Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Ah! Ze flashing knobs!

I suppose the argument could be made that ''Allo, 'Allo' was a Britcompanion to the American series 'Hogan's Heroes' - farcical sitcoms set during WWII which both had Gestapo characters. ''Allo, 'Allo' was about a French cafe owner during the German occupation. Rene Artois had to deal not only with the Gestapo, but also with his wife Edith and his waitresses Yvette and Maria.

The show ran from the 1980s until 1992. In that final episode, the town was liberated by the Allies. Now, fifteen years later, a one-shot reunion special will be taped this week in Manchester. Most of the original cast will be back, including Gordon Kaye who played Rene and who was left with serious head injuries after a car crash in 1990. Sadly, Carmen Silvera - who played his wife Edith - passed away since the show ended.

Since the final episode had the war near its end, I'm hoping the script addresses the fact that fifteen years have passed in Toobworld time for the series as well as in real time. This would set the show in 1960 France, - at least it should be the late 50s! - quite a different world than the one in which we last saw these characters. And that would mean it must have a new concept.

Perhaps they could deal with the shadowy realm of the Cold War, caught in the middle between the "Free World" and Soviet Communism influences?

I don't know where that would leave the former Gestapo officer Lt. Gruber - he'd probably have served prison time in the intervening years, I'd imagine.

But I don't think it will be quite believable if the characters tried to pick up where the old sitcom left off. Fifteen years takes its toll on how people look; not even Dick Clark was totally immune from that.

I'm not sure if this special will ever find its way over here to America. I'm not even sure there are any TV stations (usually PBS affiliates) who are still showing ''Allo, 'Allo'. But I'll keep track of how this story plays out.....



Ivan G. said...

“Leesten very carefooly…I weel say zees ernly wernce…”

Nice to hear the news about the "reunion special"; the 'rents and I are big fans of this series which I've always described to friends as a combination of Hogan's Heroes and Soap.

Speaking of Heroes, I was reading that "worst sitcom" article near the Florida Times-Union brackets and I was surprised to read this from "alleged" expert Lynn Spangler, a SUNY New Paltz associate dean:

"One of the worst shows ever would have to be Hogan's Heroes," Spangler said. "I mean, Nazis as buffoons? Yeah, right. That happened."

Lynn, sweetie--it's a sitcom. Not a documentary.

(I agree with all but one of the choices in the four "worst" sitcoms listed at the end of the article. I don't think The Flying Nun is that bad. I've seen worse.)

cybeler said...


I'm one of the producers on BBC2's 'Return of 'Allo 'Allo! which was very well recieved here in the UK by most of the press and the public as we beat ITV in the ratings which does not happen very often.

'The Return of ...' series is a series of one off reunions, each one unique and dependant on the original show. With 'Allo 'Allo! It can be confusing on paper but its a combination of reuniting the cast in costume in a copy of the orginal set infront of a studio audience with a five part documentary looking at the phenomenon. Jeremy Lloyd the original writer wrote a new half hour script but really it was all just an excuse to look back fondly at the series that has sold to more countries around the world than any other British sitcom. Yes the actors were older but the hugly warm welcome they got in the studio proved how huge this farcial sitcom was in its day. Here is a link written by the BBC during production if anyone is interested.

I also have started a blog just last night infact and put a pic from show on there. I will probably put some more on when I have time. cybelerowbottom@blogspot.com