With the Autumn TV battles now upon us, the BBC have announced a series of new commissions for the year ahead, and for comedy some tried and tested faces will be returning.
Ben Elton returns to pen his first sitcom since The Thin Blue Line sixteen years ago. David Haig will play council officer Gerald B Meakin in Slings and Arrows. Haig will play a recently divorced single parent fighting the “petty irritations” of modern life. The Blackadder co-writer is pleased to be returning to the world of sitcom, saying “All my happiest television memories concern BBC comedy and in particular BBC sitcom, I’m as excited today as I was when The Young Ones was commissioned 30 years ago.”
Perhaps most hotly anticipated of all will be the return of Yes Minister with an all new cast, the stage version of which has been a huge success.
No doubt hoping to emulate the enormous success of Doctor Who’s reboot, plans are afoot for another classic BBC science fiction series to receive the 21st century reinvention. After several false starts over the years, Blake’s Seven looks set to be remade for the SyFy channel in America. New Zealand born Martin Campbell, director of amongst others, Goldeneye, Casino Royale and Edge of Darkness looks set to direct. With the original early Blake’s Seven episodes having a very dark and adult theme, it will be fascinating to see how it’s handled.
The BBC is promising a significant celebration of their most successful franchise, with live events planned around the country. Speculation will also continue regarding a special anniversary episode. With previous “Doctors” returning for the tenth and twentieth anniversaries, it would seem likely that we will be treated to something similar. Precisely who will return as it were is anyone’s guess, but with David Tennant recently confirming he still owns all his costumes and praising the show, Doctor Ten is probably a safe bet!