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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can you recreate a masterpiece?

I glanced at the telly last night to see Martin Clunes in a clip that looked suspiciously like Reginald Perrin and the found that it is being remade.

My initial thought is WHY!! The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is one of the great TV comedy shows of the 1970's. Beautifully written by David Nobbs (he's involved in the new one) and played magnificently by Leonard Rossiter. I'm sure many people of a certain age can remember certain catchphrases and scenes with affection, certainly upon watching repeats it has aged well.

In the orignal Perrin is a sales executive for a frozen foods company who realises his life is futile and tries to escape it by faking his own death. He then returns as Reggie and starts a business called Grot which sells totally useless items. He hopes it will fail but everything he does makes it more successful and he and is wife head of to the beach to fake there own deaths. In the final series he starts a therapy centre for bored middle aged people which fails and ends up working as a sales exec and it ends with him considering another trip to the beach. Essentially we are watching a man self destruct at the futility of modern life and strangely that can be funny. Funny? Its hilarious but much of that belongs to the genius that was Rossiter.

There will be differences to the original but I believe it will be fairly faithful to the original at least in concept. Clunes has given himself a tough act to follow, his performance will be compared to a man who was a master. He doesn't need to be good he needs to be brilliant.

It starts Friday 24th April on BBC1, I'll watch it and I'll try and be objectice. Oh the original is being released on DVD.


holdingmoments said...

I used to love that programme when it was on. These days I don't own a TV, so it will remain in my mind as a 'classic.' Are programme makers so short of new ideas these days?

Pete said...

well I guess they are! They remade Battlestar Galatica but I will admit it's much better !

No TV? well most of the time I understand but then you get a super programme like the recent wildlife prog about a Japanese Fisherman and I'm entranced.

Jan said...

I didn't get where I am today by watching Martin Clunes! Can't stand him, something about his face. I only vaguely remember the original of course and the quote by CJ his boss was it? Don't remember any of the other stuff you've mentioned though. Braincell failure. :(

Hornet said...

I loved the original, although I'm a tad too young to remember it all.

But let's be positive, it might be better. After all, Dr Who came back better than ever (not sure I agree about Battlestar though, I loved the sub-Star Wars naffness of the original, but I then was about nine years old!).

Tricia said...

I too will have to keep an open mind. To me Reginald Perrin and Leonard Rossiter are inseparable.

Rossiter is one of those who's sense of timing is fairly unique - and that's what makes good comedy and acting.

I will be interested to see if Martin Clunes can deliver the goods.

Hornet said...

I thought it was genius, arguably better than I remember the original. Is that bad? I you thought it was up to scratch Pete!