I try not to be overly quick to react to announcements about forthcoming films and TV shows and the like, mainly because I’ve been wrong before (and which of us hasn’t?).
Mind you, I was less slow to suggest that re-making the classic comedy series The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin was probably a bad idea; the central performance by Leonard Rossiter would be hard to beat – which was pretty much shown by the follow-up series The Legacy Of Reginal Perrin, which lacked both Rossiter and a certain… indescribable something.
Anyway, I’m re-considering in a way, not because there’s been an announcement that Martin Clunes is to star (though he seems a perfectly nice chap), but rather because the new version is to be written by Simon Nye. Nye’s best known for Men Behaving Badly, but he’s shown that he can do darker comedy with the far-less-seen How Do You Want Me?… and more importantly the new series is being written in conjunction with David Nobbs, the creator of Perrin.
This, of course, in no way guarantees that it won’t be as much of a misfire as, say, Brighton Belles, but it may be all right. Am I hedging my bets? Probably – I love Perrin, and if it proves possible to do a renewed version that doesn’t urinate all over the memory of the original, and says something about workplace or midlife boredom, then I’ll un-narrow my sceptical eyes. If you’re feeling more keen to see it before it actually hits the screen, mind, you can see it being filmed at Teddington Studios by clicking here.
All that said, though, I have no idea quite how one distinguishes between a ‘remake’ and an ‘inspired update’, as per the quote on the BBC site. Still, at least it’s marginally more coherent than that ghastly non-phrase “re-imagining”…