On this day (4th January)

The first episode of Ivanhoe was broadcast on BBC1 in 1970.

Adapted by Alexander Baron in ten parts, this Classic Serial was directed by David Maloney, so you can expect to see plenty of familiar faces (such as Graham Weston, John Franklyn-Robbins, Hugh Walters, Tim Preece, Bernard Horsfall and Noel Coleman) filling out the cast.

Eric Flynn cuts a dash as Ivanhoe with the always dependable Anthony Bate as his nemesis, Sir Brian de Bois Guilbert. Vivian Brooks and Clare Jenkins supply the female interest.

Released on DVD by Simply Media in 2017, I reviewed it at the time and it’s still an enjoyable watch – albeit with the usual strengths and weaknesses of the Classic Serial from this era.

The Prisoner of Spenda, the first episode of Carry on Laughing, was broadcast on ITV in 1975.

Hmm, I wonder what novel this could be based on?

There’s a good reason why the television incarnation of the Carry On franchise doesn’t receive the same number of rescreenings as its big screen counterpart (they’re not very good) but approached in the right mood it’s still possible to derive some enjoyment from most of them.

This one features most of the main Carry On players (one notable absentee was Kenneth Williams, who loathed the whole idea) and at 22 minutes it’s brisk enough.

The first episode of The Prince and the Pauper was broadcast on BBC1 in 1976.

Another Classic Serial debuting on this day, The Prince and the Pauper boasts an impressive duel performance from Nicholas Lyndhurst as well as the usual strong supporting cast. With Barry Letts directing, it’s no surprise that CSO comes into play – the meeting between Prince Edward and Tom Canty is excellently done (the mirror shot still looks very good today).

Another Classic Serial released by Simply Media, you can read my full review here.

The first episode of Clarence was broadcast on BBC1 in 1988.

Ronnie Barker’s sitcom farewell is a series that I’ve never warmed to – the single joke premise (Clarence is a short-sighted removals man) wore pretty thin when the character (with a different name though) appeared back in 1971, so a whole series based around this concept has never seemed inviting to me. Still, Barker and Josephine Tewson are always worth watching, so maybe I’ll give it another go this year.

Iain Cuthbertson, born in 1930.

I’ve chosen Mutiny, an episode from The Onedin Line‘s first series, as my anniversary Cuthbertson programme. It sounds promising – Cuthbertson plays the dangerously unstable Captain Kirkwood with the likes of Kevin Stoney and John Thaw also making appearances. It’s written by Ian Kennedy Martin (his sole script for the series).

4 thoughts on “On this day (4th January)

  1. The Carry On tv series were made at the same time as the later Carry On films, ie Carry On Camping onwards, and Kenneth Williams wasn’t in it. So not worth watching.

    You stated elsewhere that today is the 40th anniversary of Peter Davison’s first Doctor Who.

    Iain Cuthbertson is best known for his role in The Railway Children


    • Every year is going to be an anniversary year for Doctor Who

      A year ending in 3 is the anniversary of Doctor Who and the Daleks, and also Sarah Jane Smith and the Sontarans.
      A year ending in 4 is the anniversary of the start of the Tom Baker era, the Colin Baker era, and the Peter Capaldi era
      A year ending in 5 is the anniversary of Davros, the Christopher Eccleston series, and the start of the David Tennant era.
      A year ending in 6 is the anniversary of the Cybermen, the Patrick Troughton era, and the tv movie.
      A year ending in 7 is the anniversary of the Ice Warriors, the Yeti, K-9, the Sylvester McCoy era, and the Weeping Angels (the one race of monsters from the 21st century who could be described as classic monsters).
      A year ending in 8 is the anniversary of the Brigadier and UNIT, the Jodie Whitaker era.
      A year ending in 9 is the anniversary of the end of the black and white era, Doctor Who Magazine, and the end of the series’ original run.
      A year ending in 0 is the anniversary of the Jon Pertwee era and the series going into colour, the John Nathan-Turner era, and the Matt Smith era.
      A year ending in 1 is the anniversary of the Master, and the end of the Tom Baker era.
      And a year ending in 2 is the anniversary of the Peter Davison era.

      And there are some peripheral anniversaries as well. For example last year Doctor Who Magazine did a feature on the fortieth anniversary of The Five Faces of Doctor Who, which was the first time some of us saw the first episode.


    • My dad’s cousin went to a fancy dress party where the theme was literary characters, and wore his normal clothes and carried a hoe round with him, and went as Ivanhoe.


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