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Saturday Shake Up (1979)
Tyne Tees's attempt at Saturday morning television
ITV were fairly fragmented with Saturday morning offerings, which largely comprised, initially, of the duty announcer reading out birthdays, in between American imports and old films - for quite a while, Tyne-Tees did precisely this - by about 1976, the job of doing that was given to one Lyn Spencer, under the banner of "Saturday Morning Television".
A competition was ran to come up with a new name for the strand - the winning name was "Lyn's Look-In" - under that name, the strand went out of the continuity suite and in to a proper studio. They also employed Malcolm Gerrie (the G is pronounced like the G in GO as opposed to a J) and Radio Tees presenter Alastair Pirrie.
By 1979, ITV decided to come up with a networked Saturday morning programme, in the shape of The Mersey Pirate - Tyne-Tees still stuck resolutely to local programming, which, by early 79, had evolved into Saturday Shake-Up. By Autumn of 1979, the network was showing Tiswas - but, for the next two years after that, Tyne Tees still thought that they were "Geordieland Community Television".
Oddly enough, Saturday Shake-Up was not live - it was shown in short ten or fifteen minute bursts, between American imports and, at 10:15 every week, an old film - not even the kind of film that kids would have enjoyed - nevertheless, Tyne-Tees felt it appropriate to show this instead of Tiswas, Fun Factory and The Mersey Pirate. What gave away the fact that it was not live was that Alastair Pirrie was, at the same time, presenting a programme on Radio Tees, which had to be live, as it featured time checks and phone-in elements.
Dead Cert (1974)
A completely different story to the book!
METHOD OF KILLING - in the book, it's wire over a fence, in the film, it's some kind of drug;
KILLER - in the book, it's Uncle George, Alan's girlfriend's uncle - at least, the girl who ultimately becomes his girlfriend - in the film, it's a policeman.
The girl doesn't appear in the film - unless those sequences were cut from the version I saw.
Mind you - I was watching it late at night and I had to keep the telly turned down, so it was a struggle to hear what was going on.
Difficult trying to base a film on a book - bits of dialogue often have to be removed and small liberties are taken with the plot.
Dick Francis: Blood Sport (1989)
Never seen it, but I have some audio books on tape
The character of David Cleveland wasn't in Blood Sport - he was in Slay-Ride.
In the book of Blood Sport, David Cleveland is called Gene Hawkins.
I've never seen this production, so I can't say how faithful the story of the series was to Dick Francis's book - but I can tell you that they have put the wrong lead character in the story.
I'm not a fan of racing - but Dick Francis did write some good books on the subject - mostly about various racing scams.
Some seemed to have little to do with racing on the surface - the majority of the characters through whose eyes the stories are told are jockeys or trainers - somebody dies and the jockey or trainer turns detective to get to the bottom - putting their own life in danger.
Santa Barbara (1984)
Shown in the UK from the start - but discontinued
This series was shown on ITV from the start, as part of a new network daytime package on ITV, as opposed to regionally shown films and Sesame Street (and schools programmes, during term time).
It was shown daily (the first episode was repeated in the afternoon) at 10 am.
It was quite unusual for any terrestrial channel to screen US daytime soaps - they were a mainstay of cable TV, which was still in its infancy - the best the BBC could manage at the time was re-runs of Dallas. ITV relied on Australia for most of its daytime soap output by the mid 80s - other than Take The High Road, all the daytime soaps were Australian (Emmerdale was now on in the evenings and other shows were no longer being made).
Santa Barbara was networked (unusually for ITV - all imported programmes and even UK reruns tended to be shown round the regions) to begin with and shown five days a week (most soaps - UK or imported - were rarely on more than twice or three times a week).
It was subsequently split around the regions - but ultimately discontinued and has never been shown subsequently - we never found out who killed Channing or how it progressed after a Christmas episode (not properly, anyway).
There were so many cast changes - at least three (I've later learnt that it was four) actors have played CC Capwell - Peter Mark Richman (billed as such in Santa Barbara, but as Mark Richman in earlier roles), Paul Burke and Charles Bateman have played the Capwell patriarch - two actors have played Joe Perkins (Dane Witherspoon and Mark Arnold) and two actors - should it be "actresses", as he was later revealed to be a woman, and even later to have been the supposedly-deceased Sophia - that was the last episode I saw - when Lionel showed CC Sophia in that one way window, which they mistakenly called a "two-way mirror" - have played "Dominic" - Rosemary Forsyth (originally credited as "M Forsyth" - perhaps to hide the fact he was a woman) and, once "his" identity was discovered, Judith McConnell.
The cast changes often occurred partway through an episode - an announcer would say "The part of CC Capwell is now being played by Paul Burke" and, in another episode, "The part of CC Capwell is now being played by Charles Bateman".# As for the Joe Perkins switcheroony, the announcer said "The part of Joe Perkins is now being played by Mark Arnold".
I vaguely remember this series
In the late 70s and early 80s, there was a craze for miniseries - not full soap operas like Dallas and Dysentery, but not short shows like The Twilight Zone, originally shown by ITV under the banner of Best Sellers.
One such miniseries was called Once Upon A Murder.
What does this have to do with Chiefs, I hear you ask? That's what the series was called when it first went out on ITV in the early 80s.
In about 1988, Channel Quatorze acquired what they said was a new series from America entitled Chiefs.
The programme recycled both the plot, characters and even the actors from ITV's miniseries Once Upon A Murder.
I believe that, later, some ITV regions rebroadcast it again under the name Chiefs: Once Upon A Murder.
Escape Into Night (1972)
I was only nine - I'm now nearly 45
As far as I can recall, the basic premise of "Escape Into Night" was as follows:
A girl named Marianne is somehow ill.
As she can't go to school, she has a tutor named Miss Chesterfield.
Another one of her pupils, a boy named Mark, who we never see outside of Marianne's dreams, is also ill.
For some reason, she draws a house on a notepad, with a stick-man in an upstairs window - then starts dreaming about it; In her dream, she meets this Mark - she tries to get him to come down - but he tells her that there's no stairs.
When she wakes up the next morning, she realises that the house she had drawn was identical to the house in her dream - she draws the stairs.
Over the course of the series, she finds that everything she draws appears in the dream - unfortunately, as she isn't very good at drawing, the images in the by now recurring dream look odd - the scribbles on the window appear as curly prison bars.
At one point, she tries to draw some ponies - but, in the dream, they manifest themselves as the boulders with eyes.
A Place to Hide (1976)
Only saw the first two episodes (and Episode 4 when it was repeated)
The basic plot, without revealing spoilers, revolves around a gang of bank robbers.
They pull off a robbery, then they hide out in a bed-and-breakfast house in the English Midlands.
I never found out what happened much after that - I had to go back to school (a boarding school in Gloucestershire, where we weren't allowed to watch telly, so I never knew what happened next).
It was repeated in 1978 on a Friday - I managed to see a bit more of it - by then, I was in a more local boarding school - but I was never able to come home every weekend - tea was at half four, so no chance of watching telly there.
Is this series available on DVD?
Make a Wish (1971)
I vaguely remember this
Was Tom Chapin related to Harry Chapin?
The last line of the theme went:
"Make a wish, so come with me, I think a (blank) is what I'll be!" (insert the theme of the programme where the blank is).
For example, an edition about crosses would have heard Tom Chapin say "I'll make a wish, so come with me, I think a cross is what I'll be".
Can't remember any individual themes, though. I was about eight or nine at the time.
My mother would ask "How can you BE a cross/wall/snake" or whatever!
Don't remember all that much about it - it went out on ITV, though.
After watching this for the first time, in a season of sci-fi films shown in 1983 by BBC 2, it scared the willies out of me.
I often wonder what it would be like if such creatures DID land on Earth.
I have also seen the 1978 version, as well as the 1990-something version.
I seem to remember a TV version being shown on ITV in the late 70s or early 80s, starring Caroline McWilliams (the secretary in Benson. the spin off to Soap).