Pandemonium could be a successful series. Although hopefully a pilot and not just a Christmas Special, it was in the most part a very humorous take on the extended Jessop family during a year of lockdowns and tiers. Well observed and written by Tom Basden, who also plays brother/in-law, Robin.
The well publicised plot means that if you’re waiting to see it on catch-up it won’t spoil your enjoyment if you know that the family have to cancel a trip to Florida because of the Covid pandemic. Student daughter Amy (Freya Parks) complains, as only teenage girls can, about paying £9,000 to learn online, a familiar cry across the nation. With job losses they have to tighten their belts but mum (Katherine Parkinson) insists they need a family holiday and packs them all off to a blustery Margate in October. Suffice it to say all does not go well.
In an interview Basden said that he hoped “…it’s (Pandemonium) got the tone of sitcom classics like The Office”: well rest assured it has, mainly because, Paul Jessop, played by Jim Howick, has the noticeable speech mannerisms of a certain David Brent.
Nevertheless, Pandemonium has all the ingredients for a successful sitcom series – a good script, a good cast and developable characters. Whether the home video format is sustainable is for the creator Tom Basden to decide.
Come on BBC get the commissioning pen out.