Anything Good on TV ?

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  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,747MI6 Agent

    Ah, suicide pacts. That brings back memories of Criminal Law and the Homicide Act 1957 which had some reforms in that area.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,963MI6 Agent

    Updated after The European Song Contest first started airing, perhaps? 😁

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,747MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    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.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    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.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 4,002MI6 Agent
    edited February 2023

    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

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    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.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,963MI6 Agent

    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.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    Hmm, a Persuaders! episode thread...

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 4,002MI6 Agent

    @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?

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    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.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    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.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,747MI6 Agent

    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.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,591MI6 Agent

    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.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,999Chief of Staff

    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 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    Yeah, that's the one!

    Faking Hitler started on British telly this week.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,999Chief of Staff
    edited March 2023

    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 🙂

    YNWA 97
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,667MI6 Agent

    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.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,591MI6 Agent

    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 😁

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,345MI6 Agent

    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.

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    Yes - what is easy to omit is that this is a very quirky conspiracy thriller, for me one of the oddest things I've ever seen on telly. Peck's performance really underpins it while his rapport with his daughter played by Joanne Whalley - she's dropped off the radar [Edit: No she hasn't, on imdb she's done loads of recent things!] - is quite moving. The last episodes move into Bond territory - especially with the grim tone of recent films - but it stays really quite surreal at times; objectively it's not credible but it's just so odd you go with it.

    'Listen to me! Listen to me!

    'Next Saturday BBC2 is showing an afternoon double bill of Harry Palmer films The Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin.

    'This is to mark Sir Michael Caine's upcoming 90th birthday. Message ends.'

    Back in the day, this would have been one to set the video for, to get two films without ad breaks on one cassette tape!

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,999Chief of Staff
    edited March 2023

    Absolutely, 100% - it’s a comedy masterpiece 🍸

    Even the stage show was brilliant 👏🏻🙌🏻

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,591MI6 Agent

    I didn’t see the stage show - did it have the same cast?


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    BBC2's We Need To Talk About Cosby - I think it's called that - is an excellent first part of a documentary looking at the Bill Cosby revelations thought it's an odd one because his conviction has been overturned but you've got a lot of women naturally testifying against him on camera - isn't that actionable now? How does that work?

    It's very well done and worth a watch because it's not just about Cosby but the sexual mores of the era, very neatly and slickly packaged and presented, a real history lesson, one in which I have to say our man Bond makes a couple of appearances (two clips from Goldfinger, you can guess them) that put him in a bad light.

    UK viewers can catch it on iPlayer I daresay.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,345MI6 Agent

    I shall definitely be watching these NP, for the umpteenth time I might add!

    I always rated Ipcress best, but in my older years I tend to reach first for Billion Dollar Brain. I absolutely love Richard Rodney Bennet’s s score!

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,747MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    Whenever you hear @Napoleon Plural say "Now listen to me" you shall obey. 🙂

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,999Chief of Staff

    Unfortunately not all of them were available…but many were 👍🏻

    YNWA 97
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    Some time a go I recorded the Proms John Williams Concert. Watched it today, at last. Williams himself wasn't conducting, it was some American I have never heard of. Some good choices of music. Very impressed with the suite from Memoirs of a Geisha. Some of it was a bit dull and the choices seemed to reflect a need to be inclusive rather than simply going for a greatest or bestest hits, which meant certain unfamiliar tracks didn't quite work for this viewer. I could also have done with less of Katie Durham gabbling away in between performances which took up a quarter of the two hour runtime. In most Prom Concerts you just get a program, sit and listen, why did this have to be any different?

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    BBC4 in the UK is repeating THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII - probably on the iPlayer as well. Powerful stuff. Each episode concentrates on one of the Queens. The stories veer to the individual and personal during marriage, so there isn't any background information and contextual characters come and go with little explanation. A basic knowledge of Tudor history, or a Google search quick to hand, helps clarification. Or you can just sit back and watch some marvellous performances. I like the way the production doesn't go overboard, it is very spare, almost resembling an Elizabethan stage play. Some of the head-to-heads are quite brilliant and the scripting on point, erring just the right side of archaic. Excellent.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,591MI6 Agent

    THE PACT (2021-2022) 2 Seasons

    Season One concerns the workers in a Welsh brewery who play a prank on the loathsome boss’s son but who ends up dead. The group declare a pact to hide their involvement but with one off the women being married to a detective on the case, this isn’t going to be easy. This is a pretty decent thriller with some well known faces.

    Season Two is a new story involving a social worker’s family who are grieving the loss of a drug addict sibling. When a stranger turns up who looks exactly like the deceased sibling and claims to be part of the family things get hostile and the family form a pact when one of the siblings accidentally kills him at a wedding. The mother and eldest son are extremely unlikable and because of this it is difficult to garner any sympathy for their plight. The big reveal at the end is unexpected but ultimately ridiculous.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
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