It’s been 24 years but at last the beloved Yes Primeminister has returned. If you didn’t see the original you missed out. It was one of Britain’s best ever sitcoms and famously Margaret Thatchers favourite television show. Yes Prime Minister follows the struggle between PM Jim Hacker and his Permanent Secretary Humphery Appelby. Most episodes revolved around Humpherys desperate attempts to control the PM and maintain the status quo. Bernard Woolley the PM’s private secretary is invariably caught between the two of them.
The new Yes Prime Minister has been updated to a contemporary setting. The first episode revolves around the Eurozone crisis. The PM’s meager coalition government is already in danger of cracking and the economy is falling apart. I really enjoyed the first episode. It retained much of what made the first show so great and it matched my very high expectations. It really helps that the original writing team and unsung heroes of the original Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn have been brought back.
The characters were similar but each slightly different which was a good thing. It must be a tremendous challenge for the actors to step into roles already so strongly ingrained in the audiences memory.
I thought Henry Goodman did an excellent job as Sir Humphery. Undoubtedly Goodman had the toughest job, following on from the simply brilliant Nigel Hawthorne, who played Sir Humphery before and was the star in the original. David Haig (who also stars in ‘in the thick of it’) was very good as the beleaguered Jim Hacker, as was Chris Larkin who plays David Woolley. It was very exciting to see Yes Prime Minister back and done so well. I’m very much looking forward to the next episode and many more to come. Robbie Coltrane guest stars as the deputy PM later in the series.
Look out for Yes Prime Minister in January on UK Gold