Earlier this year, UK audiences welcomed back John Cleese in Hold the Sunset. While it had been 43 years since the comic genius last appeared in a BBC sitcom, his last one, Fawlty Towers, didn’t do too bad for itself given it will forever be recognized as perhaps the best sitcom of all-time. For those expecting to see Basil Fawlty in his sunset years, think again. Hold the Sunset is decidedly toned down from the frenetic pace of Fawlty Towers.
Series one just concluded on BBC1 with an American public television broadcast in the not-too-distant future, Hold the Sunset stars John Cleese, Alison Steadman and Jason Watkins. While the BBC has yet to officially announce the commissioning of a second series, Cleese confirmed on Twitter yesterday that there would, indeed, be a second series. The first episode introduces us to Phil (Cleese), a widower whose friendship with Edith (Steadman), a widow who lives across the road, has very quietly developed into something more.
Unfortunately, Edith’s son, Roger (played by Jason Watkins), didn’t get the memo about Phil and Edith’s plans for a quiet retirement filled with sea and sand. He leaves his wife, kids and job, crashes their lives, moves home and quickly becomes 50 going on 12. The interaction between Phil and Roger is priceless to where you see a brief glimpse of Basil Fawlty rise up every so often when Phil realizes how Roger is circumventing his future plans.
Hold the Sunset also stars Jessica Hynes (The Royal Family, Spaced, Twenty Twelve, W1A), Anne Reid (Ladies of Letters, Last Tango in Halifax), Rosie Cavaliero (Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge), James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Shetland, The Durrells) and Peter Egan (Reilly: Ace of Spies, Downton Abbey).
Hold the Sunset S2 will begin filming later this year with S1 coming to American public television stations in the coming months.