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The Bionic Woman (1976)
Fault On The Bionic Woman Season2 DISC4
I am in the UK and although I have the region2 DVD set of "The Bionic Woman",I purchased the region1 version as it had the two Big Foot episodes missing form the region2 set.
I had read there were problems with the episode "Deadlier Ringer",the sound is awful,I emailed Universal directly and was told,we can't replace discs to anyone outside US or Canada,charming!
Have been offered a return by Amazon if I return the whole DVD set but
then I'm without the two Big Foot episodes which work fine.
Seems like overseas money is accepted to buy a DVD but its clearly tough if you've any problems.
Logan's Run (1977)
Could Have Been Better
I remember seeing Logan's Run the TV series as a kid and being addicted. I've recently saw the series reran on cable here in the UK,full marks to Gregory Harrison,he is perfect as Logan,Donald Moffatt as the android Rem,is great and he steals every scene,he's in with his wit. Heather Menzies is likable as Jessica,but the creators were clearly going for a Farrah Fawcett look,hair and lip gloss,and credibility takes a nose dive with Jessica's perfect hair and make up as she and Logan run for their lives. There were several big mistakes made early on,removing the glowing red light crystal that signal Carousel on a 30 year old hands,making a Council of humans in the pilot,rather than the horrific creatures in the film. The real threat of death was removed as Francis was instructed to bring Logan and Jessica back to the City of Domes alive rather than dead,Francis not as frightening as he was in the film and indeed,he doesn't appear in a large number of episodes. The best episode to me,was the one when a man from the past arrives and is trying to stop the nuclear war,excellent episode. Another good episode was the one when the trio meet six people and through an accident,there is only a serum to save three and then people begin to get killed,as one of th esix,reduces the odds,showed how excellent the series could be with a good script. I hope it appears on DVD .
Lou Grant (1977)
Lou Grant On DVD Soon I Hope!
I'd love to see Lou Grant on DVD soon,it was only shown in some areas of the UK but Channel 4 ran it in the 80s and I loved it. Looking now at the "Mary Tyler Moore Show",Ed Asner's terrific performance throughout,as the complex Lou Grant,was a character,crying out for a spin off and what a great idea to turn a sitcom character, into a dramatic lead! I loved the relationship between Mrs Pynchon and Lou,I love it,in early episode when Lou is waiting for a bus to view a house,Mrs Pynchon says she can drive him here,he says its too out of her way,she agrees and drives off!
I was surprised when Carla was replaced by Linda Kelsey as Billie,I liked her but read the powers that be,thought she was too young,so wanted an older actress for the Tribune's female reporter.
Rossi was a great character,not likable but complicated too,maybe Lou saw something of himself deep down in Rossi,and liked him although he'd never admit it.
Dynasty 80s Revisted!
"Dynasty" started off as a drama series about the rich Carringtons,headed by Blake,(John Forsythe)gay son Steven(Al Corley),wayward daughter Fallon(Pamela Sue Martin)and new wife innocent Krystle(Linda Evans) The poor family were Matthew Blazidel(Bo Hoskins)Claudia(one of my favourite characters played by Pamela Bellwood)just out of a mental ward and daughter Lynsey(Katy Kurtzman) After thirteen episodes,the ratings were poor,the arrival of Joan Collins as super-bitch Alexis,bitter ex wife of Blake sent the ratings through the roof as did the cat fight between Alexis and Krystle. Claudia was the only Blazidel to return in the 2nd season but several seasons later,Matthew made a dramatic return when he tries to kidnap Krystle,Steven(Jack Coleman by this time)saves them all by stabbing Matthew. The show continued to get glossier and glossier,Pamela Sue Martin was a big loss to the series,when she left after season 4 as was Al Corley,who left after season 2,unhappy at gay Steven suddenly and unconvincingly getting a glamorous young wife.,Sammy -Jo(Heather Locklear) The storyline that haunted Dynasty was the Moldivan Massacre when the entire cast were shot at Amanda's(Catherine Oxenberg)wedding to Prince Michael (Michael Praed)with only Steven's lover Luke(Bill Campbell)and Lady Ashley Mitchell(Ali McGraw)perishing. Although this cliffhanger caused the show to get to no1,the follow up episodes were disappointing and it was the start of the end of Dynasty,the double of Krystle storyline was just plain mad really! I did like the show though with special credit to Joan Collins for turning it around,Dianne Carroll as Dominique was also a great character,Stephanie Beacham adding a new nemesis for Alexis as Sable when Linda Evans left in the last season. I look forward to seeing the rest of this great show on DVD soon.
The New Avengers (1976)
Lets Hear It For Purdey
"The New Avengers"was my introduction to the "Avengers" world and I thought Patrick Macnee was great as John Steed,the perfect English gentleman,with bowler hat and umbrella and his charm,in no way making him less able to defend his country. Joanna Lumley was excellent as high kicking Purdey,she holds her own against Mrs Peel,she is very funny when telling Steed,he doesn't need to be so protective to women "as we're liberated now!". I liked Gareth Hunt,his presence is often treated as an interloper by "Avengers" fans but the fact is if it had just been Steed and Purdey,with Steed doing the stunts(or a very obvious stand in as in the Emma Peel/Tara King eras when Macnee's stand in for fights,was clearly seen)it would have looked bizarre. The rapport between Purdey and Gambit is spot on,I love the way they chatter or bicker away in the middle of an action scene,there were changes in the 2nd season after Patrick Macnee complained and poor old Gambit is put on the back burner,in the 2nd season,in the last ever episode,in Canada(the one about the secret base)the closing shot doesn't even feature Gambit. the stories themselves do vary in story quality,the first series started with "Nest Of Eagles"about Nazi's alive and well in Scotland all three New Avengers work great together,Purdey's high kicking,beauty and great humour working great with Macnee's charm and Gambit's 70s gritty edge. Other stories include "House of Cards"about an enemy agent faking his death,it features a humorous scene of a lady guest of Steed's looking at pictures of Cathy Gale,Emma Peel and Tara King. As the lady asks about each Avenger,Steed describes them as excellent or"faithful,reliable" then on Tara King,he says she had a "real kick in her"and he had to have her shot,it turns out,Steed thought she was asking about his three favourite horses! The first series comes across well with varied stories a man whose touch can kill,the dreaded Cybernauts return in one of the best stories,a man who can control birds by music,the first season ends with "Dirtier By The Dozen" about crazed mercenaries,the closing shot of Purdey rescued from a minefield by helicopter by Steed,on a rope ladder,drinking champagne,is one ofthe times,we see some of the old Avengers magic. The second series is more varied,Emma Peel makes an appearance in "K Is For Killing"(using old footage of Diana Rigg and a voice dub) when an old case comes tolight again as enemy soldiers are reanimated,its a good story and the Paris scene really give the series so much needed glamour. The Paris stories work well,the last four episodes of "The New Avengers" are set in Canada,one of them "Complex" about a crazed computer is one of the better ones,"Gladiators" about super powered assassins is good too,the real dull on is "Emily",its like a really bad "Charlie's Angels" episode and is a real turkey. I'll always have a soft spot for The New Avengers",the three leads are excellent,(I met Gareth Hunt,a few years ago,what a nice guy)Joanna Lumley is superb,Patrick Macnee is excellent as ever,Gareth Hunt is a welcome and necessary character,there were mistakes made,like not showing Steed driving his classic cars anymore,too much attention on car chases and violence(but it was the 70s)if maybe more writers from "The Avengers" had been involved maybe it would have been better liked by "Avengers" fans but I like it and I'm glad it was made.
Mary Tyler Moore (1970)
The Mary TYler Moore Show: You Don't Get Better Than This
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was a classic sitcom about single 30s something Mary Richards,moving to new town Minneapolis,when her relationship breaks down,she gets an apartment through old friend Phyllis(Chloris Leachman)at the start,causing friction with Rhoda(Valerie Harper)from upstairs,the friendship of Mary and Rhoda becoming one of the backbones of the series until Valerie Harper spun off to her own spin off success "Rhoda",after four seasons. Mary gets a job at WJM-TV,the local news station with the lowest ratings but warmest people,she meets gruff but caring Lou Grant(Ed Asner)the classic moments in the series would be when Lou would say "come into my office Mary". Murray Slaughter(Gavin MacLeod)was the married man,who loved Mary without any sinister meaning,Ted Baxter(Ted Knight)was the stupid vain anchor man as the seasons went on,he got funnier and funnier and his character got some depth later with the introduction of a girlfriend,later wife,Georgette,played by the hilarious Georgia Engel. Betty White was a welcome addition in season 4 as man hungry "Happy Homemaker",Sue-Ann Nivens,the episode when she has an affair with Phyllis'unseen husband Lars in "The Lars Affair" was a classic,Sue Anne helping fill the void as "the blond darling" when Phyllis left after season 5 for her own spin off series "Phyllis". Amongst all the laughs there were touching,"real" moments of life like retirement or "The Lou and Edie Story" when Lou's wife Edie leaves him or "Chuckles Bites The Dust",the best known episode of TMTMS when the station's clown,Chuckles,dies in a bizarre elephant crushing,Mary is disgusted at the sick jokes until she gets the giggles at the funeral,then there is a debate about people's reactions to death,all very deep indeed. The show ended after a seven year run with the news gang all being sacked apart from Ted,ironically the one worst at the job,Rhoda and Phyllis returned to support Mary and Lou Grant was launched as a dramatic spin off and was another big success. A real joy of a series,the catchy theme "You're Gonna Make It After All" and Mary throwing her hat in the air,never fails to please!
The Betty White Show (1977)
The Betty White Show
Although this show only lasted 13 episodes I really liked,it,Betty White is great as Joyce Whitman,the actress with the razor sharp tongue,who puts her ex husband John(John Hillerman)in his place when they work together on police series "Undercover Woman". Former Mary Tyler Moore Show c/o star Georgia Engel,plays a similar dizzy role(similar to Georgette) in this as Mitzi and credit to the cast for giving such strong comedic performance,it was a shame the scripts weren't as strong. I think the fact that the pilot for this show was shown as part of "The Best Of The MTM Shows" proves what a strong pilot the show had. There had been some thought to giving Sue-Ann from the MTMS her own spin off but after Chloris Leachman's Phylllis was toned down for her spin off "Phyllis",to only last 2 seasons,"The Betty White Show" came up and although a short run,is very funny and witty.
The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007)
Sarah-Jane Deserves Better
Sorry I didn't like it,Lis Sladen as always,gave a great performance but it just seemed to be a lot of running around and giving Sarah-Jane "a son" at the end,please! The baddie just overacted like mad,poor Lis Sladen giving a heart felt performance but K-9 was sorely missed apart from his brief appearance but I know this is due to copyright problems. Gadgets and special effects have sadly replaced atmosphere and tension. I hope the rest of the series is a big improvement. I'd have preferred a grown up version of The Sarah-Jane Adventures rather than the big yawn that is Torchwood. Would be good to see the Brigadier(Nicholas Courtney)or Captain Yates(Richard Franklin) making a guest appearance on this show too.
K-9 and Cmpany
I think K-9 and Company was a good idea,and Elisabeth Sladen always gives a great performance although Sarah-Jane seems a bit more grumpy than her normal self in this spin-off. John Lesson's voice gives K-9 a life of his own and he makes K-9 very endearing,the opening credits are very bizarre and I am sure not meant to be as funny as they come across. Thngs do seem to take a long time to start,there is a lot of running around until Sarah-Jane opens the box containing K-9. Having recently saw the pilot of The Sarah-Jane adventures,at least K-9 and company wasn't full of annoying kids! and people overacting. It was a good idea,it wasn't a failure,it got respectful viewing figures and K-9 remains a very popular character of DR.Who even today.
Cagney & Lacey: Pilot (1981)
Cagney and Lacey TV Pilot
This is the movie pilot that started the highly successful TV series "Cagney and Lacey". In the pilot,Loretta Swit plays Christine Cagney,single highly ambitious policewoman,who likes to play the field with men,she and partner,married mother of two,Mary Beth Lacey,played by the great Tyne Daly,accidentally come across a drug factory and after making the arrest,are promoted to plain clothes. They are not welcomed by their male colleagues,its strange to see Al Waxman as Samuels,not their boss yet but fellow detective and not the tough but caring cop,he later becomes in the TV series. Swit and Daly work very well together,there is the sharp contrast between the two women,the by the rules Lacey and the quick take-a-risk Cagney,when Meg Foster played Chris Cagney in the first six episodes of the TV series,it was felt she wasn't the contrast Swit had been to Daly and indeed Swit comes across very similar to Sharon Gless who eventually got the part and made it her own. The pilot is darker and more gritty than the TV series was,its strange seeing other Actors playing Harvey,Lacey's kids and Isbecki as we are so used to the TV versions. The plot of the pilot is very good as Cagney and Lacey fight for respect in the 14th precinct,a murder is loose,pretending to be Jewish but he is in fact a Nazi,the confrontation between the killer and Cagney is very well done as is the relationship between the two women,Cagney can be cruel to Lacey at times but Lacey can stand up to Cagney,when required. The TV series owes a lot to Swit as she really carries the film,Tyne Daly of course,always giving an excellent performance.