TV Cream

Films: L is for...


Perhaps Orson Welles isn’t a character who was ever firmly on the rails in the first place, but this peripatetic metropolitan sketch show is an oddball late-period project that stands apart even from all his other oddball late-period projects. Welles hooked up with the nascent Goodies to make a rag-bag of sketches called Orson’s Bag, which was then re-hashed a couple of years later as London – but was still never properly finished. The most famous section involves Tim Brooke-Taylor as a bowler-hatted reporter in perpetual search of Carnaby Street, bumping into assorted Welles characters – flower seller, Norman Evans-style old crone, Jimmy Edwards-esque bobby, slightly dodgy Chinese strip club proprietor, even a Morris dancer – in a fantastic Dick Emery-style tour de force. He even performs Bill Oddie’s One Man Band song. Other bits and pieces are more fragmentary – a beautifully shot scene in a cobwebbed gentleman’s club, with Welles as all four crusty members, has no soundtrack. Even in slivers, it knocks his Don Quixote project into a cocked hat.

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