So Blakes 7 is to be revived and repacked and let’s hope it’s a more successful attempt than Bionic Woman which has been axed stateside – just no one will admit as much. Battlestar Galactica is one prime example of a successful re-imaging while Doctor Who is a good example of a successful revival and with Knight Ryder and the Survivors also returning soon – it looks like now is a good time for old shows to be dusted down and re-launched. Rumour also has it that Tenko, the wartime drama set in a female prisoner of war camp, could also be remade for television. But what other shows could be remade or revived?
The excellent late 1970s BBC series that was the inspiration for comedy series, Allo Allo. Secret Army followed the lives of Belgium citizens who helped shot-down British airmen escape the Nazi authorities and return to the UK. The show ran for three seasons in the late 1970s and also produced a follow-up sequel series, Kessler. The show was successful because it showed both sides of the stories, the resistance and the Nazi’s and didn’t make the characters stereotypical or two dimensional. The success of Allo Allo has rather eclipsed it since but re-runs on UKTV Drama and DVD releases have reminded us all what an excellent and well produced series this really was. The time is right for the series to be remade for a modern audience who are increasingly becoming more and more detached for the Second World War as time progresses – the further we move away from it the more detached people are from the events.
Sapphire and Steel
ITV did wish to revive this cult ATV series, also from the late 70s, but the plans never progressed very far – mainly because ITV wanted to completely remake it. The original series starred Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as two strange investigators who deal with breakages in time. Throughout the course of the series little was revealed about them or who they were – something Lost viewers would love. With the success of Torchwood it would seem that there is a market out there for Sapphire and Steel but any such revival would have to feature the original two stars – no remake here, just a revival. And the series would have to retain its creepy, dark and adult nature.
The BBC hasn’t had a successful long-run cop show for god knows how long. They’ve tried several times to create such a show but they have never got it right. City Central looked promising but was axed after a short life, Mersey Beat was dam-right grim and dispatched after four or five years and their latest attempt, Holby Blue, is just trading on the Holby brand name in the vain hope of attracting an audience. Perhaps the BBC need to go back to basics and revive one of the most successful police series ever – and iconic. The Bill owes a huge debt of gratitude to Z-Cars and so does most other police drama since. This 60s/70s drama series has paved the way for everything that followed since and since the BBC have shown their willing to trade in on a brand name, with Holby Blue, why not trade in one which has a little bit more respect? Besides which Holby Blue is just a grim and dark as Mersey Beat.
ITV were hoping its royal drama, The Palace, would capture the Upstairs, Downstairs flare with its tale of royalty and servants but sadly it failed. Several years back the BBC also had a stab at recreating a similar show but that also sank without a trace. It seems people prefer the real thing and who can blame them? Upstairs, Downstairs remains one of LWT’s most fondly remembered, and most successful, drama serials. Who hasn’t heard of Mr Hudson, Mrs Bridges or Ruby? A good Edwardian drama could just be what the doctor ordered for the struggling ITV. But could it work in a modern age? Would a straight remake work or would ITV have to spice it up a little?
On The Buses!
Several of you emailed in to suggest an updated version of the 70s comedy series, On The Buses. The LWT comedy also spun-off three successful films and ran for several years. Revolving around two workers for a bus company, who were quite lazy, and their formidable Inspector the series does look rather dated now but is still enjoyable. Several of you suggested with the “rubbish bus service” these days and the “lazyness of some” this comedy series was ripe for a remake.
Seriously we had two or three emails suggesting the famous Spanish soap should be revived. As you pointed out more and more people are emigrating to Spain or buy second homes out there so a drama/soap following the lives of ex-pats out there wouldn’t be too farfetched. “As the set still stands you have the perfect location, all you need to do is cast and you’ve got yourself a new/old soap” said one emailer.