5 items from 2017
By Mark Mawston
The London Film Convention, organized by Thomas Bowington was quite literally a Who’s Who of heroes and villains from the small and silver screen. The actual Who came in the shape of a Dr. himself in the guise of Sylvester McCoy, along with Who assistants Katy Manning who played Jo and Bernard Cribbins from both the Amicus film version and the TV version. There was also a rare appearance from Garial Woolf. The other key cult British film genres-the Carry On films, James Bond and Hammer horror- were all represented too, with many of the star guests appearing in all three: from the Carry On Films we had Fenella Fielding, Anita Harris and Amanda Barrie, from Hammer and Bond we had Maddie Smith, Valerie Leon, Martine Beswick, Eunice Gayson, John Wyman, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
In the realm of quintessentially British pop culture staples, few have quite the sheer amount of content as Doctor Who. For over fifty years, the escapades of the time-traveling Doctor and his many companions have delighted audiences the world over, spanning countless serials, TV episodes, audio dramas, comic books, and novels. Unfortunately, when it comes to cinema, the good Doctor is a lot less prolific.
Despite many, many studio attempts (covered in the wonderful Now on the Big Screen by Charles Norton), only three adaptations of Doctor Who ever made it to film. The Canadian TV movie Doctor Who in the ’90s, starring Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor, is commonly agreed to be a weak oddity, but that’s not what this article is about. Because in the mid-60s, the British horror studio Amicus Pictures got Peter Cushing, one of the greatest horror actors ever, to step in »
- Perry Ruhland
Exploding flowers and blurry mowers are all very well, but it was the voice of Bernard Cribbins that made me yearn for the Lakes
Unless it’s a taster for a 12-part series to come, I’m not sure what the point of The Lake District: A Wild Year (BBC2) was. It showed a year of Cumbrian life, condensed via the magic of heavy editing and timelapse photography, into an hour, to no apparent purpose.
What do we gain by watching streams rush by at an unnatural pace, churchyards being hypermowed or – most especially – drystone walling speeded up? Dave Birkett, the national nonpareil of the art, was a blur as years of skill and centuries of tradition were accelerated into oblivion. You could do the 12-part series on him alone (he is also an expert climber and has rescued more than 800 sheep stuck on particularly peaky bits of the Peak District).
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- Lucy Mangan
A lyrical portrait of Cumbria’s changing seasons. Plus Boy George chats to he who must not be named, and the start of a handsome Euro city-hopping crime series
A month-by-month account of life around the Lakes that uses time lapse, slo-mo and tilt shift, as well as a lyrical narration by Bernard Cribbins, to build a portrait of communities respecting the rhythms of the seasons and the awesome local landscape. Sheep are herded and sheared; a dry stone wall is repaired; swimmers hit Windermere in spring, followed by tourists in summer; clouds roil overhead. It’s a vivid dream. Jack Seale
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- Ben Arnold, Ali Catterall, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, John Robinson, Jack Seale, David Stubbs
Actor who appeared in several popular TV dramas and sitcoms and memorably played Mrs Perks in the 1970 film The Railway Children
Deddie Davies, who has died of ovarian cancer aged 78, will be remembered as Nell, wife of the station porter Mr Perks, in The Railway Children, the director Lionel Jeffries’s lovingly made 1970 film adaptation of Edith Nesbit’s Edwardian novel.
The character brings the three children – played by Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren – into Perks’s home life, away from the railway station where they have their adventures. “It’s a birthday such as Perks never had, not even when he were a boy,” she tells them on seeing the gifts they have collected from villagers. When Perks (Bernard Cribbins) insists he will not accept charity, Mrs Perks looks on fretfully as they persuade him that the presents were donated with kindness and respect.
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- Anthony Hayward
5 items from 2017
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