A disaster has occurred. I have run out of Remington Steele
. Actually technically I haven't, as I'm keeping two episodes back for a rainy day, because *woe*. I need more episodes, damn it! But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A green-and-grey, rain-speckled light, bereft of charming jewel thieves, but a light nonetheless. The other day I wrote a Doctor Who
/All Creatures Great And Small
crossover thingy for Obscure & British, and it got me thinking that I've never really watched that programme properly. All Creatures...
, that is. Obviously I've watched Doctor Who
. Watched it, bought it, yelled at it frequently. I'm practically married to it. Anyway. All Creatures Great And Small
started in 1978, when I was three. It was my mother's favourite show, so was always on, but other than falling in love with their cars and their wonderful upright telephone, I didn't pay a great deal of attention to it. So the other day I went hunting on YouTube, and found series one. Hurrah! I've been dabbling, and it's surprising how many memories it brings back, despite me thinking that I hadn't really watched it. Siegfried! I hated
Siegfried as a child. I'm not sure how much of that is because he was always shouting, and how much was because he's mean to poor Tristan, but I really did take a disliking to the poor man. Actually, it might have been his yellow waistcoat. And proper Helen! Turns out that Lynda Bellingham actually did more episodes as Helen than Carol Drinkwater did, but I still think of her as New Helen, and Drinkwater as the proper one. So clearly I was watching the show after all. The IMDb says that Helen mk i left in 1985, and Helen mk ii started in 1988, so goodness only knows what they did in the interim. Maybe she went upstairs for three years, like the kids do in soaps.
Peter Davison left for a bit, didn't he. I remember that, as I remember being annoyed by it. He was replaced by John McGlynn and a badger. I have nothing against badgers, but they're not sufficient recompense for losing the world's most accident prone vet. With the best will in the world, a badger isn't going to lead James Herriot in a string of semi-drunken misadventures. Well, he might. But it's unlikely. I only plan to watch series one anyway, so such woes are immaterial really. It's a very nice
show, but the lovely telephone is pretty much the dramatic highlight of the piece. Basically I need exploding.
I also found Department S
on YouTube though, which is good. Department S
is a sixties espionage show, from the team behind The Champions
, which means it features another threesome of two men and a woman investigating crime
at Elstree Studios in London
all over the world. It's not as good as The Champions
, not least because the cast don't have that awesome chemistry that Craig, Richard and Sharron shared, but it's fun enough. It also has an absolutely terrific theme tune
. I have seen some of the series before, but most of the episodes are new. New and promisingly explody. Mind you, at current rate of play it'll be three years before I get through all twenty-eight of them.
So yeah. Life has gone from impeccably dressed jewel thieves dodging cops and crooks alike, to mulling over the relative benefits of pig-keeping in Yorkshire, with a side order of dodgy floral print shirts trying to save the world. This has led me to several conclusions.
1. More television ought to have Pierce Brosnan stealing things in it. I think I may have mentioned that before, and time has only served to confirm the theory. Granted it might not entirely work in All Creatures Great And Small
, but I'm certainly happy to find out.
2. Christopher Timothy must have hated the BBC. They gave him his own show, and then they cast Robert Hardy and Peter Davison to make with a two-pronged offensive and steal it from under him. He's like a bowl of porridge sat between two slices of chocolate gateau. And chocolate gateau covered in edible glitter at that. Poor sod.
3. Vintages phones rock.
4. So do vintage cars. Running boards!
5. It's a hard life being in a sixties espionage show. Even with all the old telly that I watch, and even with my usual indifference to ridiculous FX and questionable production methods, I was completely baffled by the end of Department S
episode two. Sullivan and Annabelle are all wrapped up in cold weather gear, whilst chatting in front of a photograph of some trees. I couldn't figure that out at all, but they were actually having a sleigh ride (of course). Honestly, I thought I was immune to bad back projection, but this was so hilariously bad, I couldn't believe they were trying to get away with it. Given their expressions, I'm not sure that the actors could, either. To add insult to injury, they have really appalling outfits, too.
Become a spy. See the world! Or, at least, see lots of photographs of the world, and stand in front of them nearly convincingly. Good old 1960s. What would we do without them.