Friday, 29 May 2015
First watched : Uncertain
This ITV drama ( 1972-75 ) was based , for its first series at least, on a not very well regarded Robert Louis Stevenson novel set in the War of the Roses, and concerned a disinherited young nobleman Richard Shelton taking revenge on his enemies by joining with a band of outlaws, the Black Arrow fellowship. My clearest memory of the series is the villain played by William Squire ( Hunter in Callan ) getting one in the neck after which , untethered from Stevenson , it rather dwindled into a pallid version of Robin Hood. A strong cast also included Play School's Gordon Rollings as the gang's Friar Tuck figure, a young Nigel Havers and Sally James unveiling the cleavage soon to be a memorable feature of Tiswas.
Thursday, 28 May 2015
First watched : 1974
I have only very vague memories of this Jackanory -style ITV series about a badly drawn panda who had magic powers if he could solve the aritjmetical problems on his magic number squares. It was narrated by the author of the books on which it was based, Keith Chatfield ( also responsible for Hatty Town ) With its all too obvious aim of getting kids to engage in one of my least liked subjects this was never going to be a favourite of mine.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
First watched : Uncertain
More half-interested holiday viewing here. I remember the theme song much more clearly than the drama. This was a re-titled fifties show originally called "The Adventures of Champion" and based on the equine companion ( played by more than one animal ) of film and TV cowboy Gene Autry. Autry was credited as a producer but didn't appear on the show which centered on a young boy Ricky played by Barry Curtis. Champion had no special powers as such but always had some role in rescuing Ricky from bad guys, tight spots etc. 26 black and white episodes were made in total.
First watched : 1973
This ITV kids show went out in the same time slot as Rainbow though for me at least it was far less memorable. It was a cross between Play School and Fingerbobs with two human presenters ( usually Alan Rothwell and a female who was sometimes Corrie's Amanda Barrie ) sharing the titular house with anthromorphic puppets derived from household objects, most memorably Humphrey Cushion. It lasted from 1973 to 1977 and is thought to survive intact but there's been no DVD.
I doubt I ever set out to watch it but in the seventies you took what you were given.
Saturday, 16 May 2015
First watched : Uncertain
I probably first saw this in autumn 1973 when it featured on ITV on a Thursday teatime.
Apart from a brief revival in 1999-2002 the Woody Woodpecker cartoons were made between 1940 and 1972 . In the early days Woody was completely demented with the most annoying laugh in cartoon history . Later he was made into a regular guy but the laugh - much imitated at school - remained. That's about all I remember it for to be honest.
Thursday, 14 May 2015
First watched : 14 November 1973
This wasn't quite the first televised royal wedding - that was Princess Margaret's back in 1960 - but it was the first of my lifetime and the first to be broadcast in colour. I remember getting the day off school because of it though I could have sworn it was a Thursday rather than a Wednesday. I guess that's because most of my one day holidays were for Catholic Holy Days of Obligation which were nearly always on a Thursday ( such as today - Ascension Day - now I come to think of it.)
I guess this is when I first began to identify the individual royals and became aware of the line of succession with Princess Anne taking her place behind the three boys. I don't think I watched too much of the ceremony to be honest but I certainly recall it as an event.
Besides being a telly event it was the first royal-commoner marriage for some time and set a bit of a precedent in that way as all three of her brothers would follow suit. Phillips was an army captain and Anne met him during the Munich Olympics where he won a gold medal for show-jumping , a year after the BBC toe-curlingly made her Sports Personality of the Year.
The marriage seemed to go reasonably well , producing two children, until 1985 when Phillips had a daughter with another woman as proved by a paternity test in 1991. The couple separated in 1989 and got divorced in the annus horriblis of 1992 although this was little noticed amid the Squidgytape and toesucking revelations. She married again almost immediately to a navy commander though had to do it in a private ceremony in Scotland to avoid an awkward dilemma for the Church of England. I don't think I even noticed it at the time. She remains the most respected of the queen's children for her charitable endeavours despite a well-attested grumpy and haughty personality. He, still a major player in equestrian circles, remarried somewhat later though is in the process of a divorce and bonking a woman 25 years younger.
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
First watched : November 1973
My memories of this six-part serial on a Monday are very vague and there isn't much on the net to jog them. It was something of a cross between The Long Chase and The Da Vinci Code. A young girl found the titular horse and it was somehow linked to the Holy Grail with a villain in a Citroen joining the chase.
The girl was played by Lindy Howard and it appears to have been her only acting job on screen. Her brother was played by a young Patrick Murray ( Mickey Pearce in Only Fools and Horses ) .
It was never repeated and must be presumed wiped long ago.
Sunday, 3 May 2015
First watched : Autumn 1973
Well Genome has surprised me here. I remember regularly watching a programme about silent movie stars on a Saturday morning but I would have put it much earlier than the latter part of 1973. They were repeats of a show first broadcast in 1969 in the evenings and can't have worked as a Saturday morning feature for it was pulled after just four weeks and hasn't been broadcast since.
The programme was broadcast from the National Film Theatre and presented by Michael Bentine who would lecture in a fairly straight manner about a theme illustrated by plenty of clips of the greats. Here's where I first saw Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton et al and found them reasonably funny.