There were mixed reactions to the first in a new series of prison-based sitcom Porridge on BBC1 on Friday night.
As with the last year’s one-off special, there was praise for Kevin Bishop, who plays the grandson of Ronnie Barker’s original inmate Fletch – even if some viewers thought he was veering a little too close to Barker – while the show itself split the audience too.
— Deborah Jones (@Seren_Hoshi) October 6, 2017
Got to say, Kevin Bishop does do a great Impression of Ronnie Barker/Fletcher. #porridge
— Antony Kelly (@PhotoAntony) October 6, 2017
“Kevin Bishop still seems to be doing Ronnie Barker impressions, but given time the character has potential to be different from his granddad.” Ryan Price-Stephens, Facebook
“Hated it! I know Kevin Bishop is meant to Norman Fletcher’s grandson but he just seemed to doing a Ronnie Barker impression throughout. A bit of an insult on the original classic. Just my opinion though.” Sam Wood, Facebook
— Rob Spaight (@RobinSpaight) October 6, 2017
This. Is. Awful. #porridge Cancel the rest of the series, re-run the classic episodes in their time slot and we can all forget this mishap ????
— Futts (@futts87) October 6, 2017
“Let me controversially say I enjoyed it. Good way to spend a half an hour, not as brilliant as original but still enjoyable.” Chris Goble, Facebook
But there was one thing many viewers could agree on – what they really want is more Goodnight Sweetheart…
The 90s time-travel comedy starring Nicholas Lyndhurst was one of the revivals trialled alongside Porridge and Are You Being Served? last year, but was not picked up for a new series. Which many still think was a mistake…
Still wondering why they chose Porridge over Goodnight Sweetheart to have new series. #Porridge
— Samuel Wilkinson (@sjw309) October 6, 2017
“I’m trying to like it but if feels like a remake of the original rather than a new story – wish they had commissioned a new series of Goodnight Sweetheart – loved the twist they had introduced into that story with Gary coming back into the future after being stuck in the 1940s for years – there was more mileage in that” Tina Mendolia, Facebook
“Goodnight Sweetheart was robbed, it absolutely had a series minimum in it – genuinely didn’t realise just HOW different things are now, it’s been 16 years since it ended, in context 16 years before it started was 1977” James Court, Facebook
“It was dreadful. Gave up before the end. No new material and characters recycled. Come on BBC surely you can do better? The remade goodnight sweetheart I thought was brilliant and very funny with new material – why that didn’t get the remake I don’t know. Won’t watch porridge again at all.” Gillian Heath, Facebook
“It was different with Goodnight Sweetheart, the special wasn’t just revisiting old stuff or trying to recapture what the original had. It had a great way to continue the story. I’d love to have seen that return for a full series or two.” Ryan Price-Stephens, Facebook
“Nope!…………..should have been Goodnight Sweetheart !” Jerry Dockery, Facebook
So what’s it to be, BBC? Goodnight Porridge, Hello Sweetheart?