I wish I could say you’ve all done very well, but I can only truly say that the male members of the cast earned this compliment. As a die-hard fan of the original series of Are You Being served, I eagerly anticipated Derren Litten’s revival. Some of the cast announcements, to me, had seemed dubious choices, but I was keen to be proved otherwise.
Roy Barraclough was the epitome of Mr Grainger, together with Jason Watkins as Mr Humphries, he stole the show. With Watkins, it was the facial expressions that won the cause. In fact, by the end of the episode I was extremely grateful for both Watkins and Barraclough’s input, as well as that of Justin Edwards who was simply outstanding as Mr Rumbold. Comic timing is key, of course, and the three aforementioned have it in abundance. Matthew Horne was equally superb as Mr Grace, the gift of the gab and an excellent ‘double act’ with Rumbold. John Challis also put in a solid performance as Captain Peacock.
I don’t know if it’s the case that Molly Sugden and Wendy Richards are irreplaceable as Mrs Slocombe and Miss Brahms, but Sherrie Hewson and Niky Wardley were slightly disappointing. The ‘pussy’ lines were there for the taking, but the only member of the cast who made that classic gaff work for them was Barraclough.
Litten has captured the essence of the classic scripts, all of the elements were there and I didn’t sit in front of the box with a straight face for the half an hour episode. The fact that there was an inconsistency between performances was my main bug-bear. If more episodes were to come, would I watch? Definitely! The possibilities and potential are endless, and with such a classic sit-com to revive, I don’t think everybody was going to be happy.
Photo Credits: BBC