It’s 50 years since the first Carry On film was released, and amidst all the justified retrospection and ribaldry, the fact that the supposed ‘new’ Carry On film, Carry On London, *still* hasn’t materialised, has been conveniently overlooked. Which, given it’s been in pre-production for aeons, has got a wretched premise and boasts an appalling cast, is probably just as well.
No doubt, when the film is finally eked together, the producers will also forget that all the best Carry Ons:
a) have as many cast as possible share the same name as their character
b) have proper theme tunes (the best two by far being Carry On Doctor and Carry On At Your Convenience – download them both off iTunes now); and
c) always have a scene that begins with characters out of shot having a conversation that sounds saucy (“I just can’t seem to get it in” “Relax – give it to me, let me have a go” “Perhaps I should try this way round…”) only for the camera to reveal them doing something mundane (completing a jigsaw puzzle).
Indeed, if it’s a new Carry On you’re after, why not go back to the most enduring location – a hospital. After all, the Carry On Again Nurse idea still hasn’t come to fruition.
This would be far more emblematic of the franchise and far easier to flog around the world. There’s also plenty of mileage to be had with topical references to waiting lists (“I’ve been coming in here once a week to see the nurse about my plastercast, and I still haven’t had it off”) deep cleans (“Just what this place needs: one more scrubber”) and penny-pinching (“Do you think you should make another incision?” “Don’t worry: these people are used to cuts”).
Plus there’d be the potential for a publicity-generating cameo from David Tennant, who is accosted by an outpatient – “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, I thought you were a doctor” – before casting a brief glance at the camera.
The thing that would clinch it, though, would be for it to be set not in the present day but somewhere between roughly 1965 and 1974. Yet done very faithfully, not with endless shots of people self-consciously wearing flares or knowingly driving perfunctory cars and mugging to the camera about LSD. That would be horrendous. No, it would have to be played and filmed very straight; any attempt to parody a parody always fails.
The people who should be in it are:
But sadly the people who probably would be in it are:
Justin Lee Collins
with a special guest appearance by Barbara Windsor either way.