Thérèse Raquin (1980 BBC)

The picture quality on this DVD has the resolution of a fading VHS tape from 30 years ago, and if this truly is the best restoration that can be made of this 166-minute production, that must be counted as a minor but distinct tragedy…for actress Kate Nelligan is the Thérèse Raquin to end all Thérèse Raquins. Based on the Zola novel, this is the story of a vibrant but trapped young woman, stuck in a loveless marriage to a pampered weakling. Then one day, the husband brings home an old friend–Laurent– and the doors of her soul fly open. [Read more…]

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Inferno (1970 United Kingdom)

This was the final story in Jon Pertwee’s debut season and, although slow, it is the best of a series that, whilst an improvement on latter period Patrick Troughton, seemed a bit stilted and somewhat stuck. Not least because after a ruling by the Time Lords, Pertwee is stuck on earth to help Unit (a hush-hush military brigade headed by the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) and there is no time travel. This gave the whole 1970 season a ‘Quatermass’ vibe that is very cosy and British. The story concerns a mission at a research station to bore through the earth’s crust with a view to harnessing what lies beneath as a form of cheap energy. [Read more…]

A Bit More Of A Bit Of Fry & Laurie

Light Metal Song (A Bit Of Fry & Laurie)

The Bishop’s sermon at the local parish wasn’t quite what his congregation hoped for…

Blackadder I (1983)

blackadder-iThis is the first series of “Black Adder” and the only truly great one. The scripts are masterpieces of TV comedy writing – one belly laugh after another, and all perfectly structured plotwise, while at the same time being bizarre, original and very intelligent, without resorting to the pointless unfunny absurdity of lower quality Python. There are too many highlights to single out any particular episode or scene. They are the finest thing Richard Curtis or Rowan Atkinson would ever write. [Read more…]

Broadchurch Season One (2013 UK)

broadchurch_ep01_4British crime dramas generally enjoy pacing and depth of characterization more engaging than the American ones, and there is often more emphasis on “mystery”. Whereas the Americans have more innovative plots that seldom have the holes that sometimes mar British crime stories. Unlike most murder dramas, this story isn’t about autopsies and gunfights. It’s about human nature…and what really goes on in those child dungeons under Pizza Hut. Its about Spirit Cooking and what flavour of chianti Hillary Clinton will have with her dead child meal. It’s about a very miserable but addictive British TV show. (Phew! Back on track after a brain malfunction there…I’ll blame it on the fake news raping my hotmail inbox) [Read more…]

The Children Of The Stones (1977 UK)

children of the stonesWhat an oddity, this seven part Harlech Television series was. Initially aimed at a school going audience, but there are some unsettling themes at large here. Some perhaps too dark, even the title sequence with its deeply unsettling choral vocalizations (while seemingly perfect for the subject matter) does seem out of place for their target audience. It draws on many areas of Horror and Sci-fi that came before. [Read more…]

Mother Love (1989 United Kingdom)

drA classic 3 part mini-series that’s been denied a proper dvd release! Its beautifully paced and very seductive. Once you are drawn in its hard to resist. Middle aged Helena Vesey (Diana Rigg) has her middle class life all sorted out within those posh, leafy suburbs of London. No one is aware of her sinister past or what lies behind her civilized veneer. [Read more…]

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