When this was first announced I thought that it would be a funny, touching and melancholy return to the world of the Arkwright stores, instead it seemed more like a poor retread and – although no doubt made with the best of intentions – it seemed to have more of a whiff of the Pink Panther films made of clips of Sellers post his death that ended up on the cutting room floor with at best David Jason being Turk Thrust II aka Roger Moore. Or even worse, Ted Wass!
Still, it’s more stagnant and it reminds me of the terrible to the manor reborn revival that failed on all cylinders as well.
The problem is that Granville isn’t the Granville that we all know and love, instead they’ve basically turned him into Ronnie Barker and Arkwright, complete with same colour jacket, so much so tht it seems odd to not hear the famous stutter…so much so that Jason does several impressions of him with his stutter and mannerisms (which I know his character did in the original series which is fine but not the whole persona).
Granville wouldn’t be a miser and be fretting about slicing bacon as thin as he could or putting all that effort into selling anchovy paste. Great impression of Barker, but it just isn’t Granville.
It would be the equivalent of Only Fools and Horses coming back with Rodney in charge and basically being a tall Del Boy, that just isn’t who he is and it is exactly the same issue with Granville.
We are also shown several long and loving shots of Barker in a large photo in the store (that even outsized that of Betty Turpin in the Rovers Return – the latter which I swear increases in size on a weekly basis). All this does though is make us miss both Barker and the original series even more.
The new ‘Granville’ is forgettable, I can’t even remember his name, and it is very much a one man-show which misses the point of the original series.
Sure, it is nice to see some of the original shop customers, the former nurse Gladys Emmanuel and we also get a couple o fresher faces with Johnny Vegas (who probably has the best joke of the episode) and a blooming Chuckle Brother – the even older and shorter one I think.
No doubt this is the BBC touting for a full series and in part looking for a gentile comedy in the ilk of Last of the Summer Wine (also penned by Roy Clarke). I’ve no problem with that and loved the original Barker and Jason series but this I am afraid is p p p p p past its sell by date.
Oh, and the other thing, why on earth is he still using the broken till? I get that it was a character and all practically in its own right but at least have it in the back with Arkwright’s ashes on top of it or something or a new till with the same affliction. As it stands the old till being in active service is about as believable as if he still accepted pound notes as legal tender!
The Beeb flog Dad’s Army to death so why not take the original Open All Hours for a spin instead of making Barker spin in his grave.