Showing posts from June, 2016

Doctor Who: The War Machines (revisited)

Since the majority of hits to this blog are from places other than the UK perhaps I had better begin this post by apologising for my compatriots. It is #notinmyname that we are leaving Europe, in fact it's nothing but an embarrassment. Which is almost true of my last post on this First Doctor adventure ( here ), which I'm slightly ashamed of on re-reading it. I suddenly found a new, sealed, DVD of this show amongst my library (can't think where it came from, obviously by rogue computer technology) and decided to give it another go. Much of what I wrote about it the first time still stands, in terms of the dead sixties fear of encroaching technology. Ironically of course, it is only the connection of computers all over the world which means you are reading this, which would have seemed like an impossible dream of the future at the time. On rewatching this show I am finding the mixture of technology and non-science quite interesting. I love it that the feared take over

The Avengers Series 1: Brought to Book

This is, of course, one of the series 1 Avengers episodes which have been recorded in audio form by Big Finish. SInce I bought that first release I do have that audio version to listen to as well as the synopsis in The Strange Case of The Missing Episodes. Let my initial criticisms of the Big Finish versions be considered as read at the start of this - I maintain that the TV scripts needed more adaptation to audio form - since I want to concentrate on the actual show in this series of posts. Suffice to say that I am finding the Big Finish audio much more understandable combined with the descriptions of events and scenes in the book. This episode, only the second in the first series, brings to the fore Dr Keel's pain and feeling of mission to be an avenger after the murder of his fiancee. In a very real sense, the rest of The Avengers makes no sense without the events of these first two episodes, even if the series progressed beyond Dr Keel's very personal trauma. In Brought

The Avengers Series 1: Please Don't Feed the Animals

I go rushing back to the early sixties with a series 1 episode of The Avengers, of which fortunately more survives than does of the last one I posted about. That said, the synopsis I am basing this post on is based on surviving camera script according to the book and has some patches of dialogue too. I believe this is available in reconstructed form from Big Finish, if you like that sort of thing, but I haven't heard that myself. My overall impression of this episode as I read the synopsis is the likelihood that this would have been exactly the sort of television that would have given Mary Whitehouse the screaming abjabs at the time. On the surface it is essentially a straightforward spy story (with a remarkably Avengers touch in the fact that information is transmitted at the zoo using a monkey) with much of its setting being in the underworld of a strip club. Thinking back to the Britain of the time, this was probably far more risque fifty years ago than it would be today, si

Thriller: First Impressions

I have a policy for this blog of not posting about TV shows which I consider complete duds: naturally that means more frequently that if you don't find a show written about here it means that I've never seen it, which applies more to the American shows you will find talked about on the cult TV blogosphere. That said, I am writing about this show to try to clarify my own thoughts about it: the fact that it appears here means that I don't think it is no good, but I have decidedly mixed emotions about it. Firstly is the fact that somehow I had managed never to hear of it. I see that it was broadcast from1973 to 1976 and so I would have been in no position to see it when it was first broadcast. It has all the hallmarks of quality, because it was created by Brian Clemens ( a name which should require no introduction to readers of this blog) who scripted the majority of the episodes. I see from the wikipedia page that some of them were based on Avengers scripts (including Tak

The Avengers Series 1: Crescent Moon

I am back after a small natural pause: with a fortnight's annual leave and nothing much except for watching cult TV planned, I will certainly be able to get back into the swing of blogging! Since the last post was decidedly frivolous, I am making a complete change by returning to a randomly-chosen episode in the first series of The Avengers, Crescent Moon. And I'm afraid I must start by confessing that I am finding it rather unsatisfying, not simply because there is virtually nothing that remains of it. Once again we require a little rethinking of our assumptions to get into how these shows would have been understood at the time they were broadcast. The very fact that this show opens on a Caribbean isandn would have spelt an incredible aura of luxury for the majority of UK viewers in the early 1960s. I suppose strangely it can best be compared to the aura of luxurious sophistication emitted by the James Bond books, their subsequent film adaptations, and indeed of their auth