There were numerous times during the lifetime of The West Wing in the early 00s that many wished for a real-life President Bartlet. The Democratic President played by Martin Sheen has often appeared in Top 5 lists of favourite fictional presidents, and though it has now been over 13 years since the Bartlets flew away from the Oval Office, the desire for the return of the series still reverberates through its fans around the world… especially over the past few years. Every so often a cast member will be interviewed for a new project and inevitably they get the West Wing revival question, and while even series creator Aaron Sorkin has toyed with the idea, nothing has eventuated. However, could this dream be just a little bit closer to a reality?
This time around its original cast member Rob Lowe, who has reignited hope. Speaking to Digital Spy ahead of his new series Wild Bill premiering in the UK this week, Lowe implied that the cast would be willing to come back and reprise their roles, but only if Sorkin pitched them a revival. “I do think – well, I know – if Aaron Sorkin could figure out what it would look like, we would be in hair and make-up, back on the Oval Office set,” Lowe said.
That all sounds easy enough, however, Lowe revealed it is actually far from that. He continued, “The problem is that Aaron has never been able to figure out what a new iteration would be. Because I know we all know how special that show was, and every day we’re blown away by how people’s love for it just continues.”
To be fair, there is nothing worse than having a beloved series be ruined for old fans as well as a new generation fan by a revival that just does not work so I can see where Lowe is coming from and agree wholeheartedly. And it is good to know that if it ever does eventuate, we will know that it’s the right time and the right material and not just thrown together to have something out there.
Sorkin has spoken about one idea he had for a revival. Back in 2017, he outlined a plot: “Sterling K. Brown as the president, and there’s some kind of jam, an emergency, a very delicate situation involving the threat of war or something, and [President] Bartlet [played by Martin Sheen], long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon.”
Sorkin also possibly planted seeds in the series itself, when in the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode (season 3, episode 14), President Bartlet tells Lowe’s Sam Seaborn that he believes that he will be President one day. Digital Spy asked Lowe about this, to which he replied, “That would certainly be the version I would prefer!” he laughed. “Aaron did write it!”
I think many people would love to watch that West Wing.
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