Showing posts from September, 2019

Nigel Kneale's Beasts: Buddyboy

Once again we find ourselves in the presence of quality television. I have recently dropped the name of Kneale when talking about Quatermass, which I haven't got round to blogging about yet, but I didn't then own this series. For some reason I never fancied it, which may be for the very individual reason that there are a lot of famous names in this series, not only in the production, but in the cast, and as you know that normally doesn't go well with me. This eminence is reflected in the fact the Network boxed set comes with a leaflet about Kneale and the series; the only thing more eminent is to get released by the BFI. The theme of this series is given as bestial horror, which I had some difficulty understanding, but seems to mean the individual episodes are about horror, involving animals, entities we don't understand or which don't exist. I would also note that the episodes involve the extremes of human emotions. Buddyboy is no exception, and despite starrin

Most Haunted

One of the newest shows I've written about here, although I can't believe it's taken this long. Not that there's that much to say about it. The recipe was simple: take a TV presenter and a footballer-turned-medium, put them in somewhere ghostly, turn off the lights and see what happens. Oh, did I say that the presenter should be much given to screaming and the entire crew must be the most suggestible people you can find? I personally approach Most Haunted as entertainment: I do have a dog in this fight, since I claim some psychic gifts myself and have made a few uncanny hits in my time. One thing I am certain of is that whatever entities might surround us do not respond well to the Most Haunted approach and certainly not to the confrontational way Acorah speaks to them! Perhaps what Most Haunted was best known for was the volume of backbiting and bitching it achieved among the cast. The TV show that has spooked millions with its footage of hauntings and polter

Doctor Who: The Macra Terror

I'm not normally one for animated reconstructions of erased TV  but I saw that this had come out and I simply had to have it. I have seen this missing Doctor Who before - apparently there are several animated versions but the reconstruction I have already seen is the Loose Cannon one. While the Loose Cannon website has vanished, rumour has it that copies of their shows are still knocking about on the Internet. Having said I don't go for animated reconstructions, this one is superb, and there were points at which I could forget I wasn't watching the original series. The only thing which looks slightly wrong is the lettering used for the episode titles. The plot is interesting, because it is set in Earth's colonial future. I can't find a reference to how this future happened  but is an interesting device at the end of the sixties when Britain's colonial past was winding up, to envisage a colonial future. Given that the colonists speak English, perhaps Britain

The Protectors: Burning Bush

There are a confusing number of TV shows called The Protectors, so for clarity this post is about  this one , which is also in my holiday viewing. This episode was written by Trevor Preston, and while the ITC stable may not seem the obvious place for his writing, Preston's characteristic rich characterisation and psychological complexity are perfectly suited to this episode of what can otherwise be a rather formulaic show. Normally The Protectors features the standard settings (sophisticated for the time) of the ITC shows, but this one enters what the contemporary media wouldn't have hesitated to call a cult. The subject is therefore one of interest at the time. The only thing wrong with the cult is that it has a Christian basis, combined with esoteric beliefs, and thus feels much more like the more respectable organisations dating from an earlier period. One of the regrets of my life is that we used to have a Liberal Catholic pro-cathedral in Birmingham and I never went. Th

Not TV: Horror Hospital (1973)

You didn't think I would be able to concentrate on the viewing list I set out in my last post, did you? Naturally I've got distracted. Do you like the genre of films where somebody sets off by train (usually) to see a relative who lives in an Old Dark House? I do, and funnily it's a genre which lends itself to humour. I'm thinking of Morecambe and Wise's Night Train to Murder and What a Carve Up! Those films loud pedal the mystery leanings of the train journey into the country genre, but this one of course loud pedals the genre's horror leanings... While also being funny. I suppose this film won't be to everyone's taste by any manner of means. The opening scene shows two runaways from the hospital being beheaded by knives which come out of the side of the doctor's car. No matter how often I see that scene it makes me roar with laughter. I think this is because the scene is so obviously a parody. Nonetheless if that sort of thing doesn't strike

My Holiday Viewing

The observant will notice I haven't been posting here much. The reason is that my OK-job took a nose dive and became a horrendous job, which has been taking up a lot of energy. I actually have a conditional offer of another job but it will take up to eight weeks to get the checks done. Meanwhile HR graced us with a visit today and because the woman could see I wasn't OK asked for a chat. The upshot is we mutually agreed I could leave immediately and so I have some weeks off and can watch the huge heap of DVDs I have. Don't get too jealous, will you? What I have in store (and which I may well blog about) is- I have already started watching  The Day of the Triffids , which I have somehow managed not to see until now. I haven't even seen the film from the sixties. I suspect the reason is that having eye trouble myself it has always been too close to the bone, but since my bones are currently far more likely to fall apart, that is less of a worry. It seems to follow t