Saturday, 13 August 2016

5 of The Best Lovejoy Guest Stars

I've always been more than partial to a bit of that roguish antiques dealer Lovejoy and his charming antics in the more picturesque corners of East Anglia. It's an obsession which first manifested itself in the early 90s when Sunday evenings simply weren't complete without a helping of Lovejoy, Tinker Dill and Eric Catchpole.

However, my passion for that leather jacketed rascal didn't end with the end of the series. Several years later I found myself unemployed and with very little to do, but, thankfully, BBC1 was showing mid-afternoon repeats of Lovejoy, so, with a bottle of ale purchased with my precious dole money, I used to while away the long, lonely afternoons dreaming of being an antiques dealer with edge.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Bellamy's Bugle

Genre: Children's
Channel: ITV

Transmission: 1986 -1988

Look out the window and survey the wondrous scene before you! There's animals, there's plants and, wouldn't you just know it, there's an atmosphere out there! And how does it all work? Well, uh, I'm not entirely sure, although I can differentiate between a raven and crow - it's all in the greasiness of their feathers.

Anyway, yes, this marvelous world around us is a bit of an enigmatic mystery even for us grown ups, but what about the younger, less experienced folk who are standing on tiptoes and craning their neck to look out the window? Naturally, it's going to a struggle for them to get their tiny heads round it all, but thankfully, for them, there's a great clarion call to learning coming courtesy of Bellamy's Bugle.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bill the Minder

Genre: Children's
Channel: ITV

Transmission: 17/02/1986 - 07/03/1986

As a child, enthused by the antics of Data in The Goonies, I became briefly obsessed with the exciting world of inventions. Much like Data, though, my inventions were useless, really useless. The only one that I can remember clearly was my grand invention which would open the drawer next to my bed AND my wardrobe door at the same time.

Why I needed to open both of these at the same time, I couldn't tell you, but it was something that felt aspirational and achievable. And, with a piece of string tied to both of them, I was able to reach my goal in a very low tech fashion. I quickly realised, however, that it wasn't going to advance mankind's progress or even my own, so snapped the string and decided to leave all that inventing lark to someone else.

And, in particular, there was one little inventive guy in the form of Bill the Minder who would put me to shame with a quite literal childlike ease.

Monday, 25 July 2016

8 Little Celebrated Classic Doctor Who Characters

Not many people know this, but the original Doctor Who theme tune had lyrics which went "Doctor Who! Doctor Who! He's a right galactic sod! He'll steal your fudge, he'll bite your mum's head and he'll make you pay his rent! Doctor Who! Doctor Who! He's coming for you!", but Sydney Newman immediately sacked the composer and it was, sadly, left an instrumental.

Anyway, what many people also don't know is that the classic series of Doctor Who (1963 - 89) had a whole host of amazing characters who seem to go unheralded despite their obvious charms. Sure, it'd probably be more fun to pore over just what makes Sabalom Glitz such a cheeky chappy, but he's had his moment in the twin suns of Tatooine.

Therefore, I'm going to crack on by taking a look at what I consider to be the less celebrated classic Doctor Who characters.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Brian Hall - Much More Than a Chef

It's always difficult for an actor to step out from the shadows of a universally successful TV show and have their career appreciated as a whole rather than condensed down to one specific role. It's understandable, of course, as memory space is a valuable commodity for us humans, so we only store the essential, memorable details.

However, it's a real shame to define an actor by that one standout role they landed. Everything that came before and after this career highpoint is just as valid when analysing their worth as an actor. And, sometimes, you'll find some hidden gems in amongst their acting CV.

Brian Hall, best known by everyone as Terry the chef from Fawlty Towers, is a great example of this blinkered overview of an actor's career, so I decided it was high time I paid tribute to his undeniable talent and maybe reactivated a few dusty synapses up in your old brainbox.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Tales from the Poop Deck

Genre: Children's
Channel: ITV

Transmission: 07/04/1992 - 12/05/1992

Life on the Seven Seas must have been a captivating and intriguing affair in those crazy days of maritime high jinks so readily linked with the 18th Century. After all, those dashing Royal Navy chaps looked pretty cool wielding their cutlasses like phallic representations of war and pirates were fiendish rebels who liked getting smashed on rum and bellowing out bawdy sea shanties.

Naturally, with these marauding gangs cluttering up the oceans, it's inevitable that they'd rub eyeballs with each other and, no doubt, try and impale their opposite number on a less than clean blade; worryingly, many of these chaps would fail to get a tetanus shot before embarking on their seafaring adventures. And all this rather negative bunkum meant that it was rare to find them arm in arm down the local tavern.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Crystal Cube

Genre: Comedy
Channel: BBC1

Transmission: 07/07/1983

Science is a wondrous branch of learning that allows mankind to not only make great leaps forward, but also understand how it's dragged itself to this juncture as well. Problem is, though, that science can be a complicated old affair. For example, just look at this: