Christmas Day 1985 - Moonraker and Minder On The Orient Express - now that’s what I call decent scheduling 😁
A very British scandal (2021)
You may have seen "A very English scandal" starring Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw. This new mini-series isn't a sequel, but more of a follow-up. It's about the very scandalous marriage and divorse of the duke (Paul Bettany) and dutchess of (Claire Foy) Argyll back in the 60's. Both were very unfaithful and morally questionable people. The duke even used an early version of so-called "slut-shaming" during the dirty and very public divorce, As one would expect the production is high-quality, especially the acting. It's nice to see Bettany in a series like this one after his time in Marvel movies. It's hard to find anything negative in a series like this, but it has to be all the negative people in it. While we at times feel sympathy for the two leads it's hard to invest much positiv eemotion in them. I guess we can be grateful the producers didn't fall for the temptation of simply making one of them the victim, but he series doesn't make one optimistic about the human condition. Don't get me wrong: "A very British scandal" is a high-quality and very watchable mini-series. What's next? "A very Welsh scandal" and then "A very Irish scandal"?
Re-runs of the first series of The Saint, in black and white, began on Talking Pictures TV yesterday.
Great quality print and a young Roger Moore. Shirley Eaton of GF in this one, but the episode was a bit humdrum and the Saint wasn't in it much, not even sure what his pretext for being involved was. Maybe it will be better next week. hopefully it won't be like The Avengers which really took a while to get going.
the first Saint episode The Talented Husband is untypical, a murder plot in a quaint English village, and Templar only seems to be in half of it. Hard to figure why they started with this story, though there is one quick scene at the Inn where Templar answers a question about himself and basically explains the whole premise of his character.
Second episode The Latin Touch is almost the prototypical Saint episode, with Templar travelling in Rome, a kidnapped heiress and the local police chief out to get him, so be sure to watch that one. I think the first season was good right from the start, the show immediately finding its identity, except for that odd first episode. Not like the Avengers at all, which is really like two different shows linked by the character of John Steed.
we have a healthy Saint thread over here, full of good info and discussion
I’ve just finished all 10 seasons of Minder (and posted some covers on the Book Covers thead) and it was the right time to end it. After Dennis Waterman left in Season 7 it wasn’t ever as good, the stories did become a bit more gritty as in the first two seasons, but it was the playfulness of seasons 3-7 which worked best, who can forget such fabulous characters as Maltese Tony (played by our own Michael Kitchen) or The Syrup with his Roger Moore wig 😂
Quality viewing @CoolHandBond Those were the days. Although, If I remember rightly, Minder lost heavily in the ratings to OFAH - 'To Hull and Back'. No shame there, though. It doesn't get much better than 'To Hull and Back'!
Currently enjoying The Witchfinder on BBC2 - from the same people behind Alan Partridge…starring Tim Key and Daisy May Cooper 👍🏻
Recently got into Endeavour (2012-present), which is relatively unknown outside the UK, as were the Morse character and series themselves. Amazing acting by most of the cast, and great recreation of what one imagines the British 60's to have been.
Currently finishing Series 6, which deals with the main cast's opposition and corruption plot lines that have been recurring over time. Will miss it once it's done.
Tried watching the first "Inspector Morse" episode, but lost most interest due to it only being available dubbed. Nice series, though.
I dont know if Inspector Morse and Endeavour are really "relatively unknown", theyre broadcast on the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series in the States which we get on cable up in Canada. My mum is always watching these British police shows, both the ones you mention and several more I cant remember. That one on the Caribbean island. another where Luisa from Doc Martin is a detective, and a whole a bunch of others.
Theres so many of them and they seem so popular over here, I suspect theyre like the ITV adventure shows from the 60s: created specifically for export to North America, there may even be more North Americans watching than Brits! I know the Avengers for example was cancelled when American ratings went down.
the few stores round here that still sell dvd's usually have a British TV section, with all these shows. and theyre hella expensive imports, yet somebody must be buying them or they wouldnt be kept in stock
I should have probably said "outside the Anglosphere" rather than the UK, as you're right and these things do get around. That being said, I had seldom read about it until I got into it, as opposed to, say, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Luther or other more popular British series which are more generally discussed. But of course that's just my experience.
British crime fiction has always been popular in Norway, and both Morse and Endevour has been shown on our public broadcaster. I can't speak for the rest of the world (Even though I often feel like it ...... 😅)
OUR HOUSE (2022)
A 4-part series which revolves around a car accident, a looming divorce and blackmail. It starts well with Tuppence Middleton returning home after a few days away and finding strangers moving into her house which has been emptied of all her furniture and belongings. Through flashbacks we get to see how this has happened. Unfortunately, most of the twists are telegraphed way before they are revealed, and the ending, which should have had a huge twist, is limp.
It passes the time adequately enough, but don’t expect too much from this pot boiler.
What We Do In the Shadows (2019-present).
The excellent Taika Waititi mockumentary film is turned into an also excellent Jemaine Clement mockumentary series, and I couldn't be laughing any harder. Matt Berry (of IT Crowd fame) as the ludicrous Laszlo, the discovery that is Colin Robinson, the surprise guest stars and the overt exaggeration of all the cast are a blast for me. Special mention to Harvey Guillén and his rollercoaster of surprises character. In these times we could all use a good laugh, and I recommend this show to that end.
I've read nothing but praise about it, I will certainly check it out soonish. Ahoy, mateys!
As Joshua pointed out earlier, The Horror Channel in the UK is showing The Prisoner at 6pm most nights.
I wish they'd promoted it more.
Tonight's episode - typically offbeat - had Kenneth Griffiths as a mad Napoleon character attempting to blow up London. What struck me was the sheer number of Bond references, or rather things the Bond series took, you noticed something literally every few minutes. In particular as the Secret Agent has to use his own resources to get out of a trap while his adversary taunts him over the tannoy, checking his progress - used in For Your Eyes Only' pre-credits of course. But there are many others, and at times Patrick McGoohan seems a lot like Craig when he is doing his relaxed, laid back persona, seen in Spectre most of all perhaps.
Tonight I too finished watching Magpie Murders. I haven't enjoyed a murder mystery that much in ages! The way a mystery was woven into another mystery was very enjoyable.
I hardly watched any TV during my working life and it’s only since retirement that I have been catching up on what I missed. This series turned up on BritBox and I’ve been enjoying the first season. Boon is played by Michael Elphick and he is an ex-fireman forced to take early retirement due to an injury. A friend places an advertisement for him in the local press saying all work considered. So far it’s been good, Boon is a Western fan and several books are displayed in the opening credits, including a J T Edson paperback. Boon also wears a pair of cowboy boots, very similar, if not the same, to ones that I had at the time 😁
I remember selling a tv tie-in paperback of Boon.
I’m watching the latest season of INSIDE NO. 9 on BBC I-player, it is, as usual, brilliant. These half-hour stories with a twist ending are superbly written and acted by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. So good that I’m rewatching the whole series from episode one again!
I recently discovered Vienna Blood on BBC iPlayer.
Loved it. Watched all 3 series in a few days. Set in Austria around 1907, weathered policeman teams up with young Freudian doctor to solve murders.
So now you're back
From outer space
You just walked in with
That look upon your face!
First Thundeprussy, now Lady Rose! Perhaps they've been away together on a sojourn!
You know me. I'm like a bad penny. 😉
(Actually I've been sulking because I was so annoyed with ending of NTTD)
That is an excellent reason for staying away.
Luckily you're completely over it now. 😅
I've started watching the second series of 'The Terror' on BBC iPlayer. I really enjoyed the first series about John Franklin's expedition to the Arctic. This one is set in a Japanese internment camp.
VINCENT (2005-2006) on BritBox.
Ray Winston leads a group of private detectives in a variety of different situations whilst dealing with his estranged wife and her new DI boyfriend played by the brilliant Philip Glenister. A great cast with exciting stories, very strange that ITV didn’t pick this up for a third series. Angel Coulby is incredible sexy as one of the team members. Well worth watching.
INTERVIEW WITH A MURDERER (2016)
This is a documentary which retraces the murder of 13 year old Carl Bridgewater who was shot in the head from close range whilst on his paper round. The documentary interviews chief suspect Bert Spencer who denies involvement. Spencer comes across as a nasty piece of work and he served time for another murder of a neighbour and friend close to the incident with Carl. Four other men were charged with Carl’s murder and the guilty verdict was overturned after police evidence was declared unsafe. The evidence that criminologist David Wilson provides in the documentary certainly points to Spencer being guilty but it’s mostly circumstantial which is why no case has been taken against Spencer. It’s an absorbing programme.
I can highly recommend " What we do in the shadows " a brilliant comedy about a group of vampires
Living in Modern America. It has so many classic episodes and is available on BBC I-player
Watched Macca at Glastonbury.
On the one hand, an 80 year old who can perform a three-hour set, singing and playing, is phenomenal, no question.
Not sure I'd have included Letting Go and Junior's Farm, two lesser known Wings songs, the first I'm not familiar with though it has doggerel lyrics. With some of his stuff you do wonder if there's sly one-upmanship going on. Words like 'a picture of a beauty queen' or suchlike recall the lyric Lennon correctly nixed for I Saw Her Standing There, replacing it with 'You know what I mean'. Was this Macca's way of signalling to his ex-Beatle mate that he could knock out a song even keeping a naff lyric? Likewise, doing I Want to be Your Man with Dave Grohl, I mean was that a dig at Jagger as if to say, hey, we started you off, after their petty spats via the press?
But the main point, and I hate saying this, is that he just can't sing any more.
I touched on this on the album review, though that said on three tracks he knocks it out the ballpark on Side 1 and it's odd he didn't do Slidin' off McCartney III as that's spot on for Glastonbury. That said, on vinyl he sings it great, not sure he could sing anything much here. Some recent songs are strong and got a good airing: Fuh You, Come On To Me, Valentine and even New but again, the vocals.
What I personally find depressing is on Twitter there are so many people saying he played a blinder and his vocals were great, defending him to the hilt, it's all a bit Emperor's New Clothes or Voyage Around My Fathers (John Mortimer book about a blind member of the family that nobody admits to themselves is blind until an outsider comes along.) I find it a bit sinister.
I think the people who reckon he played a blinder probably didn't see him on the Tripping the Light Fantastic Tour in 1990 [?] when he could still sing. I heard some "highlights" of the gig on the news and thought he sounded dreadful too. I think he needed Springsteen and Grohl to perk his sorry efforts up a bit. Yeh, it's great he's still kicking about at 80, but it isn't the same anymore, not for most of these acts. I last saw the Rolling Stones in 2006. They were so poor I vowed never to bother again and I'm a fan. I saw ten minutes of Diana Ross caterwauling today and thought, jeez, it's not only McCartney who's lost it then. I'm stunned about Glastonbury this year. More and more it looks less like a music festival for genuine music fans and more like a holiday for the wealthy with a few pop shows thrown in - someone's even hired out a £24k "tent" with showers, toilets and a four poster bed - the whole thing's a joke.
Yet more evidence that @chrisno1 is a sort of Pelham from The Man Who Haunted Himself as I too saw Macca on the Tripping tour - Wembley Arena. (I know, 'small world') I know an album came out of it but not sure if it was visually recorded, and pre Internet and recording things on phones. The 'highlights' of this Glastonbury gig were artfully selected, too! Most of it was worse than that.
I just find it weird. It couldn't have happened in the days of punk, for better or worse. Ironically among the music musos Macca could do nothing write back then when some of his stuff was pretty cool - To You off Back to the Egg sounds like The Stranglers for instance, and I was the nerdy teenager fighting his corner in the 1980s. Now, to be fair, his music is cooler but a) He's beyond criticism and b) He can't ruddy sing!
A Radio 1 tribute show on his turning 80 was good and I noticed one Stones-style song on Run Devil Run - Try Not To Cry, I think - had great vocals but this first post-Linda album was the last of its kind. I read online he went to India and picked up a virus, after that his voice was never the same again and it's been diminishing returns since.
Gave up on Ross quickly, she was trying to cajole the audience into singing I'm Still Waiting after it had finished, it was like a session in an old people's home. I heard she was miming at the Platinum Jubilee and probably was here too, that said even 'our' Billie Eilish was said to be miming this year at Glastonbury.
Now ironically the Stones... Jagger's voice doesn't seem to have aged at all, I'd say he's still got it, and his band. I saw them in 88 on the Steal Wheels tour, guess if fits that they were doing the Wembley Stadium was Macca was doing the Arena. I was right up front and saw them again for the Voodoo Lounge tour I think, not bad. But to see a bad gig at those prices, it's demeaning and I'm not sure I'd bother again, it feels like once is enough anyway with a band like that.