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"Reggie Perrin" Episode #1.2 (2009)

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Off to work with an empty briefcase

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
4 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How nice it is for me to be able to say something complimentary about a programme that was not first transmitted thirty years or so ago. The programme in question is 'Reggie Perrin', starring Martin Clunes. While I still think the original is a classic, the remake has a lot going for it.

Clunes is shaping up nicely as 'Reggie'. He is playing the role as though it had never been done before, which is how it should be. Had he tried to mimic Leonard Rossiter, the result would have been catastrophic.

Secondly, the scripts are of a higher than standard than those we have have grown accustomed to in recent years. It is hard to tell which lines were by Simon Nye and which were by David Nobbs.

Of the supporting cast, Neil Stuke's 'Chris Jackson' is nowhere near as menacing as John Barron's 'C.J', but I expect this was deliberate. Susan Earl's 'Wellness Person' is my personal favourite, and her scenes with Reggie have been ( to quote Tony Webster ) great. His putting the wind chimes down his trousers was hilarious.

Like the second episode of the original, this begins with Reggie and Nicola in bed. The fire has gone out of their marriage. Whenever he tries to have some quality time with her, people show up out of the blue; firstly, Nicola's friends, then her father William ( Geoffrey Whitehead ), and finally Reggie's own mother ( Wendy Craig ). William seems to have inherited Jimmy's fondness for saying 'there's been a bit of cock-up on the catering front'.

Reggie hates travelling to work by train so decides to drive one day. Big mistake. The 'Groomtech' car park is like a maze, and Reggie becomes so frustrated he decides to leave the vehicle in any old place.

Chris admonishes Reggie for going to work without a briefcase even though he never has anything in it.

Reggie is all set to attend a conference with Jasmine, but after losing control of his emotions he passionately kisses her. She is horrified.

There's no safari park ( there would have been no point as Tom and Linda and their awful kids do not exist in this alternative 'Perrin' universe ).

Where the new show also scores is in making Reggie's flights of fancy even wilder. Here we saw his imaginary self shooting one of Nicola's talkative friends, sending a wrecking ball crashing into his mother, and even breathing fire at Chris' office door. More of these please! I love 'em! So its a thumbs-up from me for this second episode. Can't wait to see Clunes' 'Reggie' leaving his clothes on a beach.

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