Foreign Countries #20: West Country Tales: The Breakdown/The Beast (1982)

When I was ten, my parents moved us from urban Essex to rural Norfolk. I spent my adolescent years wishing I was as far away from this new county as I could get, lazily describing the reason for this as simple boredom. Nothing ever happened in a Norfolk village that would interest a proud urbanite … Continue reading Foreign Countries #20: West Country Tales: The Breakdown/The Beast (1982)

Foreign Countries #17: Shadows of Fear: The Death Watcher (1971)

Every time my wife watches a mid-eighties Top of the Pops repeat on BBC Four these days I feel the need to point out the portion of Bernard Lodge’s slit scan effect created for the Doctor Who titles in 1973. And I do mean every time. Those titles that ran from 1973 to 1980, accompanied … Continue reading Foreign Countries #17: Shadows of Fear: The Death Watcher (1971)

The Value of Myth #4: Doomwatch: Tomorrow, the Rat (1970), Beasts: During Barty’s Party (1976)

The revelation a few years ago that the Black Death might have been caused by marmots and gerbils has done little to rehabilitate the reputation of rats in Western society. I imagine this is because few people have had to gingerly walk around a bunch of great gerbils feasting out of bins while taking a … Continue reading The Value of Myth #4: Doomwatch: Tomorrow, the Rat (1970), Beasts: During Barty’s Party (1976)

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)

Foreign Countries #7: The Corridor People (1966)

"Talent borrows, genius steals" said Oscar Wilde ("and Doctor Who writers get it wholesale off the back of a lorry, no questions asked" added Doctor Who writer Ben Aaronovitch, but I digress). Great TV and film make their mark, they change the landscape that future productions operate in. Most obviously nothing was the same for … Continue reading Foreign Countries #7: The Corridor People (1966)

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)

The Value of Myth #1: Play For Today: Robin Redbreast (1970), Doctor Who: The Dæmons (1971), Thriller: A Place To Die (1973)

This is the first in an occasional series of posts where I'll cover common themes on television around a particular time, starting here with the ever popular Pagan Village Conspiracy. If the Brexit vote taught us anything, it was that the ignored and the dismissed do not go away, and they will take any opportunity … Continue reading The Value of Myth #1: Play For Today: Robin Redbreast (1970), Doctor Who: The Dæmons (1971), Thriller: A Place To Die (1973)