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Old 05-12-2020, 05:10 PM   #1
Mayberry'sBadBoy
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Default Trevor Bannister royally mails in his performance

I have to wonder what on earth was going on behind the scenes during the production of the Are You Being Served Series 7 episode The Agent to make Trevor Bannister give the abysmal performance he gave in it. Saying he phoned in his performance is a massive understatement; he royally mailed it in to the point I'm shocked that he didn't show up to the set wearing the clothes he wore at home. It's obvious his heart is not in the performance and lines that could've been funny (the one about him telling people who had been nicking staff from Grace Brothers) fall flat due to him clearly not caring how his performance is.

I'm just baffled what would cause Trevor Bannister to mail in his performance for this episode. Sure Alfie Bass (Mr. Goldberg) was a diva behind the scenes and Inman did vent a good deal during series seven about no one liking his new starring series (Rock Pile, a horrible show which also starred a pre-Keeping Up Appearances Josephine Tennyson (Elizabeth Warden), but that didn't stop him from giving it his all in the other episodes. Even when he was dealing with a mild case of laryngitis during the production of the episode Mrs. Slocombe Senior Person he still gave it his all to the point that with a few exceptions he managed to keep his voice for the run of the episode. The only thing I can think of is that given all the crap that went on during Season 7 (Alfie Bass acting like a diva and giving abuse to people who didn't need, Cast members having to perform while sick with sinus infections and laryngitis, an extremely sick audience ruining the ballet routine in Strong Stuff this Insurance (they really should've have John Inman and the actress playing Ballet Instructor ADR their song and used a stock laugh track due to the original scene being ruined by all of the audience members sounding like they're all about to hack up a lung) having to write an episode around a guest star in The Hero that gives poor Frank Thornton nothing to work, Wendy Richard being a bundle of nerves because she saw no way out of her abusive relationship with Will Thorpe who wanted her to marry him despite the abuse he gave her on a regular basis and Mollie Sugden and John Inman doing/getting offers for various shows(Rock Pile, Take a Letter Mr. Jones and The Australian version of Are You Being Served for John Inman and Come Back Mrs. Noah for Mollie Sugden) after already stealing the role of Main Characters of Are You Being Served? from Bannister and Wendy Richard) might've been what caused Bannister to give the performance he did because after six episodes of BS and worry about Wendy Richard (The two were actually pretty close, though they never dated due to Bannister being married for most of the shows run) he was probably at the end of his rope and in the words of Wilbert Awdry "Didn't care what he did" It's worth nothing that the episode after The Agent The Punch and Judy Affair is much better as Bannister gives a performance that's on the same level as the first five years(he said that The Punch and Judy Affair was one of his favorite episodes)
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:45 PM   #2
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Maybe he grew tired of playing the role of the junior?

Some people get tired and I think he was actively seeking new roles.

His replacement, Mr. Spooner, was really mean spirited.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty spike View Post
Maybe he grew tired of playing the role of the junior?

Some people get tired and I think he was actively seeking new roles.

His replacement, Mr. Spooner, was really mean spirited.
I agree Spooner was very mean spirited and that the show really should've ended after the Punch and Judy Affair because none of the series that were aired in the eighties were that great, even when compared to the absolute nadir that was Series 6 and 7. I think you're right that Trevor Bannister was growing tired of the show and the nonsense behind the scenes during Series 7 was the catalyst that made him decide to leave. I also think he made the right choice in opting to do Middle Aged Spread instead of Season 8 of Are You Being Served. Not only did it make him more money (he apparently got triple the income he would've gotten doing Season 8) but if he'd stayed on it would've really damaged the character, particularly if he had been forced to react the same way Mr. Spooner reacted to Miss Brahms getting molested in Front Page Story. Then again considering how Mr. Lucas cared for Miss Brahms (and how Trevor Bannister in real life cared for Wendy Richard) he probably would've said F the script and given Old Mr. Grace the smackdown he deserved for doing that horrible crime.
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