Showing posts from January, 2017

My TV Shopping Basket

The title of this post may seem rather strange, and is certainly a departure from the way I usually write about TV here, but given that I see I repeatedly post about a fear that the supply of old TV will dry up, it is interesting that there are a few things in my Amazon basket at the moment, taht I may obtain and write about. That said, I won't necessarily buy them from Amazon, or at least from Amazon themselves: I shop around between Amazon, Cex and eBay, and more rarely will buy something off the shelf in HMV, but use my Amazon basket as a way to remind myself of things I possibly want to see. Regular readers will know that I usually only write about shows here that I rate: this post is an opportunity to write about shows I haven't seen at all, so can't really judge, but to comment that I would like to see them. First up is Flower of Gloster, which it seems has taken a long time for Network DVD actually to release. I am very pleased that a review for it has already ap

The Avengers: The Master Minds

Another of the great and very popular Avengers episodes, this one. In fact it's a bit difficult to know what to say about it because of the sheer volume of stuff on the internet, even to the extent of a detailed analysis of the crib notes on Steed's cuff. From the very start this Avengers is so very, well, Avengers. There is literally not one image in this episode which doesn't scream Avengers. The outmoded uniform of the guard, juxtaposed with the instruction to 'Kill him,' which is surely more shocking than it would normally be in the circumstances. As always in The Avengers the guard is killed without blood, and with the apparently incongruent juxtaposition of the episode's title. The scene then cuts straight to the image of Steed driving through what can only be Avengerland. The Avengerland depicted in this episode is actually an interesting mixture of the great institutions of State (the Tower), the classical columns Steed drives through to get to Sir C

Public Eye: Don't Forget You're Mine

This second-series episode of Public Eye is an odd one which has survived from the series, which may be found among the extras on the 1971 series box series, along with a canalside interview with Alfred Burke during filming of the series. For the second series of 1966, Public Eye relocated here to Birmingham: Burke gives as the reason that Birmingham hadn't really been exploited on television up until then. Of course it was also to have use of the state-of-the-art facilities at the recently-demolished ATV studios on Broad Street. The scene is set with a wonderful view of the old Bull Ring market complex - with the moving sign on the side of St Martin's house set to give the title of the programme. Perhaps I'd better get the local colour out of the way now, since I realise that the majority of my readers live very far away from here. It is interesting that the scenes of Birmingham used in the show are actually of the very modern, futuristic Birmingham of the 1960s, which

The Avengers: Get-A-Way!

It's lucky I have never attempted to write an actual book about cult TV - I would never have been able to stick to the train of thought for long enough, and the periodic medium of blogging seems to suit my way of ruminating much better. You will see that I started posting about Series 1 episodes of The Avengers last year - I will return to that, I am sure. I wrote then about the feeling I have of being almost frightened to blog about my favourite TV shows, in case I reach a point where I have blogged about them all and there are no more. Well, I have actually found myself returning to a programme I have already blogged about and found it wasn't the end of the world, but I have found myself somewhat held back by the fear I spoke of. This has prevented me writing so much about my favourite shows, so that is what I am going to do. I chose this Avengers episode to write about by literally shuffling the discs in their boxes and landing my finger down on the index, secure in the kn

Reflections on Quality Television inspired by Spyder's Web

Last night (although it was probably more like the afternoon where he is) Grant Goggans kindly left a comment on one of the posts I wrote when I originally went through Spyder's Web episode by episode. To find that series of posts you can click on the Spyder's Web tag on the web version of this blog. Grant's comments set me off thinking again about Spyder's Web and of course today I have had to crack the set open and have a watch. I have particularly been asking myself the question I asked in my last post, about what I think differentiates quality television from mere television, which is still to ignore the duds completely. I would personally put Spyder's Web in the Quality Television bracket, and I have been thinking about what makes it that. Given that the category of Quality Television would include shows such as The Avengers, The Prisoner, Danger Man, among the better known ones, and among the ones less talked about, I would include Department S, The Champ

Turtle's Progress Compared to Minder

A belated happy new year to all my readers. I wasn't drunk all this time; I managed to pick up a bug which has literally laid me low for a week, hence the lack of posts here. Today I want to write about a series I bought on spec and comment on the way it is often compared to the slightly later series Minder. Turtle's Progress is what we would now call a spin-off from the 1975 show Hanged Man. I have owned Hanged Man on DVD, have watched it all the way through, and am not going to beat about the buch in declaring frankly that I didn't take to it. I bought it thinking that I would like its main premise, of a company boss who 'dies' in order to investigate who has it in for him. I still do like that premise, I just found that it lacked oomph and failed to hold my attention, a completely personal response to it, and of course you are welcome to disagree with me vehemently. Turtle's Progress features one character from Hanged Man, but the setting is very differen