Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'Rev' new BBC2 Sitcom

Dave Walker notes the arrival of a new sitcom on BBC2 next Monday, 'Rev' starring the superb Tom Hollander. It's about a run down inner city parish, with the standard array of peculiar characters (Vicar of Dibley minus the animals?). Hollander says of the programme in an interview with the Scotsman: In a very modest way, it is pro the church and pro this vicar. I emerged from this show with a great deal of respect for vicars. They put up with a lot and do really good work for people having a bad time.

lots of interesting stuff in the above interview, for example:

Hollander, reckons clergymen make a good subject for comedy. "We all struggle to behave well, but it's more extreme for vicars because they look sillier when things go wrong."

He has a theory as to why writers have so often been drawn to men and women of the cloth. "Stories about vicars are always being told because they're at the heart of our society. Vicars touch all parts of the community and see life in all its extremity."

They meet everyone from people grieving for lost loved ones to those approaching imminent death to the homeless to youngsters eager learn about life. They cover all the bases. As a vicar, you're the one person who can't say no – your door is always open. So writing a comedy about a vicar, you can go down pretty much any route. It's a terrific narrative spur."

"The vicar is an eternally fascinating character," continues the actor, who has previously played a more pompous parson, Mr Collins, in Pride And Prejudice. "The church is still one of the pillars of our society. Christian morality is in our daily lives whether we recognise it as Christian or not. When we get christened or married or die, we drift naturally in the direction of the church. And in moments of crisis, when our spiritual Tom-Tom is no longer telling us what to do, we find ourselves scrabbling at the vicarage door."

Follow the link to Dave's Church Times blog for other links on the programme. It'll be interesting to see if it's another Dibley-style ensemble comedy. Judging by the clip above, it's reasonably well researched, but asking a vicar to comment on something like this is like asking a nurse to comment on Holby City. I'd love it to achieve the ideal balance between comedy and realism, but a decent script will do. "Nigel, wouldn't you like to help me weed out some hypocrites?"


  1. I agree - judging by the look of the vicar's office, they have done their research.
    I thought it was quite good.

  2. hi Charlie and welcome to the blogosphere. Nice blog you have there. I though the office was ridiculously large, compared to my (limited) experience of church offices unsuitable for the national cat swinging championships.

  3. Fair enough, it was the piles of years-old paper covering every available surface that looked familiar to me.
    Thanks for the comment - need to get on and write a bit more!

  4. You write: "Asking a vicar to comment on it is like asking a nurse to comment in Holby City." Actually Holby has a full time nurse as a consultant who keeps it clinically (reasonably) accurate. Maybe you should offer to be vicar consultant - def needs a media savvy cleric who doesn't take themself too seriously but who can be taken seriously by writer and director.

  5. ReconciliationTalk: thankyou, I didn't know that about Holby, I'll have to pay more attention now, might learn something useful. I guess the clinical accuracy is more than compensated for by the storylines...

  6. Listen to Tom Hollander talking about Rev on Start the Week (BBC iPlayer). What I noticed most was the omission of God from the 12 minute discussion of the series. See links from my own blog.
    I am, however, very much looking forward to watching it, and so is the Terrier.