Back in the 1960s, crime stories were all the rage (well, crime stories and spy stories. But crime stories particularly.) Finding a way to differentiate the main characters and give a series a unique selling point compared with others was often a challenge.
Possibly the most differentiated - and indeed interesting - crime show of the 60s was Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) (known more prosaically in the US as My Partner The Ghost because focus group research suggested viewers wouldn't understand the word 'deceased'). Its premise was simple: two down-at-heel British private investigators, Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) and Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope), are investigating a case. The bad guys don't like this and think they're getting too close so they kill Hopkirk.
Except that doesn't stop him. Hopkirk is so dedicated to his friend, Jeff - and so keen to bring his murderers to justice - that he returns as a ghost to help solve the case and stop the bad guys. Unfortunately, it takes him too long and after the bad guys are rounded up, a curse dooms Hopkirk to walk the earth as a ghost in an eternally spotless white suit for 100 years.
So Hopkirk stays on to help Jeff solve further cases as best he can, despite being intangible and invisible to everyone else. Cue catchy theme tune and 25 more episodes.
So, I went off to Snowdonia (that's in North Wales, non-UK readers. You know where Wales is, right?) for the weekend – hence my absence on Friday. Bit of a trek, what with the traffic and all, so seven hours drive each way. Argh.
Anyway, we're just coming up to our hotel when to my surprise, I see a sign to Portmeirion. Honestly, I had no idea it was there – I thought it was further north. It's not.
But the TV gods had clearly spoken to Dealcloud, which is how we ended up at this particular hotel (which also turned out to have been visited by Jackie O and Ted Kennedy at some point) only 15 minutes away from where The Prisoner was filmed. Remember The Prisoner – the original Patrick McGoohan version, not the remake? Here, at least, is the iconic title sequence, which also explains the plot (secret agent resigns so is kidnapped and imprisoned in a seemingly loving prison called The Village):
Anyway, having made it out that far, how could we not go and have a wander round? Okay, it's £10 per adult, but we'll live. So, after the jump, lots of pictures of Portmeirion: how much will you recognise, discerning Prisoner fans?
News of the day is that Gerry Anderson puppet show Thunderbirds is going to be remade. For those not in the know (who are you?), this saw a team of brothers go into action as part of International Rescue to save people from usually very explosive danger, sometimes with the assistance of their London agent Lady Penelope.
About the blog
This is a UK media blog with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events and competitions and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Carusometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
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"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
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I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.