The BBC’s new Director General, George Entwistle, is reportedly being urged to revive defunct Spain-set soap Eldorado.
The show revolved around ex-pats living in the fictional Costa Del Sol town of Los Barcos, and over a single year on air, between 1992-1993, clocked up 156 episodes across a thrice-weekly transmission pattern. It was created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland who had earlier brought EastEnders to fruition for the corporation in 1985.
Eldorado was axed by the BBC following low-ratings for some of its run and a mauling in the UK press. The soap has become a byword for dodgy acting, fluffed lines, bizarre plots and poor production values. It’s a somewhat unfair reputation though as there was a turn around in storytelling and upward movement in the ratings prior to the show’s cancellation at the behest of then BBC One controller Alan Yentob.
Nearly twenty years later the BBC’s new director general, George Entwistle, is facing calls to revive it. Paul Davies, who worked on the soap, has called for its return in the BBC’s in-house magazine Ariel.
“Critics would argue it was hubristic, too excessive and the axe deserved to fall prematurely. I would argue it was ambitious, ahead of its time and an example of the BBC machine working at its very best. I just hope a channel controller sees the potential and commissions a revisit to Eldorado in the future.” – Davies
Last year one of Eldorado’s scriptwriters, Tony Jordan, who has also written extensively for EastEnders spoke in favour of the soap’s return.
“I think we should bring Eldorado back. It’s a fantastic brand – although obviously not in the way it was first done, and I wrote the first episode so I’m allowed to say that.” – Tony Jordan
The BBC and Cinema Verity co-production starred Jesse Birdsall, Patricia Brake, Derek Martin, Polly Perkins and Campbell Morrison.