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.