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Monthly Archives: August 2009
I’ve only just found out that this most excellent of series(es) has been released on DVD and I couldn’t be more excited.
If you’re one of those people spontaneous enough to order a DVD of something which you probably haven’t heard of purely on the strength of my adoration (and the reviewer’s, clearly) this is the one you really must get. Possibly the most consistently funny sitcom of all time, there’s not one episode worth skipping. I don’t know of any other series which hasn’t got an iffy episode, not Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, Steptoe and Son or anything else you might think to name.
Buy it – just £7 off Amazon for over five hours of pure genius. Buy it. Now.
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Yeah, come on Big Finish, when are you going to do a Companion Chronicles story for the ward of Sarah-Jane’s aunt? I fear we may have a long wait.
But in editing the first episode of Stephen Fry’s 1988 series, This is David Lander, I couldn’t help exclaiming at the screen “It’s Brendan!” as I did when I spotted Ian Sears (for it is he) in the rather excellent Channel 4 series Nightingales. In Nightingales he played a medical student who had a morbid fear of blood and… oh yes, just happened to be a werewolf too. And very good he was, especially in his return appearance in the second series episode King Lear II. There really is no end to the trivia I have in my brain.
Anyway, in this show he plays a hairdresser. He gets a few lines as an annoying interrupter, but as he’s playing a hairdresser he plays it camp, despite wearing a wedding ring!
And here he is:
When I was a child I used to watch children’s TV a lot. We all did, it was fab. Playschool, Jackanory, Think Again with Johnny Ball, Playaway… all good quality kids tv.
Faces would become part of your life: Bernard Cribbins, Brian Cant, Fred Harris, Derek Griffiths, Johnny Ball, Peter Purves etc . If you’re of a certain age these names will instantly conjure up faces in your head. These avuncular men (and they were Men, not young lads) were like Uncles to us all. You’d wish you can hang around with them because they were just so effortlessly cool. They were real men too. They probably drank beer out of those handled glasses with the dimples. Some of them might even have smoked a pipe. True there were women too such as Toni Arthur and Floella Benjamin but they never held the same appeal.
In those days straight men were allowed to talk to children. But for many years childrens TV now has become the home of gay men, preferably under 25. Why? Because they’re not threatening. The 21st Century is a world where straight men are not allowed near children in case they’re paedophiles. You know that all straight men are not to be trusted don’t you? It’s in all the papers! They’re everywhere, these deviants!
I wonder about fathers today. Can they walk along holding their children’s hands? Are they allowed to sit with their sons on their laps while watching tv? This used to happen all the time when I was young. The sofa was a place where families rubbed up against each other without a second thought. Nowadays you try to keep a respectful distance from each other, people just don’t get on any more.
How many of us used to sit on the bus and have old men smile at us and pull faces? Children would hang around sweetshops (remember them?!) and talk to the man behind the counter. It was innocent because we didn’t see perverts everywhere. Of course even then there were weirdos who’d offer to show children the puppies in the woods, but everyone accepted that these were the exception, not the rule. The same is true today, but no-one will accept it. You can’t trust any man on his own. No woman with him? Hmmm, must be a paedophile.
We live in a world of tabloid fear. Children no longer go off all day only rushing home at mealtimes because parents are scared. And they shouldn’t be. We didn’t die, we didn’t break our bones, we didn’t get kidnapped and molested. There’s no reason to be afraid. Sure, there really are weird people out there, but the only difference I see is publicity. We have Gary Glitter treated as a vile monster when really he’s just a strange old man. He’s as dangerous as the shabby man who used to sit on the park benches leering at children. Stay away from him and everything’s fine. You don’t need to treat him as a monster who preys on every child in a 20-mile radius.
In the whole, men do not fiddle with children and parents should understand this and calm down. Let’s have cuddly uncles back on the box and allow men to pull faces at children. It’s ok!
I’ve been converting the Series 1 episodes of Doctor Who for iPod/iPhone and when I hit the fourth story, Marco Polo, I decided it just wasn’t good enough.
When DWM printed the telesnaps of this story a few years back I went to the Loose Cannon website to see if they’d be upgrading their rather-poor Marco Polo recon and they just downright said No. So I decided to make my own. Using the telesnaps, all the magazine articles I could find and every mention in the hardback books I scanned like a man possessed. Seven months later I had assembled it into a story I could be proud of. I’d even managed to get some motion into Episode 5, thanks to Octopussy.
The first time I did it, I figured it would be a placeholder. I knew at some stage I’d come back and do it better. And now the time has come, I have to do that.
I’ve got as far as episode 5, which is almost done, and decided to check again from the start and I’m glad I did. During the process somehow episode 1 got knocked out of sync, so I have to re-edit it.
So I’ve loaded episode 1 in and now it’s ready for tweaking. Hopefully it’ll go smoothly and I can return to finishing episode 5.
Please also see my Youtube page for other Doctor Who stuff: http://www.youtube.com/user/Rumpio