Minder Remake: Leave It Out!

Would you Adam and Eve it? Because I certainly can’t. But there it is in black and white: after a break of 14 years, iconic 1980s TV series Minder is returning to our screens in a remake by Five starring ex EastEnder Shane Richie. Did I fall asleep and miss April Fool’s Day?

The long-running comedy drama about a dodgy-dealing small time businessman named Arthur Daley (magnificently played by George Cole) and his long-suffering ‘minder’ Terry McCann (The Sweeney’s Dennis Waterman: equally fab) was a massive ITV hit. It aired from 1979 until 1994, enjoyed spectacular ratings and made huge stars out of its two leads. It was also responsible for Dennis Waterman getting to No 3 in the charts with I Could Be So Good For You, the theme tune.

Minder’s success came from both the tangible (peerless writing, strong direction, sharp scripts, fab casting) and the intangible (the incredible on-screen chemistry between George Cole and Dennis Waterman). Sorry, but that isn’t easy to replicate and reinvent. In fact, it’s virtually impossible. 

So who exactly are Five regurgitating Minder for? Are they hoping to build on a ready-made audience in the die-hard fans who watched way back when?

They can’t be that naive, can they? Internet forums are already buzzing with indignation and fury about the butchering of a classic and the new Terry McCann hasn’t even been cast yet. Perhaps the plan is to woo a new generation of viewers? Here’s a thought: why not – shock! – commission an entirely different programme? Oh, and, give it another title even if it does owe more than a nod or two to Minder. Too radical? Oh well. It was worth a try.

The legendary George Cole has said that the show was of its time and shouldn’t be revived. There’s no arguing with that assessment however Five has ignored him: "Scripts are in development with a view to a series being commissioned later in the year," a spokesman said. Has Five lost the plot? Are they totally unconcerned that this move smacks of desperation? That it reeks of unoriginality? That it will be interpreted as: ‘we have no new ideas left’? I expect a plundering of the archives for costume dramas. Heck, they’re two-a-penny. Multiple versions of the likes of Pride And Prejudice, Sense And Sensibility even Robin Hood (I’ll always love Michael Praed in ITV’s 1980s incarnation) are not uncommon. I can tolerate a remake if there’s a solid argument for revisiting it – the new version of The Bionic Woman, starring ex EastEnder Michelle Ryan, for example, is bound to include the kind of CGI and special effects Lindsay Wagner’s lot could only dream of in the 1970s. But even that wasn’t enough to save it from cancellation. And she couldn’t escape comparisons to Lindsay Wagner so gawd knows how Shane Richie, who remains cheeky chappie Alfie Moon from ‘Enders to some, will step into George Cole’s shoes. 

My advice to Five is to get on the blower to Sky One and ask them about CI5: The New Professionals. A laughable attempt to drag 1970s mega-hit The Professionals into the 1990s. Needless to say it was a massive flop, lasting only one series. If that’s anything to go by, I seriously doubt if a noughties revival of Ar’fer and crew will be a nice little earner.


Today I am mostly lovin’ – Still proud to say that name (Gooners will understand)

Today I am mostly hatin’ – Lads, go down by all means. But at least go down fighting!

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26 Responses to Minder Remake: Leave It Out!

  1. sherry says:

    bring minder back new episodes or old they are all great

  2. Ahmed-Abrar says:

    like most remakes etc, they all flop with embarassment for all!!!

  3. The says:

    This is a ver sad day! minder was an ultimate classic, george and dennis had a really good on screen rapport\’ and were already proven actors, im sorry no offence but shane ritchie is just not right for this part at all

  4. yates says:

    im a die hard fan of minder having bought every dvd including the films lol but it was one of the classic tv shows that we dont see today i also have the sweeny porridge and the boy from the black stuff al classic tv shows .. none of these show could ever be remade to the same standards thats why some shows are best left alone … next they will try to remake only falls and horses…or how about open all hours or bless this house …maybe a better idea would be to scrap all the crap on tv now and re-run all these shows i bet the veiwing figure will go up

  5. Ian says:

    Er indoors will turn in her grave! There is only one Arthur. Nobody else will ever live up George Cole. Ray did a pretty good Job after Terry left but it wasn\’t the same. Don\’t tell me David Walliams is going to play Terry! Better get him a step ladder cos I think Arthur would be driving a 4×4 nowadays. Come on FIVE leave it awt.

  6. Jon says:

    Write the theme tune, sing the theme tune!!?

  7. Glenn says:

    Sorry it s not going to work, Leon Griffiths the force behind the original is no longer with us, and besides that it was a show which reflected the times in the eighties so well which can never be repeated again.

  8. Kim says:

    Pleeease don`t do a remake!
    My boss has terry mccanns old capri (along with about 40 other old fords), and i think the poor old thing will turn on her roof if a remake goes ahead.
    What would they replace her with?
    not a bloody beemer i hope….

  9. christine says:

    It would be brilliant if minder came back. It would be even more brilliant if george cole
    and dennis waterman got back together again. Pleeeeeease.

  10. jon says:

    When will T.V. programmers learn that you cant bring back the old originals. Those progs. in the 70s/80s were the classics of their time and no amount of reshuffling can ever repeat them in the original format. "Minder" is such a show, no amount of re-charactering will ever be the same.  Please people, leave us with our memorys.

  11. boydi1 says:

    They are remaking The Sweeney as well. A new film by Nick love is due out in 2009. John Thaw always will be Jack Regan. No amount of remaking  Minder, The Sweeney, The Professionals, Get Carter, Long good Friday etc etc will make them better. They are classics in their own right, better than any current TV programmes because no one has any guts, individuality, innovation and sufficient money to make programmes of such content and quality anymore. Anyone for Hotel Babylon?

  12. Unknown says:

    How very sad that all these highly paid television executives clearly can\’t come up with a new and genuinely creative idea between them.

  13. Aleczandra says:

    *eats a piece of bread*

  14. geoff says:

    when will they have time to remake any classics there still to busy showing the old ones

  15. Alex says:

    Dont get me wrong, i like shane richie BUT only in eastenders, i personally think all the shows he has done since them have been of poor quality even in skins. he just isnt right, put him back in the square !

  16. Unknown says:

    they must be scraping the barrel out is this all they can come up with i am a big minder fan got all dvds but shane ritchie as arthur i just cant stand him it wont last more than a series

  17. tony says:

    oh my good gawd! please this is as serious as getting a visit from Chisolm and the VAT man on the same and not at all enjoyable.
    Arfur and Terry are irreplaceable, but has an attempt ever been made to have a re-union episode with the two as a one off special?

  18. Unknown says:

    Give it a miss !!   Minder was one of the best series ever, but it started to fall apart when Dennis Waterman left it, so what chance has a revival/remake/whatever got against such a classic ???
    NONE !!!

  19. andrew says:

    Bring back minder old or new it is still a good programme. Shane Richie will be good in it, he is a brilliant actor.

  20. Peter says:

    They might as well try a remake of \’Only Fools and Horses\’ – equally difficult to regain that on-screen chemistry. It has to be said, Dennis Waterman was in a few \’OK\’ shows after Minder but he never hit the spot again in quite the same way. As for George Cole, he was a on-off for that part – I can\’t see anyone else doing other than highlight how brillilliant he was.

  21. Mike says:

    I have to agree with FatherPeter2 – why can\’t we have more NEW progs?  Some classics like Sweeney and Minder could never be matched by using those suggested as \’replacement\’ actors.  Sorry (or not) to be a boring traditionalist, but Arfur would turn in his grave at the thought of Shane Ritchie et al attempting to convey the same chemistry as born to George and Dennis.

  22. beckyneil says:

    i would love to see the old cast get back together see how there lives have changed and how the world has moved on since we last seen arther and his lock up what would he be selling now and how would ray and  terry get on?they could do so much with the old minder bring them back dont replace them  !!!!

  23. Carole says:

    Revive "Minder"???? Channel 5 must be out of thier mind(er)s to even think about it. Didn\’t work with Randell & Hopkirk (Reeves & Mortimer  – I think!) Leave very well enough alone, I\’m very content with my DVD\’s of all 9 series\’, Rest In Peace, Tel and Arfur…………..

  24. samantha says:

    minder = a pile of pants.
    reviving minder= pile of pants and vests.

  25. John says:

    I\’m sick of lazy ratings hungry TV controllers and film directors constantly bringing stuff "back" again instead of fueling creative writers to write new programmes which are worth watching and which have high viewing figures because they have good actors, good direction/production and solid interesting storylines. Soaps and some dramas like The Bill have really gone down the pan, its all about which officer is a closet homosexual or corrupt or a murderer or having an affair with another character in the show. Total dross, yes a police officier should have a personal life affected by their job, and yes there are corrupt or gay officers but week after week of the same old dross being pumped out is driving TV standards lower in the name of ratings.
    In 1974 a small company called Euston films delivered a classic in The Sweeney, a low cost series that insisted on quality actors and solid script writting. Its radical filming and quality blew its rivals into the dust and changed an era of TV for a long time to come, lets have more shows like it without being a direct copy of it.  

  26. Austin says:

    The opening episode was poor Shane Ritchie who is a class act has a mountain to climb.The original minder was vintage just like sellers closeau steve martin tried but like ritchiefollowing icons of comedy whether you changethe name from arthur to archie you are stilltinkering with one of tv greats. and as the saying goes dont fix what dosent need fixing

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