TV Cream

Hall of Fame

WOODWARD, Edward

woodwardOf course, in our ongoing mission to be smugly contrary, we immediately scanned the man’s CV for non-police, non-military roles. And we came up with, er, Saul off of King David. Oh, and claustrophobic chiller The Appointment, which really should be shown every Christmas. But yes, he does mainly keep ’em peeled, from Young Winston to Who Dares Wins, ‘Breaker’ Morant to 10 Rillington Place. And consummately well did he do so, in a comprehensive, career-long answer to Noel Coward’s infamous ‘bathtub fart’ putdown.

FINEST HOUR: You knew it was coming, but we have to admit the only thing that let us down about Ed’s performance in The Wicker Man is the fact that he never got to join in the singing, thus shamefully depriving us of that rich Good Old Days baritone.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Glenn Aylett

    December 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    He karate chops The Green Cross Code Man to death in the film version of Callan, which is rarely seen now, but was once a staple of regional ITV in the eighties. Also Woodward tried to be a jazz singer and scored a few minor hits in the seventies.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    December 13, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Was there ever a bleaker programme than Callan? A unit devoted to either killing people or totally ruining their lives, run by a cold-hearted bastard, and staffed by complete arseholes like Patrick Mower or Anthony Valentine? It was satisfying to see him have such a big success in The Equalizer, although it’s a bit cheesy at times (and the pace of production nearly killed him).

    • Glenn Aylett

      December 14, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      Callan was like a total anti James Bond, a government killer sickened by his work and relying on an informant who made Baldrick look clean and who was frequently beaten by Callan for information, yet was his only friend. The film version makes Callan a bit more Bond like, having a car chase, a villain who was an East German arms dealer living in a mansion and Dave Prowse resembling a Bond henchman and meeting the same fate. Also it featured Clifford Kessler Rose, so was another reason to check it out.

  3. George White

    December 13, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Also one of the New Professionals, a series which I watched bits of – and found utterly ludicrous.
    Despite the title and CI{30e2395aaf6397fd02d2c79d91a1fe7cbb73158454674890018aee9c53a0cb96}, it’s Clemens in ITC mode, with the Champions/Department S dynamic of Brit guy – girl – American guy – boss, and utterly ludicrous plots that are pure telefantasy. From a story that restages the New Avengers opener the EAgle’s Nest though removing the Nazi monks, it still has nonsense about cloning Hitler from his finger, and then another one, shot in North Carolina at the De Laurentiis studios in Wilmington, where a spacebound death ray platform is used to target scientists under the auspices of an alien invasion.
    In other words, I can see why people confused it with Bugs.

    • Andrew Barton

      May 26, 2022 at 9:20 pm

      Clearly Lewis Collins thought it awful as he pulled out. As soon as he pulled out, the idea should have been kiboshed.

      Contrast where The New Professionals ended up – on Sky One as ITV were not interested, then repeated on Movies4Men.

      In contrast, the original continues to be repeated on ITV4 and still fondly remembered. Helps ITV own it too.

      (Colin Wells, Kal Weber, Woodward and Lexa Doig luckily never saw their careers sunk by The New Professionals).

      • Glenn Aylett

        May 28, 2022 at 2:16 pm

        @ Andrew Barton, The Professionals has been a staple of ITV 4 afternoons since the station opened and still does OK for them. To me, it’s a great nostalgia piece, reminding me of what Britain was like when I was 12 and seeing people using phone boxes, driving cars without seat belts and London’s Docklands before it became gentrified. Also good looking actresses always seem to be damsels in distress with BBC English accents.

  4. Droogie

    December 13, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    I didn’t realise Edward wore a hairpiece until much later ( I wonder if he and fellow syrup wearer Christopher Lee discussed this during the Wicker Man? ) His appearance in Hot Fuzz is sublime. One of his last roles and that shows his talent for performing comedy too.

  5. Richardpd

    December 13, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    After The Equaliser he was in another American show, but I can’t remember the title.

    Common As Muck was different from his usual roles, but he managed without much trouble.

  6. George White

    December 15, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Over my Dead Body?
    Basically Murder, he Wrote.

    • Andrew Barton

      May 26, 2022 at 9:15 pm

      Well it was CBS and Universal trying to repeat the successes of The Equalizer and Murder She Wrote.

      I remember Edward in publicity for Over My Dead Body trying to sway the MSW comparisons, only for CBS and Universal to cast Jessica Lundy, which provided more sniggering.

      What doomed the show further is CBS shifted Dallas, which had slipped from glory days, an hour later to 10pm and stuck OMDB at 9pm. OMDB had to face Perfect Strangers on ABC as competition, and failed to even get the ratings Dallas was managing at 9pm. In turn, Dallas had to cope with OMDB leading in.

      CBS lost patience later, pulled OMDB and moved Dallas back to 9pm. The remaining OMDB episodes got burnt off a year later.

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