on 5 June 2005
The third series of this show has an indifferent reputation and has been much less seen than its predecessors. The first two series (especially the first) are unquestionably top-class but I was wary of the third, which I hadn't previously seen, because of these reports. However I read the book covering the events of the final run and was impressed so decided to give the TV version a go. I'm pleased to say I was not disappointed.
Reggie has bored of his remarkably successful rubbish chain Grot. Having failed to destroy it he simply sells it and decides on a new project. He sets up a refuge for the "middle-aged and middle-class". However in tune with his progressive nature the refuge aims to promote positive values such as peace and harmony. He re-employs all his old colleagues and family and a variety of curious clients pass through the doors.
Once again the serial format is employed. The cast is largely identical to the previous outings. The main new character is incomprehensible, violent Scottish chef McBlane who is a sound if not wholly successful addition. Better is Prue, David Harris-Jones's engaging wife and the couple seem to merge into each other, even copying each other's phrases. Leslie Schofield replaces Tim Preece as Tom. He does a fair job but can't quite match his prdecessor, although the character changes also to be come a little more melancholy and less pompous. The established cast receive a little less attention than before which is a small drawback but the guests provide new angles.
This is still a very funny show, maybe a touch less surreal but still sharply observed and performed. There is a slight drop in quality but the standard remains verh high. I shalln't spoil the surprise of some of the developments but we see some interesting progression. Definitely worth putting aside doubts - fine viewing!
on 8 August 2003
Rather like 'Dad's Army', the Reginald Perrin concept was an ensemble piece rather than a strict sitcom. Every character got a few lines something to say in virtually every episode, even if those lines were very similar to what they'd said in previous episodes.
Series One of Reggie was genuinely innovative in its portrayal of the bored, stressed-out executive looking for an escape. It even included distracted visions of a mother-in-law/hippopotamus, later recaptured in 'I'm Alan Partridge' as Partridge fantasizes about pole-dancing. Series Two and Three of Reggie contained rather less innovation, and even dropped the visions.
I enjoyed Series Three in the late 1970s as a university student, in part because my parents still couldn't understand the humour, and it's nice to have something that's yours and not theirs. I enjoyed it for the shy vet, the aggressive unintelligible Scottish chef, the transformation of David into an extremely shy sex therapist, and Tony's wonderful new range of catchphrases. Yes, this is DVD City, Arizona.
I'm not sure whether the Perrin concept was laid to rest here because David Nobbs ran out of ideas, or because Leonard Rossiter died. It's great to see these episodes again. There are no additional features on this DVD.
on 1 December 2007
The first to series of this show were always likely to be a hard act to follow and so it proved. The commune idea is not a particularly inspired idea and the show feels rushed at times.
Despite this however, this DVD is still recommended. The actors are all still well worth watching and there are any amusing ideas in the scripts. The final episode is also a fitting end for the character.