lost_spook: (yuletide)
1. Yuletide sign-ups are still open for anyone thinking of taking part. (I believe they close on the 9th, but check the link.)


2. For those of you in the UK who don't mind a bit of old telly, I checked the Drama channel, and guess what their next run of ancient TV on Saturdays is? It's the BBC's 1976-77 historical (Edwardian) drama The Duchess of Duke Street! It has a very slow start (even for ancient telly), but Gemma Jones is so fabulous throughout, and I recommend it. The bit where Julian Fellowes turns up and swipes the plot for use in Downton is also entertaining, and S2 has bonus Lalla Ward. (And then write me Louisa/Mary, because I never could manage it, though I tried.)

(And when I say Saturday, I mean tomorrow.)


3. Fall Equinox went live the other day. Lots of lovely fanvids! (The theme this time was 'based on books.')
lost_spook: (Dracula)
Now I've finally finished my Thriller (Part 1) review/picspam post, I am behind again. Let me talk about what I have been watching over the last couple of months (or more), other than the first 5 discs of Thriler.

1. I finished Secret Army. I did mostly enjoy it, although I got impatient with it again at the end. Terence Hardiman as Reinhardt (who doesn't give a damn about anything since they've lost the war and most of his friends have just been executed in the wake of the assassination attempt on Hitler) did liven things up, though. He was great, and not even actually evil, either. (Particularly his exit when Spoiler ) Kessler is rightly both awful and complex, of course, and Clifford Rose was very good in the role.) Bernard Hepton spent most of the last series in prison, on film, but he did eventually escape and return to the studio, and I gave it a lot of plus points for what eventually happened with Monique, too. Anyway, I watched it! I now know where 'Allo 'Allo is coming from.


2. I skipped ahead briefly to watch Suzanne Neve's second Thriller, and while I'll cover it in its turn, I can report that she is better at terrorising innocent Americans than James Maxwell: she sticks them in her underground pottery kiln and bakes them, no angsting required. 1970s Suzanne Neve is so far a lot more evil than 1960s Suzanne Neve. (I would side-eye the ending of the 1968 Dracula here, but personally, I blame Ed Bishop for throwing her down the stairs in UFO.)


3. I finally got to the E-Space trilogy (DW), watching Full Circle and State of Decay (before an appropriate break for the BBC 1977 Dracula). Full Circle has a good SF idea at the heart, but nothing else much with which to pad it out. Except Adric, but, er, well...

I enjoyed State of Decay a lot, though, especially in comparison to Full Circle (it's good to see that future spaceships will go on with BBC Acorn computers on board!). Plus, the whole Time Lords and Vampires mythology backstory is potentially fun to play with and Romana gets two great costumes, while Adric spends at least an episode unconscious, and it has a great look, particularly for that era, especially the location scenes. What more could I ask for? (I'm sorry: Adric wasn't bad in this one! I'm mean, I know.)


4. And so, then, what more appropriate than that I pause to watch the TV show that caused State of Decay to be postponed for 3 years and gave us Horror of Fang Rock instead? (Accidentally; my viewing is not really that well planed!)

I'm not really sure why the BBC were so nervy about this version of Dracula that they thought DW doing vampires at the same time might make them look silly, but apparently they were. They had no need: this is lovely. It's unlike most of the old TV I've been watching - it was 1977 doing glossy event TV with a 2 1/2 hr feature-length version of the novel that's probably the most faithful adaptation still. (Although there are some changes, of course.) It was very good! I recommend it even if you're not usually into old TV, but are into Dracula. (I believe it is up on YouTube, and I got the DVD pretty cheap anyway.)

Cut for further Dracula rambling )


6. I then decided that I should stop being wimpish and watch the rest of Mystery and Imagination. I'd already seen "Dracula", the Ian Holm "Frankenstein" and "The Suicide Club" (the one with David Collings and the cream tarts and the invisible hyenas and Major Geraldyne, because obv. that is the one that David Collings would be in). The Freddie Jones "Sweeney Todd" was out because I Do Not Do Sweeney Todd, which left me with "Uncle Silas" and "The Curse of the Mummy" out of the Thames adaptations, so I watched "The Curse of the Mummy." More about 1960s TV Victorian horror ) After that, I thought I'd had more than enough horror for a bit and left "Uncle Silas "unwatched and returned to Doctor Who and E-Space.


7. Warrior's Gate was very weird and also had Clifford Rose being excellent again. It was definitely the good weird, though, in that way only Classic Who is every once in a while. I mean, it looks like the stranger kind of 80s pop video (one that would definitely get nominated for Yuletide), so it wouldn't be for everyone, but still: the good weird/meta, I think, with bonus believably mundane, petty villains and random lion people. (It must be Doctor Who. <3)


8. I recorded Mrs Miniver off the telly, and the main thing I have taken from this is that Julian Fellowes stole the flower show plot for Downton Abbey. And given that I already know that he stole two plotlines/backstories and a minor incident from Duchess of Duke Street (as well as acting in it), I am now wondering with some interest and amusement, where exactly he swiped everything else from. (Anything from Upstairs Downstairs, maybe?) It's kind of engagingly blatant swiping, though. And gives us May Whitty vs Maggie Smith! Oh my. (I did like it, but it was made mid-WWII and so is very patriotic etc. But well done! There were some really good scenes, and Dame May Whitty as well as Greer Garson, and it was very watchable still.)


9. I also recorded the next old series Drama was offering as well, which is When the Boat Comes In. It stars Jack and Esther from New Tricks (James Bolam and Susan Jameson, who are married in rl, and going out in this). It is early 20th C Tyneside and the first episode was grim about shellshocked returning soldiers, the second had a poor orphan shipped off to Australia alone, and then the continuity announcer went, "And next, things get even harder..." It is, as they say, grim oop north. It seems good so far, though. And maybe one day the boat will come in; there are at least 40 eps on my DVR already and they may not all be equally depressing...


* I don't know if this is really a downside, though. It is very funny.
lost_spook: (suzanne neve)
[I wrote this post a month ago, but it took me a while to do the pictures and fix it up. I'm catching up now, though!]

I have returned to watching some Thriller installments (a 1970s ITC/ATV film anthology created and frequently written by Brian Clemens, of The Avengers and Professionals fame. It's not like The Avengers, though. Brian Clemens has clearly forgotten the possibility that sometimes women can sort stuff out themselves without being rescued by men. If they're rescued at all, this being a thriller anthology.)

Anyway, do you want to hear all about how innocent American tourists were terrorised every time they came to Britain in the 1970s? Surely, you must. I will oblige, by reviewing my viewing so far, before I forget. (This is a 16-disc set!)

Cut for recaps, spoilers, flippancy and picspam )
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(I found this lurking unposted on my Dreamwidth. I wrote it on April 1st; I don't know why I didn't post it. I suppose a Talking Meme would be no fun if it didn't take me all year to get through it!)

For the Talking Meme, from [livejournal.com profile] dimity_blue: What are your favourite Dumas film adaptations?


I thought this was pretty funny for a minute, as I have only ever actually watched one Dumas film adaptation, and then I eventually remembered that I have in fact seen the 2011 Three Musketeers as well. I suppose I could also count the endless 1980s cartoon version, Dogtanian and the Muskehounds, but it's obvious that there's no competition here. Also I've never seen a Dumas film that isn't The Three Musketeers, so it's really not as if I'm an expert.

Anyway, my favouite out of this *cough* wide line-up is clearly the 1970s Richard Lester films. When I saw them first, I'd just read the unabridged English translation instead of the cartoon and the abridged Puffin version and decided it was one of my favourite things ever after all and that I would never watch an adaptation because no adaptation would get the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the book, and then my Dad made me watch this and while it alters some things, it does indeed get the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the book exactly right, and the cast are hard to beat: Michael Yorke, Richard Chamberlain, Faye Dunaway, Oliver Reed, Racquel Welch, Roy Kinnear, Spike Milligan, Christopher Lee and Charlton Heston.

Cut for graphic )

I have some quibbles about some things, maybe, and obviously it would have been nice if the director had actually paid the actors for two films instead of one, but it still wins easily out of all the three and a bit Three Musketeers adaptations I have seen.
lost_spook: (Dracula)
Some icons made for [community profile] iconthat, for Department S generally, and others spotted lurking on the hard-drive, including Doctor Who, Dracula (1968) & The Forsyte Saga. I like to save up and post in big sets, but that only means some things never get posted!

Teaser:




It serves him right after all; he should manage his affairs better )

Credits: textures by larmay, tiger_tyger & imemime_art. The usual rules apply - want, take, use, credit. Please no hotlinking.
lost_spook: (suzanne neve)
Another of the things I've watched in the period since May, courtesy of the Drama channel, is the 1980s BBC WWII drama Tenko.

I knew that this featured Stephanie Beacham and Louise Jameson, and was largely written by some of the people who were responsible for Wish Me Luck (and some of The House of Eliott), and was about women PoW in Japanese internee camps in Singapore in WWII. And since I like both WML & HoE (both v female-centric 80s & 90s historical dramas) and also things that feature people trapped in relatively small spaces and ensemble casts, I recorded it.

I would write a sensible review, but what I didn't know was that:

Stephanie Cole is in it as a curmudgeonly lesbian atheist doctor who winds up making fast friends with a fearsome Dutch nun, even though she doesn't understand how that is a thing that is a thing. MY HEART.

But, yeah. It's addictive, your mileage will almost certainly vary, has a high death count (something like 14 regulars, mostly in the first season and a half, die, on or off screen), and MY HEART. I think probably I shall be requesting it for Yuletide.

It walks quite an difficult line and mostly, I felt, pretty well, given the subject matter and the fact that the majority of its main characters are privileged and prejudiced, being British (and Dutch) in Singapore, save for one storyline in The Reunion (which isn't bad as such, but they needed a whole series to tackle it properly if they were going to go there; as it is, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth). But YMMV, and I was a bit distracted by all the HEARTS IN MY EYES for most of it.

Anyway, this is why I'm relieved I can watch Secret Army and mostly just think, "Hmm, after this, I have to rewatch 'Allo 'Allo, don't I?" I can't go round casually giving my heart to every problematic old TV show that comes along, or what would be left of me?


I also bought S2 of ITV's 70s anthology series, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes with my birthday money. As the name implies, this is a set of dramatisations of other late Victorian detectives who aren't Sherlock. I got S2 because it promised me more Douglas Wilmer (BBC 1960s Sherlock), and a guest appearance from Suzanne Neve. I'll talk about the rest sometime, as I've deserted it for Department S for the moment. (Not because it was bad, but because it cries out to be watched in winter, and also I wanted a series to get into as opposed to an anthology.)

Anyway, Suzanne Neve guested in "The Absent-Minded Coterie", featuring Charles Gray as M. Valmont, France's greatest amateur detective (which you can find here at YT if you weren't lucky enough to get it in the Network sale), and I will pause to note it here, because it turned out to be made of all the things I like. I mean, if you combined Inspector Neele/Mary Dove's dynamic with Poirot and Sherlock Holmes and Adam Adamant, this is pretty much what you get, with bonus Suzanne Neve. Anyway, clearly a thing calculated to please me is not going to please everyone else, but I am delighted to inform you that France's premier amateur detective is not up to outwitting Suzanne Neve and that she gets to appear mysteriously out of the fog and commit crimes and then be smug while wearing epic hats. I recced it to [personal profile] john_amend_all because the above things are a lot of where our likes meet, and he informed me that the original story doesn't even have Suzanne Neve's character (Miss Mackail) in it, so sometimes 1970s adaptors take the best liberties with things.

Have some hats )
lost_spook: (james maxwell)
To start at the end, as it were, before I forget everything. The theme for this week in my old telly adventures seems to have mainly been Bad Stuff Happening to Planes.*

Ransom, Secret Army & Department S )
lost_spook: (james maxwell)
(I started writing this post a while ago as I was going to cover more things I've watched over the last couple of months, but a) this bit got overlong and b) [personal profile] liadtbunny told me to post my thoughts on BBC HVIII now, and since doing what Liadt told me worked yesterday, that seemed like a plan.)


The Six Wives of Henry VIII (BBC 1970) )
lost_spook: (pg - lynda)
I am having rl this week; it is rubbish. (Or at least, it was hot and now there is a Thing I have to go to tomorrow; everything will be at least better once the Thing is over and I have recovered, or more or less; it's a multi-part Thing, as so often in life. Stupid Thing.)

And then just now I happened to look and Network are having a 45% sale again!. And guess who still has nearly all her b'day money? Oh, yes, I do. Now I just have to decide what to spend it on, so at least that will be some sort of an antidote.

If you are in R2 or can play R2 discs, you too can snag yourself obscure old British telly! (Mostly ITV, it tends to be other companies that release the BBC stuff.) I have been poking through to see what's on offer from my wishlist (lots! \o/) and can tell you that you can also get Press Gang, Enemy at the Door, Public Eye and Sapphire and Steel at bargainous prices! (Also Manhunt, The Power Game, The Sandbaggers and Mr Palfrey and Undermind and Zodiac). So you should go out and buy them and then write me all the fic, obv.

Anyway, I thought I'd give the heads up and enable my like-minded souls on my flist. ([personal profile] liadtbunny, I am shocked that you did not already tell me this! I rely on you for these things! ;-D)
lost_spook: (james maxwell)
1. Peter Sallis has died. He was 96, of course, so he'd had a very good innings, but still. *salutes* Obviously, he was ubiquitous as Clegg and as Wallace, but since I started delving into old telly, he will also forever be The Man Who Didn't Eat Sweets in a Public Eye episode I have watched more than most.


2. [community profile] fic_corner is running again! It's an exchange for children's & YA lit and is usually good fun. There's a brainstorming post open and nominations will begin soon. (I don't know if I'll be able to do it, because summer, but I think it's relevant to some people's interests.)


3. While I'm talking about comms, I'm not sure I ever gave [community profile] hidden_passages a quick pimp - it's a general comm for all things Gothic fiction related, run by [personal profile] calliopes_pen. (I think I was pimping my own comms such a lot once I moved them over that I got too exhausted. I meant to mention a few other good Dreamwidth comms, whether new, old, or recently moved, but I forgot.)


4. I have ordered the 1970s TV series Thriller with my b'day voucher. I don't know whether that was the best choice or not, but I will at least now have a proper screencap-able copy of my very own of the episode where James Maxwell and Julian Glover move into together and bury girls in the back garden and that is the important thing. (I think Suzanne Neve and Gemma Jones may be in other episodes, too.) Gif )
lost_spook: (suzanne neve)
For the icons200 challenge I've been gradually working my way through. I started these last summer and then stopped before I'd made the last handful for some reason. I have now made the last handful, and, lo, icons for the BBC's 1970s period drama The Duchess of Duke Street, featuring the ever-amazing Gemma Jones.

Teaser:

 photo ac2_zpsrwa6yjha.png  photo john1_zpsyjqsbxil.png  photo please12_zpsvkj0s3pd.png


I put it down to being a snob and a bully. Both very useful things in running a hotel like this. )

Credits: All screencaps my own; textures by tiger_tyger and imemime_art. The usual rules apply: want, take, have, credit. Comments = ♥ and hotlinkers will be kicked out of the Bentinck with no refunds.
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
1. If you discover a plastic-eating virus, don't take it on a plane.

2. Don't breed mutant killer rats or blue moths. It never ends well.

3. Always wear gloves when handling fish.

4. If you're having a paranoid episode, consider moving out of your flat if you live in a tower block. If you're having a paranoid episode and you're an astronaut, don't go up in the rocket.

5. You don't want to be nothing but a brain. No, really.

6. Don't go pot-holing.

7. Always double check that you've told your computer not to kill you today.

8. Take jet-lag seriously and never sit next to a PR guy on the plane.

9. Advertising can kill you. Also, don't take sweets from strangers.

10. Avoid standing in lighthouses when jet planes are flying overhead.

11. Don't judge people by their DNA or any other unproven scientific theory.

12. It's absolutely okay to break into any and all labs/top secret research centres if the people running it won't let you in. They must be up to something, so it doesn't matter that Whitehall and Dr Quist will be cross when you inevitably get caught five minutes later and they have to vouch for you again.

13. Your secretary is not a guinea pig.

14. Don't wear floral shirts and kipper ties when you visit Whitehall. Try something approaching a suit.

15. Scientists are all a lot of weirdies. But don't tell them I told you that.

16. Science and progress are all very well, but human beings are the worst and will ruin everything. Please check your levels of pride, stupidity, arrogance, obsession, corporate greed, and ambition before continuing with your scientific project. Failure to do so will almost certainly be fatal for someone.
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
I decided that since I really like doing Fandom Overviews (or Manifestos, but that implies "everyone should watch" and really, they shouldn't), I should do one for everything I like that I haven't already done one for and it would be fun for me and maybe even useful for other people.

We'll see how that goes, but here's one of my latest in new old TV that I think is still worth watching in the 21st C:


Manhunt (1969/70)

manhunt1
"What is war?"/ "War is love..."



What is it? A one-off WWII drama serial set in Occupied France, consisting of 26 x 50 minute episodes, starring Peter Barkworth, Alfred Lynch and Cyd Hayman, with Robert Hardy, Philip Madoc and Maggie Fitzgibbon.

Nina a.k.a. Ann-Marie Poitiers is the sole survivor of a meeting between the British and representatives of various French Resistance groups. As secretary, she has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the names of the Resistance Leaders. London orders that their agent Vincent get her back to England - or shoot her. Vincent also has a newly crashed British airman called Jimmy Briggs who needs returning to London, so the three of them set out across France, pursued by Karl Lutzig of the SS, who is eventually joined in his mission by Abwehr Sergeant Gratz, while the trio of agents team up with an Australian singer called Adelaide who doesn't seem to have made up her mind which side she's on.

What has a tendency to start out as an occasionally tiresome action runaround soon develops into more of an intense, talky, gripping and powerful piece on love and war, and the price of resistance.


Do you really think I want to go on living, if this is all there's going to be? )
lost_spook: (dw - brig/liz)
1. This week got eaten by complaining about my lack of the book I ordered to an Amazon Marketplace company but at least I have said book now, even if I may possibly wind up with two. (It's not that they were awful, it's just that I can't do these things very well at all these days, and I had to phone the Post Office delivery place, even though you can't, and talk to both my neighbours, it was terrible.)



2. But here is a better thing - [livejournal.com profile] dw_guestfest, the Doctor Who Minor Characters Ficathon is now open for prompting! You don't have to be taking part to leave prompts - you don't even need to be on LJ. (Anon commenting is on for your convenience, or you can pm me with them here, or leave them in this post if you'd rather - and, indeed, you can sign up and play that way too - there's more details in the info post at the comm.) If you have ever loved any of the one-off characters of the Whoniverse, feel free to leave inspiration and see if anyone picks it up!


3. I am still watching Doomwatch, but only in between things, because it is sheer 70s paranoia TV about the ways in which all scientific developments could KILL YOU and the apocalypse needs to come in relatively small doses. The second surviving episode is the (apparently infamous) one about the killer rats, which despite the cute fakeness of some of the rats, was indeed enough to give me nightmares, but it's very good. It was made about exactly the same time as S7 of Doctor Who (that is to say, the original S7), except it is less awesome because it doesn't have the Brigadier or Liz Shaw, but it does still make for gripping TV. (Also, there should be crossovers, they were literally showing at the same time, where are all the crossovers? I can see there will be one before I'm done, lol. Probably not for the Minor Characters Ficathon, unless some dodgy DW scientist also gets investigated by Doomwatch...)
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
For the Talking Meme, from [personal profile] moetushie: The one old show (or movie) that you wish everyone would watch, and why.

I don't think there's anything everyone should watch (or read, or anything), because nothing's for everyone, and most certainly not when it comes to dodgy old British TV. And if I think about this, I could say Adam Adamant Lives! because we all need something cheerful in our lives right now, or any number of other things for lots of different reasons. But if I don't stop to think and go with gut instinct there's only ever one answer out of all the things I've watched, old and new, and I still can't justify it, but that is:

Predictable answer is under the cut, being predictable )


Probably really, though, people who don't mind this kind of old telly should just all go watch Adam Adamant Lives! right now because it is the most adorable and cheerful thing about an Edwardian adventurer out of time and fighting improbable evils and then you can also all write fic, thank you, that will be lovely. (Just skip ep3 and the second half of ep 5; there are reasons why most people don't watch old telly, of course. Plenty of 'em! /o\)


If I turn to film instead, then there's also only one answer out of my old-time viewing, which is (also predictably) The Lady Vanishes (1938; directed by Alfred Hitchcock), which you'd surely have to be pretty pernickitty not to like even a little bit. Shenanigans on trains with bonus rabbits and magic tricks and battles and lady-spies and fake nuns and Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave and Dame May Witty. Oh, and those two guys who only wanted to get get to the cricket match, dammit. They so did not ask for this!

(That wasn't quite in one, was it? I still managed to cheat a bit.)
lost_spook: (b7 - Vila)
1. The Obscure & British Commentfest continues! \o/ It is my birthday weekend now, so I shall be pimping again, at least a little, to see if I can poke it into some further weekend action (and then I promise I shall at least stop pimping). It's going nicely and we have a whole bunch of fills (including Spike from Buffy paying a visit to Nouvion and Steel getting sold suits from Mr Humphreys, just for starters).

Thanks to everyone who has helped promote it! It really does make a difference. I also have some rebloggable Tumblr posts, if anyone wants to give it a shout over there. (Most of the time when I complain about Tumblr, that's just me, because I was clearly a person made for LJ and therefore not Tumblr material, but you do realise when trying to promote something multi-fandom like this where the tag-tracking just isn't going to help much, that you have nowhere to go and are totally reliant on reblogs. If I'm missing some major fandom newsletter-type submission blog, let me know.) Anyway, please don't feel obliged, despite my over-thinking stuff, but if you are willing and able, the posts are here, here, here and here. Thank you!


1a. A side-effect of the Commentfest and LJ's relative quietness is that I get temporarily shunted to top of the day's LJs. (And, yes, such power! It puts me up above the gods...! etc. etc. And then I crash straight back into my usual obscurity.)

Anyway, the point of this is that LJ has a button you can press to automatically friend the top 15 journals, so I get random friending during the fest. If you have friended me over the last week and you did it on purpose and aren't a bot, please do comment to this post and wave at me, and I'll friend you back. (I just don't want to friend people who wanted someone popular and interesting! It would be embarrasing all round.)


2. Not entirely about the fest, but definitely Obscure & British - I have been writing some things! Here is an NYR fic, two fills for the fest, and a belated Trope Bingo effort, which can all be found over at AO3 (and the fills via the Masterpost, too, of course):


For the commentfest, for Liadt:

Congratulations & Celebrations (298 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Adam Adamant Lives!
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Adam Adamant/Georgina Jones
Characters: Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant, Georgina Jones
Additional Tags: Ficlet, Humor, Obscure and British Commentfest
Summary: Adam and Georgie celebrate their anniversary in a way that's sure to become an annual tradition for them...

For the commentfest, for Van:

Rumours of Blake (947 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Blake's 7
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Vila Restal, Orac (Blake's 7), Kerr Avon, Dayna Mellanby, Cally (Blake's 7), Del Tarrant
Additional Tags: Mentions of Blake, mentions of various relationships, Ficlet, Humor, Work Contains Fan(s) or Fandom(s), Season/Series 03, Obscure and British Commentfest
Summary: The Liberator Crew discovers that some people have been writing fiction about their favourites rebels, and that rumours of Blake seem to have been greatly exaggerated. (S3)


A Sandbaggers/Mr Palfrey crossover for Trope Bingo square "Trust and Vows":

One Good Turn (1212 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Sandbaggers, Mr. Palfrey of Westminster
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Willie Caine, Neil Burnside, Mr. Palfrey (Mr. Palfrey of Westminster)
Additional Tags: Crossover, Spies & Secret Agents, Trope Bingo Amnesty, Trust Issues, 1980s, Season/Series 03 Spoilers
Summary: One bad apple and you’ve got to check the whole barrel hasn’t gone rotten, that’s the problem…


And for NYR, for paperclipbitch:

Four Plied (1359 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Poldark - All Media Types, Poldark (TV 1975)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Demelza Carne/Dwight Enys/Caroline Penvenen/Ross Poldark, Dwight Enys/Caroline Penvenen, Demelza Carne/Caroline Penvenen, Demelza Carne/Ross Poldark, Caroline Penvenen/Ross Poldark
Characters: Caroline Penvenen, Demelza Carne, Dwight Enys, Ross Poldark
Additional Tags: Yuletide, OT4, Book 07: The Angry Tide, Post-The Angry Tide
Summary: It's chiefly Caroline's doing, of course.
lost_spook: (s&s - ot3)
From [livejournal.com profile] evelyn_b: Recommend something with one of your favorite actors in it for an old-TV newbie (me).

Well, I gave this matter about two seconds of consideration before I knew there was only one answer. I know that [livejournal.com profile] evelyn_b has been enjoying everything she's seen of Doctor Who so far - and also likes I, Claudius (and Julius Caesar?), so what else could I say but...

Blake's 7 (BBC 1978-81)

I once wrote a non-spoilery introduction post that may help (because if you Google B7 or look at anything to do with it, you will be majorly spoiled), but in short, it is not exactly I, Claudius in space, but if you sort of took that, a Shakespearean tragedy (especially Julius Caesar), 1984, Doctor Who, Robin Hood and a whole lot of snark and cardboard spaceships and 70s glam rock in space costumes and shook it up in a bag, you might just get something like Blake's 7.

In terms of actors I like, it has David Collings in the last episode, and I like all the regulars and am very pleased to catch them in other old TV.

It is unofficially/semi-officially connected to Doctor Who, mainly because so many people worked on both shows in the 70s, from Terry Nation (B7's creator, and creator of the Daleks) to various actors, set designers, directors, the producer, the script editor Chris Boucher (who also wrote Robots of Death, one of my fave DW eps, which also features David Collings & is Agatha Christie/Isaac Asimov-inspired) to some of the props. (And then in the 80s, DW borrowed some B7 props back, so there's one scene in a Seventh Doctor story where people are wearing Avon and Servalan's costumes.) Some corners of the Doctor Who Extended Universe cross the two officially.

You should pop over to my other post here, but basically, it is the anti-Star Trek, it could win the universe snarking competition by a mile, it has fanfic tropes for real, and despite all the reasons that it shouldn't work, it does, and it's amazing and enjoyable and bleak and heart-breaking and ridiculous all at the same time & almost every single character is interesting, from that guard on the left to our heroes (and our villains).

It also, btw, has the best/worst costumes and the very worst SFX! (Classic Who has nothing on Blake's 7. In any argument about which show has most delightfully terrible SFX, B7 is already the winner.)

Anyway, it is a thing! It's definitely worth taking in at some point during your Doctor Who tour. It's like the 1970s Torchwood, only if Torchwood weren't awful. (Sorry, Torchwood, I'm just never going to like you much; I think we'll both have to accept that. And anyway, obv. Torchwood could never be as good as B7. That would be silly.)

S1 is slow, although it still has fabulous costumes and snark, but if you get fed up, you can probably get by with eps 1-3, 6 and 12-13, before going onto S2, where the pace picks up rapidly. The big downside is that for complicated reasons, it's not out on DVD in Region 1, but YouTube/Dailymotion searching usually coughs up the eps. (At the moment, it's here, but the same copyright people are quite dedicated to taking it down again.)


The other thing I could rec here is obviously Sapphire and Steel, (ITV 1979-1981) which is one of the most amazing bits of old British SF ever made. It embraces its slowness and cheapness and makes a virtue of it, and spent all its money on its stars, which was a good decision, as they got Joanna Lumley and David McCallum. David Collings features in two of the "Assignments" as Silver, and it's a very good part to see him in.

S&S is a show about mysterious creepy things going wrong with time because humans have been playing with dangerous things like clocks and nursery rhymes and photographs and flowers and railway stations (and, worst of all, motorway service stations). Sapphire and Steel are mysterious beings who come along and sort these things out. They're not human, but we don't know what they are, except seriously cool, telepathic, and very beautiful and that they like standing about looking alarmed at stuff before dealing with it by being nearly as scary as the scary stuff. They call themselves Elements, but neither Sapphire nor Steel is actually an element anyway, so who knows? As a TV Guide once put it: "There are many ways of keeping an audience's attention - total lack of explanation is not supposed to be one of them."

It is a weird gem of SF and it is seriously mind-blowing and awesome. Once you get accustomed to the fact that nobody and nothing will ever move quickly in it, it gets really addictive. (I was once vidding it and thought my software had frozen but it was just Sapphire and Steel standing very still while looking mildly alarmed and beautiful again.) The fic for it is also weird and beautiful and wonderful and everybody does it slightly differently, because nobody knows what any of it means.

(I was going to link to eponymous_rose's brilliant guide, but it is now locked, tragically, because it was the best intro to S&S. Have this fanvid I made ages ago. It isn't a good substitute, but despite me being a newbie vidder and too ill to get the aspect ratio right (I know! eek!), it's still a good intro to what the show is.)

The length is only the equivalent of six Classic Who serials, or "Assignments" as they're known in S&S, and a few people have all of them up on YouTube, (e.g. here but the DVDs are also out pretty much everywhere, too). Assignment One is particularly slow and still has a lot of trappings of its original concept as a children's show (before somebody changed their minds and turned it into more general teatime tales of terror).

There are apparently currently plans to remake it which is intriguing but also terrifying, because is modern TV brave enough to forego any explanations whatsoever? Can they find anybody as good as Joanna Lumley and David McCallum? How will I ever cope if somebody else is Silver? The thought is scarier than an evil pillow*.

But at least not as bad as the idea of the B7 remake, which we have to hope will never happen. (Or better still, a pilot/1 series happens and is awful and cancelled BUT intrigues some new fans. Sounds like a cunning plan?)


(I'm sorry if I'm reccing too strongly, but while I'm apologetic about some of my stranger old TV loves, I am never going apologise for loving these two. Even if they're possibly the strangest of all. They won't work for everyone, but they're good enough & influential in the SF field to be well worth trying for anybody interested in either SF/fantasy or old British telly.)

* It is important to note that while S&S doesn't even try to compete in the silly SFX stakes, it does have one truly amazing category winner in Assignment Three's evil pillow. If I didn't want to get this posted now, I would go look for my pic of Steel glaring at said evil pillow.
lost_spook: (pg - lynda)
I've had a few answers for this meme done or semi-done for a while, so it's about time I posted one, and here goes - From [livejournal.com profile] femme_slash_fan: Favourite TV shows almost nobody knows about and should watch? (Seriously... I need more stuff)

Shows that nobody else knows about seems to sum up my entire fannish life of late (and always, really), but since [livejournal.com profile] femme_slash_fan specified "and should watch", that's a whole other thing. I have plenty of strange things I love - I don't necessarily think anyone else should have to watch them!

I avoided anything with its own (reasonably active) fandom, like Blake's 7, Sapphire & Steel and The Avengers (obviously, people have heard of them, if they're being fannish about them), and anything I thought was too inaccessible to count as something people should watch. What counts as something 'nobody's heard of' is so relative anyway. (Some of these things really don't count if you're British but do count if you live anywhere else. What can I do?). Of course, much of it assumes some willingness to watch studio-bound, video-taped old British TV of some kind, which I know not everyone is up for. If you are, or you're willing to try, these aren't bad places to start.

Anyway, here's a list! Not in any particular order, really. (I numbered them so I would know to stop if I went over ten, because that would be silly.)


Under here for the list!! )
lost_spook: light + Ruth Evershed looking upwards (spooks - Ruth!)
Well, I am still not back on LJ, so forgive me if I'm ignoring you. (I can see people's comments on my posts via my email, but I have absolutely no way to reply or read anything on LJ until it deigns to let me back in.) If it's not back by this evening, I may need someone to put in a report for me, if anybody's willing, because it's getting silly now. In the meantime:


1. I have started watching Man at the Top (Thames, 1972), and the next two episodes should have James Maxwell in. I knew he was playing somebody called Bernard MacLaine, and throughout this ep, he hasn't appeared but everyone keeps talking about him. Apparently, he's a really mean millionnaire who goes round firing people and closing factories and also is very puritannical. The anti-hero may be going to steal his wife. I await his actual arrival with interest... (I am amused that the other week I watched him being someone called Peter Kane and this week it's Bernard MacLaine. If he plays any more rhyming people, I could write a poem. Simms could probably do an awful limerick.)

(I might have got the day muddled for my blood test, so now I am going on Thursday instead. This bit was entirely my ME muddled-ness, whoops. I usually double-check everything because I know I do things like that. /o\)


2. Also Remix has been revealed in the night! I wrote two fics, one for [personal profile] scripsi in the main collection, and one for Madness, for Redrikki. And I need to thank [personal profile] paranoidangel for her remix of my Ruth/Harry AU, All Russians Are Spies (The Retirement Remix), which I had strongly suspected. (We do have this tendency to get assigned to each other!) It's still awesome if you haven't read it yet.


First up, I remixed parts of Scripsi's A Little Less Than Kin series, which was huge fun to do:

Unrelated (The Loop the Loop to Affinity Remix) (2971 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005), Doctor Who (1963)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: The Master (Delgado)/River Song, The Doctor/River Song, The Doctor/The Master (Doctor Who)
Characters: The Master (Delgado), River Song, Missy (Doctor Who)
Additional Tags: Remix, Death, Timey-Wimey
Summary:

It takes time to achieve perfection. Several times, in fact. Both the Master and River Song know this a little too well.




Then, when reading through the sign-ups for Madness, I found a wonderful Ats/Pushing Daisies ficlet that accidentally happy-ending-ed everything. I couldn't resist remixing it (and accidentally ruining things again, because once you start writing AtS-side, as opposed to the pie-and-dead-people side, something has to go wrong.)

Criss-Cross My Heart and Hope To Die (The Lattice-Top Rebake) (1327 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Angel: the Series, Pushing Daisies
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Angel (BtVS), Olive Snook, Ned (Pushing Daisies), Emerson Cod
Additional Tags: Remix, Crossover, Humor, Pie
Summary:

Angel has a seriously weird experience in a pie shop.




So, that was Remix, and I mustn't forget to post the DW to Teaspoon now that I'm free to own it. Otherwise, I am probably mostly proud of my terrible titles, really.
lost_spook: (ww - josh/donna hug)
30 icons made for the [community profile] hc_bingo square "hugs". I went back through all my screen caps looking for any iconable & expressive hugs and this was the result. Given the odd things I screen cap, it's a little motley, but on the other hand it covers a whole range of hugs from 1959-2013, which is quite nice in itself, after all. (Even if I may have used a pic to icon before, these are all new for the challenge.)


Teaser:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Multifandom hugs under here )
lost_spook: light + Ruth Evershed looking upwards (spooks - Ruth!)
1. I had a bad few days for various reasons, and, as ever, I tend to slip up on LJ when that happens. I'm caught up again, but apologies if I missed things. Today feels a little better at least! (Nothing terrible happened, but I went very low & technology failed on me at some points - if anyone knows of a good alternative to the VLC-player that isn't either madly fiddly & thus slow or also affected by this aspect ratio bug re. screencaps, I would be happy to hear about it. The only reason I have VLC Player is for screencapping. I do have another program that does it, but it's fiddly & stupid in many ways so I only use it when I'm forced. Also my little TV/DVD player broke yesterday, which is almost in the terrible category. I feel ridiculous that one person should need two TVs, but getting rid of the proper one downstairs would be silly & unhelpful and I can't quite get by yet without my little one to hand for the lowest days when downstairs is too much to handle. :-/)


2. Naturally, in the middle of this (well, prior to the TV-demise), I applied my usual solution of watching old TV with favourite actors and reached the episode of Hadleigh that starred James Maxwell. Hadleigh is not a show that goes in for villains, but they made an exception for James Maxwell. However, it was a nice role and nobody attached anything to his face whatsoever, so overall that was a win. I'll do a picspam and waffle more about that sometime. (Obviously I braved my annoying program to cap that one. But. Argh.) (I was meant to be watching the previous episode, but it was by the same person who kept writing about people wanting to impregnate everybody in Survivors and I promised myself that if he wrote one word about pregnancy, I was skipping to James Maxwell. I thought that was a joke, but the episode was about someone thinking she was pregnant. Dear God, all these 70s writers with weird obsessions that people keep letting them write...! /o\ I skipped to James Maxwell and was very happy to do so. Even if he was villainous.)


3. Anyway, nice things! Remix Redux went live this morning last night* & I had the lovely surprise of discovering that someone had remixed my Spooks ficlet where Ruth and Harry live happily ever after running a bookshop in Devon. So now there is more Ruth/Harry/Bookshop/can't stop being spies ever fic in the world & I rec it heartily to anyone who knows Spooks:

All Russians are Spies (The Retirement Remix) (1278 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Spooks | MI-5
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ruth Evershed/Harry Pearce
Characters: Ruth Evershed, Harry Pearce
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, bookshops
Summary:

Ruth's happy, running a second hand bookshop in Devon. Harry, however, is bored.




(I've read/looked at a few other fics, too, and I think I might have guessed at least three authors in the process, but I have some reading to do later on when I might be properly awake. Remix Madness won't go live until probably actually tomorrow for me).


4. Working on an hc_bingo square still, though! Should be done soon! (I mean, that square, not the card, or even a row yet, obv.)


* It was this morning for me!
lost_spook: (cat)
The commentfest continues! And talking of obscure and British things...

As threatened, a 'trailer' of sorts for ITV's 1978-80 WWII drama, Enemy at the Door. I made this as an experiment, because I thought I'd solved my issues with sound-editing on my vidding software. Guess what? I haven't, so this is not entirely a success - there are some sound issues, especially at the start, and it was getting worse with every edit. You may take it as read that I'm not doing anything else like this in a hurry. Still, that's what experiments are for, yes?

However, that said, it is still better than anything Network or Acorn have bothered to do for it and maybe it will explain something of why I like it so much. Or just bore everybody, I'm not sure at this point. Inevitably, there are some spoilers (especially for 1.13), but hopefully not too bad out of context (& not beyond 2.1 because Network wouldn't let me rip 2.2-2.13).

Enemy at the Door Trailer )
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
I have been a bit AWOL, but for reasons and also now I have a vid! And, all right, so it is a vid of James Maxwell, BUT it is totally a vid containing cute children and animals, paper aeroplanes, stuffed toys, random barometers, wilful destruction of property, Emma Peel kicking ass, vampires, tea and coffee drinking, two Henry VIIs, rocks, Nazis, space ships, and an actual kitchen sink. Also epic hand-holding (but not anything like as much as there could have been).

Cut for Embed )

And, at some point, I will catch up with other stuff a bit. (♥)
lost_spook: light + Ruth Evershed looking upwards (spooks - Ruth!)
I made a vid! Or to be more accurate, I finally finished the very last bit of a vid that's been sitting neglected on my pc since July or something. It's Survivors, and I originally started it for [community profile] hc_bingo square "apocalypse" (my wild card square).

Cut for embed etc )

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