GF Newman’s Law and Order at the BFI

Just been looking through my BFI catalogue for April. There’s the usual dearth of decent TV stuff, but on April 12th, they’re showing four episodes of GF Newman’s classic Law and Order from 1978.

Not to be confused with the long-running US show from Dick Wolf, Law and Order was the first British drama series to take a serious look at our legal system, police brutality and corruption. Newman, of course, was the guy who turned up at the Z-Cars writers’ meeting, suggested that one of the detectives should take a bribe and was told that “maybe he was on the wrong show”.

The BFI is screening all four episodes of the show, each of which looked at a different aspect of the legal system (The Detective’s Tale, The Villain’s Tale, The Brief’s Tale, The Prisoner’s Tale), starting at 2pm, with an introduction by GF Newman himself.

But there’s also good news: the show’s about to be released on DVD, and there’s a follow-up series on the way. I hasten you all to watch it if you can. Good luck finding the DVD on Amazon when it’s released – it’s going to be somewhat swamped by the US shows, by the looks of it….


Review: Ashes to Ashes 1×4


How’d that happen? I wasn’t intending to do episode by episode reviews of Ashes to Ashes, but here I am, reviewing it. Probably won’t happen next week, but who knows?

New theory, boys and girls. Forget Life on Mars. This isn’t Life on Mars in the 80s. This isn’t an attempt to look at changes in policing over the last couple of decades as I thought yesterday – or if it is, it’s a bad one. This is an attempt to do an episode by episode pastiche of individual crime shows of the 80s.

Life on Mars only had The Sweeney (and maybe Special Branch) to have a go at, and was all about changes in procedure and attitude. Ashes to Ashes is all about a TV-addicted woman who wants to be in an 80s detective show, probably Moonlighting

Help me with this theory since it’s on slightly shaky ground. These are the shows I think Ashes to Ashes has been sending up so far

Episode 1: The A-Team, Miami Vice or at the outside Riptide
Episode 2: Anyone?
Episode 3: Prime Suspect I (which was 1991 admittedly)
Episode 4: Edge of Darkness

I’ve come to this conclusion because last night’s episode was the biggest homage to Edge of Darkness that the world has yet seen.

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Friday’s international news

Sex and the City

Doctor Who


British TV

Spanish TV

  • Manchester becomes Madrid for Life on Mars remake

Australian TV


Movies you should own: The Satan Bug

One of my favourite genres is the “killer virus” milieu. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite as scary as a disease that kills lots and lots of people, even if it can be stopped by Dustin Hoffman (Outbreak), immunity among the upper middle classes (Survivors) or talking to it (The Burning Zone).

Just have a think about their close cousin, the zombie movie, even the funny ones (Shaun of the Dead, Zombi Holocaust), and it won’t be long before the idea of some tiny little thing inside you that you can’t do anything to stop from killing you really does start to get upsetting.

So, for this and because it’s going to take me a while to scribble up lots and lots about Manhunter, I’m starting the long-promised “movies you should own” (aka “I’ve got it on DVD and you should to”) feature of this ‘ere blog with a shortish chat about The Satan Bug, probably the first proper entry in the killer virus canon.

Here are the creepy opening titles:

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