The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin

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The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is a series of novels that developed into a British sitcom starring Leonard Rossiter in the title role. Both the books and television series were written by David Nobbs, and the screenplay for the first series was adapted by Nobbs from the novel, though subplots in the novel were considered too dark or risqué for television and toned down or omitted, an example being the relationship between Perrin's daughter and his brother-in-law.

The story concerns a middle-aged middle manager, Reginald "Reggie" Perrin, who is driven to bizarre behaviour by the pointlessness of his job at Sunshine Desserts. The sitcom proved to be a subversion of others of the era, which were often based on bland middle-class suburban family life.

The first novel in the series, The Death of Reginald Perrin, was published in 1975, with later editions retitled to match the title of the television series. Subsequent novels (The Return of Reginald Perrin [1977] and The Better World of Reginald Perrin [1978]) were written by Nobbs with the express goal of being adapted into the second and third television series, respectively; Rossiter did not want to take the series forward unless it continued to be grounded in novels.

The original three television series, all of the same name, were broadcast between 1976 and 1979; a fourth, The Legacy of Reginald Perrin, also written by Nobbs, followed in 1996, this follow-up series, made more than a decade after Leonard Rossiter's death, shows Reggie's legacy: a fortune left to friends and family but with strange conditions. This was seen as a failure by viewers, because the loss of Leonard Rossiter removed some affection for the series and despite a leading man in Geoffrey Palmer, the series lacked a central character. Both book and series were titled The Legacy of Reginald Perrin.

In the series, Reggie's circle of family and friends are told by lawyer Geraldine Hackstraw that each will inherit one million pounds, on the one condition that they do something totally absurd. The nature of their absurd task is left to the individuals, but it is to be judged by Ms Hackstraw. Most of them have fallen on hard times to some extent, having in the main been forced to retire or been made redundant due to their age. After several pathetic solo attempts at being absurd (including both C.J. and Doc asking out Geraldine), the potential legatees decide to pool forces and, with Jimmy as leader, decide to mount a bloodless coup the aim of which is to reverse age roles, with such policies as pensions for the young. The policies are a success - but with the unexpected outcome of losing the money for those involved because, as Geraldine points out, the idea has turned out not to be absurd after all.

The series' characters and actors comprised all of the central characters of the earlier series except Reginald Perrin and Tony Webster (Trevor Adams), and also included Patricia Hodge as Geraldine Hackstraw and Michael Fenton Stevens as Hank.


Season 1-3 episodes in AVI format.

Season 4 episodes in MKV format.

Technical specifications

Weight 0.09kg

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