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Chandleresque: Dick Spanner P.I.

  “Not so long ago in a parallel universe not far from here…” There have been many notable Gerry Anderson projects. From Fireball XL5 to Stingray to Thunderbirds and Terrahawks. However one Gerry Anderson project that seems to have fallen down the back of the sofa of time is Dick Spanner P.I.. First transmitted in […]

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indy whip

‘Scuse Me While I whip This Out – Indiana Jones And His Unusual Weapon

I’m not quite sure if there was a single inspiration for Indiana Jones’ use of a bullwhip – maybe the Zorro serials. Whatever the thought process, its use in Raiders Of The Lost Ark and subsequent films has become iconic. Whether he’s using it to snatch a gun out of a treacherous guide’s hand, hold back an […]

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The Prisoner: Failure Is The Only Option

What do we want? Information. You won’t get it…oh, you know the drill. Few TV series have provoked so much debate, interest, and even downright outrage as Patrick McGoohan’s  The Prisoner (for he did indeed orchestrate almost every detail of the show)  in 1967. A paean to liberty, a Rand-ian blueprint, metaphysical exploration of the […]

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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 […]

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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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danger mouse

Crikey DM! David Jason’s Tribute To Cosgrove hall

The relaunched Danger Mouse cartoon has seemingly won over a new generation of fans, and allayed fears of those who fondly remember the adventures of Britain’s other greatest secret agent, voiced by David Jason, and his bumbling assistant, Penfold (Terry Scott). So this is as good a time as any to listen to David Jason’s radio […]

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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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