Following a recommendation of sorts by @chrisno1 I am watching Wreck on BBC iPlayer.
It's BBC3 fare - hard to place but not C4 and not quite right for terrestrial either though that may be because at the end of episode 3 there's a very gory death out of the slasher playbook.
Not bad at all, it's set on a huge cruise ship which it makes clear is like a mini-city with nooks and crannies and hideaways and cliques. Chris said it was staffed with sex-obsessed teens, not quite true as they're more party- and drug-obsessed. It's based around the staff rather than the passengers, though they get a side look-in. Actually, are slasher mysteries ever that sexy? Sex tends to be a theme in the US movies but usually setting them up for a fall - I think it's the American puritan way, as if to say, seek sex and you will be punished. Could be wrong, but not sure any of those teen slasher films are that sexy.
It's watchable but as Chris pointed out, might be better on TV as imo iPlayer sort of deadens the tension as you can stop it at any time.
I am currently enjoying Tulsa King with Sylvester Stallone. It's actually quite funny and reminds me of Lilyhammer. Similar premise.
STRIKE: TROUBLED BLOOD (2022)
The fifth of the Strike series see JK Rowling’s private detective Cormoran Strike and partner Robin Ellacott hired to investigate a woman who went missing in 1974. Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger have really settled into their roles and this is an absorbing mystery with lots of suspects and twists and turns. We also get to see more of the leads family life and a possible blossoming romance.
Spent the last couple of Saturday's watching a documentary about the hit makers Stock, Aitken and Waterman which proved nostalgically diverting. I watched this primarily because they evoke those long hid memories of yesteryear for my late adolescence - discos, girlfriends, dodgy haircuts and clothes, your first drink in the pub, your first 'lads holiday', your first serious adult fight, clubs, pubs, camping, and I was at the butt end of the music biz selling the stuff by the barrel load.
This trio were for five / six years the British equivalent of Motown. Virtually unstoppable chart-wise, I can't even recite the statistics. Suffice to say they had million sellers with Never Gonna Give You Up, I Should Be So Lucky, You Spin Me Round, Especially for You, Too Many Broken Hearts, etc etc and a host of other singles and albums which I used to dread being released.
Oh, here, we go, we'd chuckle, when the next single from Bananarama or Kylie, or Sonia or Donna Summer came out. You'd play it a couple of times and before the day was out the damn thing was in your head like an ear-worm. The documentary gets a bit sketchy towards the end, but the initial half was very interesting, how they set up the business, managed it and found artists to breakthrough. The tragic story of Mel & Kim Appleby was particularly heartfelt. The SAW trio come across as very likeable and you feel that business wasn't their top priority, making hit records and breaking new artists was. When business had to take over, the treadmill which bonded them collapsed underneath.
Subsequently they have all had success with other artists, but the legacy of SAW lives on in the eighties revival. There was a seventies revival in the 2000s, are we having a nineties revival this decade? Doesn't seem cheerful enough to be fair. I hated SAW when I had to sell the records, but they were hard to ignore and had a hi-energy dance feel which [almost] resembles Northern Soul. Some of their very best work [Better the Devil You Know, I Just Don't Have the Heart, What Do I Have To Do, Shocked, Never Gonna Give You Up, etc, etc, etc] are classics of the dance floor. I remember having to do the dutiful thing at weddings, birthdays and Christmas parties and hit the boards to this kind of music - Kathy, Kathy, Kathy, we never lived that Especially For You kiss down - and how ever much I loved the Cure and the Cult, they never play Just Like Heaven or Wild Flower at weddings, birthdays and Christmas dos, but you'll usually catch a SAW number.
Very nostalgic and a lot of good hearted bad singing was had watching this. A bit of dancing too.... Oops, probably shouldn't admit to that...
This does sound like The Wedding Singer doesn't it? Thing about SAW is they were known as producers but it was their songwriting that was very very good, as producers it was just chug-a-lugga stuff with the exception of Dead or Alive's No 1 and a few latter day Kylie songs oh and Mel and Kim. Most of it was brain numbing though, just never ending.
I finished that Wreck thing on BBC iPlayer sort of pretty good but too violent for a series on telly really. Left itself open for a sequel with a very unexpected ending which really didn't match up to what had gone before esp as there's unlikely to be a second series. Good though, got better as it went on.
Just discovered "Traitors" Really enjoying it. Usual format of people in a reality show but three members of the group are out to
destroy others chances of getting a piece of the prize fund. I've started with the American version first, Before the BBC version. It
has a small Bond connection as it's hosted by Alan Cummings
I watched the first half last and recorded last nights second half. I absolutely loved their stuff.
The speed at which they wrote was what amazed me. Literally they would have Kylie in for an afternoon and would just a write a song then and there.
It did inspire me to put a SAW playlist on my Spotify. 🤪
I am currently watching 1923 on Paramount+. It started off slowly but has got going now. Helen Mirren is a tour de force, Harrison Ford is mumbling worse than ever and Timothy Dalton has appeared. I also have a soft spot for Jerome Flynn so what's not to like?
I'm watching these all out of order. I'll do 1883 next but not sure I'll bother with the up to date Yellowstone.
I'm addicted to "Great canal journeys". Let's form a suicide pact. Anyone addicted to the European Song Contest?
Eurovision you say? That will be me 😁
Ah, suicide pacts. That brings back memories of Criminal Law and the Homicide Act 1957 which had some reforms in that area.
Updated after The European Song Contest first started airing, perhaps? 😁
Indeed. It must've been the catalyst for it.
Last night I watched the 1980s TV conspiracy thriller Edge of Darkness, directed by our very own Martin Campbell. Bob Peck gives a restrained performance as the Northern police officer who comes down to London to investigate - in an unofficial capacity - a relative's murder.
Actress of the decade Joanne Whalley - she of The Singing Detective (also recently re-shown on BBC4) and the movie Scandal co-stars, and an instantly recognisable Tim McCinnery of Blackadder and Notting Hill fame puts in an appearance as an unsympathetic political activist. You may also recognise the actor who whips Richard Burton's recruits into shape in The Wild Geese.
Peck's mannerisms are uncannily like Daniel Craig's but that seems to be the way with Campbell's actors - his Bergerac co-star John Nettles could have played this except he's too associated with other policeman roles. Of course Joe Don Baker is an American who pops up as a CIA man with much the same kind of dialogue and patter as Jack Wade in his Bond films, only more authentic here than in the Bonds. It's excellent stuff though for a conspiracy thriller it does seem many State operatives are very keen to engage with Peck's policeman which is not quite my experience - that said it's acknowledged that much of this is them simply carrying out surveillance on him to find out what he does or doesn't know yet.
It's unclear when the next episode is, I almost thought that last night's episode was actually it but surely it can't be unless they've done the same thing as with The Buddha of Suburbia and condensed it into one slightly inconclusive movie-length episode.
After all the publicity I decided to watch the first ever episode of Happy Valley.
It's okay, bit of a grim watch, though. Unlikely to cheer me up over several nights. Touted Bond James Norton (is that his name?) of McMafia is in it but introduced nicely so you don't immediately thing, 'Oh, look, it's him!' So is Steve Pemberton who quickly gets in over his head in a bit of scheming that is not wholly unlike the kind of thing he plays in Inside No 9. Star is Sarah Lancashire, she's okay, a bit DCI Hunt from Ashes to Ashes but female, no-nonsense but in this case more obviously decent.
May watch another one but the predicament and sadism inflicted against women doesn't seem offset by any happy heroics at this stage to make it worthwhile.
I've been watching The Persuaders with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. Only ever saw the pilot before. Theres links to all episodes from here at Uncle Earls (the first one is lo-quality and missing the ending, the others are complete and hi-res)
(EDIT: I should explain for the uninitiated) This show ran for one season only 1971-1972, following the end of The Saint and before Live and Let Die. Our two heroes are mismatched social types, one a titled aristocrat, and the other a kid from the Bronx who made good, but both obscenely wealthy hedonists who are unwillingly paired together on a mission to fight crimes that the police cannot solve. (/EDIT)
We don't seem to have a proper thread on The Persuaders, and I cant be bothered starting one. So here are general thoughts:
Tony Curtis is making it up as he goes along isn't he? his antics are the most entertaining aspect of the show. I think Rogers trying to improvise too, but his repetoir of moves is much more limited, we see him repeating a lot of lines and reaction shots from the Saint and which he would use again as James Bond.
wikipedia claims Curtis was a heavy dope smoker and stoned out of his skull the whole time they were filming, which may explain why he is being so silly. Hard to imagine the relatively square Roger putting up with this, but then again may explain the dope jokes in CrossPlot.
Rogers playing Brett Sinclair as rather unlikable, he's quite mean to Daniel even after they become friends, he always seems to pause before he introduces Daniel as his, er, friend. Also generally smug and superficial whomever he's dealing with, and frequently the butt of the joke. Not typical Roger Moore, more like an amplification of the aristocratic attitude that more typically lies beneath the surface. His performance in Live and Let Die actually makes more sense after seeing this character, then his Bond becomes less toff-ish after that first film.
Roger gets a prominent credit at the end for contributing his own wardrobe, but some of the clothes he wears look ridiculous, especially in the pilot. He's also wearing his hair quite long which makes him look fatter than usual.
also, is Lord Sinclair actually supposed to be sitting in the House of lords, voting on legislation? he definitely has friends who do, who he refers to as his Peers. But if so, when does he get time to fulfill his duties?
Some very good scenery, for once an ITV adventure show seems to be filming on location. But they do abandon the French Riviera for England pretty quickly.
The retired judge who brings them together seems to disappear after the first couple episodes, abandoning the original concept. Like Brett and Daniel just enjoy travelling together and fighting crime without his prodding them, despite their perpetually tormenting each other.
A couple of repetitive plots: there are at least three in a row about identity fraud set in magnificent English country manors. Of these, Greensleeves is essential as its Sinclair's ancestral home and fills in his background a bit. And this country manor has lots of secret passageways (including one leading to the village pub), a trope which make any story better
Well, there's Moore's quote about being offered the part of Bond and being told to have his hair cut and lose weight. The judge you mention of of course the diamond expert in Connery's last film. Also from that film, Joesph First (if I've got that right) who plays Professor Metz pops up in more than one episode of The Saint, currently seen on the channel Talking Pictures TV.
Repeats of things like this and The Avengers are okay but when they're daily you do notice the same old formula being used, the same mannerisms by the lead actors. Twitter has long picked up on Moore's tendency to start every other response with 'Well...' which he took on into his Bond role in due course. Of course, these episodes were shown weekly originally so I'm being unfair.
Thanks for the link to the episode - I'll check some of them out!
I started thinking about a modern re-boot of The Persuaders, of course with a version of John Barry's classic music for the titles. I think James Norton (sometimes he looks like a young RM) and Michael B. Jordan as Danny Wilde.
Hmm, a Persuaders! episode thread...
@chrisno1 only four more seasons of the Saint and then you can get started on this new project!
the episode I just watched featured Bernard Lee. The actor does not actually appear until the final scene, but a huge easily recognisable portrait hangs on the villain's wall from the very first scene.
Lee was in CrossPlot. I dont think he was ever in The Saint, but Lois Maxwell was in at least two episodes. Its like Britain has a pool of about twenty actors who always inevitably show up in these movies and teevee shows. My mum watches all the Masterpiece Mystery British imports and she says she recognises all the same British actors whatever show she's watching, so its still true today. Did all the artistically inclined British youth decide to become rock stars when they grow up, leaving just a few to be actors?
You should watch TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED, @caractacus potts it has an amazing series of cast lists packed full of the famous, once famous and soon to be famous. The stories are good too.
On British TV there's a channel called Talking Pictures TV and the same faces do tend to pop up.
Last night C4 showed Faking Hitler, a German drama series relating the always enjoyable story of the Hitler Diaries hoax of the 1980s. The title owes a lot to Selling Hitler, the excellent Robert Harris book which covers not just the diaries but the whole context and history of Nazi memorabilia and how the Iron Curtain allowed all kinds of fake items to get knocked up behind the magicians curtain and passed off as the real deal.
This series doesn't seem based on that book - though it was made into a series with Alexei Style and Alan Bennett (I'd like to see that again) - and is based not around the London-set News of the World and The Sun but rather Stern magazine, so it is German-centric. It also has a fair bit of sex in it which was noticeably lacking from Harris' book, as if to point out that the sheer neediness of the journalism and collecting world precluded any kind of alternative perspective. Best of all, the direction is slick and movie-like, it feels very streamlined and I'd like that approach with the next Bond film - and any of the recent ones too, but there you go. I this the same feel as that German series shown recently about the unification of German and so on - what was it called? The name of a city with the year amended and updated after it. I never got into it but it looked good.
That's one of my favourite TV shows along with Columbo. I have the DVD box set. Highly recommended viewing, especially the classic stories penned by Roald Dahl in the earlier series of the show.
BEYOND PARADISE (BBC iPlayer)
This is a spin-off series of the popular Death In Paradise and features the continuing adventures of the second detective from that series Humphrey Goodman play y Kris Marshall. Set in a Devon town it sensibly discards the murder trope and concentrates on an actual mystery, this first episode involves whether a fall from a height was an accident or attempted murder. The same style small police station as in the original series has characters who will no doubt grow on the viewer as episodes continue. Undemanding but pleasant fare.
Do you mean Deutschland 83, Deutschland 86 & Deutschland 89?
All three were superb - highly recommended 👍🏻
I’ve not seen Faking Hitler…at least I don’t think I have 🤣 I did see one series about the Hitler Diaries, I’ve read Harris’s book and listened to an excellent podcast of the whole debacle…all were excellent 🍸
Yeah, that's the one!
Faking Hitler started on British telly this week.
Thanks, I’ll have to chase that up 🍸
Edit: Just downloaded the whole series and no wonder you ‘got the same feel’ as the other program mentioned as it’s made by the same company 🙂
Just finished 1923.
It was worth it just for the final scene between Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren and Timothy Dalton.
Sebastian Roche would make an excellent Bond villain btw.
I’ve watched both seasons of Early Doors again - it’s one of the best examples of dramady ever put to film. It’s on BBC iPlayer and if you haven’t seen it I urge you to try it - I know Sir Miles will endorse this post 😁
I’ve rewatched this on the IPlayer, all episodes now available and it really stands up.
Bob Peck was brilliant and it struck me as I watched that he would have made a great M. He died young, a sad loss to the industry.
Other Bond references to make: As NP says Martin Campbell, Joe Don Baker and Michael Kamen’s score some 4 years before LTK.
Veteran actors Jack Watson and Allan Cuthbertson also turn up.
Definitely recommend this.