5 items from 2014
Screening at Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of a retrospective on writer John McGrath, Jack Gold’s first two features, The Bofors Gun (1968) and The Reckoning (1969), made for punchy, exciting viewing.
Both films were made fairly fast and cheap—Gold, experienced in TV, keeps them moving with stabs of the zoom lens, an active camera and choppy, rough-hewn cutting. They’re not things of beauty, visually, but take their energy and spleen from Nicol Williamson’s manic performances.
The Bofors Gun takes place at a British army base in Germany, where David Warner has to command the night’s guard of the titular cannon without incident in order to get returned to Blighty the following day. His reluctance to discipline his men leads to horrific consequences, mostly caused by a drunken Irishman played by drunken Scottish actor Williamson (Merlin in Excalibur). Williamson’s capacity for loquacious, frenzied and diabolic grandstanding is exercised thoroughly. »
- David Cairns
Returns June 29th, 2014
On the surface, Endeavour may sound like it’s full of tired clichés. Inspector Endeavour Morse (a brilliant Shaun Evans) is an emotionally damaged young detective who investigates complex murders in 1960s London. But Endeavour remains one of the most endlessly fascinating characters on television.
Created as a prequel series to Inspector Morse, which ran for thirteen years and starred John Thaw as the detective in his later years, Endeavour begins in 1965 as the young detective is writing his resignation letter. He’s never been one for dead bodies; he actually gets sick around them and doesn’t care much about attention and flashy cases. He simply likes the puzzle that cases represent and he often attacks them with a zeal that’s made him an outcast with other police officers. They feel he’s been given too much too young and is just plain weird. »
Review Gem Wheeler 1 Apr 2014 - 07:00
The new series of Endeavour maintains the tricky balance between satisfying Morse fans and drawing in new viewers...
This review contains spoilers.
Behind each of the cases solved by the young Endeavour Morse in 1960s Oxford lies a bigger mystery, one that taxes the audience’s puzzle-solving skills even as the detective remains blissfully unaware of the need to crack it. It is, of course, the enigma of Morse himself. John Thaw’s iconic portrayal of Colin Dexter’s dour, embittered yet thoroughly decent detective needs no real introduction, but Morse’s past exists for us only in outline: a broken engagement, a difficult Oxford career, an abiding resentment of the top brass who obstructed him at every turn.
Name: Inspector Endeavour Morse.
Appearance: Either old, grey-haired and cerebral or young, blondish and slightly less cerebral.
Nothing in between? Nope. Nothing at all. When Inspector Morse was in his late 20s, he looked a lot like the actor Shaun Evans. Then he vanished for a couple of decades, came back looking a lot like John Thaw and then he died.
What about the missing years? We'll never find out. Creator Colin Dexter has made it as clear as possible that Evans, star of the 60s-set ITV prequel series Endeavour, will be the last actor ever to play Morse.
How has he managed that? By writing a clause in his will forbidding anyone else from playing the detective. »
The Musketeers and Being Human star talks her toppermost TV picks
I like a good gritty drama. Broadchurch, or something by Jimmy McGovern. I think Shaun Evans does a amazing job in Endeavour. Following on from John Thaw means you've got massive shoes to fill. Comedy-wise, I think Brooklyn Nine-Nine is brilliant, and Girls of course. I haven't seen the third series yet, but the first and second, you'd just sit down and plough through them in one go.
Earliest TV memory
Postman Pat. I was always one for a great theme tune. My mum said that I used to dance around to the theme tune to Care Bears, and as soon as it finished I'd bugger off, I wasn't interested.
Gladiators. Saturday night viewing just isn't the same these days, is it? Gladiators, followed by Blind Date: that's what you want. I'm not into reboots. »
- Louis Pattison
5 items from 2014
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