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)

The Value of Myth #3: Play of the Week: South (1959), On Trial: Oscar Wilde (1960)

As it's the Pride in London Parade this Saturday, my latest Value of Myth post examines gay-themed TV drama in the years before the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised private homosexual acts between consenting men over the age of 21, in England and Wales anyway. Homosexuality in Scotland wasn't decriminalised until 1980. In Northern … Continue reading The Value of Myth #3: Play of the Week: South (1959), On Trial: Oscar Wilde (1960)

Foreign Countries #8: ITV Sunday Night Theatre: A.D.A.M. (1973)

As previously discussed, the 70s saw the white heat of technological optimism replaced by something rather darker as the world grew into a less secure place and people's respect for authority deteriorated. While a number of films around this time took in the sweeping, epic scale of an imagined dystopia, television had its own, occasionally … Continue reading Foreign Countries #8: ITV Sunday Night Theatre: A.D.A.M. (1973)

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)

Foreign Countries #4: Unnatural Causes: Ladies Night (1986)

Last week I considered in passing how Brexit engenders a sense of belonging for certain people. This community feeling is often portrayed in a negative light, defined as much by those whom it excludes as much as those who are within. Being British means that a lot of this feeling is underpinned by class, and … Continue reading Foreign Countries #4: Unnatural Causes: Ladies Night (1986)