Showing posts from September, 2022

The Young Ones: The 'Fifth Housemate'

I have been rewatching The Young Ones for the umpteenth time and have done something I have always wanted to. Despite my mother always saying I lacked application (you only have to interest me, that's all it takes, although she is right that I am not built for long-term consistent attention so would never ever have a PhD) I have watched them very attentively and I *think* I have spotted every appearance of the famous Fifth Housemate. Who? She is an apparently female character with brown hair/wig and a brown poncho or drug rug, seen in the background of every first series episode. According to t'internet she was played by different people however when you catch a glimpse of her wrists they do actually look like a woman's wrists. It's impossible to tell if I've got all of them because she has never been acknowledged, however I think I've spotted some appearances that aren't widely listed online and if you know of any others of course you're very welcome to

The Lovecraft Investigations Podcast (BBC): The Whisperer in Darkness

I have literally just come across this series of BBC podcasts and have gone out of my mind for them. Please don't be put off and think it's overdone if I tell you that they are about a podcast about true crime called the Mystery Machine podcast, and what happens when the two hosts, Martin Heawood and Kennedy Fisher, get involved in a series of adventures inspired by HP Lovecraft's stories. It is true to say that it could be seen as a bit meta because of course it does refer to the podcast they produce, but it isn't arty farty. It takes plot elements of one Lovecraft story each series, and transplants them to England, mixing in elements of the occult, folklore, history, espionage, ufology, mythology.... Trust me, if you love The X-Files you'll love this podcast, this is like The X-Files on acid. I pride myself on my extensive knowledge of weird shit and even I had to keep looking up things that they'd brought up and I had never heard of. The podcast is available

The Avengers Series 1: The Springers

It's been a year since The Avengers made an appearance here and even longer since I did any posts on the missing episodes of Series 1 so it's high time we had some more. This blog post is based on the reconstuction on the Series 6 boxed set, internet commentary and the original script, which can be downloaded here . I have been particuarly won over by Alex Wilcock's review of the Big Finish audio version  here.  Can I just say that I looove the way this show has 25 ratings on IMDB, despite the fact it doesn't exist any more and nobody has seen it for sixty years? In common with many another Avengers fan I have spent my life listening to rumours of what Series 1 is like. Until some episodes surfaced there was a mythology that it wasn't much cop, and so it was a perfectly sensible decision to junk the episodes. There's another mythology that Series 1 is dead gritty in comparison to later series, and to an extent this is true. For example, you can ghet lung cancer

A Little Housekeeping

I keep hearing rumours that blogger won't go on forever so from now on I'll be publishing a mirror of this blog at It's let me import some but not all posts but I'll try to make them match from here on.

The Scooby-Doo Show: Scared a Lot in Camelot

This blog is nine years old next month and I am shocked, nay, disgusterated, to find that I have never blogged about any incarnation of Scooby Doo, one of my favourite shows. I like all forms of this show except the ones with live actors, and I even like the ones with Scrappy Doo, which shows what a hard core fan I am. I think the reason I haven't blogged about it until now is that I probably felt that one episode would be a bit thin for a blog post, but I'm also trying not to do general posts about shows without making them about an episode, so I'll make this post a general post about aspects of the show and include one episode in particular. It may not come across here because of the nature of what I'm writing about, but I love everything which is spooky. I actually think this love was in part initiated by Scooby Doo, because I watched the original show on repeat as a child. What doesn't it have? Haunted castles, witches, headless horsemen, hidden treasure, old da

Sapphire and Steel: Assignment 5 Episodes 5 and 6

Episode 5 You can read my original post about this episode  here . I am particularly struck by the status of Emma and Felicity in this assignment (my impressions have been particularly strong in both these episodes): neither of them is actually treated as an adult in her own right. At one point point Arthur tells Emma that she can't have an affair because there would be a scandal (in episode 6). This is of course far more in accordance with 1930s mores than 1980s mores, however she is an elderly woman who has presumably spent the last fifty plus years under the thumb of a man. Of course much of the point of this assignment is that the respectable facade is just that and in reality they're all at it like rabbits. However it is also very clear that the men look down on the women, who despite being shareholders in the business are seen as incompetent and incapable of understanding. I'm also going to return to the reaction I didn't talk about the first time I blogged about

Sapphire and Steel: Assignment 5 Episodes 3 and 4

Episode 3 You can read my previous post about this episode  here and it's damn good stuff, even if I do say it myself. I'm a bit miffed by the sheer amount of detail and analysis I managed to fit in in that post, but will say what I can. I can only assume that the tolls of age have shot my brain and I can't manage that sort of effort any more. I am most struck this time that this show is setting us up to expect an Agatha Christie locked room mystery, specifically And Then There Were None, and no episode does it better than this one, right from its recap of the discovery of the body. I would say that the episode then turns the detective fiction expectations on their head and makes it something quite different by the repeated hints that things are wrong, and, of course, that Time is out of sync. I would say that, but I think this whole Sapphire and Steel assignment could be seen as the series's characteristic twist on And Then There Were None. At various points this is m

Sapphire and Steel: Assignment 5 Episodes 1 and 2

I am going to abandon my plan to blog about TV suitable for a time of strife, simply because when you actually look at every TV show they reflect human life, and so incorporate corruption, espionage, dangerous governments, and so on. Instead it seems to be Sapphire and Steel season in my head so of course that will be reflected here. Something I have been waiting for has finally happened - doing my usual reading round the blogosphere before considering a post about this show I came across a blog post which I thought was really good. Honestly it was one of the best blog posts I have ever read and was written by a chap who obviously paid real attention to it and was a clever chap into the bargain. Of course I don't need to tell you I was slightly surprised to find that I wrote it myself, and you can read it  here because it gives a perfect introduction to this assignment and shows what I was thinking about this show nine years ago. Having already written a lengthy and considered ser

Sapphire and Steel: The Passenger

I still feel very bad that I have recently been so critical of Sapphire and Steel's third television assignment, and as you apparently do when you feel as if you've just murdered your grandmother, I need to make it up. The Passenger actually isn't TV (since when did I stay on topic?) but is the first audio Sapphire and Steel adventure that Big Finish released back in 2005. Since it isn't TV and since I'm also aware that it's now rather rare and people may not have easy access to it I'm going to confine myself to one post to blog about it. I would recommend  here as an excellent summary of the plot and another review. The reason I was so critical of Assignment 3 was that it was waaay too complicated and introduced far too many complicating elements while also spending far too much time in emphasising how confusing it was, before resolving the plot with a leg of pork. I'm not writing it off, because if it wasn't worth watching in my opinion it wouldn&

Round the Twist: Know All

I think Round the Twist might be only the second Australian TV show I've featured here, but it's DEFinitely just the article for TV in a Time of Strife. I suspect the reason I haven't featured it yet is that I'm slightly embarrassed about my great fondness for such a batshit crazy children's TV show, which I did watch on its first UK broadcast, even though I was obviously older than it was intended for at the time. I literally cannot praise this show highly enough, and it has all the hallmarks of quality television. The first thing it did which makes it real quality is the writers actually asked (after the first two series) the kids performing on it what they would like to see themselves. The result is not TV for children as adults think it should be, no matter how good that can be. The result is that we get TV actually featuring the weird unfiltered fantasies of kids and it is far more than you would expect from any other children's TV show about a family livin