The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (1968 Canada/USA)

First broadcast on Canadian TV, this is a very strong production, and given that it’s shot on videotape with a period setting mounted on fog-bound studio sets, it all comes off very well indeed thanks to Trevor Williams’ excellent art direction. Horror great Dan Curtis produces here and also shares directing duties with Charles Jarrott. Composer Robert Colbert’s music is properly spooky too, alive with jabs of tense foreboding. But obviously, we’re all here for the mean and mighty Jack Palance, and he is very good as both Jekyll and Hyde. [Read more…]

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Star Trek (1966–1969)

The original Star Trek series was far ahead of its time: dealing with issues of race, sexuality, the real or potential abuse of power, humanity as well as tragedy and even comedy. The program was excellent for the first two seasons but was generally sub-par in the third where it released a string of atrocious episodes such as ‘Spock’s Brain’, mostly due to budget cuts. Ironically, if Season 3 had never been produced, the numerous Star Trek spinoffs which we take for granted today would likely never have appeared since there would have been only 55 Trek episodes in existence rather than the final 79 shows–too few to justify its syndication on TV and touch off Star Trek’s subsequent rebirth in fan popularity during the 1970’s. [Read more…]

The Twilight Zone (1959 to 1964 USA)

nick-of-time-rod-serling2“Submitted for your approval…” A pint-sized, chain smoking man’s clenched teeth intro to a wonderfully hypnotic, thought-provoking and ‘never ceases to amaze’ total quality Drama/Sci-Fi anthology series. This certainly put the one and only Rod Serling on the bigger picture map of television writing and producing, and was done in such a way that certain trends were set through its genre. In its day it was groundbreaking, but the thing which ensures that it maintains its magic even today is that the stories still work- I’d say at least a quarter of them have been ‘borrowed’ for other stories and novels. [Read more…]

Thunderbirds (1965- 1966 United Kingdom)

thunderbirds5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 and this review are go! Thunderbirds is perfect entertainment. Everyone can appreciate a good puppet show, & everyone can appreciate a good model; but this show took puppet shows and models to a bold new level of detailing and production complexity. It is indeed like a world of toys come to vibrant life. I have to tip my hat to the incredible creativity and imagination of the craftspeople who made those models. The results are fabulous. Even the music is motivational in that typically 60s inspiring way: impossible to forget. [Read more…]

Spearhead From Space (1970 UK)

spearheadfromspace13Doctor Henderson: “How are you feeling?” The Doctor: “Shoes”. First appearances of Jon Pertwee and Caroline John as Doctor Three and Liz Shaw. First appearance of any colour. First appearance of the Autons… A lot of things depended on the success of this story. After the decline of public interest in the later Troughton era the Doctor Who production team had to find something new and interesting to bring the programme into the 1970s! [Read more…]

House Of Cards (1990 – 1995 United Kingdom)

house-of-cards-500x271This is almost 11 hours (4 DVD’s) worth of top quality entertainment. The viewer’s life grinds to a halt to digest each segment. This is the kind of drama that makes the BBC world-famous. Nothing can beat it. The Americans wish they could create modern Shakespearean tragedies like this, but they lack the breeding and pedigree of an old world country. So is it worth buying, renting, borrowing or stealing? To quote the Right Honourable Francis Urquhart MP, “you might very well think that but I couldn’t possibly comment!” [Read more…]

The Night Strangler (1973 USA)

nightstranglercsGet this straight, dear reader. No carnival or hooplah tactics will be tolerated in this review. This isn’t Funtown USA. I have standards here at highteadreams. I will mind my Ps and Qs with this post, Mr Crossbinder. I will hue precisely to the mark. Or I will be banished to Puyallup to live out the rest of my days as a daffodil. Failure to live up to this may result in yours truly going schizoid. He will be wearing robes and a crown soon! Fans of this Kolchak classic will recognize some of the preceding phrases as dialogue from The Night Strangler. [Read more…]

Planet Of The Apes (1974)

POA 1No, this was not a show about the possibilities of ANC rule in South Africa. This had much lower crime stats and more solid infrastructure. Two astronauts end up on earth in the future and befriend a chimpanzee. One of the astronauts is the dark haired, wise-cracking guy, the other one a serious, considerate, blonde guy. Starsky & Hutch in other words. This means that the feeling of doom which the films had is lightened here. (The dude who plays Burke really is a burk with his irritating personality and corny dialogue – I wanted the Apes to shoot the slimy creep but, alas, they never did… not all child hood dreams come true.) [Read more…]

Batman (1966 – 1968 USA)

batman 1“Batman” succeeded because Adam West/Bruce Wayne is the ultimate straight man/square. Under all occasions he keeps a serious face. Robin, as played by Burt Ward, is always oozing enthusiasm as Bruce/Batman’s number one fan. I bet Robin’s own family would never recognise him under that most intricate disguise either…but seriously, how can anyone resist the cheese, the catchy theme tune or the comic book graphics and sound effects whenever someone gets tattooed. (Boxing parlance for getting punched) [Read more…]

Dr Who and The Silurians (1970 UK)

siluriansE6As with many Doctor Who monsters (and as Terrance Dicks points out on the commentary track), the Silurians are much more frightening when they are shadowy figures lurking behind the scenes causally killing people and causing general mayhem. They not as effective when they’re standing under bright studio lights where every costuming join is visible. The Doctor has been exiled to Earth with a broken Tardis, but since a disproportionate amount of alien disasters happen in 1970 England, he still has plenty to keep him busy. [Read more…]

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