Callan (1967) - News Poster

(1967–1972)

News

John Hurt returns as the War Doctor with Big Finish

We only got to witness the War Doctor for mere minutes during the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode “The Day of the Doctor“, however John Hurts presence as the Doctor captured the imagination of Whovians across the globe and made us internally and externally scream for more knowledge on the short life of this incarnation. Well now Big Finish are doing just that with twelve full cast War Doctor audio plays featuring John Hurt himself!

“I have been a huge fan of John since first seeing him in the repeats of I, Claudius in the 1980s and in his Oscar-nominated role as the eponymous The Elephant Man,’ says Big Finish executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery. ‘Watching his performance in The Day of the Doctor I did find myself fantasising that some far off day we might have the chance to work with him on the audio adventures of Doctor Who and
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Terrorism thriller seeks funds for post

After completing principal photography on One Less God, the producers of the psychological thriller inspired by the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai have launched a crowd-funding initiative. They aim is to raise $200,000 to cover post production, deliverables and publicity for the festival circuit by December 23.

The Indiegogo campaign kicked off on November 27 with rewards, a design competition, teaser and interviews with prominent commentators on issues explored in the film such as human rights, ideology, fundamentalism and compassion.

The experts include Dr. Munjed Al Muderis, Dr. Simon Longstaff, Dr. Anne Aly, Raimond Gaita, Kylie Sturgess and Dr. Sahar Amer. It.s the feature debut of writer-director Lliam Worthington, whose background is in music videos, corporate films and theatre.

The thriller centres around a group of international tourists trapped inside their hotel for 68 hours while two young Islamic terrorists, guided by a ruthless handler, sweep the hotel seeking to exterminate the guests. As days pass,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Woodward To Washington: Evolution Of ‘The Equalizer’

Though he’s been no stranger to the action genre over the years, Denzel Washington officially joins the league of mature asskickers this month with The Equalizer. Just as Liam Neeson has the Taken franchise, so Columbia Pictures hope audiences will take to Robert McCall’s controlled vigilante antics and clamour for sequels. People of a certain age remember the movie’s source material, a 1980s American TV series starring an unlikely British lead, which Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have distanced themselves from. I presume this isn’t out of disrespect – the new version is more a reimagining than an adaptation. But it shares enough with the original to warrant a closer look at the small screen events that gave rise to this high octane fest of bone cracking and soul searching. We begin by going back to the 1960s, where the UK drama showcase Armchair Theatre introduced us
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Voytek obituary

Stage and screen designer remembered for his many elegant masterstrokes

Voytek, who has died aged 89, brought distinctive vitality and creative adaptability to productions for theatre, film and television. His work ranged from theatre design to credits as a director, producer and writer of TV drama. In the 1960s and 70s, he directed episodes of Callan, Man at the Top, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Frankenstein and Special Branch. He was producer for The Pilgrim's Progress (1967), and wrote Judas (1966) and Two's a Crowd (1978). But Voytek is best remembered for the many elegant masterstrokes of production design that resulted from his sharp wit and incisive analysis of a screenplay.

He was dubbed Voytek by the theatre director George Devine, who deemed it more memorable than his given name, Wojciech Roman Pawel Jerzy Szendzikowski. Son of Wadysaw, a doctor, and Maria, Wojciech was born and brought up in Warsaw.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The HeyUGuys Interview: Stephen Tompkinson Gives Us the Lowdown on Harrigan

  • HeyUGuys
Before British cop drama Harrigan hits our cinema screens on September 20, we had the great pleasure of speaking to the lead role, Detective Harrigan himself, Stephen Tompkinson.

Harrigan – which is director Vince Woods debut feature film, is set in a bleak, 1970s North East, where a close-to-retirement cop Barry Harrigan returns to his hometown with a score to settle. Tompkinson, who has made a name for himself in films such as Brassed Off and TV shows such as In Deep, speaks of his own experience in Britain from the time this film is set, and what attracted him to the role – while he reflects on what has been a triumphant, and certainly expansive career.

So what first attracted you to the role of Harrigan?

Vincent Woods, the film’s director, came to see me the year before we started shooting. I was doing live theatre in Newcastle in a play by my friend Shaun Prendergast,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Callan – box set review

He painted model soldiers, unlocked the sink, and shot enemy agents: Edward Woodward's chippy, moody secret service assassin may have been TV's first anti-hero

Played with controlled intensity by Edward Woodward, David Callan is a working-class loner, reluctantly yet ruthlessly stitching up or shutting up Eastern Bloc agents, ex-Nazis and possible security risks, all at the behest of a murky section of British intelligence. "All the rotten jobs," as he puts it.

With just three TV channels to choose from, an evening's viewing in the late 1960s was somewhat limited. But even if there had been more, Callan would still have led the field: in a time before video recorders, this seminal spy series from ITV – with its iconic swinging-lightbulb title sequence, its sharp scripts and cracking characters – was stay-in TV.

The show turned the James Bond image on its head. Callan, possibly TV's first antihero, is the section's top killer,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Daphne Slater obituary

Actor who made her name during the early years of drama on television

As a captivating young ingenue in Shakespeare on stage, and Jane Austen on television, Daphne Slater, who has died aged 84, enjoyed a brilliant career for 10 years, followed by decent television work for the next 10, before withdrawing into family life almost completely by 1975.

At Stratford-upon-Avon in 1947, she appeared as a radical (for those days) young Olivia in Twelfth Night; both mother and daughter (Thaisa and Marina) in Pericles; Juliet in Peter Brook's beautiful Romeo and Juliet set in Verona ("a miracle of masks, mists and sudden grotesquerie," wrote Kenneth Tynan); and Miranda in The Tempest. Her Juliet, said Tynan, was rightly "excitable and impetuous, and she communicates this convulsive ardour until it becomes our panic as well as hers". Her future husband, John Harrison, played Benvolio, and their offstage romance continued during The Tempest, in which Harrison played Ferdinand,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

WonderCon 2012 - Full Schedule Announced!

2012 will be the first year that GeekTrant will invade WonderCon, mostly due to the fact that it was moved down to Anaheim, CA this year which is right in our backyard. We're all pretty excited about attending this year, as we've heard it's a much smaller more intimate version of San Diego Comic Con.

WonderCon is set to open on Friday, March 16th and run through Sunday, March 18th at the Anaheim Convention Center. If you plan on attending let us know, and maybe we can meet up and hang out for a bit!

I've put stars next to the panels we are interested in attending. Check out the schedule, and let us know what you are looking forward to seeing most!

Friday March 16th

12:30-1:30 Idw Presents: The Idw Panel!— Chief creative officer Chris Ryall and sergeant of marketing Dirk Wood, give out prizes, make announcements, and evade questions!
See full article at GeekTyrant »

The Flintstones are returning but these are the TV reboots we want to see

Us networks haven't learned from the failures of recent Charlie's Angels, Knight Rider and Bionic Woman remakes. Is it time to call for Callan?

Now the current American TV season is halfway over, attention turns towards the new pilots; programmes jockeying for position in 2013. Here's what's in the pipeline: a non-sitcom version of The Munsters, a Sex And The City prequel called The Carrie Diaries, Seth MacFarlane's version of The Flintstones, a revival of weird 1980s subterranean mutant romance Beauty And The Beast, Space: 2099 (a re-imagining of Space: 1999) and, starting this summer, a modern-day Dallas featuring a new generation of feuding oil barons along with their decrepit elders.

The pipeline, you'll notice, is clogged with remakes, a clear indicator of an industry mired in creative bankruptcy. Original voices and fresh ideas are being stifled in favour of playing it safe. It's not even as if digging deep into
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Hammer Director Sharp Dies

  • WENN
Hammer Horror director Don Sharp has died, aged 90.

The Australia-born moviemaker passed away in Cornwall, England earlier this month, according to Variety. No other details of his death had been released as WENN went to press.

Sharp was best known for being brought in to revive the flagging Hammer Film studio in Britain in the 1960s after the company suffered a drop in popularity. He went on to direct numerous horror pictures for the firm including The Kiss of the Vampire, The Devil-Ship Pirates and Rasputin: The Mad Monk.

His other film work outside of Hammer included directing The Face of Fu Manchu and The Brides of Fu Manchu with Sir Christopher Lee. He was also behind the 1978 remake of The Thirty Nine Steps, starring Robert Powell, a 1974 film version of TV drama Callan with Edward Woodward, and 1979's Bear Island with Donald Sutherland and Vanessa Redgrave.

Donald Hewlett obituary

Actor best known as Colonel Reynolds in It Ain't Half Hot Mum

Donald Hewlett, who has died of pneumonia aged 90, was already in his mid-50s and had a long career as a screen character actor behind him when he was cast as Colonel Reynolds, commanding officer of a second world war Royal Artillery concert party, in It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974-81). In public, he found people recognising not just his face, but also his voice.

While Battery Sergeant Major Williams (Windsor Davies) tried to instil discipline into Bombardier "Gloria" Beaumont (Melvyn Hayes), the singer Gunner "Lofty" Sugden (Don Estelle), the pianist "Lah-de-Dah" Gunner Graham and others, Colonel Reynolds enjoyed the easy life, lounging around, sipping gin and conducting an affair with Daphne Waddilove-Evans (Frances Bennett), whose husband was away in the Punjab.

The sitcom was written by the Dad's Army creators David Croft and Jimmy Perry. Perry himself
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

R.I.P. Nicholas Courtney

Veteran British thesp and "Doctor Who" actor Nicholas Courtney has died in London at the age of 81, passing away after a short illness reports The BBC.

Courtney played the no-nonsense and often dryly witted character of Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart across many decades of the franchise, first appearing in 1968 and making his last appearance on spin-off "The Sarah Jane Adventures" in 2008. All up he appeared in 107 episodes of 'Who'.

In his time on screen he played opposite five different Doctors, most commonly with Jon Pertwee, and worked with two more (David Tennant and Paul McGann) on audio stories.

A staple of British television, Courtney also appeared on such shows as "The Saint," "The Avengers," "Minder," "Callan," "The Bill," "Casualty," "Doctors," "Yes Prime Minister" and "The Champions."

"A true gentlemen" as Edgar Wright put so well, 'The Brigadier' will be sorely missed.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Tp McKenna obituary

Versatile Irish stage actor who became a familiar face across British drama

Before he became a familiar face on television and cinema screens, the outstanding Irish actor Tp McKenna, who has died after a long illness aged 81, bridged the gap between the old and the new Abbey theatres in Dublin. He appeared with the company for eight years during the interim period at the Queen's theatre; the old Abbey burned down in 1951, the new one opened by the Liffey in 1966.

During that time he made his reputation as a leading actor of great charm, vocal resource – with a fine singing voice – and versatility. He was equally adept at comedy and tragedy, a great exponent of the best Irish playwriting from Jm Synge and Séan O'Casey to Hugh Leonard and Brian Friel. The elder son in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night was a favourite, much acclaimed role.

It was Stephen D,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Tp McKenna obituary

Versatile Irish stage actor who became a familiar face across British drama

Before he became a familiar face on television and cinema screens, the outstanding Irish actor Tp McKenna, who has died after a long illness aged 81, bridged the gap between the old and the new Abbey theatres in Dublin. He appeared with the company for eight years during the interim period at the Queen's theatre; the old Abbey burned down in 1951, the new one opened by the Liffey in 1966.

During that time he made his reputation as a leading actor of great charm, vocal resource – with a fine singing voice – and versatility. He was equally adept at comedy and tragedy, a great exponent of the best Irish playwriting from Jm Synge and Séan O'Casey to Hugh Leonard and Brian Friel. The elder son in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night was a favourite, much acclaimed role.

It was Stephen D,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Wicker Man: No 4 best horror film of all time

Robin Hardy, 1973

Robin Hardy's slow-burning chiller, from a screenplay by Anthony Shaffer (author of Sleuth, and brother of Peter), was once hailed by the magazine Cinefantastique as "the Citizen Kane of horror movies".

It was originally released as a supporting feature to Don't Look Now, but had a troubled distribution history, which delayed its elevation to cult status until the 1980s. Ailing production company British Lion was bought by Emi midway through shooting, and Hardy was obliged to make cuts (but resisted demands by studio executives that he change the ending); a further 13 minutes were cut for the American release. It wasn't until nearly 30 years later that a restored version became available on DVD. (In 2006 Neil Labute wrote and directed a risible remake, transposed to a matriarchal community on an island off the coast of America's Pacific north-west region and starring Nicolas Cage.)

Christopher Lee, who was proud of his performance as Lord Summerisle,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Review – Callan: Set 2

Edward Woodward is one of my favorite actors of all time; as a kid, I was completely in love with his CBS series The Equalizer. Unfortunately, Woodward passed away last year at 79 after prolonged health problems. Acorn Media has, however, released another volume of Woodward’s pre-Equalizer spy series Callan (1967-1972), and I have the inside look at that to share with you.

The Show

Callan was a great drama about the dark side of the spy world well before the topic became in vogue. Woodward portrayed the title character, David Callan, crack agent for British counterintelligence who was the best at what he did, but did so under extreme duress. Callan was privy to all the nasty side-effects of working in the espionage business: double-crosses, assassinations, blackmail, and plenty of other unsavory dealings.

In a strange development, Set 2 of Callan is actually the show’s fourth season (Set 1 started
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Callan The Colour Years DVD review

  • Shadowlocked
Callan is a dry, downbeat show about an ex-serviceman used by British intelligence to deal with difficult situations, sometimes requiring him to kill. It's an unglamorous, un-romanticised account of the job, that lays bare the hypocrisy and unpleasantness of the Cold War struggle between the West and the former Soviet Union. The two series of gripping stories, 22 in all, hinge on the compelling central performance of Edward Woodward as complex reluctant anti-hero David Callan.

In the same way that wild optimistic flights of science fiction fantasy like Barbarella and 2001:a Space Odyssey gave way to cynicism and negative future visions like Planet Of The Apes and Soylent Green, spy films were also transformed from the slick, wise-cracking James Bond and Men From Uncle, to the downbeat and unsettling Harry Palmer and Callan.

Discrediting, blackmailing, and ultimately killing people whose actions threaten the West is the stock in trade on the
See full article at Shadowlocked »

DVD Playhouse--December 2009

DVD Playhouse—December 2009

By

Allen Gardner

Public Enemies (Universal) Johnny Depp portrays legendary Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger in co- writer/director Michael Mann’s take on America’s first “Public Enemy Number One.” Like many big studio releases today, Public Enemies has it all: A-list talent before and behind the camera, but lacks a heart or soul that allows its audience to connect with it. Film plays out like a “true crime” TV show with re-enactments of famous events cast with top actors and shot by the best technicians in the business, with little, if any, character or story development to hold it together in between. A real disappointment from one of our finest filmmakers and finest actors. The lone standout: the great character actor Stephen Lang as a hard-eyed lawman who’s seen a lot, but manages to retain a tiny piece of his heart. For a better take on the same subject,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Remember the great Edward Woodward with Callan

  • Aol TV.
Remember the great Edward Woodward with Callan
Most American TV viewers know Edward Woodward from his run as Robert McCall as The Equalizer. But, British TV aficionados know he trained in backside-kicking on the dark, gritty British spy series, Callan.

Written by James Mitchell, the show featured David Callan -- a spy working for an ultra-secret arm of the British Intelligence service specializing in assassinations. Unfortunately, the former soldier and convict was cursed with a conscience that led him to hate his job, his superiors and himself.

Woodward was perfect in the role -- blending haunted humor with genuine menace to create an intelligent, tortured man who you believed could kill anyone without having to look like Rambo while he did it.

Continue reading Remember the great Edward Woodward with Callan

 

Filed under: Other Drama Shows, TV on DVD, Celebrities, Obituaries, Reality-Free, British TV

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See full article at Aol TV. »

Wicker Man Star Edward Woodward Dies

British actor Edward Woodward starred as the ill-fated Sgt. Howie, a repressed and religious police officer, in Anthony Shaffer’s occult thriller The Wicker Man in 1973. Sent to the remote Scottish island of Summerisle to search for a missing girl, he becomes enmeshed in an arcane pagan ritual that results in his own sacrifice in a burning wicker effigy to ensure a bountiful harvest. Christopher Lee co-starred as Lord Summerisle, and Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, and Ingrid Pitt were featured as enticing pagan ladies.

Woodward was born in Croydon, England, on June 1, 1930. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and made his professional stage debut in 1946. A Shakespearean stage actor, he also appeared frequently in films and television from the early 1960s. He was featured in episodes of The Saint, The Baron, Mystery and Imagination, and Sherlock Holmes, and was Auguste Dupin in a 1968 production of Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »
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