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Sunday, 11 January 2009


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The following comment came from 'Dearieme' and I have takenthe liberty of reposting it here where it is more germane:

"Rock Follies was pretty good. So was a comedy-drama series with Robbie Coltrane, name lost to me now; pre-Cracker, anyway. The Goodies? Reggie Perrin? Magic Roundabout? Alas, these all fail your "other than comedy" test. Got it: there was a Beeb series of the Shakespeare history plays - early 60s, I should think. Anyway, I gather that you don't rate Jewel in the Crown, Brideshead or P & P?"

Yes, 'DM', I have excluded comedy and I think childrens programmes, too, although some of them were terrific I remember 'The Clangers' with great affection.

You are quite right with "Jewel in the Crown" and you are probably right with "Brideshead" but, alas, for me the sight and sound of upper-class twits being twittish did not appeal. Not that that should rule it out of contention, I shall wait to see if others agree or not. I missed "P & P" deliberately. Whilst I chuckle at her irony and subversiveness in print, I rarely find it comes across in film. And anyay, 'aintcha' just sick' of bonnets and bustles?

To add to the 'Tinker, Tailor..' there was a very good Len Deighton adaptation, with Ian Holm, as I recall: 'Game, Set and Match'.

Re:Dearieme and the Shakespearian plays, the Beeb did three plays over three weeks Henry 6th parts 1 2 3 and Richard 3rd played by the incomparable Ian Holm.They must have been wiped because I have tried to trace them,brilliantly acted and wonderfully produced you don't get quality like that nowadays.

Julia, yes, I vaguely remember that but whilst it was enjoyable I didn't think it matched teh excellence of "Tinker, Tailor".

Craig, welcome to Duff & Nonsense. The three parts of Henry VI are well worth studying because they show more clearly than anything WS's progress as a playwright. Part I is very much an apprentice piece with short scenes and plenty of patriotic baloney to keep the groundlings happy, but in Parts II and III you can see the development of a skilled and subtle writer and some of the scenes are as good as anything he ever wrote and teh characters become richer in texture. Pity those films were lost - still, it's what you pay your licence fee for!

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