I’ve been harping on about television’s lack of new material lately, so much so that I’m beginning to feel like a regular TV columnist. I tend to home in on the re-hashes of old, ostensibly ‘safe’ stories, though why 10 Rillington Place should have attract so many writers/producers down the years I can’t imagine. Can it be that the Brits are secretly proud of their serial killers!
My aversion to drama remakes began in earnest in 2002 when some clown tried to better the BBC’s 1967 version of The Forsye Saga, hacked it down to a precis of its former self, and stood back while it hit the deck, taking Damian Lewis and Gina McKee with it. (Have to say that BBC’s Radio 4 version last year was pretty damn good - the pictures were better!) The most recent example of televisions’s love of repeating itself is Roots. It’s a shadow of the 1977 version and again its been pared down to a cliche from the novel by Alex Haley.
The only stuff you can dramatise over and over again is cop shows, which means that the Nathan Hawk Murder Mysteries stand a fair chance of making it. Meantime, I must catch up with the remake of Maigret. It had better be good!