Showing posts from October, 2018

Some Grown Ups' and Some Children's Programmes, and my Christmas Present to Myself

I have been trying to find a suitable TV Christmas present for myself and as a result have hit the wall I do on and off, when it feels as if the supply of classic TV which I will actually like,has dried up. Of course the key problem here is actually my picky taste in TV shows. So of course I have been watching stuff relevant to this blog, and will use this post to talk about a few things which I won't be writing a whole blog post about. The sixties are the setting for a lot of the TV I watch, and were also the setting for the sexual revolution. Not TV, but a classic film of the time is Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, in which Barry Evans's character tries, and eventually manages, to lose his virginity. Teen sexual angst aside, the film is so redolent of the sixties that it is a classic. Evans also stars as a randy taxi driver in Adventures of a Taxi Driver, available in a boxed set with other Adventures... films, if you like that sort of thing (I do). Personally I didn&

Wilde Alliance: The Private Army of Colonel Stone

This episode is a deceptive one and its strength is in the complexity of the story it tells and the different impressions it gives to the viewer. There is just one weakness, which is that it paints people in rather simplistic, almost stereotyped ways. I think probably the most naive character is Jamie's mother,who can believe no evil of him at all. Colonel Stone is a type very familiar from the years after World War 2 - fake colonels and majors who boasted of their honours and tended to disappear when other members of their regiment were about. The seventies are a bit far removed for that sort of character but of course Stone is old enough to have served in the war. Jamie himself is painted as a saint by his mother. Frankly - how can I say this - he comes across as irritatingly good. The story is that he has made a cottage over to Colonel Stone during the expedition in South Africa in which Jamie died. Much of the point of this episode is the exploration of whether this story is

The Sentimental Agent: Meet my Son, Henry.

I wasn't going to write about this show, because I found it difficult to phrase what I wanted to say, but I think this episode may provide the right medium. Not a favourite in the cult TV world, this one. On the face of it this is hard to understand, but this show manages both to be classic ITC viewing and have what will be for some viewers some major defects. Perhaps I had better say that its main claim to fame is as the first TV appearance of Diana Right. The opening sequence encapsulates this perfectly. The Aston Martin. The cigarette holder. The sophisticated places. So far we're in familiar territory for our sort of TV. But, oh dear, the theme tune. It's not hummable but gets into your head and does not give the lounge lizard impression we want for a cult TV series. This episode starts with a daring robbery of top secret plans from a Space Development Corporation. Thus far the show is easy to interpret: the corporation represents modernity. Their building is modern,

The Avengers: The Gravediggers

I started a blog post on this episode last week but it became incredibly unwieldy so I have scratched the whole lot and will start again. I find that using voice activated software to type makes me even more verbose than usual so perhaps I'm better with bullet points. I do highly admire the way David Stimpson blogs about The Prisoner, though, with more short posts on particular points, although I'm not sure it would work with the way I blog. 1. This Avengers episode is the famous one with Mrs Peel strapped to the railway line. I start with this because I had forgotten it was this one. My main criticism of this episode is that what with the radar thing, the hospital, the undertakers and the railway, it is perhaps somewhat too packed with different images. 2. Apart from that scene the episode contains about every ingredient of an Avengers episode you could ever wish for: English eccentrics, wonderful visuals, deadly enemies... You name it. 3. The episode effectively 'Ave