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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I didn't get where I am today...

It has been brought to Lady Bracknell's attention that the British Broadcasting Corporation, for reasons best known to itself, intends to "revive" - by which it actually means "remake" - that seminal sitcom, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

Lady Bracknell, whose conversation is still regularly peppered with quotations from, and references to, the original, is appalled.

BBC 1 Controller, Jay Hunt, is reported as exclaiming, "It feels as fresh and sharp now as it did all those years ago."

That being the case, it is a mystery to Lady Bracknell why the BBC does not simply re-run the original programmes. As a licence-fee payer, Lady Bracknell is firmly of the opinion that doing so would represent the best use of her money.

Whilst Martin Clunes has always appeared to Lady Bracknell to be a pleasant and inoffensive young man, Leonard Rossiter he most certainly is not. And pray do not speak to her ladyship of the ghastly Wendy Craig.

That being said, the issue of casting is of only minor relevance in comparison to the overriding principle that one cannot, and would be well-advised not to attempt to, improve upon perfection.

What next? The ubiquitous Ant and Dec in a remake of the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special from 1975?

God forbid.


Blogger Wheelchair Dancer said...

OMG! I spent my whole childhood waiting for that programme to come on -- I actually thought the whole was quite boring (too young for perfection), but was totally titillated by the rear end perspective.

umm.. TMI?


8:26 am  
Blogger Scriptor Senex said...

As someone whose real initials are CJ I fully endorse your posting. Surely there are some new script writers they could spend their money on instead of ruining a brilliant series.

12:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having just picked up the Rising Damp scripts for £2 the other week, may I hazard a guess as to why?

Simply because it is no longer acceptable for a black man to be continually referenced as a 'tribal chief' and so on and so forth. It would just look crass, dated, and racist now (I'm not saying it was racist, merely it was a product of the 70s and times have changed somewhat...!)

Rigsby: "You wait until the next full moon - we'll all be locking our doors. You wait until we get the washing of spears"

And so on...

Oh, and there's the fact that Rising Damp was an ITV thing, so presumably the Beeb are allergic to it.

But you're right -- Martin Clunes plainly is not Leonard Rossiter and couldn't play the character the same way. Or at least I hope he doesn't try to...

8:14 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Jack - same lead actor, entirely different programme.

9:35 pm  
Blogger DD said...

Is Wendy Craig playing the hippo?

One of the worst Christmas presents I ever got was a copy of Wendy Craig's autobiography from a bible-thimping relative, who was probably trying to save my soul or something. I love good books, so naturally I hated this pile of nauseating, sanctimonious drivel.

9:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was just coming back to make that comment myself. For some reason "Rossiter" stuck in my head, "Reggie Perrin" didn't.

This also makes Scriptor's "C.J." comment make an awful lot more sense to me.

I'm still not convinced Clunes will be a great Perrin, but he's certainly more suited to that role than Rigsby :-)

...'twould be interesting to see New Reggie vs Old Reggie (e.g. following the 'new' one, BBC3 screens an 'old' one or somesuch..)

11:41 pm  
Blogger laughing said...

When we were in London several years ago, we went to London Dungeon. And there is this part where you stand in front of a judge and get a trial without getting to say anything to defend yourself. So my husband was convicted of cowardice and desertion, and of doing a Reginald Perrin into the ocean. Unfortunately, the rest of the people there seemed to be other Americans, so only like one other guy got the joke. Then the rest of us were convicted of bad football, and hardly anyone else laughed at that one either.

I'm not sure about a remake of the show. Sometimes remakes are really good, but they almost always at least disappoint someone. The second Invasion of the Body Snatchers is my favorite of the four, but that might have something to do with the fact that I saw that one first. The Fly remake was really good. Star Trek next gen was excellent, but the shows after that were never quite as good and a lot of fans weren't even watching anymore by the time they made Enterprise. We'll see how the new actors do with the old story in May.

And even though I have been watching BSG, I think that I am glad the end is in sight. I still like the original Battlestar Galactica better.

1:32 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

"That being the case, it is a mystery to Lady Bracknell why the BBC does not simply re-run the original programmes."

Because these days we shoot in HD and with a different aspect ratio.

It would look RUBBISH on your contemporary TV set.


2:46 am  
Blogger laughing said...

How sad that what you consider excellent entertainment looks like rubbish on your "better" TV.

Over here we are going to have the whole HD thing forced on us next month. It is a big headache. I think that my TV with the new converter box is going to be okay, but we're going to have to go and get some extra cables and such to get the VCR/DVD to work properly, and I've heard that other people are only getting half of the stations in HD and that after the switch they won't be able to watch them until they can afford cable or maybe a new TV.

3:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katie is absolutely right. Out with the old and in with the pre-digested. Anyway the original Reggie was far too subtle for todays TV kids. They probably wouldn't recognise Grot if they saw it!

Wendy Craig though. Eeeugh! Shouldn't she be doing "Last of the Summer Whine" by now?

6:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great! Super!!

6:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that what we call football is known as "soccer" in the Untied States.

However. I'm pretty certain they do have a game called football as well! I know they overdress for it, but I'm sure it's a fairly well known endeavour (though one might hesitate to call it 'sporting') across most of the colony. Why, it's even been featured on that most accurate of documentaries, The Simpsons.

Perhaps there was another reason that the tourists did not laugh at the football quip; namely that they have no concept of humour (sorry... 'humor') where they come from.

Let's face it, the nation which gave us Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Denis Leary, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby and Joan Rivers hasn't really got much to laugh about, has it?

7:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could be that they have a low blood count.

The entire nation certainly appears to be suffering from an irony deficiency.

7:45 pm  
Blogger DD said...

WTF does "thimping" mean? Did I really say that?

See, Wendy Craig's autobiography turned my brain to mush.

10:20 pm  
Blogger laughing said...

Well, I don't know that the entire nation is suffering, but I did often seem to be stuck with that sort of tourist. You would think that they would know something about the place they went to visit, and the soccer/football confusion is a well known thing. It was funny.

But I will tell you the most funny/embarassing thing about my fellow American tourists. Most of the places we took tours of had these little pamphlets to read about the place, and you could get the pamphlets in many different languages. So the little plastic thing that held the Chinese pamphlets had a picture of the Chinese flag, and the Spanish pamphlet had the flag of Spain, etc....

So if you wanted an English pamphlet, which flag do you think would be on the box?

We seemed to be in the minority of those who could figure this out. The box was usually full, and it was usually right next to a second box with an American flag, which was usually empty.

12:54 pm  

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