Tuesday, 2 July 2019
The climax to Lost Property is so unsettling and so enshrined in nightmare territory that it's one of the most disturbing moments of British television. But barely anyone remembers it.
Perhaps it was so shocking that the nation decided to blank it out from their memories. Or there weren't enough people watching. It was, after all, part of the forgotten Unnatural Causes anthology series. Airing on ITV in late 1986, Unnatural Causes was comprised of seven standalone plays which all focused on unusual deaths. I'd written about the magnificent Hidden Talents episode on here before, so I decided to try another edition to see how it compared. And Lost Property turned out to be equally intriguing.
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
I've been searching through piles of old video tapes and uploading them to YouTube for about three years now. The objective of scouring this redundant technology is very simple: I want to find old footage of British TV which is long forgotten. For the majority of the population, however, this quest barely raises the pulse rate. It's the epitome of a niche interest, but I'm not alone in this curious pursuit of the past. In fact, YouTube is packed full of people dusting down miles of magnetic tape and sharing the contents with the world.
Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Rik Mayall was an explosion of kinetic energy which manifested itself in a unique style of comedy that alienated those who feared life and delighted everyone else. Roald Dahl, meanwhile, was a writer of children's books who managed to conjure up worlds which were highly relatable yet, at the same time, coloured fantastically with surreal and grotesque narratives. And, in January 1986, these two worlds collided when Mayall delivered a one man performance of Roald Dahl's 1981 novel George's Marvellous Medicine for BBC1's Jackanory.
Tuesday, 1 January 2019
In terms of British TV, it's unlikely that anything will ever be produced with the same emotional punch and raw, unforgiving honesty of Threads. And we should be grateful for that. Since it first aired in 1985, Threads has consistently terrified every single viewer that's happened to stumble across it. Positioned as a documentary following the dismal fortunes of a Britain caught up in a nuclear attack, Threads confronts all the social, economic and political horrors awaiting in a post-apocalyptic landscape and holds them up to the viewers' trembling eyes with a relentless vigour.