Foreign Countries #24: Scully (1984) and Mark McGann Interview

There was much faux outrage at Liverpool fans' booing of the national anthem in this season's Community Shield match but it wasn't much of a surprise. Liverpudlians can give a list of reasons, historical, cultural and political why they feel estranged from the rest of England, and fans of other teams once again paint the … Continue reading Foreign Countries #24: Scully (1984) and Mark McGann Interview

Foreign Countries #23: Mystery and Imagination: Sweeney Todd (1970)

Anyone who watched the recent series The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (2019) will know how misogynistic assumptions can hamper an investigation and an obsession with the killer can reduce their victims to statistics and social judgement that puts part of the blame on to themselves. After all, society says, what were … Continue reading Foreign Countries #23: Mystery and Imagination: Sweeney Todd (1970)

Foreign Countries #22: Miss Morison’s Ghosts (1981)

Have you seen The Mercy (2017)? The true story of hubris, pressure and the tragic pride of Donald Crowhurt's disastrous attempt to complete the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 that was made into an extremely dull film. The documentary Deep Water (1996) tells the same story in a far more effective way, using … Continue reading Foreign Countries #22: Miss Morison’s Ghosts (1981)

Crossing Miller’s: Re-evaluating Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)

I’ve previously talked about how any adaptation must serve the strengths of the medium ahead of a slavish retelling of the source text. But the elastic that connects Neil Cross’s adaptation to M.R. James’s most famous tale is stretched pretty much to breaking point. I was largely dismissive of this production upon initial broadcast; too … Continue reading Crossing Miller’s: Re-evaluating Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)

Foreign Countries Christmas Special: A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Dead Room (2018)

The latest effort in the on/off revival of the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas turns back to another original piece by Mark Gatiss. A slightly hammy, over-the-hill actor, Aubrey Judd (Simon Callow) reads ghost stories for the radio in the style of Appointment with Fear (1943-55) and its various successors. As he reads the … Continue reading Foreign Countries Christmas Special: A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Dead Room (2018)