Back to May 1986 (21st May 1986)

The first series of Jossy’s Giants comes to a conclusion, and as it’s the big cup match I might tune in. Written by Sid Waddell, it was always an entertaining watch with Jim Barclay giving an engaging performance as the eponymous Jossy, the new manager of the Glipton Grasshoppers (a youth football team that prior to his arrival seemed doomed to remain at the bottom of the league). My previous thoughts on the series can be found here.

Later also on BBC1 there’s a repeat of Lame Ducks. A P.J. Hammond sitcom, it’s always piqued my interest for that reason if nothing else. But you can’t grumble about the cast (John Duttine, Lorraine Chase, Tony Millan, Brian Murphy, Cyd Hayman) and it’s one of those forgotten series (not repeated in decades, never released on DVD) that’s considerably more entertaining than its low opinion suggests. Even so, I think Hammond did the right thing by concentrating on drama ….

Undoubted pick of the evening is the first episode of A Very Peculiar Practice on BBC2 (which I’ve written about elsewhere). Whilst the first series of AVPP hasn’t had a terrestrial repeat since 1990, it’s a programme that still seems to have a profile today. The DVD release has helped of course, but it’s interesting to remember that although it was well received at the time, ratings-wise it only attracted modest figures.

Some programmes, despite average ratings, seem destined to endure whilst others might top the charts but are forgotten soon afterwards (although of course, the reverse can also true). For further reading about neglected television drama, I can’t do worse than point you in the direction of the Forgotten Television Drama blog.

5 thoughts on “Back to May 1986 (21st May 1986)

  1. I was quite surprised to see the 1960s series the Champions gracing a lunchtime repeat on ITV. I do recall at least a couple of the ITC shows being repeated back then but I am sure they were shown in an evening slot. Didn’t the BBC obtain broadcasting rights and televised Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) on BBC2 on Friday evenings in the 1990s?


    • Yes, the BBC repeated a score of ITC series during the 1990’s but before that ITV did run a number of shows in daytime slots (usually weekday afternoons). That was the first time, when off from school, I saw The Protectors, for example, which turned up on HTV during 1982/83.


    • I saw an episode of Randall and Hopkirk on daytime ITV in 1989. It was The Ghost Talks in which Marty tells Jeff about a case that he solved on his own while he was alive. Not a typical episode.

      Later that year I went to an event in the Maida Vale area where one of the activities was a tv quiz hosted by, archivetvmusings’ predecessor, and influential cult tv fanzine editor. One of the questions was “Which tv detective was filmed being killed at Lauderdale Road, not far from we we are now?”.

      Lauderdale Road was where Marty Hopkirk was killed, and the following morning I ended up joining the fanzine editor and his wife on a pilgrimage to the location.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And speaking of Jossy’s Giants…

    I saw Lame Ducks first time round. It was quirky, but not quite eccentric enough. My dad watched Benny Hill although I didn’t like it, and some of the later shows cannibalized sketches from earlier series.

    One time I was talking to a friend about Doctor Who, and he said the programme he associated Peter Davison with was A Very Peculiar Practice, and he thought Doctor Bob Buzzard was a particularly memorable character. And he was surprised when I told him that the actor’s father was a Doctor Who actor.

    One programme I definitely watched was M*A*S*H. BBC2 broacast the final episode of M*A*S*H on the 27th of December 1984, then they didn’t show it for a whole year, and then in January 1986 they started a complete run of the whole series. The Long-John Flap was the nineteenth episode of the first series.

    BBC2 showed M*A*S*H every Wednesday for a while. But then they started taking it off for several weeks at a time to make way for sports or ‘major drama series’. After one break they started showing the first series again instead of the next one. And eventually they relegated the last series to a daytime slot. Bad management!

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  3. Thank you! I don’t recall watching any of this evening’s viewing at all. Plenty on, though – Crossroads, Coronation Street, Forever England and A Very Peculiar Practice for me tonight. Although that is to ignore a typically interesting Jeremy Isaacs era Channel 4 schedule… The forties newsreels at 6.30, that really odd looking arts panel game (Gallery, which I had never knowingly heard of before tonight, despite it running over four series between 1984 and 1990 – made by HTV! Two of the panelists were current art students, rather than celebrities!), a ninety minute documentary about Michael Clark. This was a genuine alternative option. I was often stumbling across new and unexpected perspectives on C4 when I was a teenager.

    Liked by 1 person

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