Showing posts from June, 2015

Paul Temple Again

I see that Patrick Macnee died in the week, at the age of 93. I commented on the It’s About TV blog that I couldn’t write a better tribute to him than Mitchell Hadley did, so I would refer you to his his post . There is something about the extremes of old age which be very bitter sweet: I knew an old lady who was very proud at having outlived all of her contemporaries, and survived the various ailments she had suffered from all her life, yet there must be a great loneliness when there is literally nobody left to whom you can say, ‘Do you remember…?’. Macnee wore his age gracefully, from what I have seen of him speaking in the past few years. For his life I would refer people to his frankly extraordinary autobiography. I have been surprised by some echoes of Macnee and The Avengers in the films I have been watching this weekend. I have resisted starting a tag on this blog of ‘Not TV’, but I think I have some films which will genuinely be of interest to the readers of this blog, and a

The Protectors: First Impressions

Some of what it pleases Wikipedia to call 'disambiguation' may be necessary at the beginning of this post, since this series brings us right to the heart of confusing television names world. This is a series broadcast by   ABC  in 1964 [not  this ABC nor yet  this ABC In fact this has become confusing to such an extent that I have seen it theorised that the first reel of Hot Snow survives because it was returned to the wrong ABC and ended up in the States, rather than facing the almost certain destruction it would have faced here in Britain. Another confusion can be caused by the fact that there are no fewer than three TV series called The Protectors. I don't mean   the 1970s series   (I have tried to watch it, and although normally I take to ITC shows, I found it a drab 1970s luxury-setting spy show), nor yet do I mean   the 2009 series , which is far too new and not esoteric enough to be on my radar yet. I may be blogging about it in fifty years' time. Instead I

The X-Files: My Umpteenth Impressions

I have got to the point where I have finished decorating my new living room, bedroom and the ceiling of the hall. I have a week's annual leave and I'm going to use it constructively in watching The X-Files from beginning to (as near as I can get) the end. I actually can't believe I have had this blog for so long and not written about a single show in this series; naturally the reason is the obvious one that I have been away from the show for some time. It has personal associations for me, which are of moment if not even traumatic. The show was the background viewing to a very difficult period of my life in my twenties, and were also the obsessive comfort viewing of my first episode of depression. A period of not watching them has made me come to them with fresh eyes.  This fresh view is mostly caused by my more recent viewing of the older, mostly British, more classic cult TV that I write about here. I have been more influenced by the mindset of those shows than I use

Sherlock Holmes: starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock

I am settled in in the city centre. It is nice to be able to pop to the World Famous Rag Market when I want any little oddment (what do you mean, how can it be world famous, you've heard of it haven't you?). The only disadvantage I have found so far is that I have been unable to find a decent chippy – there is one over the road from my door, but I was shocked to discover on the Food Standards Agency website that on a score of 5 as the best for hygiene, it is even possible to score zero! The light of my apartment lends itself to Victorian colours (the acres of magnolia are gradually being obliterated) and living near the last remaining court of back to back houses in Brum, in what would have been a teeming slum, my thoughts have turned towards the nineteenth century.  I was delighted, then, to discover a boxed set of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, in which star an actor I had never heard of, Douglas Wilmer. They were BBC productions and date from the 1960s, so are definitely i

Apartheid in The Prisoner: Introduction

The beach at Durban in 1960: as heavily engineered as The Village (Image credit:  here. ) One of the possible influences often cited on the creation of The Prisoner is the experience of members of the production team of apartheid-era South Africa; an additional contemporary weight may be added to this as the issue was coming to the public arena in the 1960s as a result of the Sharpsville Massacre, in which police shot a number of black youths who were merely protesting peacefully. As is my wont, I have reached a conclusion before I have even written these posts, and so I am going boldly to come out with it at the start: I think it is apparent that no single influence can be attributed conclusively to The Prisoner. It was clearly written in such a way that it could be interpreted as referring to multiple matters, lending itself to multiple interpretations, which continue to be argued about on the internet to this day. Other possible readings would include various allegories a