What we were watching this week 20 years ago, as recorded in the back-issues of TV Cream’s weekly ‘e-mag’, Creamguide…
(We still send out Creamguides every week via email. If you’d like to receive it – it’s free, there are no ads, we don’t sell on your address, you can unsubscribe whenever; we’re basically soppy like that – then fill in your details below.)
TV CREAM TIMES
20th – 26th July 2002
Fine fare –
Phil Norman, Chris Diamond
And it’s a big hello to those readers joining us from You And Your Wedding magazine, who have apparently made TV Cream their Site Of The Month. It says here; “The perfect antidote to pre-wedding tension, this site features A to Z TV classics. You can download themes from televisual masterpieces such as Are You Being Served? and you can subscribe to a newsletter informing you of forthcoming re-runs.” Who’d have thought a recurring joke about James “Mr Tebbs, you know, the shortlived toupeed Mr Grainger replacement off of Are You Being Served” Hayter would be enough to settle the nerves of every jittery bride and groom, hmm?
Saturday 20th July
20.20 One Foot In The Grave
Ah, here it is – the final episode of them all, which isn’t a particularly vintage instalment, but as the best sitcom of the past twenty years, and that is true, it could just have been Richard Wilson going ‘I don’t belieeeeeve it’ for 45 minutes and we’d have watched and enjoyed it.
23.05 Runaway Train
Jon ‘Cowboy’ Voight and Eric ‘Best of the Best II’ Roberts escape from prison via a sewer and wind up on a speeding deisel train with no driver or brakes. Involvement of Kurosawa and a Tarkovsky disciple enables highbrow film snobs to call this a ‘superior’ action thriller, and, for once, they’re right.
13.45 Bringing Up Baby
It’s a Cary ‘English Country Garden’ Grant matinee today (a profile of the knockabout Bristolian precedes this film), and here’s the definitive screwball comedy to kick off with. Cary looks for bones, Katherine Hepburn sings to leopards. Quality.
15.25 Father Goose
More Grant, here as a bearded wartime planespotter in desert island love shenanigans with a teacher.
19.20 Art That Shook The World
Stuart Maconie once referred to Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys as “A record most people have never heard and would detest if they did”. Find out if he’s right in this documentary about it. Course we’ve been ambivalent about it since Jo Whiley nicked the name for her Any Old Rubbish We’ve Received Which I’m Playing In Case It Becomes Hugely Fashionable spot on Radio 1, and we’ve been happy enough with our copy of The Beach Boys – Endless Summer on the Music For Pleasure label, which only cost us two quid!
23.40 Winter Kills
Raucous paranoia comedy, with Jeff Bridges as the brother of a JFK-alike assassinated Prez trying to dig the dirt behind the shooting years after the fact, and coming up against his mad Dad (John Huston) and a creepy corporate CEO (Anthony Perkins) in the process. It’s the ’70s, it’s a conspiracy, ergo we love it.
15.30 Freaky Friday
Enough with these half-arsed ’90s TV movie Disney remakes, ITV! Here Shelley ‘guarantee of a mediocre time’ Long takes over as the ‘mom’ in this creaky body-swap free-for-all. Sandra Bernhard, incongruously, also appears. Next week, Tom Green and Kirsten Dunst in The Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa 2001.
19.45 The Frank Skinner Show Britney Special
This’ll be the summer, then. Your Saturday night on the light channel kicks off with a swift repeat from Frank’s amusing interview, followed by…
20.20 It’s Shouldn’t Happen To A Wildlife Presenter
What’s this going to do that It Shouldn’t Happen To A TV Vet didn’t do two weeks ago, eh? Ah well, Bill Oddie’s in it, so it might be slightly less worthless than you’d think.
12.30 Guns For Hire: The Making Of The Magnificent Seven
Having exhausted the stocks of Pink Panther films they can just about get away with showing on peak time television, C4 move on to the next set of film cans for another half-arsed ‘season’. This documentary kicks it all off, and then…
19.35 The Magnificent Seven
Brynner, Coburn, Wallach, Bronson, Dexter, Vaughn and McQueen ride out.
02.40 Georgy Girl
Top quality swinging social comment, as a floppy Lynn Redgrave stumbles about in awe of loose and louche flatmate Charloote Rampling, lusts after a brilliantly deranged Alan Bates, and eventually succumbs to shabby-but-rich James Mason. And of course, there’s *that* Seekers’ theme song, with Oscar-winning lyrics from the one and only Jim ‘Dr Nookie’ Dale, as our Lynn ambles around NW1 looking in shop windows.
17.00 Clash of the Titans
Harryhausen’s effects swansong, and a rather sorry end for the noble tradition of stop motion monsterism, it must be said. The Medusa’s great, yes, but God, the film’s dull. Long, ponderous, with none of the blissful brain-in-neutral wallowing of the SInbad or Jason films, and that bloody clockwork owl’s annoying in the extreme. Still, there are some good bits of business in there, to be sure, and alongside your Maggie Smiths and your Oliviers, you’ve got the likes of Pat ‘Bomber’ Roach in a bedsheet. Five really ought to be showing this at 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning, preceded by Digby and some Porky Pig cartoons, in a school end of term film show homage, because that’s how this film was meant to be seen, we feel.
02.25 Up the Sandbox
Odd stuff indeed with Barbra Streisand (no, come back!) as a lonely mother indulging in crypto-feminist reveries in her apartment – joining in an African fertility ceremony, bedding a transsexual Fidel Castro, blowing up the statue of Liberty, and eventually going to the hospital for an abortion when it all becomes too much. With this and Winter Kills, there’s a ’70s black comedy evening ripe for the taking.
05.05 Sons and Daughters
Also on Friday at 05.10. That’s better.
Sunday 21st July
17.00 The Man from Snowy River
Lumme. Remember Snowy River: The MacGregor Saga, that horsey outback Guy Pearce drama that used to stink up the daytime schedules on BBC1 a few years back? Well, here’s the early ’80s dramatisation of good old ‘Banjo’ Patterson’s epic poem, with Kirk Douglas and Terence ‘Doug Willis’ Donovan. Actually, that’s got us a bit nostalgic for Neighbours-related drama. We’d love to see The Henderson Kids repeated somewhere. Come on, Channel Five! Put down that junior Melvyn Bragg outfit and start digging in those crates! You know that’s what you’re really there for!
20.00 The Waltons – After They Were Famous
Seems as if ITV are just running their way through every American series of the last few years so they can get a few freebie trips. We’d like to say right here and now that we’ve never seen a single episode of The Waltons and thus know nothing at all about anyone who may be featured in this programme. Aren’t we useful?
You may remember this series from about eighteen months ago, where ITV tried desperately to climb on the nostalgia bandwagon and trace the history of the pop single, only doing it in 22-minute chunks which told you nothing at all. The ‘Sex’ episode, for example, discussed Lola and Relax, like they’ve got anything in common, and then spent five minutes on Steps, apparently to prove that they didn’t use sex to sell themselves. Well, so do 95% of bands, so why soend time discussing what isn’t under consideration? Anyway, here’s a new series of by-the-numbers clippage, which more sensibly concentrates on bands rather than very very loose genres, and the first subject is… Boyzone! Bloody hell!
00.50 The Dance Years
Hooray, 1990, the best year for music ever and that is true. But what winds us up about Smash! is that it’ll go down in ITV’s annual report as arts programming, and then Melvyn Bragg will irritatingly claim that ITV care more about the arts than the Beeb because of all these hours they’ve done, while neglecting to mention it’s all a) after eleven o’clock, b) like nothing else on the channel and c) watched by nobody.
06.05 The Clangers
Mind you, the bit in the Radio Times where the BBC’s new classical music presenter says he wants the coverage of the Proms to be “a bit like Football Focus” got us frothing at the mouth like Gerald Kaufman. If any programme aspires to be like Football Focus then the producers shouldn’t be allowed to work in TV again.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
Hooray! The school holidays see C5’s children’s output spread a bit thinly, and Brian’s back every day at this time! Whoop-de-doo, everyone!
15.00 The Drowning Pool
Paul Newman plays Endsleigh League private eye Lew Harper in this second film of the series. Actually, while you’re looking for The Henderson Kids, Five, we’ve also just remembered another pre-Ramsay Minogue vehicle, The Zoo Family, a fundamentally weird kids’ series shot on video in a suburban household, one episode of which had barely any dialogue, and seemed to consist entirely of La Kyles locking herself in the house and being fed luncheon meat from under the door. Well, it can hardly rate any lower than Five’s Company, can it?
21.00 Red Sonja
Or they could show early ’80s Aussie kids’ airline show Skyways, if we’re going to be completists here, which we inevitably are. Oh, and Fame and Misfortune as well, as shown by CBBC at Christmas 1989 when they were scrabbling around for anything Kylie related, despite her being in it for all of five seconds. Still, it sounded great on Kylie’s CV in that yellow Neighbours Companion book everyone seemed to own in 1988. Of course, Kylie’s greatest acting moment has already been screened on this channel – that bit in the Locomotion video when letter box bars descend from the top and bottom of the picture, Kylie makes a disapproving face and flicks them away with a dismissive finger, then, satisfied, exits left of screen. An emotional masterclass in five seconds, we’re saying.
Monday 22nd July
On every day at this time until Thursday, but…
14.55 Just Good Friends
…finishes tomorrow, without the ninety-minuter again. Worse still, it’s replaced by bloody Birds of a Feather again! And we’ve still not seen those missing Shoestrings, neither.
17.00 Blue Peter
At least this is still reliable, with the first of four programmes in which Liz explores Northern Vietnam. Incidentally, last week we neglected to mention our absolute favourite bit of the Out-Takes Special – that being, Yvette Fielding attempting to explain the plot of Gruey and getting very, very confused.
00.05 Jukebox Heroes
At last! Somebody we’ve actually heard of, in this case Petula Clark. We sincerely hope Pip Schofield turns up to talk about his triumph in single-handedly propelling it back to the dizzy heights of number 113 in the charts in 1986.
09.00 The Scooby Doo Show
Start of the summer holiday programmes, then, but unlike the halcyon days of But First This the links don’t come from a dedicated studio and nor is there a credits sequence at the end, as we discussed in rather too much detail last week. And they’re hardly on for much longer than a normal weekday’s programmes anyway. This is on every day at this time, but God alone knows what it is, because the Beeb haven’t had the rights to the ‘doo for twenty years or more. Mind you, they’ve also got Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman on Sunday afternoon, and that was a Sunday teatime ITV staple for years, so who knows what’s going on.
22.00 Knowing Me Knowing You… with Alan Partridge
Course last week’s episode featured Minnie Driver, which nobody could seemingly be bothered to point out. Though www.morningaftertv.com will probably say something along those lines this week. “It’s published by Jones, never heard of them…”
12.00 Never Had It So Good
Every day at this time, and we’ve got the guest lists again, so we can say that today’s line-up is truly awful, featuring those nostalgia experts Diane Louise Jordan, Vicki Butler-Henderson and Shovell. Better guests later in the week – Melvyn Hayes and Maggie Philbin on Tuesday, Elizabeth Estensen on Wednesday, Paul Daniels on Thursday and on Friday it’s, er, Flipper Forrester.
03.05 Birdman of Alcatraz
“Strange name for a motion picture? Perhaps.” Burt ‘what’s an ulcer?’ Lancaster plays self-reforming penal aviarist Robert Stroud in a moving but possibly over-sympathetic protrayal of the real life bookworm ex-murderer. Karl ‘Streets of San Francisco’ Malden’s the screw, Telly Savalas the cellmate. Postponed, we can only hope, from 25th May.
05.35 Ivor The Engine
05.55 The Clangers
Yet they can’t find time to show Phoenix Nights this week.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
Kicking off a week of Brian. Incidentally, Magnum PI’s finished because The Wright Stuff’s being extended, with the extra time given over to “a talk on a given subject”. What year is this, 1952?
15.40 Bye Bye Braverman
George Segal and Sorrell ‘Boss Hogg’ Brooke are among those gathering for a funeral in this New York comedy.
Possibly the last in the series which says that, essentially, old telly was rubbish. Or something.
GRANDSTAND (Saturday, 12.10, BBC1)
vs GRANDSTAND (1958-)
It’s funny, isn’t it, how the very same people stupidly complaining about there being sport all over the telly during the World Cup are the exact same people who spend the rest of the year making jokes about how the BBC don’t have any sport and Grandstand will be reduced to tiddlywinks one Saturday, ho ho. Of course, in both cases they’re very, very wrong.
This week’s Grandstand, and indeed most of the weekend’s BBC schedules, are devoted to live coverage of The Open. Later in the week it’s the start of the Commonwealth Games, again live on the BBC, and we’ve just had the World Cup and Wmbldn. As we get into the autumn, we’ll be looking forward to the Six Nations, exclusively on the BBC. Ah, you’re saying – they had all this in the old days, and they did it better, too. Oh, did they?
Well, how’s this for a thrilling line-up of top class sport from December 22nd 1979 – fifteen minutes of Football Focus, followed by Veterans Swimming from Coventry, Weightlifting from Tokyo, Racing from Chepstow and half an hour of badminton, before buggering off at 3.15. The week after, there’s half a Rugby League match with Eddie Waring. Even on Five Nations weekends, you’d get Powerboat Racing and Bobsleigh flung in somewhere.
So we’re not having it – Grandstand now is at least as good as it ever was and provides an afternoon of sport fifty-one weeks of the year. Meanwhile ITV at the same time have The Planet’s Funniest Animals and The Goal Rush, which picked up a whopping 300,000 viewers earlier this year. So there. Still, the title sequence did used to be better in the old days, and go to the ‘sport’ section of http://www.tv-ark.co.uk and download a great clip of Des in 1980 saying ‘If I wasn’t here I’d be right there with you!’ *He’s* not as good as he used to be, that’s for sure.
Tuesday 23rd July
22.35 My Worst Week
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, Radio 1 are unable to bring you The Chris Evans Breakfast Show.” Ah, those halcyon days of 1997. What a great documentary that’d make, with in-depth interviews from Kevin Greening and Trevor Dann and Mark Radcliffe and people. Odd, then, how this mediocre series has decided to cover Evans’ departure from Virgin instead, which isn’t half as interesting.
13.10 Up in the World
With Channel Four under the influence of cricket, and ITV seeming to have forgotten its unexpectedly welcome Carry On reheat of last week, it’s down to BBC2 to provide the freelancing Creamguide massive with vintage celluloid sustenance. And what do they reach for? The bleedin’ Wisdoms, that’s what, which is fine for any unemployed Albanian expats, but annoying for us, as they’re possibly the only old British comedy films we have no interest in whatsoever. This one’s got Lionel Jeffries and Bernard Bresslaw in it, though.
Grr, Wright’s on the cover of the Radio Times! That’ll only encourage him! Still, a “Then And Now” special again tonight, which promises to mix archive performances with the stars performing in the studio recently, though the last time we had one of these there was none of the former. Still, a-Ha, Neil Diamond and Status Quo are promised, and if the latter isn’t What You’re Proposin’ we’ll be very upset.
21.00 National Lampoon’s Vacation
First – and, meaningless statement ahoy, best! – of Chevy Chase’s one-joke family road trips, with little to recommend it to non-Anthony Michael Hall fans except Lindsay Buckingham’s cute theme song, Holiday Road.
Wednesday 24th July
17.00 Blue Peter
Interestingly we found out this week that the moment on the Out-Takes Special where Sarah Greene dried and looked absolutely mortified came from her first ever programme. And at the end she burst into tears, fact fans. Not wanting to keep going on about that show, but also great was the chance to see the whole of the St Bernards incident, which was notable because at the end Peter Duncan simply went ‘We’re out of time, we’ll tell you how we got on on Monday, bye!’ And that was it.
13.10 The Girl on the Boat
More Wisdom, this time a roaring twenties period piece with Millicent Martin, Richard Briers, Sheila Hancock, Bernard Cribbins, Ronald Fraser and Peter ‘a dooooooooooomsday shroooooooooooooooouuuud!’ Bull.
Incidentally one thing we’ve been pondering this week is when Wright reverted back to the moustache, because he experimented with a beard a few years back, didn’t he? Something to ponder while you watch Japan, The Mary Jane Girls, The Specials – and if it’s Ghost Town we’d like someone to explain the set they’re performing on which looks like no other Pops set ever – and, hooray, Dancing In The Street by Mick Jagger and David Bowie.
20.00 For Your Eyes Only
Here’s where we really lose interest in all things Bond. Rubbish theme song (Easton), rubbish villain (Julian ‘Skaroth’ Glover) and a well-intentioned but generally half-arsed attempt to get away from the silliness of Moonraker, resulting in a load of car and bike stunts, and a bit of skiing. With Topol, Charles Dance, Graham ‘Sun Trap’ Crowden and Jeremy ‘Fett’ Bulloch, and Janet Brown and John Wells doing their Maggie and Denis bit, for misguided comic relief. Still, the director (John ‘Man in a Suitcase’ Glen, who would go on to helm Bond right the way through his ignominious ’80s adventures) was very nice to one of the Creamguide team’s parents when they were snowed in with him on holiday in Austria once.
The second 1990 retrospective on late night ITV this week! Anyone would think they were just indiscriminately flinging these programmes on. Still, we really do think this was the best year for music ever, and Andy Darling’s going to prove it. And if nothing else, we might get the video for Where Are You Baby by Betty Boo.
03.10 The Razor’s Edge
Bill Murray does one of his periodic jaunts into serious acting, but it’s more Where the Buffalo Roam than Rushmore in success terms for this tale of a demobbed WWI soldier on an international spiritual quest. Theresa ‘Marilyn’ Russell, Denholm Elliott, Peter Vaughan, Saeed Jaffrey and Andr� ‘Francois off of the now no-longer-on-C4 Pink Panthers’ Maranne.
15.45 Hart To Hart 2: Home Is Where The Hart Is
Knew it wouldn’t be long before they dragged these out again. And those subtitles just get worse, don’t they?
22.00 First Blood
Damn it, now BBC2’s got us thinking about Neighbours, we can’t stop. Thing is, we all know what’s happened to Kylie, Guy Pearce and – ahem – Jason Donovan, but whither statuesque Hungarian emigre Annie ‘Superbrain’ Jones these days? Last we saw of her was in an episode of that hopeless Lano and Woodley sitcom a few years back. Apparently she’s in an Aussie childrens’ comedy called Pig’s Breakfast now, playing a mum, which makes us feel dead old. If anyone in Australia reads this UK TV guide, for some odd reason, why not drop us a line about the current whereabouts of those old Neighbours alumni? Don’t forget to mark your envelope “Darius Perkins – the Wilderness Years.”
Thursday 25th July
20.55 Commonwealth Games Grandstand
Any bit of paegentry with Barry “Silly Cafu!” Davies on the mike is always worth a watch, and the Opening Ceremony for the Games should see him at his renaissance man best. Also, it means the news is on at eleven o’clock, which must be the latest ever on a weekday, we’re saying. “The athletes will be entertained by the group Savage Garden, performing their hit song, ‘Affirmation’.”
01.10 Every Home Should Have One
“Think dir-teeeee!” We’ve been waiting for this one to come along again. Marty Feldman stars as frustrated junior advertising exec Teddy Brown in this decidedly wayward sex/commerce satire scripted by himself, Barry Took and Denis Norden. Lumbered with a nightmare campaign for McLaughlin’s frozen porridge (“for bonnie boys and bonnie girls”), jealous of his slick Transatlantic associate Moray ‘Compact’ Watson, and all but estranged from his prudish wife Judy ‘Paradise Towers’ Cornwell, he drifts off into assorted fantasy sequences (often animated by a still-learning-the-ropes Richard ‘Pink Panther’ Williams), dreams up various perverse campaigns for the porridge (a countrywide beauty contest, a sexed-up Goldilocks ad, a Clockwork Orange-style gang rape scene inspired by a Wednesday Play with Dave Dee) and lusts after Swedish nanny Julie ‘Pompeii’ Ege (in a possibly ill-advised all-nude fantasy beach sequence). Along the way, we get plenty of sixties/seventies glamour signifiers (rubber plants, all-white corridors, “Marty Feldman’s wardrobe supplied by Mr Fish”, lavishly formica-ed restaurants and boardrooms complete with cocktail bar behind sliding panel), that toothpaste tube-shaped car that used to appear on the likes of Nationwide and Blue Peter a lot, a climactic chase through a props department, Patrick ‘Wives’ Cargill, Jack ‘Corrie’s Bill Gregory’ Watson as the kilted Old Man McLaughlin, Penelope Keith as a Gestapo Nanny, Dinsdale Landen and Frances de la Tour getting hot under the collar at one of Cornwell’s Whitehousian TV campaign meetings, Michael Bates, John Wells and Alan Bennett appearing unnannounced in the final courtroom scene, Vicki ‘Pri nce Andrew’ Hodge, and a blink-miss stint from Marianne Stone as a TV producer.
13.15 The Long Duel
It’s the good old Raj (Trevor Howard) against the heathens (led by Yul Brynner) in this frightfully old school Himalayan end of Empire melodrama with Charlotte Rampling, Edward Fox, Andrew ‘Quatermass’ Keir, Jeremy ‘Come Back Mrs Noah’ Lloyd, and Terence ‘Bergerac’ Alexander and Marianne Stone as colonel and wife.
21.00 SAS – Embassy Siege
It seems that everybody in Britain was watching either the snooker or Coronation Street on 5th May 1980, because everyone remembers the newsflash starting up to show this happening – it even made it into the titles of What’s Happening, that’s how evocative it was. This documentary looks back at the night that BBC1 actually had a two-hour ballet scheduled, which you really wouldn’t get now.
23.20 The Dave Gorman Collection
Look, it’s show five, so we can’t stop billing it now. And there’s no Phoenix Nights tonight, so this is the best thing on.
Another shortform dollop of Butchers’ tripe mix. This time it’s another chance to see the famed Surrey murder mystery with Honor ‘footwear manufacturers are gathering the fruits’ Blackman and, more importantly, Peter ‘D’ooooh!’ Glaze.
06.00 Ivor The Engine
The cricket’s back today, which once more might see old episodes of Countdown flung on it if rains, but they’ll be 45 minutes long and despite Rich’s best efforts, we really don’t like it when it’s that long. We’re sorry to have to break that to you.
15.40 Evil Roy Slade
Pre-Blazing Saddles western spoof (yep, another one) with John ‘Gomez’ Astin as the titular bandit, being pursued by Mickey Rooney and the great Dick ‘lieb me alone’ Shawn. Milton Berle, Ed Begley Jr. and Dom DeLuise get hit by the crossfire. Of gags!
19.00 The Pepsi Chart
Last ever episode of the series, which has been axed after Kevin Lygo said that he didn’t see the point in doing something the other channels do better. Why it took them four and a half years to realise that, who knows. Course it got off to a bad start on the first ever show in February 1998 when Rhona Mitra delivered a speech about how Robbie Williams was “a little bit of an inspiration to all of us” – in front of Robbie Williams, who looked absolutely horrified. The replacement’s going to be presented by Lauren Laverne, who we like loads, so it should be more entertaining in five minutes than this series was in its entire lifespan.
21.00 Prime Cut
Gene Hackman abuses teenage girls and makes them into sausages. Lee Marvin goes off to sort him out. Bob Wilson and David Savage are among the cast. It’s a load of cobblers. Any or all of these statements may be true.
Friday 26th July
20.30 Only Fools and Horses
Can we officially declare that this is the precise moment Only Fools jumped the shark? The set-pieces start here with the second part of Miami Twice. Big Brother’s on the other side, y’know.
17.35 The Simpsons
Included here because this is officially part of CBBC, it says here, and better still it’s the episode where Bart goes to work at a burlesque house, the most child-friendly episode they could have picked. Also, when was the last time CBBC carried on past 5.35, eh? Not for a while, that’s for sure. Well, we found it interesting.
02.45 Nineteen Eighty-Four
Can Creamguide take this for granted, with your eyes over us? In this place, this wintery home, John Hurt knows there’s always someone in, while Suzanna ‘Brimstone and Treacle’ Hamilton faces the wall, turns her back against it all. They’ll pull the bricks down one by one, leave a big hole in the wall, just where Richard Burton is looking in. Scenes all filmed, though we’re not entirely sure why, on the exact days of the year they were meant to have taken place in Orwell’s book. Also with (dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do-dooo!) Gregor Fisher, (dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do-dooo!) David ‘Mr Bentley’ Cann and (dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do-dooo!) Roger ‘Trigger’ Lloyd-Pack.
14.20 Open House with Gloria Hunniford
Kate O’Mara guests, but won’t be subjected to the grilling she received on Radio Scotland about eighteen months ago, when a so-called ‘cult TV expert’ referred to Triangle as a programme about ‘men in open-necked shirts clinking ice cubes in huge glasses of scotch’. Now *that’s* punditry, Yashere!
15.45 The Outsider
Lacklustre schedule filling ahoy, with the pilot outing for Darren ‘Kolchak’ McGavin’s unlamented proto-Rockford private eye.
00.35 The Fox
Anne ‘Petticoat Pirates’ Heywood and Sandy ‘Up the Down Staircase’ Dennis enjoy idyllic log cabin life wrestling playfully in the snow, until rugged workman Kier ‘2001’ Dullea turns up. It’s a DH Lawrence adaptation, they added, unnecessarily.
02.35 The Omega Man
Statue-confiding plague survivor Charlton Heston encounters zombies and hippies in this neither here nor there Last Man On Earth fable, with a desultory soundtrack from Ron Grainer that’s more Steptoe than Who.
It’d quite like to apologise.
Last week Creamguide said that this channel broadcast “nothing anybody in the world wants to watch”, which may have been slightly sweeping. Indeed, Andrew Shuards Browne has written to point out that there *is* some good stuff on the channel, and on Fridays at 22.00 they’re screening Treasures of the BFI; a major retrospective series, coinciding with the NFT’s 50th anniversary, that looks at how British life has been portrayed in film. And on Thursday at 22.00, they’ve got Ray Charles in concert. However Andrew does conclude that “most of the other programming is pretentious ballet and orchestra buffoonery”. Still, it’s there for a few more weeks if you want it, although bearing in mind this week is the sixth episode of the thirteen-part Treasures of the BFI, so the chances of it completing its run seem slim.
AJP Taylor: From War To War – Sticking with the learned theme, here’s the first of a series of lectures from 1979 which was never completed. Although we’re unsure of whether this has been on the shelf unseen since then or not.
Going Global: A Short History of World Music – Caution: may contain Andy Kershaw.
Saturday, 00.00, Sunday, 20.00
Pop Years – “When Robbie left, it induced a kind of mass hysteria among teenagers, they were killing themselves, hurting and burning themselves, stabbing Barbies into their eyes… it was quite funny, wasn’t it?” 1995 repeat on Saturday, achieving little other than the promotion of the idea Pamela Anderson visiting the Sun offices was one of the year’s top stories and reminding us how great Ini Kamoze’s Here Comes The Hotstepper was. Better tidings are expected with 1988 on Sunday, when the show will pretend we all loved baggy and acid house while admitting we actually bought Glenn Medeiros, Yazz and Tiffany. Narinder Kaur on Bros? Can’t wait.
In amongst the usual Fry and Laurie (Sunday, 00.15, Friday, 00.55) and Python (Monday-Thursday, 23.30) repeats, Paramount dig out The Rutles again (Saturday, 22.45) followed by the last Monty Python Reunion (Saturday, 00.10). Quantum Jump get another 9p of royalties from Granada Plus when they screen The Kenny Everett Video Show (Sunday, 22.30), and the same channel’s also showing Spitting Iamge at 19.00 (on Saturday, 23.30 on Sunday) which can’t be right. And as the only programme on UK Gold less than six months old, Victoria Wood As Seen On TV (Sunday, 23.55) is the only thing worth watching on it. “It’s Try-val Purse-wits!”
There’s every chance that the programmes above’ll move around and disappear after we go to ‘press’, so be careful. And the listings refer to England, so check your listings if you’re in a national region.
WE HAVE ONE OR TWO GREMLINS IN THE WORKS
We really must apologise for forcing some of you to do some work during the last few days because http://tv.cream.org was down. We couldn’t even get a white-on-blue apology caption up or anything. Nevertheless, the site’s now back up for you to subscribe to the TV Cream Update or access Ask The Family, the TV Cream Message Board. And because of the unique way Ask The Family is funded, we can also bring it to you when the main TVC site is down – simply point your browser at http://www.network54.com/Hide/Index/10229. Unless that server’s down as well, of course. Well, it’s free, isn’t it?
Keeping the spirits up – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Simon Tyers