Archive | Nostalgia corner

Classic shows that have almost been forgotten, as well as shows that should probably have been forgotten

April 4, 2014

What TV's on at the BFI in May 2014

Posted on April 4, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's time for our regular look at the TV that the BFI is showing, this time in May 2014. Edwardian drama is top of the bill this month – bet you didn’t see that coming? In fact, it’s the only thing on the bill, so savour it, since as well as a Q&A with Zoë Wanamaker, there are plays featuring Jeremy Brett, Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart, Ian Richardson, Jeremy Irons, André Morrell, Peter Vaughan, Annette Crosby, Timothy West, Anna Calder-Marshall and Colin Firth, to name but a few.

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Filmed in Supermarionation - coming Autumn 2014

Posted on April 4, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Filmed in Supermarionation

Network has completed a new film about the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson that’s going to be released in Autumn 2014. They were the minds behind Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, UFO, Space: 1999 et al, in case you don’t know.

Directed and produced by Stephen La Rivière (The Story Of Upstairs Downstairs, We Were ‘The Champions’), Filmed In Supermarionation is a screen adaptation of his book of the same name telling the story of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s TV productions using a wealth of previously unseen archive footage, new interviews with those involved, and clips from the shows themselves.

And here’s a trailer.

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March 13, 2014

Nostalgia Corner: Hannay (1988-1989)

Posted on March 13, 2014 | comments | Bookmark and Share


When you think of genre-defining Scottish spies, you usually think of James Bond. True, James Bond started off as the quintessential English hero in Ian Fleming’s books, but once Sean Connery assumed the mantle in the movies, he became so synonymous with Bond than even Fleming felt compelled to make Bond Scottish, something very evident in the latest Bond movie, Skyfall.

But long, long before Bond, back when even Ian Fleming was just a young boy, there was another Scottish spy who more or less defined the genre in the first place: Richard Hannay. Based in part on Edmund Ironside, an Edinburgh-born spy during the Second Boer War, Hannay appeared in no fewer than seven books by John Buchan, the best known of which is The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Set in 1914, it sees ex-soldier and engineer Hannay visited in his London flat by a man called Scudder, a freelance spy, who reveals that there’s a German plot to assassinate the Greek premier during a forthcoming visit to London. When Scudder is murdered, the finger points at Hannay who not only has to evade the authorities and the German spy ring that killed Scudder, he also to save the Greek premier and expose the ring.

Buchan’s ‘shocker’ was an instant, astonishing hit, and proved so enticing that Alfred Hitchcock adapted it in 1935 with Robert Donat as Hannay.

But that was far from the last time the book was adapted. As well as numerous radio adaptations, including one with Orson Welles, a 1959 film directed by Ralph Thomas saw Kenneth More became Hannay.

More recently, Rupert Penry-Jones became Hannay for a 2008 BBC TV adaptation.

And even now, a comedic version of the book is a West End staple. However, the best known adaptation of the story is the 1978 movie directed by Don Sharp and starring Robert Powell…

…that’s famous for out-doing Hitchcock with this scene on Big Ben.

So well regarded was this version that over a decade later, ITV asked Robert Powell if he'd reprise the role for a TV series called, naturally enough, Hannay. Here are the rather engaging, patriotic, not-at-all symbolic titles.

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