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 #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 #9: Hardwicke House (1987)

It's my first guest post, from my frequent collaborator and occasional mentor Howard Ingham, who runs the excellent Room 207 Press blog, although despite my best efforts he still refuses to call it Howard's Way. His loss. Below, Howard's looking at ITV car crash and non-thinking-person's-Please Sir, Hardwicke House, which hopefully you won't remember. Howard … Continue reading Foreign Countries #9: Hardwicke House (1987)

The Value of Myth #2: Fall of Eagles: Absolute Beginners (1974), Screen Two: Hope in the Year Two (1994)

This is another in a series of posts where I look at a common theme over more than one TV play. I was working on one that looked at how past TV dealt with children in peril but in light of the events in Manchester, I've decided to shelve that for a little while. Here, … Continue reading The Value of Myth #2: Fall of Eagles: Absolute Beginners (1974), Screen Two: Hope in the Year Two (1994)

Foreign Countries #5: Shades of Darkness: Afterward (1983)

Ghosts don't exist, Brian Cox said so. Well he said the Large Hadron Collider said so anyway. As ghosts aren't made of matter they must be made be made of energy and would therefore dissipate as they succumbed to the second law of thermodynamics. So you don't all stop reading at this point, here's a … Continue reading Foreign Countries #5: Shades of Darkness: Afterward (1983)