Monday, 12 December 2011


4x06 Episode 6

Blue Peter
5/12/11 edition
For the making of the BBC One Christmas trail. Also, Ed Sheeran is clearly not cut out to be a presenter.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Charley Boorman's Extreme Frontiers
Episode 2 (of 4)
Most of it, anyway -- for some reason the copy on Virgin Media Catch Up died every time at the final ad break. I suppose I should just watch it online...
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Death in Paradise
1x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
25x10 Episode 10
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

A daily dose of sci-fi - Day 29

Best pre-1980s sci-fi

For this one I wanted something that was only pre-'80s -- so no Doctor Who (not even classic series only), no Star Wars or Star Trek, etc. Naturally cases could be made for all of these -- I could just have an era of Who, or the original Trek, or just Empire Strikes Back -- but I wanted to push for something different.

I don't know if "best" is quite the right word, and maybe I should've chosen this yesterday, but...

Larry "Buster" Crabbe starred in three of these cinema serials (the precursor of TV series, I suppose) in the '30s and '40s -- Flash Gordon, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. They used to show them on BBC One on Saturday mornings in the late '90s (God that makes it sound long ago), when I was in the early year(s) of secondary school, and my friends and I used to love them.

They're silly and schlocky, and notorious for those kinds of cliffhangers where everything seems impossible... and in next week's recap something completely different happens and everything's OK. Ah, an age before repeats or VHS or harddrive recorders or iPlayer. Or, apparently, memory.

These things aren't Great in the proper use of the word -- there's no revolutionary SF concepts or fantastic screenplays or beautiful performances to be found -- but they're damn good fun, full of scrapes and spills and primitive special effects. They're a joy.

And I don't think I've seen all of them. I've seen at least two, because I remember the serial changed on the Beeb and suddenly the lead female characters had swapped hair colours, which was most confusing. I have two on DVD -- I hope different ones -- but I'm not sure which two, because they go under so many different titles. Quick read of Wikipedia suggests I have the first and third; don't know which I saw on telly. Anyway, I must try to right this and see them all.

Read about a daily dose of sci-fi, with links to the rest of the series, here.