I flew to London in December 1980 to interview Peter O’Toole for GQ magazine, and while there I caught a reasonably-priced performance of the original, much-hailed stage production of Ronald Harwood‘s The Dresser. Set in the mid ’40s, it’s about a strained, codependent relationship between “Sir,” a bombastic Shakespearean actor in his ’60s, and Norman, his personal dresser who’s approaching middle age. The 37 year-old Tom Courtenay portrayed Norman and the brilliant Freddie Jones, 47, played “Sir.” Peter Yates‘ film version came out in 1983, again with Courtenay but also with a miscast Albert Finney, whose “Sir” was overly broad — nowhere near as commanding as Jones had been. Now comes a BBC televised version with two septuagenarians — Ian McKellen, 76, as Norman and Anthony Hopkins, 77, as “Sir.” Whatever. As long as it’s better than the Yates version. It airs on BBC Two on 10.31, will surface on Starz down the road.