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Showing posts from January, 2022

Orphaned Episodes: The Vandy Case (Leap in the Dark)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . Leap in the Dark is a confusing series which takes some understanding, which may explain why it isn't exactly all over the cult TV blogosphere. It picked up on the trend in the seventies for all things supernatural and a total of twenty episodes were broadcast in four series between 1973 and 1980. What makes it confusing was a couple of abrupt changes in what it did. Series 1 is straightforward documentary, series 2 is dramatisations of documented cases and the last two series are just plain fictional dramas with no claim to have happened in reality. You would be right to think that this would be a recipe for gaining and alienating audiences with the likely result that people would just give up. However the show also made up for this by attracting some serious big names so it's not all bad. Apart from the pilot the first series is missing believed wiped, and unfortunately the way they are labelled on the internet doe

Orphaned Episodes: The Tony Hancock Show Episode 4

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . I didn't know this show existed until yesterday but am delighted to have found it. It is Hancock's first venture into television after his previous successful radio series. After achieving massive success with his BBC radio show, Tony Hancock's first television series was not for the BBC, but for Associated-Rediffusion's Jack Hylton Presents strand. Hancock seemed a little lost without his radio writers, Galton and Simpson, in what was a rather variable series, but with the help of scriptwriter Eric Sykes, he managed to get into his stride, aided by the excellent June Whitfield (Hattie Jacques in one episode), and other regulars Clive Dunn and John Vere. Hancock's visual and verbal ability to be himself, everyman, while partly in character, helped offset some weaker material, and the auction sketch in episode 6, with its spontaneous Mr Punch routine, is close to his best. We are constantly reminded that t

Orphaned Episodes: Bad Penny Blues (Perfect Scoundrels)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . Well my planned series of posts on odd episodes of shows which are floating around the internet and have not been commercially released, has started incredibly badly! I started this with a good dozen episodes of shows which I thought would be eligible. Some turn out to be bits of films pretending to be TV shows, some have actually been released, one turned out to end abruptly ten minutes in when I actually watched it and some are just plain bad. But we press on. In the midst of this I have discovered the phrase 'aspirational television', which was used for one of the shows I have discarded. As far as I can tell this refers to shows like Howard's Way, where you watch rich people worrying about their rather different worries from those of ordinary people. I had no idea this concept existed and will not be inflicting it on you here. The actual subject of this post is the show  Perfect Scoundrels  which is almost the

Two Difficult to Blog About Shows: The Goodies and Monty Python's Flying Circus

This is really a post about blogging with reference to two shows, rather than really being about the shows so apologies if it is a bit navel gazing! One of my main motivations for starting this blog was to force myself to think more about the TV I watch, and not just watch passively. this has worked and since I make a point of reading up what the rest of the blogosphere is saying before blogging about a show, I am very aware that often my witterings here are in response to something I've read elsewhere. I try to make this explicit, although usually without attribution to avoid getting into rows or appearing to criticise someone individually. For example I will often say that a lot of the comment on the internet is about one aspect and try to write about another, or often I comment on how my own view differs from the prevailing one. I think some shows just aren't popular but would like to give them a bit of a push because I think they deserve it. So the content of my blogging is

The Comic Strip Presents: Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown

This show begins with the murder of 'The Gourmet Chef' (a parody of TV chef Keith Floyd, and no the amount of wine he drinks is not an exaggeration). Dave Spanker (a parody of Spender) is doing a lot of standing around being nostalgic for the North but isn't getting anywhere with solving the murder and the police commander realises he will have to assign somebody else to the case. Fortunately for us he assigns Jason Bentley (who wears crushed velvet and drinks while driving), Bonehead and Doyle, and Shouting George from The Weeney. And that is how we discovered what would happen if parodies of four TV detectives of the seventies were brought together to solve a crime. And it's glorious. To be frank you could probably finish reading this blog post here because this show is so good and so funny I literally have nothing but unconditional praise. Your life would genuinely be better spent watching this show than reading my wittering. So if you close the page now and go and f

Orphaned Episodes: Guardian of the Past (Worlds Beyond)

This is the first in a projected series of posts about what I am calling orphaned episodes of TV shows. I am playing a bit fast and loose with the term because I am not using it in exactly the sense it is usually used in the world of Doctor Who, of an episode which survives the junking of other episodes in the series. Instead the orphaned episodes I write about here will have the following things in common: They must be an odd episode of a show which is only available on the internet. The rest of the show may or may not exist somewhere but must not be available as a whole on the internet, and the whole show must not have had a commercial release. I have projected this series of posts because I seem to have quite a few episodes meeting this criteria, usually downloaded from YouTube, and I never write about any of them, so I thought I would round them all up and deal with them as a theme. Odd episodes of these shows will usually exist as a result of someone recording them off the TV, or

The X-Files: Rm9sbG93ZXJz

The title is of course pronounced 'Followers', which is also the name of the restaurant. There was a time when it was considered rude to follow people and some people actually sought exclusivity but that all seems to have changed and all sorts of bizarre things go on on social media and its construction of following. I like to think that this blog attracts a quality readership and while I get relatively few comments (and not much spam, strangely) I am pleased to say they are free of much of the hysteria which characterises much online debate. In this the enemy is fairly obviously people who are hard of thinking rather than artificial intelligence, however for the record, hitherto unbeknown to me  the bot-which-loved-Hitler-in-no-time thing  actually happened . As indicated above, in this episode the X-Files revisit the subject of the series 1 episode, Ghost in the Machine, that is what happens when technology goes rogue. In the intervening 25 years, of course, artificial intell

The X-Files: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

I am convinced there was a TV series in the eighties which had the name of Chelmsford in its title and was set in Chelmsford. It's not  Chelmsford 123  because it was set in the present. It was very influential on me at the time and had loads of weird stuff in it. I have never found this show that I remember (suggestions are of course welcome) and the closest I have ever got to the show I remember is  They Came from Somewhere Else  which certainly seems to be the show I remember but is set in Middleford and doesn't even manage to get Chelmsford into the title. It isn't actually my memory and all this is to point out that I too am a victim of the Mandela effect, or at least I am in the way this show uses the phrase. Technically you have to have a large number of people holding the erroneous memory for it to be the Mandela effect, and I'm the only one who remembers my TV show. Let's just say the meetings of the support group I've set up are rather subdued. But wha

Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (Fox Mystery Theater): In Possession

New Year and I have a new blogging impetus. This is not a new year's resolution, I should say, it has just happened on its own so stands a chance of not being abandoned in the second week of January. There are a few things I am thinking of doing as series of posts: I have a lot of odd episodes of shows which may exist somewhere in toto but are not available and I thought this would be an interesting theme. Similarly I have episodes of series which are available on the internet but have never been commercially released. I have been reading Alex's Cox's book about The Prisoner and am interested (albeit far from convinced) in his idea that No 6 is a rocket scientist, so thought either a series of posts or one extended one examining this would be interesting. I want to work through Hammer House of Horror at some point. I was thinking of alternating between them but I think it would concentrate me better and make the blog more cohesive if I do them one at a time. The reason I

UFO: Timelash

I feel slightly bad that I didn't take  The Cat With Ten Lives  at all seriously, so luckily a cracking episode of UFO has appealed to me next. In fact I have reacted completely differently to the two episodes, and I'm rather hoping that that says more about UFO than it does me. I see I'm not the only one with some questions so I'm going to get my criticism out of the way so that I can appreciate it: this episode is confusing, really confusing and makes everyone who watches it ask the same questions about why's and wherefores. These questions are all over the internet and I read round a bit before writing a blog post with the intention of trying not to repeat what everyone else says, so I won't ask the questions all over again. It is also fascinating, richly plotted, keeps you on the edge of your chair, provides fascinating insight into what Pinewood Studios at Borehamwood looked like behind the scenes, and ticks virtually every boy box for exciting gadgets. Wha