Back to 1982 – 8th August 1982

I’ve fired up the randomizer again and it’s taken me back to August 1982 for the next seven days. As before, I’ll peruse each days listings and select my viewing choices (but they have to be programmes that I have access to, rather than simply a wishlist of what I would watch had I the opportunity).

The 1980 Classic Serial of adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities continues its repeat run – today it’s episode six. These adaptations had been Sunday tea-time staples for so long that it seemed they’d run for ever – but that wasn’t to be. They’re good for a few more years, but eventually their cheap and cheerful style (VT for interiors, film for exteriors) would fall out of fashion as  big-budget all-film productions became the norm.

There’s no shortage of familiar faces – Paul Shelley, Nigel Stock, Ralph Michael, Judy Parfitt, Stephen Yardley, Harold Innocent, David Collings – appearing and Michael E. Briant is a typically strong behind the camera presence so I think I’ll be tuning in.

Prior to the new series beginning in September, the previous run of The Chinese Detective was given a repeat run – today it’s S01E04 – Income Tax. With the DVDs long deleted and no television station yet to pick it up, The Chinese Detective has rather faded from view. A pity, as there was a lot to appreciate over its short run – from David Yip’s engaging lead performance to Ian Kennedy Martin’s scripts (the fact he wrote most of them suggests he was very invested in the series). The always reliable Lee Montague guest-stars today, which is another plus in this episode’s favour.

Over on BBC2 there’s a Jane omnibus. For a myriad of reasons it’s a series you’d never see today – the overdose of CSO for one (I miss programmes that had the sheer nerve to go full-on CSO) and the mild (very mild really) titillation for another.

Not a great deal available on ITV, but Holding the Fort is a possible. It’s a Marks and Gran sitcom that has rather sunk without trace, even though the cast (Peter Davison, Patricia Hodge, Matthew Kelly) were more than passable. Possibly its low profile is due to the fact it’s an ITV sitcom that Network never got around to releasing on DVD. But the episodes are up on YouTube (click here) if you wish to investigate.

6 thoughts on “Back to 1982 – 8th August 1982

  1. I was waiting for either more Doctor Who or another look back at what was on tv so many years ago this week.

    1982 was a good summer for me because I’d just left school. (I didn’t get a job that summer as I’d hoped, so in September I went to college which is what I should have done two years sooner.)

    Who was on the covers of Radio and TV Times that week?

    According to BBC Genome Fingerbobs was the one where they had to find shiny things.

    One of the forgotten programmes of the eighties is Janet Street Porter’s youth magazine programme 20th Century Box. (It’s predecessor, The London Weekend Show, is mainly remembered for doing one of the first programmes on punk rock.) It was made in black and white because she didn’t want people to be distracted by what colour clothes people were wearing.

    The Sunday Serial version of A Tale of Two Cities was one of the few versions where the same actor (Paul Shelley) played Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton (yo may have heard of his brother Yoghurt). Ronald Colman played Sydney Carton in the 1935 film version, but Charles Darnay was played by Donald Woods. But of course Ronald Colman played the dual role in The Prisoner of Zenda.

    Telethon was a 1977 tv movie starring Red Buttons.

    The World About Us was part of BBC Natural History Unit’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

    And speaking of animals, that night’s Proms concert included a performance of Carnival of the Animals. I saw the Kanneh-Mason family’s rendition of Carnival of the Animals last year, and I didn’t like the poetry readings in between the pieces. I like Carnival of the Animals when it’s just the music.

    I’ve never seen The Shakespeare Wallah. It stars a very young Felicity Kendall.

    I remember Jane with Glynis Barber. It was written by former Doctor Who scriptwriter Mervyn Haisman, and the theme was by Neil Innes. My dad found one of the tv critic’s comments on Jane laughable. They thought it was well done, but the material was dated. Of course it was dated, it was a nostalgia trip for people who remember the War. Just as Archive TV Musings is a nostalgia trip for people who remember what was on tv in 1982.

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  2. In August 1982, was there any publicity yet about Channel 4 that was due to have its launch on the 2nd November?

    I once had a Brookside companion that has probably ended up long since recycled by now.

    I seem to remember the original cast gathered for their photoshoot in September as Brookie was filmed two months in advance.

    Speaking of the Chinese Detective – David Yip actually played GP Michael Choi in Brookside a few years later.


  3. “All For Love”, 9pm on ITV is on YouTube, I don’t remember it as I was in the pub every night back then, but might be worth a watch now. Speaking of the pub, Phil Silvers as Bilko at 1120pm on BBC1 was timed perfectly for arriving home from a night out.

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