Over the weekend I’ve been discovering some episodes of ‘Rev’, possibly my favourite sitcom of all time.
I had to resort to Youtube, alas, since they are not available on Netflix or iplayer and I don’t have the money to buy the DVD’s. I watched the last series, at the end of which the threatened worst came to pass: dogged on all sides by Pharisaical prejudice, Adam resigns, the church is closed and the building sold off. It looks like the end of everything.
However, there’s always a way back -and this week I’ve been imagining what that might look like.
Now, I realise that minds much more situationally comedic than mine may be pondering this even as we speak; but nevertheless here are my ideas:
As the fourth series opens, Adam and his wife Alex are returning from some time out travelling abroad. Back in London, Alex goes back to work while Adam searches for a role. He tries out being a hospital chaplain but that doesn’t fulfill him; then he organises a house church but that goes wrong too (I haven’t envisaged the specifics here yet). Then the St Saviour’s building, now deconsecrated and on the point of being turned into offices, is struck by lightning for the third time in three months. Reports that the building is cursed abound. The Archdeacon, now promoted to Suffragan Flying Bishop (with responsibility for going round parishes reassuring them that the sky won’t fall in if the church supports gay marriage) crops up to make sarcastic comments about ‘acts of god’; meanwhile the company about to lease the building pulls out of the contract leaving it without a viable future. Enter Adam. Unable to face what happened he has avoided the place but at Alex’s insistence, he forces himself to visit and, as it were, exorcise the ghost. Seeing the lightning damage for himself he realises it’s not irreparable; if part of the building is sealed off the rest could be a smaller, much more viable church. And hey, presto, a plan is put together and by the end of the first episode he finds himself, Reggie Perrin-like, back in the vicarage and running his old church again.
Of course all the old characters are back: just as Reggie Perrin can’t escape the cast who peopled his former life, so Adam finds himself back in the company of Colin, Adoha and all his old congregation. (There’s a short back-story involving each of the congregants: Adoha attends a black evangelical church for a while but falls out with them; she then goes to the nearest C of E church which is reassuringly traditional. Sliding into a pew she says as much to her neighbour. ‘Yes, says the neighbour. ‘And you’re in luck – the new vicar is starting today.’ Adoha goes off into a swoon, imagining someone like Adam; only to be rudely awoken by a woman’s voice emanating from the front. Yes, the new priest is a woman. Exit Adoha. Colin, on the other hand, while no longer homeless, has not found another church.)
Nigel does not feature in this series, however, since his actions in the last one put him beyond the pale. His replacement is a woman who seems fine at first. She asks what happened to Nigel and is told ‘we don’t talk about him’.
I think it could work. Perhaps I should send this post to the BBC?