John Cleese has signed a contract with Castle Rock Entertainment to bring the popular show Fawlty Towers back to our screens, in which he will reprise his role as Basil Fawlty, and will be joined by his daughter Camilla.
However, people are already complaining about the whole idea of a reboot, claiming that it is sure to end up being a disaster because it “wouldn’t work in these modern times”.
The news of a reboot comes over forty years after the comedy series came to an end. After a 4-year run on BBC Two, the program – widely recognised as one of the greatest sitcoms ever – left British television in 1979.
For those who don’t know, the show chronicled the misadventures of tense Torquay hotel owner Basil Fawlty and his wife Sybil, played by Cleese and Prunella Scales, as they struggled to maintain their establishment and marriage.
Castle Rock Entertainment revealed on Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Cleese to revive the popular show.
The eighty-three-year-old actor and author will reprise his role as Fawlty in the new series, and Camilla, who is also an actress, will co-star as the hotelier’s recently reunited long-lost daughter.
Director Matthew George, producer Derrick Rossi, and actor/filmmaker Rob Reiner will serve as executive producers on the show.
Speaking about the move, Cleese said: “When we first met, he [Matt] offered an excellent first idea, and then Matt, my daughter Camilla, and I had one of the best creative sessions I can remember.
“By dessert, we had an overall concept so good that, a few days later, it won the approval of Rob and Michele Reiner. Camilla and I look forward enormously to expanding it into a series.”
Rob Reiner added: “John Cleese is a comedy legend. Just the idea of working with him makes me laugh.”
The original show, written by Cleese and Connie Booth, ran on BBC Two for two series in 1975 and 1979. In 2019, it was named the greatest British sitcom of all time by a panel of television experts for Radio Times magazine.
However, despite its success, Cleese has previously pushed back on the idea of reviving Fawlty Towers. In a 2009 interview, the comedian, then aged sixty-nine, said the cast would never make another episode because they are “too old and tired”.
Despite that, it seems he’s recently changed his tune and is more than ready to bring back the beloved character for modern audiences.
But when it comes to rebooting old classics, fans of the original are almost always skeptical, and it seems the news has caused a lot of mixed opinions online.
One wrote: “This has disaster written all over it, leave it alone, can’t think of a classic show that reappeared & was any good, porridge, open all hours, fools & horses to name a few. What made FT great was not only Basil but his interaction with those around him in the main cast who won’t be here…”
While another added: “I’m not sure about this. The original worked because of the chemistry between Basil and Sybil mainly, but also between all the main characters. The rework of Porridge didn’t work because that chemistry was missing. What looks good in theory doesn’t always work. I’d rather have a dim and distant memory of something brilliant than a recent memory of a failure.”
“Fawlty Towers is a classic. No way can you recreate it. I will stick to the original, still funny and certainly doesn’t need to be brought back. It just wouldn’t work in these modern times,” a third agreed.
Another warned: “It was a brilliant comedy series & the cast was perfect. John & Connie were fabulous writers. I think it shouldn’t be brought back because it just wouldn’t be as good without the original cast. I have the DVD & watch it often. Just leave it alone. It was a classic.”
What do you think?
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