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Reappreciation Society: Piece of Cake

Author Derek Robinson credits LWT’s 1988 adaptation of his WWII RAF novel Piece Of Cake with reviving a work he felt he had put four years work into for little return. The excellent novel has remained in print ever since, yet perversely, I’m sure few now remember this piece of television brilliance. Piece Of Cake tells the tale […]

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edge of darkness

Edge Of Darkness: Tree Detective

The Boys From The Blackstuff, The Monocled Mutineer, Edge Of Darkness; in hindsight  it seems as if the 1980’s was a decade of politically sharp television drama. However, Troy Kennedy Martin’s long gestation of EOD (started in 1982, screened in 1985)  arose out of his despondency at the apolitical atmosphere at the BBC – he […]

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spies of warsaw

Furst Among Equals: The Cinematic Spy Novels of Alan Furst

You won’t find Alan Furst’s early contemporary murder mysteries mentioned among his best sellers in the fly leaves of his books. By his own admission, they weren’t very good, and not what he was really interested in doing. One day he then went to look for a historical spy novel to read, and couldn’t find […]

tales of the gold monkey

Re-appreciationSociety: Tales of The Gold Monkey

When is a rip-off not a rip-off? When a TV show is unsuccessfully pitched until the successful film it is supposedly based on causes it to be greenlit. If adventure “homage” has a name, it must be Tales Of The Gold Monkey. Donald P Bellisario is something of a legend in American television history. The writer […]

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Sympathy For The Devil? Peaky Blinders’ Inspector Campbell

Minor spoilers ahead Peaky Blinders, BBC2’s new Autumn drama approaching its end run, has blown away the dusty cobwebs from traditional period storytelling fare. Writer / director Steven Knight (Eastern promises, Dirty pretty Things, Hummingbird) has created a stylised urban gangster drama based on fact, set in a post WWI 1919 Birmingham – a hitherto little […]

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Ooer!! Sounds a Bit Rude!! – A Tribute to Filthy, Rich and Catflap

After they brought the second (and final) series of The Young Ones to a climax with an exploding bus, people wondered what would be next for Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson and Ben Elton. Apart from cameo roles here and there (Blackadder, Happy Families, Saturday Live), occasional Comic Strip films and a generation defining appearance on […]

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the long firm

Sympathy For The Devil? The Long Firm’s Harry Starks

“There is a business like show business. It’s what I do.” Meet Harry Starks, the wickedly magnetic crime figure of ’60’s London, created by author Jake Arnott is his debut novel, The Long Firm, and brought to life on screen in the BBC adaptation by actor Mark Strong. Harry’s a larger then life character, a […]

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hannibal

Hannibal: Script To Screen

Recently Hannibal, the TV adaptation of author Thomas Harris’ cannibalistic gourmand Hannibal Lector’s exploits finished its third run, with NBC ceasing to air any further seasons. As it looks unlikely that any other channels will pick the show up, it ended on a fitting cliff-hanger, Graham and Hannibal tumbling to their seeming doom, a la […]

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The Great Unmade? Dan Dare

Dan Dare, Pilot Of The Future, has seemingly had more revamps than the line up of The Sugababes. But did you know that the erstwhile Eagle comic strip nearly made it to the small screen in a live action spectacular show in 1981? An ATV production under the auspices of legend Lew Grade would have seen […]

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daredevil corridor fight

Scene Is Believing: Daredevil Corridor Fight

The corridor fight from Netflix’s Daredevil episode “Cut Man” is an early, confident contender for one of the best scenes of the year on any screen, big or small. And yes, it is one take – they had to film it 7 to 8 times to get the fluid, bruising, exhausting tussle you see in […]

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