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.