Brian Pern: 45 Years Of Prog And Roll, Episode 1
After a year out of the public eye following his heart attack, Brian is making a major comeback and has allowed award-winning film maker Rhys Thomas access all areas.
Not only is Brian appearing on Desert Island Discs and at the the Isle of Wight Festival, he has a new album, a new look and a new wife who is half his age - Astrid Maddox Pern.
Taking her advice, Brian sacks his picky manager John Farrow by fax and lets her take over. She quickly says yes to every offer going, including an appearance at the Thotch Convention Cruise with annoying fan club president, Perry.
- Thursday 14th January 2016
- BBC Four
- 30 minutes
Show past repeats
|Friday 15th January 2016
Cast & crew
|Ned Pankhurst (Driver)
|Astrid Maddox Pern
|John Thomson (as John Thompson)
|Rick Wakeman (as Richard Wakeman)
|Steven Burge (as Stephen Burge)
One fears that, like Pern, Day may have his best work behind him.Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 15th January 2016
The prog rock legend was back and no one was safe from a good ribbing in this rock mockumentary, says Catherine Gee.Catherine Gee, The Telegraph, 15th January 2016
Having watched most of the previous two series from Simon Day and co-creator Rhys Thomas I can definitely say that Brian Pern: 45 Years of Prog and Roll is the character's strongest outing thus far. That has a lot to do with the fact that Suranne Jones has joined the cast as Brian's new feisty American wife and manager Astrid who brings a whole new energy to the comedy. Once again Thomas stars as his documentary-making alter ego who has been called upon to make a new programme celebrating Pern's forty-five years in the music business. Day proves what a good sport he is by showcasing Brian's new surgically-enhanced look complete with new jet-black fake hair and a set of sparkling veneers. The first episode documents what happens when Astrid stars managing Brian and gets her new husband to sack his long-time partner-in-crime John Farrow (Michael Kitchen). Astrid's mismanagement means that Brian has to endure a cruise with some of his biggest fans and later suffering the indignity of being lower on the bill at the V Festival than his former Thotch bandmates. I've always thought Brian Pern was a fantastic comic creation and I think this latest series showcases the deluded rocker perfectly. Day is utterly committed to presenting Brian as an out-of-touch rocker whose obscure album concepts sell particularly poorly. Suranne Jones' note-perfect American accent is as brilliant as her deadpan comedy timing especially in the scene in which Astrid is trying to have it off with Martin Kemp whilst on a Skype call with Brian. But it's Michael Kitchen who steals the show as the foul-mouthed Farrow and the final set piece involving a stranded train full of cameoing ageing musicians is laugh-out-loud funny. The biggest compliment I can pay the latest Brian Pern series is that it was the only comedy I watched this week to provide consistent laughter for thirty minutes. Maybe it's just because the old-fashioned humour appeals to me or maybe it's because Day and Thomas know how to present classic character comedy with a modern twist. Whatever the case may be I do know that Brian Pern deserves as many viewers as possible and it's a shame that one of the funniest comedies on TV has seemingly been banished to BBC Four.Matt, The Custard TV, 15th January 2016
A new series of affectionate mockumentaries following Brian Pern, the erstwhile frontman of progressive rockers Thotch. In tonight's first episode, Brian unveils a radical look, courtesy of new wife Astrid (Suranne Jones), who reveals that she will soon be taking over as Brian's manager. Astrid's quest for easy money lands Brian at the Isle Of Wight festival, and also on a Thotch fan cruise, complete with celebrity auction. John Thomson gets it just right as Thotch's fan club president, Perry.John Robinson, The Guardian, 14th January 2016
Last time we saw Brian Pern he had had a heart attack and it looked like he might be retiring. But you don't get rid of prog rockers like Pern - played by Simon Day - that easily. He is on TV again for a new series exploring the highways and byways of the rock world.Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 10th January 2016