Goodnight Sweetheart, the brilliant 90s British sitcom that ran for six series will return for a one-off special this Fall as part of the BBC’s Landmark Sitcom Season, celebrating 60 years of comedy on the BBC. GS will follow in the footsteps of other Britcom classics tagged for a re-boot such as Are You Being Served, Porridge, Keeping Up Appearances (actually, Young Hyacinth) and Up Pompeii.
Nicholas Lyndhurst will reprise his role as Gary Sparrow, a TV repairman who finds himself leading an extraordinary double life following the discovery of a time portal which allows for time travel between present-day and the Second World War. Disillusioned with life in general in the 1990s, Sparrow struggles with the combination of a dull job and drab marriage to the overly ambitious, Yvonne. In the war-torn capital of the 40s, however, Sparrow stumbles upon the Royal Oak Pub and, aided by his knowledge of future wartime events, he claims to be both a secret agent and a singer-songwriter by passing off modern day pop songs as his own, particularly songs by The Beatles.
Finding himself much more attracted to 40s London, Sparrow strikes up a passion for a second woman, Phoebe, impressing her by bringing goods which are widely available in the present day, but were rationed in wartime Britain, such as chocolate, bacon, and nylons and they begin a romance. What’s a girl to do?
Personally, I found this to be one of the more charming, intelligent and inventive comedies to make its way to the States in years. Each of the 58 episodes finds Gary traveling between both time periods in constant struggle to balance his two lives and keep Yvonne and Phoebe happy and, as you can imagine, tangled in webs of lies and deceit as he invents cover stories to explain away his constant absences to both. The series ended in 1999 on VE Day with Gary trapped in wartime London when the portal is closed leaving Ron to explain the truth to Yvonne.
According to the original creators, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (Birds of a Feather, The New Statesman), the newest incarnation will see Sparrow facing the consequences of his time travel and go somewhere he’s never been before, as Goodnight Sweetheart is about to be catapulted into the 21st century. “Gary has been trying for the last 17 years to find a way back to the present,” said Marks and Gran.
Look for Goodnight Sweetheart and other classic sitcom reboots this Fall as part of the BBCs Landmark Sitcom Season.