Monday, December 17, 2012

First Class TV

Over the years there have been some tv shows that have just blown my mind away, but sadly not many of late.

The Norman Conquests was one such show. It starred a quite young Penelope Keith  who later became more famous in To the Manor Born and the Good Life where a fellow performer from the Norman Conquests, Richard Briars also starred. He went on to be a much loved character in Monarch of the Glen. The Norman Conquests was made like a film of a play. In fact our ABC used to call such shows, plays.

Speaking of Penelope Keith, how good was she in Drums Along Balmoral Drive, set in Salisbury, Rhodesia pre independence. Might Grace have seen it? I wish I had kept a recording of that play. (Note: I can find no evidence of Keith being in that play. My memory must be defective. Also, it was set post independence, in Zimbabwe)

Cream in My Coffee starred the marvellous Lionel Jeffries and Dame Peggy Ashcroft. Amazingly of all his work, writing, directing and acting in over fifty productions, at International Movie Data Base, the only thing he did that does not have an active link is the above. Cream in My Coffee was just brilliant. I do it have on tape, transferred to dvd and I have subsequently watched it and it stands up well. Fortunately Wikipedia does have the information.  Spoiler alert.

There was  the most gorgeous Emma Thompson and handsome red haired Kenneth Branagh in Fortunes of War. As I recall, they danced on the Egyptian pyramids to Flannagan and Allens Run Rabbit. The production values may not have been matched since. After seeing the tv series, I immediately went out and bought the book and hey, the tv show and book were equally as good, perhaps the tv show slightly ahead.

The original Brideshead Revisited, what can one say. It was sumptuously fabulous. The lavish series must have been screened in the 1980s and had significant gay content. It was empowering to me. How many gay men subsequently walked about with a tiny teddy bear tucked into their pocket.

I loved Peggy Ashcroft in Caught on a Train, where she played Frau Messner. I bought the dvd from overseas. It was good, but perhaps better left in the memory.

Speaking of Peggy Ashcroft, she also starred in The Jewel in the Crown. Fantastic. The Raj and its history is always so interesting.

But the true peace de resistance was Sir Laurance Olivier in A Voyage Around My Father we he played a blind lawyer. The script could not have been better.

Where are such tv shows now? I don't know.

15 comments:

  1. We watched Penelope Keith last night in 'To The Manor Reborn', with a group doing up a terrific old 1600s (I think) English house. We really enjoyed it and wonder how many previous episodes we have missed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've only missed one episode Bliss. I enjoyed it last night. Wasn't the loom amazing.

      Delete
    2. Another fascinating one is Fake or Fortune. I love that! So many interesting ways to get to the bottom of a painting's provenance.

      Delete
    3. Bliss, another one where you have to sit and concentrate. I have seen it yet but I have it recorded.

      Delete
  2. So many shows mentioned here and I don't know a single one of them.

    I tried to watch an episode of The Manor Reborn, but got bored with it very quickly, perhaps I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, it is a bit of sit down and concentrate show. Last night was better than the first, I thought. The other shows were all sit down and concentrate too.

      Delete
    2. Well, that explains it. I have the concentration span of a gnat.

      Delete
  3. Emma Thompson and handsome red haired Kenneth Branagh were sooooooooo good together. What a shame they married and spoiled their pleasure. I still watch them in their separate productions *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, I recall seeing them together in a quite simple play later, but before they were married, and they were really good. Some of the most successful gay relationships I know are where the couple do not live together.

      Delete
    2. I fancy women all the time, but most particularly Emma Thompson! She is the most consummate actress! Did you see the film Carrington?

      Delete
    3. Hels, while I don't quite fancy her, she is a very attractive woman, for sure.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for mentioning "Caught On ATrain". I remember watching it on the ABC, on Stuart Wagstaff's World Playhouse years ago.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark. I had forgotten about SW's Playhouse. Was that where I saw it? I really can't remember now.

      Delete
  5. I haven't seen Drums along Balmoral Drive Andrew but I can't tell you how much I want to now..I wonder how I go about finding out if it's even available anymore 1986 wasn't THAT long ago!! I'll let you know if I have any luck.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Grace, I can't see that it is available anywhere. Someone else was looking for it. http://australianidentity.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1025

    I just checked and there doesn't seem to be a Drive of that name, there is a Road. I expect it would be where the English mostly lived.

    ReplyDelete

Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.