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Dick Turpin (1979)
Why are users giving this wonderful piece of TV a bum rap ?
First of all the casting of Richard O'Sullivan was inspired, an actor known solely for one comic role spun over nearly a decade made the character his own. This was ripping boys own stuff. Top entertainment with characterisation as good as you could expect from Richard Carpenter, a man with a track record of success.
Each story is well contained within a 25 minute timeframe. I have recently purchased the DVD of series 1 and having watched them all at the rate of 1 a week would recommend them to anyone with an interest in light drama.
The Last Train (1999)
Post apocalypse drama, cliched but great
At a time when ITV was struggling to make drama that did not revolve around a rose tinted view of the fifties or was based in a medical practise in the Derbyshire hills this post apocalyptic (forgive the corny cliche) drama came as a welcome surprise. With a cast of familiar faces but no real stars this was 6 episodes of excellent well written and characterised drama. The similarity with Survivors is evident. The main character in Survivors searched for her son, in The Last Train the main character searched for her former lover. Still they both got into scrapes to entertain us.
Commendable performances from James Hazeldine and Treva Etienne and a truly moving death scene form Amita Dhiri (remember that punch in This Life) but more than this was a taut plot that had twists and turns but was still focussed.
I would hope The Last Train would be released on DVD sometime soon, It was great.
Not as bad as people make out.
Dr Terribles house of Horrible is a clever pastiche of tacky seventies horror movies. Each episode is introduced by the same character, the bald headed Dr Terrible, and the stories evolve from there. Steve Coogan plays the main character in each one.
Especially memorable is the Fu Manchu spoof and the spoof of the early seventies horror movies, such as Tales from the Crypt, where several characters would tell a tale of doom.
Coogan fans watched expecting Alan Partridge. To fans of horror this will be appreciated.
Archetypal Bodice Ripper
The novel is the archetypal bodice ripper but the Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders is far more than that. It is a well constructed, well acted, well directed period drama of the type the British TV Industry does so well.
Alex Kingston is exceptional in the title roll, her defection to the States from the UK is a real loss and the cast list is like a who's who of British TV. Particularly good is Diana Rigg.
All in all my words cannot really do it justice, if you get the opportunity to see it then please do. It is really well worth it.
Go see Go
What a cracking little movie. Full of twists and turns the action shoots back and forth and kind of puts me in mind of "Pulp Fiction". The action shoots back and forth with a pace that does not allow the viewer time to pause for breath.
A great movie, see it if you can.
Play for Today: Kisses at Fifty (1973)
Middle aged love against a backdrop of a Northern Town
A bitter sweet Play for Today from 1972 about middle aged love against a backdrop of a northern town.
A father leaves his grown up family to move in with his lover in the south alienating himself from his 4 grown up children. The play is about those relationships and how he deals with them. It is quite touching.
Dad's Army (1968)
Simply the Best
To say that I love this show is an understatement. Comedies may come and go and have their moment, such as Royle Family or One Foot in the Grave, but there are precious few thats allure and appeal are timeless. Dad's Army is one such comedy.
A mix of subtle scripting, with gentle humour and a cast that is unsurpassed in sitcom history makes even the odd mediocre episode a pure joy to watch.
The casting is a joy with the characters so broadly defined and so well rounded the episodes almost write themselves around the situation that the individual episode is based on.
Also ponder for a moment the irony of the fact that Dads Army became hugely popular after the death of the majority of the cast.
An all time classic.
Blue Collar (1978)
A terrific film
As part of the BBCs "I Love 1970s" series they showed this excellent movie. A gritty social commentary based on the lives of three car workers who find the system, and more importantly those are supposedly on their side, are screwing them over and keeping them where they are (up to their eyes in debt at the bottom of the heap) in favour of maintaining the status quo. Strong perfomances from Keitel, Pryor and Kotto with some colourful dialogue all help to make this film memorable. The most poignant moment of the film came at the very end where Keitel and Pryor are about to fight, Pryor having sold out to the Union and Keitel having refused to and having survived an attempt on his life.
A must watch film for anyone.
I'm Alan Partridge (1997)
The funniest comedy in years
This follow up to Knowing Me Knowing You sees Steve Coogans finest comic creation out of TV and presenting the early morning show on Radio Norwich. Alan is, of course, desperate to get back on the Telly.
Ably assisted by a fine array of charicatures the show just rolls from one episode to the next.
Probably the funniest scene is the dinner with Tony Hayers, the commissioning editor of the BBC where Alan is coming up with new programme ideas. The very thought of "Monkey Tennis", "Inner City Sumo", "Arm Wrestling with Chas and Dave" and "Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank" are not only hysterically funny concepts but probably the sort of show that the modern BBC or Channel 5 would commission
Much missed from the screens it is surely time for a Partridge return.
Blackadder Goes Forth (1989)
Best of the best
Blackadder goes forth is easily (IMHO) the best of the Blackadder series. Not only funny in the truest sense of the Blackadder genre but also a biting satire on the futility of the first world war which putting aside the rights and wrongs of the conflict was a senseless waste of human life against a backdrop of intransigence from those in charge of the war. The most telling portrayal of this probably came in the cameo appearance of Gen Haigh seen sweeping troops into a dustpan and brush on his miniature battelfied.
Made at a time where there was a lot of social and political comment in comedy, much of it either anarchic or displaced this hit the spot.
I have watched it several times and it gets better with every viewing.
British comedy at its finest.