It was said about the television show The Office that it’s rare that the remake does better than the original. The US remake of the BBC shows The Office ran for many seasons longer than the original.
However, not many know that the US hit comedy All in the Family, was a US remake of the hit UK program Till Death Us Do Part. While somethings were changed to make the show more palatable for the US audiences, the nuances are still the same.
The original pilot of the series was produced for the BBC Comedy Playhouse series, but quickly got enough attention to go to series on its own. Tragically like a lot of early shows a bulk of the episodes are lost to time as the tapes were wiped so they could be used again. Out of the 54 episodes of the program 23 are missing which means a keen collector will never have the whole series. BBC made a similar error for their Doctor Who program with over 90 episodes still missing of that program.
The show starred Warren Mitchell as middle-class racist Alf Garnett and Dandy Nichols as his long suffering wife Else. The show was depicting the crass and socially incorrect views for comedic purposes but producers where surprised when a large number of viewers watched the program because they agreed with Alf’s racist comments.
During the long production of the series, Dandy, became ill and eventually had to record her lines to be included in the show. When that became difficult as well, her character finally got up the nerve to leave Alf and head to Australia. The series finale saw her finally ask for a divorce from Alf via a telegram.
Years later the characters came back in the spin-off show In Sickness and in Health with Warren returning as Alf but sadly Dandy had passed away so they also killed off her character Else. In this series Alf had to live with the fact that he loved and missed Else but he had treated her so poorly.
The show was a massive success in Australia picking up a number of Logies and gaining some of the strongest ratings of an overseas program.