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: (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 )

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