The very meta new series stars most of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 cast as heightened versions of themselves who reunite to celebrate their show's 30th anniversary and attempt to pull off their own revival. In the premiere, they toast the late actor's memory, calling back to a memorable scene in which Brandon (Jason Priestley) tells Dylan (Perry), "Welcome to paradise."
For the cast, it was important that this tribute happen early in the new series. Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling spoke to TV Guide how the show memorializes their late co-star, who died at age 52 following a stroke in March, just after the new series was announced.
"We really wanted to do that straight out of the gate," Garth told TV Guide at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "It just felt like the right thing to do."
Spelling added that when it came to the tribute, art imitated life for all of the actors. "The journey we all embark on is something we all embarked on in real life," Spelling explained. "When we get together, the panel, the reunion, is loosely based on a reunion of sorts, on a real experience we all had that he was a part of actually. So where the first episode ends, it's kind of where our journey with him physically did end."
In addition to honoring Perry's memory in the premiere episode, Garth revealed that his death will "take on its own journey" as the series continues. "It's something that we definitely put a lot of time and thought into how to address it," she said.
At the same time, Garth admitted, "Nothing ever felt right."
Former co-star Shannen Doherty, who was the only other Beverly Hills, 90210 original not initially involved with Fox's revival, has also been cast in Riverdale's upcoming tribute to Perry. She decided to become involved with the reboot following Perry's death.
BH90210 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Fox.