MovieChat Forums > To Serve Them All My Days Discussion > Problems with John Duttine's aging in st...

Problems with John Duttine's aging in story


In 1929 Duttine's character says he has been at the school eleven years and soon after that he says he is 31 (at time of 1929 elections). If this is correct by 1939-40 when the story ends he is 41 or thereabouts. Yet, in his early thirties he is made to look like a man of 45 to 50 and by the end of the story he looks nearer 55 than 41. O.K. some people looked older in those days, but not that old.

It also seems unrealistic (I don't know Delderfield's books)that a working-class hero would ever have been allowed to become a headmaster of what is essentially an upper-class school in the 1930s let alone at the early age of 35 or thereabouts. The toffs were still closing ranks pretty much into the 1960s in the public school system. You will also find that being a brilliant teacher and having published a book would have been considered par for the course in those days. In the real world the average headmaster was in his early to late sixties then. It just does not ring true that someone from his background without having been to university would have been permitted to reach the level he did.

reply

David did get a university degree as stated in the book and in the TV series. Regarding his looks, it does seems strange considering the fact that the accountant who oversaw the books was shown earlier in the series and he and David look about the same age; however, unlike David, his phyical appearance did not change in the least.

reply

The make-up on John Duttine was indeed oddly out of place at times. I assume his character was born in 1896 or 1897, as he went off to war in 1914 instead of starting university then as had been planned. When Christine comes back from Canada, Davey should be in his mid/late 30s, but is made up to look more like 50. But in later scenes with Christine, including their honeymoon, he looks more like 30something again. It's a minor flaw in an otherwise brilliant series, but needlessly distracting.

reply

I always found the ageing a little off.

It's that man again!!

reply