Step aside reality TV, the big new trend for our broadcasters is reincarnation TV.

Sky has already brought back Gladiators and there’s talk of it doing a Blake’s 7 revival, now ITV has confirmed plans to remake The Prisoner.

Throw in the likes of All Star Mr & Mrs – did anyone see Mr & Mrs William Roache and their freakishly similar hair styles the other day? – and the American remake of The Bionic Woman with a British soapstar as the lead and it seems more than just a passing fad.

All are classic and cult programmes for varying reasons and the originals undoubtedly look dated these days (including the far from scary Wolf from Gladiators), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be remade and brought up to date.

We’ve seen the same sort of trend in recent years on the big screen – everything from the Italian Job to the Dukes Of Hazard getting an unnecessary modern make-over.

It inevitably leads to criticism that all the fresh new ideas are being squeezed out in the pursuit of more obviously lucrative commercial slop.

Blake’s 7 is no doubt hoping to piggy-back on the successful revival of Dr Who. But as the latest series of the Time Lord’s travels and travails has got off to a stuttering start there is an argument for saying reincarnation TV has already run out of steam.

It won’t stop the TV execs, however, from looking for more classic shows to drag back for a thoroughly modern remake.

What’s next?

I’ve been trawling the recesses of my mind for the programmes of my childhood that always seemed so great and yet years later just look very poor.

So, in no particular order, how’s about The Tomorrow People, Day of the Triffids, Crackerjack! and Sapphire and Steel.

Come to think of it, no-one’s really done a proper Flash Gordon update.

Of course, there could be very good reasons why they haven’t been revived…

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2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Well, Paul, never mind life work balance: My TV viewing is obviously so out of kilter as to be off the radar.

    I don’t know, have never watched, any of the programmes you mention, freshly served or warmed up. But then that’s what happens to children brought up on a meagre diet of one hour, I repeat ONE, no not a day, a week. After that you’ll never get the hang of it, ever. And when it’s too late you trade your precious 60 minutes of Bonanza with Alan Sugar shooting from the hip on a Wednesday.

    U

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Ursula: I should point out that I’m not so much an avid TV viewer as a news junkie. So I tend to read about such things and make ill-informed judgements, rather than watch them. Apart from The Apprentice and Dr Who, obviously, which have become obsessional.

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