 'get' Graham Stark as Walker, but Larry Martyn sounds OK. From the tiny snippets of the stage show I have seen, I think John Bardon could have been quite interesting in the role, but I have no concept of how Jeffrey Holland would have played it.
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2013 0:52:38 GMT 12 by hawksmoor
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 24, 2013 10:12:48 GMT 12
I don't enjoy Graham Stark's interpretation but I know he was thrust in last minute and did his best.
I think Larry Martyn was superb, stepping into such a big role and pulling it off as well as Jimmy, to the point where he had the voice, inflections and timing just right was very admirable indeed, he brought Walker back to life. Even more remarkable is Larry and Jimmy were best friends in real life, they lived in the same street, they drank together in the same pub, they and their wives socialised together, etc, and they had often worked together. So stepping into those shoes from that perspective would have been somewhat interesting. I wish I'd had a chance to talk with Larry about that.
I think it would have been better if Larry had done the stage show too. I wonder why he didn't, and wonder if he was asked. John Bardon was probably ok, not sure. By the time Jeff stepped into the role the show was cut down in size and a lot of understudies were in the roles - Jack Haig as Jones, also understudies playing Mrs Fox and Mrs Pike too, as the original actors had other work to do. I wonder how it all seemed to the public.
I thought the show did suffer a bit after the loss of James Beck. I think if you had taken any of the main characters away there would have been a void. I would liked to have seen Walker involved in Jones' wedding planning. Perhaps the Cheeseman character would have grown into something, but we'll never know.