Reggie Perrin is a middle-aged man ground down by the sheer boredom of his middle-management lifestyle. He is squeezed between his bullying boss (CJ) and young upstarts snapping at his heels. He is irritated by Elizabeth, his patronizing wife and lusts after his secretary, as a means of escape. For Reggie Perrin there is only one way out - his symbolic death and rebirth. However, he can't escape from his past even by assuming various other identities and so the cycle of death and rebirth repeats itself. It is also a satire on life in mid-70's Britain, where people talk in cliches and are duped into following the various trends. While the show is dated in visual style (those ladies fashions!) and some episodes resort to classic English farce, the anguish and comedy in David Nobb's excellent writing is driven home by Rossiter's energetic (sometimes OTT) performance as Reggie. Rossiter has an able supporting cast including the excellent Geoffrey Palmer as Reggie's brother-in-law, who can't get his life to run properly either - especially on the catering front. However, at the price, there should be some special features included in the package.
Absolutely brilliant. If you have never seen Leonard Rossiter perform on screen or in the theatre, you're missing the talent of a man who gave 100% to everything. This role as Reginald Perrin could only be played by one man who had the drive to play him as it was meant to be.
Great! Super! Yes - Leonard Rossitter you will be missed, but your performances will always be remembered. A wonderful English actor!!
It is great to see this series on DVD. Pity there are no extras, especially input from the writer - and if you have not read the books you are in for a treat as there is far more in them than they managed (undoubtedly due to time and possibly subject matters suitable to show at the time)to include on film. Series 1 is the best, the loss of loyalty and 'jobs worth' - when you consider in the 1970s for many a job was for life. Reggie - definitive Leonard Rossiter - (as central character) has a boss (CJ is an excellent characature played by John Barron - brimming hilarious philosophies) who is not listening, a wife 'understands' but does not - not until he re appears after faking his own death and a wonderful collection of onlookers, both family and his fantasy outlet Joan in the office. His confession on his return to his daughter Linda - who maintains his secret identity in various guises from a sewage plant worker to his best friend from Brazil - is a brilliant part to the story and demonstrates superb empathy and synergy between the two - from his executive stress, fall and rise to her frustrated marriage to a dull and boring man with zero charisma. Quite why such a creative person as Reggie would ever be a pin stripe suited employee of Sunshine Desserts and daughter Linda - extremely attractive and very well spoken would be married to and unloved by such a bore(and contrary to some narrow views the fashion was not as bad as you might think in the mid 70s, Lindas 'Charlies Angels' hairdo and bell bottom Levis are very 'in' again now and actress Sally Jane Spencer is the best model for both) - is perhaps an irony that applies to many in life. Series 2 and 3 have their moments too but treat yourself to this and if you suffer from stress in the workplace this is textbook stuff.
One of my all time favourite sitcoms. Brilliantly written with superb characters - the ego maniacal CJ (1,2,3,4,make them wait outside the door, 5,6,7,8 always pays to make them wait, 9,10,11,12 COME!), the incompetent Doc ('feeling a bit chesty Joan'?), the clueless brother in Law, Jimmy ('bit of a cock up on the catering front') Thirty years on it still makes me laugh. The disillusioned middle manager surrounded by a boss who didn't get where he is today without humiliating his subordinates, the 'great,super' young graduate recruits, the dysfunctional family and the mother in law who creates a recurring hippopotamus image at her mere mention. No wonder the faked suicide seemed like a good option. Rossiter is at his best as the much put upon, long suffering Reggie whose response to the banality of his everyday life is to engineer a dramatic escape. The second series with the growth of his Grot Shop concept and the employment of all the old favourites is a good development. The third series is less strong with the commune concept being perhaps a series too far.
For some reason, you don't often see Perrin on TV these days. Which is sad, because this is one of those "proper" British sitcoms that we don't seem to be able to do any more. Much of its brilliance is down to Leonard Rossiter of course, who is unsurpassed, but the rest of the cast is unforgettable, especially CJ (John Barron). If the mark of a successful comedy is the number of phrases people still use from it thirty years after its first showing, then Fall and Rise must rank pretty highly. True, the third series isn't as good as the first two, but overall this is an essential DVD set for Rossiter fans in particular, and lovers of top-notch comedy in general.
A year or so ago I saw series 1 for the first time in many years when it was repeated in the UK by the BBC. It was wonderfully nostalgic to become engrossed once again in the story. David Nobbs had created Reginald Iolanthe Perrin (played by Leonard Rossiter), a frustrated and stressed business executive, living a comfortable but boring suburban lifestyle, fed-up with British Rail always getting hime to work 11 minutes late. Many could identify, at least in part, with Reggie. The faked suicide and his new identities create hilarious situations but always with a hint of sadness at his predicament - sometimes it is uncomfortable if you have been in a similar situation yourself. Sadly the BBC did not choose to screen the full trilogy, so it was with relief that I discovered this box set. Series 1 deals with Reggie's build-up to a breakdown and his "disappearance", followed by his very amusing appearance at his own memorial service as an old friend of Reggie's. He then wins the heart of his "widow", Elizabeth (Pauline Yates). In series 2 he accidentally founds "Grot", an empire of shops selling useless objects, also greatly entertaining. Series 3, in which he founds a commune for the middle classes works a little less well for me, partly because of a change of actor playing his son-in-law. But it is because all three series are here that this set is so great - the story needs to be complete... that said, there were two spin-off series; one of these is "A Fairly Secret Army", starring Reggie's brother-in-law Jimmy, played by Geoffrey Palmer. The other, in 1996, being "The Legacy of Reginald Perrin", with more or less the same cast as "Fall and Rise" (except of course, the late Leonard Rossiter, whose character, Reggie, is also absent). The former I haven't seen since it was first shown in the 70s or 80s, the latter I have never seen. It would be great if the publisher (Second Sight Films Ltd) could put these on DVD to really complete the picture!
"The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin" is one of my all time favorite tv shows. I became too anxious to wait for it to be released in the States, in our Region 1 format, so I just bought the UK version "The Complete Collection", hoping it would work on my player, figuring i would get a cheep multi region player if it didn't. Today I was rewarded to find, despite what is written, this is a Region 0 disc set, it plays anywhere. It worked perfectly on my Region 1 player, and on another one at a friend's house. There is no reason to hold back Americans, et al. Reggie Perrin is avaiable to one and all. GREAT ! SUPER ! I didn't get what I have today, without taking a few chances.
Without doubt, my absolute favorite comedy. Period. The writing was sharp and witty, the acting solid, and the characters instantly memorable. The rapid-fire exchanges between Reggie and C.J. were incredible. The timing of the lines was perfect. Sadly, it is only available in Region 0 DVD format, so those of us in the states have only to dream of the day when they decide to place it in Region 1 format. Fingers are crossed. There are a lot of us Yanks out here who adore this show. I didn't get where I am today without having to dream of the day when they decide to place it in Region 1 format. Great. Super.