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Showing posts from January, 2018

Dear Ladies: Mystery Weekend

Source Today a post about a TV programme which I cannot believe I haven't written about here before - although I think that may be the fear I have of writing about these shows, that I will write about them, and since there will be no more of them, I will suddenly run out of things to watch, think about, or write about here. The show is Dear Ladies, starring those two doyennes of the opera and musical theatre, Dame Hilda Bracket and Doctor Evadne Hinge. Sadly Dame Hilda has now died - some years ago, now, in 2002 - so there really cannot be any more of these shows. Her operatic career began with her education under the great figure Signor Bonavoce in the years leading up to the Second World War. Her autobiography tells the fascinating tale of how she was rushed out of Italy at just about the last moment before the border closed. She spent the war years entertaining the troops, and was awarding the Dame Commander of the British Empire for services rendered. After the war she jo

Jason King: If It's Got to Go It's Got to Go

The actor Peter Wyngarde died last week, and so this post is by way of a tribute. His life was one of extraordinary ups and downs, and Jason King was of course one of the incredible ups. It was also one of the most extraordinary TV series ever written. And Jason King (who of course debuted in Department S) was also one of the most extraordinary characters of TV history! My godmother rather shame-facedly told me that she had a raging crush on Jason King in the seventies before admitting that it was rather odd, really, as I collapsed in fits of laughter. Now this is a series which very easily slots into my categories of cult TV. Jason King belongs to the continental sophistication school of TV, episodes being set in some of the major sophisticated foreign settings of the day. In fact this genre of cult TV doesn't really seem to relate to any other, except in that it belongs to the Unreal school of TV and is definitely escapist viewing by the very unreality of its nature. Are the

The Avengers: Take-Over (with an aside on Licensed to Kill and Where Bullets Fly

This was very nearly another blog post about a film - or rather two films, as will become apparent. Instead I will drag myself back to the subject of this blog, write about the Avengers episode Take-Over and comment on the films which inspired this post at the end. I know I say this about every Avengers episode but this is actually one of my favourites. I love it for its incongruence - I love the respectability of the baddies. I love the absolytelu chilling sweetness of Circe. I particularly love Tom Adams in his cold, calculating role. This Avengers episode is also in my opinion a bit of an odd one out. Particularly once you get into series 6 you can watch The Avengers for the atmosphere of Avengerland. It can be seen as comfort viewing. Take-Over allows the viewer no respite. None. And it does it marvellously by creating an atmosphere of terror in a charming country house, which also manages to be wildly modernist at the same time. This is one of the ways in which this episode m

Incense for the Damned

Patrick Macnee, Edward Woodward, Peter Cushing, and Patrick Mower. I think merely listing the names of the stars is sufficient explanation for this film's appearing on a cult TV blog, don't you? It wouldn't normally be my sort of thing, but I simply wanted to see what a horror film starring Patrick Macnee and Patrick Mower would be like. Incidentally it is often known by its alternative title of Blood Suckers. I was not put off from buying this film by the online reviews, which are, if not almost universally bad, not exactly what you would call good. It seems that a lot of people want to like this film but find it sadly lacking when it comes down to it. In fact it is sadly orphaned, because even its own producer disowned it. It was made in two goes, and after a break caused by the money running out, new scenes had to be shot with new characters, and I will grant you that once you know that fact this film does seem rather cobbled together. Yes this film has its strengths. On

Public Eye: The Girl in Blue

You have to be in the mood to watch Public Eye, in my humble opinion. Or rather, one of two moods. One would be the mood where everything is going your way, you've just won the lottery, you're one of the few people left in the world with a pension which may actually support a retirement, you get the kind of thing. The other mindset is a deeply world-weary mindset. You've seen all the bad behaviour that human nature has to offer, you've spent the day wearing out shoe leather in your enquiries, and you're almost certainly wearing an old mackintosh. It may be incongruent, then, that this series of Public Eye is set in Windsor. It is location for our poshest public (private in US English) school, and we all know Who have Windsor as their surname. It almost seems to suit the show better when the earlier episodes take place up here in big bad Birmingham, and the down at heel world of Brighton also suits the show well. Nonetheless the world's problems manage to come th

The Avengers: Killer

A pink and purple pass...that's what I have for this week. I worked the week after Christmas and it was flat out because so many people were given annual leave so I thought right I'm having some myself. So off I popped to Mother to ask for one and now there's nothing anyone can do to make me go in to work. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the bureaucracy of our own workplaces was like that in The Avengers? But the rather pedestrian procedure of making veiled threats to my manager until he gave me annual leave has anyway had the same effect. Of course the effect for Tara King was that she vanished out of the show for a whole episode giving way to...a whole new Avengers girl whom I've never blogged about before. So let me count them now... we have Honor Blackman of course, Julie Stevens, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson, I personally feel we should include Ingrid Hafner, Joanna Lumley if you include her, and this episode alone allows us to add Jennifer Croxton playing Lady Diana