Showing posts from May, 2016

The Man from UNCLE: Parodies

I only just discovered that these parodies existed, and of course they may only be peripheral to the subject of this blog, but they're so funny that I think they fit. Incidentally they probably speak of the zeitgeist of the time, since I've been watching Confessions of a Window Cleaner, the highest grossing film of 1974, which is very much out of the same stable.

The Avengers Series 1: The Radioactive Man

This is a very interesting Avengers episode, because on the one hand it deals with so many perennial human concerns: rules, identity, conformity, suspicion and trust, and yet it is also very much of its time, and forms as it were a time-bound expression of the more permanent subjects its raises. I think it is probably important for this one not to forget that whether or not Eastern Europeans were illegal immigrants at the time, they were always the inhabitants of the mysterious land behind the Iron Curtain. We are therefore talking about people who would always be aliens of one sort or another here, and who in addition to the traumas of their own countries and stories of immigration to Britain, would be forced into an identification with their own people, and always looked on with suspicion by the natives. This is far different from the very nuanced, yet more integrated multicultural population we have nowadays, despite a current wave of feeling against Europe. This therefore place

Tightrope: First Impressions

Once again I veer off from posting about The Avengers series 1 to write about a series which is completely new to me, and which I bought from Amazon on the offchance. Mitchell Hadley of will be very pleased to hear that this definitely comes into the category of ‘Our Sort of Television’, despite not having the right pedigree at all on the surface. For a start it is a 1970s show, but seems to have escaped the slough of hopelessness I found myself wading through when I did a series of posts on 1970s television a few years ago. This is 1970s television, but of a quite different quality from what we expect. I would go so far as to say that I am formulating a theory that on the whole the better-preserved 1970s TV shows are the lesser-quality. Tightrope, like Spyder’s Web, is one which survives only in black and white recordings despite having originally been broadcast in colour, and the junking of the masters seems to be a sign of quality. Watching the show in black and w

The Avengers Series 1: Diamond Cut Diamond

Another series 1 Avengers episode of which very little remains, and so I must do my opining on the basis of reconstructions and theory, and so must begin with a ‘disclaimer’ that this post will be a short one, but still longer than much that is written about this episode on the internet. First things first: what strikes me as most important about this story is the setting (no pun intended) in the world of diamond smuggling and air flight. Of course I am having to use my imagination here, but I would think that this setting places this Avengers episode in the worlds of luxury and high living right from the word go, since at this time cheap air flight would have still been a dream for many people. Similarly, diamonds have at all times automatically spelled a world of luxury and privilege. My second thoughts are the fact that every synopsis of this show I have read includes the very specific fact that Steed is set up in a bungalow near an airfield. I have tried to rack my mind for any

Francis Durbridge Presents A Game of Murder

Yes, I know it is not even a fortnight since I blithely sat at this self same table and planned a series of posts on series one of The Avengers. That series of posts will of course be continuing, but I was surprised to find the amount of labour required, when I wrote about Nightmare, as it is a case of reading often contradictory reconstructions of a programme I have never watched and then trying to reach some kind of conclusion. Given that as well as the sense of reverence with which I ‘watch’ the last of the new Avengers programmes I will ever see, has made me think of that series of posts as something that will take longer than I thought. I will therefore give those programmes their own tag and interleave them with others. Apart from that, I had to rush into print about this show. No, seriously. For ages it has been one of the suggestions that come up on Amazon for people who like Our Sort Of Television and I have been keeping an eye on the price until a copy should come down low e