swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Dec. 9th, 2015 20:09)
Argh, 1992. What do I know about 1992?! I do know that Peter's Friends was released. I went to see it, but the projector broke down part way through, so I had to go back the same time next week to see the rest. Fortunately it was worthwhile! I wound up buying the soundtrack (which I recommend). Windows 3.1 came out, although I don't think I got anywhere near it until probably around '94, by which point it was about to be superceded by 95. I didn't start using 95 until about 2000 though, by which time... I sense a pattern. :)

Oh, what else happened in '92? Um. It was a leap year. (Counts, hurriedly). Yes. Definitely a leap year. Bush and Yeltsin spent ages having talks to decide that they weren't going to try blowing each other up anymore, which was quite nice of them I suppose. Clinton got elected. I like Bill Clinton. He plays the saxophone, and likes fish and chips. Does it show that I'm struggling with this year? I really don't remember a bloody thing, except school sucking.

There was the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert of course, but I wasn't able to watch that. A rock concert in tribute to a member of Queen was not going to happen with my father present. Happily he was out when it got repeated. Whether that was Christmas '92 or '93, I don't recall, but it was one of the two. Springsteen put out a pair of (E Street Band-less) albums, but I was still cross with him for sacking them, so I don't think I paid much attention. Being (mildly) less ridiculous nowadays, I've got over all of that, but I still think those two albums are rubbish (sorry Bruce). Except for Human Touch and Better Days. Least said about 57 Channels (And Nothing On), the better. What were you thinking, Bruce?! About the same as the British public were thinking, when they elected the Conservatives again this year. 1992! If they'd waited one more year, I could have voted. And I'm not trying to make out that this would have made any difference to the outcome, especially given Britain's rubbish first-past-the-post electoral system, but at least I'd have felt like I could have helped. I still don't know who I would have voted for though. No Greens then, at least locally. Never could quite believe in Neil Kinnock, and Paddy Ashdown irritated me. Safe Tory seat here, so it's irrelevant anyway, but dreams are nice.

What was I watching in 1992? That's usually a safe subject. It was the year that Between The Lines started. I love that show. Still good. That first series is a humdinger, although I do still prefer series two. And there was The Good Guys (which I alone seem to remember, with Nigel Havers and Keith Barron swashbuckling their way about. With swords! There were definitely swords in one episode at least). And there was Sam Saturday, which I'm definitely alone in remembering, about a policeman. (It was a nickname - he was Jewish, so they called him Saturday. Because...? Saturday could just as easily be for Catholics. Anyway, I liked it at the time). And the BBC caused national panic airing Ghostwatch, in which Mike Smith and Sarah Greene, with Michael Parkinson just to make it all look extra believable, pretended to discover ghosts in the suburbs. It was brilliant. They were banned from showing it again. Some people have no sense of humour...

Music! That's something that I do know something about. )

1993 is far less of a struggle. Though that's not necessarily a good thing.
So, today marks the 30th anniversary of the debut on British screens of Dempsey & Makepeace, the gloriously 'splody TV series starring Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber. To celebrate, I have been watching things blow up all evening. Not the debut episode, as I couldn't find the series one boxset, so I had to make do with series two (aw, shame). Which was nice, as it turned out, as I got unexpected Tom Georgeson, a pleasant surprise following my recent Between The Lines rewatch. Also Tom Kelly, ill-fated wannabe member of Blake's Five-and-two-fifths (the one who got shavingcreamed). So that was nice too. Anyway, to ensure that the rest of the world (ha) gets to celebrate more appropriately, here is the pilot movie. Things go boom! Hurrah.

Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary back in November. That's not quite as much fun, perhaps, but it does make rather a nice ending to it all.

PS: Boom!

PPS: Handy playlist!
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Aug. 25th, 2014 19:30)
Interesting one here. A short film (twenty minutes), posted on the net by its creator. Legal films on the internet?! Whatever next! It's about a boy whose father yearns to be an astronaut, and it stars Siobhan Redmond (Between The Lines, The High Life, Bulman) and Emun Elliott (Paradox, The Paradise, Los Malvados (cough)). It's odd, but in a good way.

Mission from Phase VI on Vimeo.

In other news, I watched the pilot of Starsky & Hutch, possibly for the first time. It's strange watching it, as it's basically all the bits from the opening credits, strung together with a bit of plot. And the wrong music. And the wrong Captain Dobie. And Starsky's hair is much too short. Pilots are weird that way. Nothing could be quite so weird as the Bonanza pilot, but it's always odd watching a familiar series testing itself out. Like The A-Team, when Face has the wrong head, or Kojak, which doesn't have Crocker in it, or Babylon 5, where everything looks like it's made out of cardboard, and G'Kar is a completely different shape.

In other other news, it's wet. And cold. Make it stop being wet and cold please. Thank you.
I have run out of episodes of Between The Lines. Therefore I am now officially in mourning. I tried to spin it out as long as possible, and even stuck to one episode a week for a bit. I ran out anyway. No fair. It's been great, though. It's been years since I last watched it, so some episodes were almost new, in a manner of speaking. New, but very nineties! It's weird revisiting the nineties now. Everybody has a bouffant. Everybody drives a Saab. White boxer shorts are clearly a big thing. And the BBC drama department was single-handedly keeping Britain's cigarette companies solvent. It was all long ago enough to feature early appearances by people who have since gone on to be really famous - and also long ago enough for some of them to have gone even further than that, and dropped out of sight altogether. Almost the entire cast of Soldier Soldier are there in series one, and all of them bent coppers, so clearly the army isn't too picky. Then one episode of series two features both Michael Kitchen and Colin Salmon, which pleased me to a stupid degree. Judi Dench wasn't their boss though, and the episode was about MI5, not MI6. But still. I like it when that sort of thing happens. It amuses me far more than it should.

It really is a good series. Very downbeat at times, and surprisingly funny at others. A good cast too. Tom Georgeson has that brilliant, lived-in look, and he does a lot even with his smallest scenes; and Siobhan Redmond also shines, especially when she's throwing verbal razor blades about the place. Robin Lermitte plays the fabulously smarmy Graves, a role that calls for him to be eminently punchable at all times, but oddly entertaining with it. A shame he quit acting. He reads the weather on ITV these days, which was a heck of a surprise when I first saw him. Still, it's work. Can't argue with that. One of the real stand outs is Tony Doyle's spectacularly dodgy Deakin. Such a great character actor. He died just a few years after the series finished, which was very sad. He certainly can't have been terribly old.

But it's Neal Pearson's show really, and that was part of the fun back in the day, as his other show, Drop The Dead Donkey, would often be airing at the same time of year. So during 1994, for example, you could watch him as Tony Clark, scourge of the underworld, mopping up blood and sleaze on a Wednesday night; and then as Dave Charnley over on Channel 4 the following day. He was taking over the world! (I thought). Ah well. Clearly I shall never be a successful fortune teller. Still, it was fun while it lasted.

But as ever there are downsides to old TV. Never have a stuntman for a hero, people. I know that's not the sort of thing that's likely to be an issue for most of you, but I always did like the behind the scenes stuff. And watching the credits roll during series one, I very much enjoyed seeing the stunt credits go by. But I had forgotten when it was all filmed, and the obvious omission from the credits for series two was a bit of a jolt. I really should be used to that by now, but it seems that I never will be. Ho hum.

Dying gets awfully tedious really, doesn't it. Sooner or later practically everybody does it. Seriously, don't bother. Do something more interesting instead. That's your bit of free advice for the day.

I shall now go in search of more nineties TV. I'm revisiting my university days, apparently. By rights I should be watching all this stuff on a five inch black and white, but sadly it lacks everything bar an aerial socket. If anybody needs me, I shall be in a Saab in 1994, probably obscured by cigarette smoke. Cardiac Arrest next, I think. That way at least medical treatment will be on hand.



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