Foreign Countries #15: Night Voices: The Hospice (1987)*

Adaptations are curious beasts, they can bring a story to a far greater audience yet are subject to the demands of their new medium. While this can often necessitate simplifying the story, it isn't always to the adaptation's detriment. Are there many people who prefer Peter Benchley's novel Jaws (1974) to Stephen Spielberg's 1975 film? … Continue reading Foreign Countries #15: Night Voices: The Hospice (1987)*

Foreign Countries Christmas Special: K-9 and Company: A Girl’s Best Friend (1981)

Spin off TV programmes can be a difficult sell, they rely on the success of their parent programme to be born but must serve a different purpose to survive on their own. Secondary characters need to be capable of stepping up to lead and like any other programme the central premise must be strong enough. … Continue reading Foreign Countries Christmas Special: K-9 and Company: A Girl’s Best Friend (1981)

Foreign Countries #14: Late Night Horror: The Corpse Can’t Play (1968)

Paddy Russell's death on 2 November saw the end of one of television's true pioneers, the first female floor manager at the BBC and the first woman to direct Doctor Who. You can read Toby Hadoke's obituary for Paddy in The Guardian here. She cut her teeth under legendary television producer and director Rudolph Cartier on … Continue reading Foreign Countries #14: Late Night Horror: The Corpse Can’t Play (1968)

Foreign Countries #13: The Orchard End Murder (1980)

Visiting a cinema's rubbish these days isn't it? By 'cinema' I of course mean the 'civilian cinema' of  a multiplex or similar. This rather snobbish observation reflects the barrage of adverts and mind draining trailers one sits through before the film starts and having to share the auditorium with any number of patrons who display … Continue reading Foreign Countries #13: The Orchard End Murder (1980)

Foreign Countries #12: The Woman in Black (1989)

Nigel Kneale had an impressive career. Interviewed by the BBC when he died, Mark Gatiss referred to him as the man who invented popular television and it's a sentiment that's hard to argue with. His collaborations with Rudolph Cartier brought about the first adult science fiction for television with The Quatermass Experiment (1953), The Year … Continue reading Foreign Countries #12: The Woman in Black (1989)

Foreign Countries #11: The Frighteners: The Manipulators (1972)

Sure, Flash Gordon (1980) and Morons from Outer Space (1985) may only ever been seen as cult favourites but when you mention Mike Hodges, there's usually one film you think of, and it stars Michael Caine........ Get Carter's uncompromising style and informal camera work betrays Hodges' background in TV documentary. But when it comes to … Continue reading Foreign Countries #11: The Frighteners: The Manipulators (1972)

Foreign Countries #10: Drama Playhouse: The Incredible Robert Baldick: Never Come Night (1972)

Question: what do Steptoe and Son (1962-74), Porridge (1974-77) and The Onedin Line (1971-80) all have in common? If you answered "they all featured work from Production Designer David Chandler" then congratulations on being Andrew Pixley. If however you answered "they all started life as a one-off in an anthology series" then you might have … Continue reading Foreign Countries #10: Drama Playhouse: The Incredible Robert Baldick: Never Come Night (1972)