April 28, 2009
Don't remake Reginald Perrin – just show it again: Television in the 1970s was wonderful so please don't remake old favourites (Gill Hornby, 20 Apr 2009, Daily Standard)
It could be all right, I suppose, this remake of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin coming on to the BBC this week. Martin Clunes might be entertaining, even though Leonard Rossiter is one of the harder acts to follow. The writers have made various updates to bring the story, about a middle-aged man who fakes his own death, into the 21st century: his mother-in-law will no longer be represented by an image of a hippo, because we are apparently no longer the sexist society we were back in the 1970s (apart from in the backrooms of Number 10, obviously). So it might be just about OK. But, still, why do they bother? [...]
Now, art galleries – they've got the right idea. They don't say, "Hmmm, portrait of a woman, half-smile, long gaze, punters love her… Damian, why don't you have a go?" Or "Poppies, a whole field full… Tracey, what's your take on that?" No. They just put up the Mona Lisa or the Monet, and people seem to like them.
Why should TV be any different? We don't need these remakes – or "reimaginings", as they try to dignify them. We don't want Shane Richie – I know, sacrilege – being Arthur Daley's nephew. Just put out the old Minder, The Sweeney and Perrin, think of another word for "repeat" – perhaps "tribute" or "revisit" – and we'll all be better off.
...why didn't ABC just show the original Life on Mars instead of trying to make their own and, almost inevitably, screwing it up?
Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2009 6:27 AM