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: (Dracula)
Far more icons than anyone could ever want from the ITV 1968 Dracula, starring Denholm Elliott, James Maxwell, Suzanne Neve, Corin Redgrave, Susan George, Bernard Archard & Joan Hickson. (I posted a handful of these before; also some of them were originally made for [personal profile] calliopes_pen, who was happy for me to share them further.) Including 8 text only icons.

Teaser:




I have long wished to cross swords with your eminent friend - metaphorically speaking, of course. )
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: (Default)
Because I finally got started on Ripper Street S4 (\o/ But I am only 1 ep in; don't spoil me) and THIS HAPPENED. (No, it was not that they shot Matthew Macfadyen in beautiful blue lighting with perfect matching tie; that happens a lot. It's one of the reasons I watch.) It was much better than that (but probably only if you are me):

50 year snap )


In other news, Yuletide progress continues and I'm behind deadline for my Fourth Doctor recs post (the two facts are not unrelated) which I thought was today. Readers, it was yesterday. I hope to have it posted by at least tomorrow.
lost_spook: (dw - amy)
Some random icons and mini-sets I've made recently or found lurking on my hard drive. Margaret Lockwood, quotes, some random old TV peoples, and Once Upon A Time.

Taster:

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


Icons under here )
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: (b7 - deva)
I made myself get on and post this (always best to do something at least a little bit constructive)!


For those new to these parts, there exists a meme, a monster of a meme called "I Surrendered", where you get given prompts & make up TV shows and then the whole thing eats your brain. Naturally, being me, last time I used one of my prompts to make up a fake 1970s show (it was properly gloomy and everything) - and then it ate my brain even more than usual. (I might be writing fic for it for runaway_tales now).

Then Liadtbunny said something more recently about doing a prequel, at which I laughed at the idea - and then went off and plotted the whole thing out.

Thanks to everyone who helped out when I failed on suitable 1970s actors for one of the leads - your suggestions were all awesome, and it was a tough casting decision. (I'm still not sure the best man won, but don't tell him that.) (As part of the meme, I may pretend the show is real. It isn't. Obviously.)


***


When I posted about the 1973/4 drama series Heroes of the Revolution, some people seemed to be under the impression that there was, or was meant to be, a second series. This was never true - it was always conceived of as a one-off serial. However, what isn't as well known is that 1975 saw a prequel in the shape of mini-series Divide & Rule, the equally cheery tale of the downfall of the last government and the dictator Thomas Hallam's rise to power in the late 1950s, and that may have been what people were thinking of.





"Don't you know that Mr Hallam is going to save the country? Just don't stand in his way..."

1958: The ongoing crisis in Britain worsens by the day and the government don't seem to be doing anything to improve matters. Politician Thomas Hallam has a plan, a vision of what could be done to save the country from ruin, but some of the more established cabinet members don't want to listen. Some of them even seem to imagine the crisis will pass if they wait long enough. Well, Hallam's done enough waiting and he's not going to stand by and let the country fall apart.

Standing between Hallam and his goals: several cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister himself. One by one, they'll fall...


I did these vile things out of cowardice. I offer no excuse... )
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
As promised/threatened! A picspam of ITV's 1968 version of Dracula, made as part of their Mystery & Imagination series, with Denholm Elliott, James Maxwell, Suzanne Neve, Bernard Archard, Corin Redgrave, Susan George and Joan Hickson.

This was actually the first version of the original Dracula I'd ever seen/read, so I can't comment on changes properly, but from what the info booklet tells me and Googling, this version cut out some sections to keep the action contained in Whitby (barring one flashback), conflated Renfield with Jonathan Harker (who's already married to Mina), and Lucy has only one suitor, Dr John Seward (her fiance). This results in two pretty random canon couples, and the only thing to do is ship them with everyone else. Which, to be frank, they are already only too inclined to do...

But, as you can tell, this is not the world's greatest adapation of Dracula. And thank goodness; where would be the fun in that? ;-p

Horror duller than a party political broadcast apparently )
lost_spook: (dw - brig/liz)
Happy birthday to the very lovely [livejournal.com profile] dimity_blue!

I hope you had a lovely day. ♥ Sorry, this ended up taking me longer to get around to posting than I planned! In the meantime, because you did think I should, here is my picspam of those two other UFO eps I watched (mostly Confetti Check A-O-K).

The tale of the stolen pyjamas and other matters )

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