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The Saint, The Champions: What was the secret of '60s cult TV?

The sad passing of actress Alexandra Bastedo earlier this month saw many recalling and celebrating her work on '60s spy-fi series The Champions - just one entry in the canon of cult programme makers Itc Entertainment.

Though it also branched out into film production - with the likes of 1976's The Eagle Has Landed and 1982's The Dark Crystal - Itc was best known throughout the 1960s and '70s for its raft of cult TV programming, with shows like The Champions making an indelible screen icon of Bastedo and others like her.

These shows are now world-renowned - The Saint, The Prisoner, Thunderbirds - but the team behind them still go sadly unsung.

This week, the Week in Geek is looking to redress the balance with a fond tribute to Itc Entertainment - one of the UK's very best, most influential production teams.

Sherlock: The Problem of the Vanishing Detective

Doctor Who,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

'Randall and Hopkirk' remake 'will be grounded'

'Randall and Hopkirk' remake 'will be grounded'
The co-writer of Syfy's new Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) remake has revealed that the show will be "very modern" and "realistic". The original ITV series, which starred Mike Pratt as detective Jeff Randall and Kenneth Cope as his ghostly partner Marty Hopkirk, ran from 1969 to 1970. Syfy originally purchased the rights to the show back in May last year. Jane Espenson confirmed to the Huffington Post that she and writing partner Drew Z. Greenberg have begun work on an update of the classic ITV series. "We looked at the ginal] show and liked it, and we considered various approaches," she explained. "[We] ended up going with something kind of Battlestar [Galactica]-like, (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

"Buffy" Writers Spooked By "Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased")

  • SneakPeek
Writers Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer") will write the Syfy/ITV Studios’ pilot-in-development "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)", adapting the 1960's Brit TV series for Us audiences.

Executive producer is Howard Braunstein ("The Memory Keeper's Daughter").

The original detective series, created by Dennis Spooner for producer Monty Berman, starred Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope as 'Jeff Randall' and 'Marty Hopkirk'.

In the initial episode Hopkirk was killed in the line of duty, but returned as a ghost that only Randall was able to see or hear to help his former partner fight crime from beyond the grave.

Creator Spooner, inspired by the film "Topper", had a keen interest in the paranormal and ghostly phenomena which he believed would be an inspired idea for a television series, incorporating it with the characteristic crime, drama and action of other successful UK TV fare at the time,
See full article at SneakPeek »

'Buffy' writers join 'Randall & Hopkirk'

'Buffy' writers join 'Randall & Hopkirk'
Syfy has announced that two former Buffy writers will script a new version of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). The original version of the series, which starred Mike Pratt as detective Jeff Randall and Kenneth Cope as his ghostly partner Marty Hopkirk, ran on ITV from 1969 to 1970. Syfy originally purchased the rights to the show from ITV in May last year. Entertainment Weekly now reports that Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg will write a new hour-long (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Doctor Who complete reviews: Warriors' Gate

Nothing. What’s all that about? What do we mean when we define the word Nothing? Maybe Nothing could refer to the most pointless show on TV, The One Show, an inane vacuum of dull reports and vacuous donkey-faced presenters. Or maybe it refers to the contents of my brain first thing in the morning. Or any time for that matter.

It’s also the destination of the E-Space final chapter, Warriors’ Gate, an enigmatic tale that finally frees the Doctor from the constraints of the Exo-Space continuum, and sadly bidding adieu to both Romana and K9. It’s an odd tale, which relies more on visual set-pieces rather than a straightforward, coherent story. But somehow it all comes together to form one of the best stories of the season.

Ambiguous though it may be, Warriors’ Gate’s main plot is a simple one. A ragtag bunch of disgruntled workers
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Stars of Harry Potter, Merlin, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures and V at Winter Memorabilia Show

The full line-up of guests has been announced for the Winter Memorabilia Show 2010, to be held at the NEC, Birmingham, this coming weekend (November 20-21)

They include Angel Coulby (above) and Rupert Young from the BBC series Merlin and Tommy Knight and Anjili Mohindra from Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Hollywood actors coming to the event include David Warner (pictured below left) - whose five decades in the industry have seen him in films such as Time Bandits, Tron, The Omen, Titanic and Planet of the Apes - and David Bradley, best known for playing cantankerous caretaker Argus Filch (below right) in the Harry Potter movies. Also attending is Warwick Davis, who plays Professor Filius Flitwick in the Potter films and whose other credits include Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Willow and the Leprechaun series.

TV stars making the trip to Birmingham include Richard Herd and Andrew Prine,
See full article at The Geek Files »

Syfy Spooked By "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)"

Syfy will develop an update of the 1960's UK 'ghost' TV series "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)", with ITV Studios, ordering a pilot based on a teleplay by Josh Bycel ("Scrubs") and Jonathan Fener ("American Dad").

Executive producer is Jaffe/Braunstein Entertainment's Howard Braunstein ("The Memory Keeper's Daughter").

The original private detective series, starring actors Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope as 'Jeff Randall' and 'Marty Hopkirk', was created by Dennis Spooner for producer Monty Berman.

In the initial episode Hopkirk was killed in the line of duty, but returned as a ghost that only Randall was able to see or hear to help his former partner fight crime from beyond the grave.

Creator Spooner, inspired by the film "Topper", had a keen interest in the paranormal and ghostly phenomena which he believed would be an inspired idea for a television series, incorporating it with the characteristic crime, drama and
See full article at SneakPeek »

Syfy Preps American Version Of 'Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased)'

Syfy is bringing a 1960s British television series to life in America. The science-fiction cable channel has acquired the rights to "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)" from ITV Studios, and plans are to turn it into a pilot produced by ITV, Josh Bycel and Jonathen Fener, according to a release from Syfy. The concept is centered around a detective by the name of Hopkirk who was murdered in the line of duty. He then returns as a ghost, visible only to his former partner, Randall, to assist in crimefighting from the grave. The series originally aired in late 1969 and early 1970 on London Weekend Television, which later became a part of ITV London. Twenty-six episodes were produced starring Kenneth Cope as Hopkirk and Mike Pratt as Randall. It was created by Dennis Spooner, one of the key ...
See full article at GeekNation »

SyFy acquires the Us remake rights to British classic ‘Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)’

SyFy have announced that they have acquired the rights to the classic 60s British supernatural detective drama Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), which starred Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope. The purchase follows the recent UK broadcast of the Us remake of that other classic 60s drama The Prisoner.

Based on the official press release (below), it looks like America will up the comedy ante on the show. Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener, the writers and exceutive producers of the remake, both come from comedic television backgrounds – Brycel previously worked on Scrubs, whilst Fener comes to the project via Seth MacFarlane’s animated sitcom American Dad:

Syfy Acquires Rights To The Classic British Detective Series Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) From ITV Studios

Josh Bycel (Scrubs) and Jonathan Fener (American Dad) Named Writers and Executive Producers.

Howard Braunstein also to Executive Produce

Los Angeles, California – May 10, 2010 – Syfy has acquired the rights to the classic
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Corrie boss hints at Tony's undoing

Coronation Street boss Kim Crowther has teased that Tony Gordon's undoing will emanate from an unlikely source. In October, murderous Tony - played by Gray O'Brien - killed his wife Carla's (Alison King) brother-in-law after discovering that she was having an affair with him. Meanwhile, at Christmas, Tony threatened to kill pensioner Jed Stone (Kenneth Cope) when he blackmailed Tony after rumbling his coverup of Liam's murder. Tony eventually cracked under the pressure and eventually confessed to Carla that he murdered Liam out of his love for her. Unable to deal with the revelation, Carla sped off in a car out of Weatherfield as Alison King temporarily departed for maternity leave. Since her exit, new factory boss Luke Strong (Craig Kelly) has ruffled Tony's feathers, with no concrete explanation as to his connection with Carla. With Carla (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Cope wants apology for 'cancer' blunder

Coronation Street star Kenneth Cope has revealed that he spent six years expecting to die from cancer after being incorrectly diagnosed by doctors. The 77-year-old actor was told by experts at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford that he was suffering from the incurable disease mesothelioma. He was referred there in 2000 after experiencing severe chest pain and shortness of breath. Cope, who plays Jed Stone on the ITV1 soap, was eventually sent to specialists in Liverpool in 2005. A year later, he was told that his original diagnosis had been inaccurate and the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was responsible for his problems. "For six years I lived under a false death sentence," he told the News (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Cope: 'Jed should bring up Maria's kid'

Coronation Street actor Kenneth Cope has joked that he would like to see his character help bring up Maria Connor's baby. The 77-year-old's screen counterpart, prying pensioner Jed Stone, becomes embroiled in Corrie's Christmas storylines which see him fall foul of Weatherfield's evil entrepreneur Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien). Jed realises that recently-widowed Maria Connor (Samia Smith) is onto Tony's wicked ways, with the pair ultimately resolving to unite in a bid to expose Tony's lies. (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Cope: 'Emily' should receive damehood

Coronation Street actor Kenneth Cope has suggested that fellow veteran cast member Eileen Derbyshire should be honoured with a damehood. Cope, who recently reprised his role as Jed 'Sunny Jim' Stone, is the focus of this year's Christmas episodes of the Weatherfield soap. Jed's antagonistic attitude towards knicker factory boss Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien) reaches a dramatic climax over the festive season when Tony reaches the end of his tether and attempts to silence him once and for all. Speaking of his co-star Derbyshire, (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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