Tuesday, November 17, 2015


BBC1 may be bringing 'Porridge', one of Ronnie Barker's best TV shows*, back to Toobworld in order to celebrate 60 years of comedy on the Beeb.  (They're marking 'Hancock's Half Hour' as the beginning for the genre.)

Back in September the BBC announced: "BBC1 will mark our enduring affection for all the great comedy characters we have met over the 60 years by enlisting the biggest names in British comedy writing and performing to revisit loved classics alongside launching new shows in a landmark comedy season."

A major sticking point for a 'Porridge' revival is that Ronnie Barker passed away in 2006, so there's no hope in bringing back Norman Fletcher for another stretch.  Richard "Godber" Beckinsale, Fulton "Mr. Mackay" Mackay, Brian "Barraclough" Wilde, Sam "Bunny" Kelly, and Michael Barrington, who played Governor Venables have all passed away as well.  But Christopher Biggins AKA Lukewarm is still with us, as are David Jason, Barker's co-star in 'Open All Hours' and Peter Vaughn, most recently seen in 'Game Of Thrones' as Maester Aemon.  They played Blanco and Harry Grout, respectively.

Luckily, they're not even thinking in terms of a remake with all new actors playing the roles of Fletch, Lennie Godber, Mr. Mackay, Mr. Barraclough, Bunny, and Lukewarm.  Instead, they're tackling a continuation in which a new actor will be playing Fletch's grandson (also called "Fletch" - hey, it's a great nickname!) who is locked up for computer hacking.  I'm okay with that.

Nothing is official yet; the BBC won't confirm what classic Britcoms are under consideration for new productions to be included in their Landmark Sitcom Season.  Hopefully all of the other candidates will be given this same continuation treatment rather than subjecting the loyal fans to remakes.  Nobody needed a new Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin this past year.  But I'm sure they would have welcomed new agents working for UNCLE in the 21st Century.

Hey, it worked for Jean-Luc Picard.....


* I think 'Open All Hours' would be the top pick for many Barker fans.......

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