Home / Tag: British television
10.11.2010 | | Posted at 11:35 AM
By David Luhrssen
Good music, movies and television from the past��classics� in the overused terminology of nowadays�keeps getting packaged and repackaged again. One new example of top-drawer older material reassembled is the �Great Detectives Anthology.� The 12-DVD set samples from British TV renditions of three deathless detectives�Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. All three have been visua...
10.01.2010 | | Posted at 01:43 PM

Mystery at its Best

By David Luhrssen
British television continues to shine with bright moments for viewers of public television, and one of the brightest programs of recent years is �Inspector Lewis.� Most of Season 3 aired last month on MPTV and all five episodes are out on DVD. Although the plots are well constructed and�with only few exceptions�rise above the convolutions of that once were typical of British mystery ficti...
09.13.2010 | | Posted at 12:58 PM
By David Luhrssen
Patrick McGoohan�s famous starring role in �The Prisoner� was predicated on his background as the spy who eventually tired of all the duplicity. The creators of �The Prisoner� almost certainly referenced McGoohan�s previous stint in a British television series designed with American audiences in mind. The program that debuted in 1961 as �Danger Man� was reinvented as �Secret Agent�; the jazzy ...
08.23.2010 | | Posted at 10:28 AM

Britains Dark Trilogy

By David Luhrssen
The series of Swedish films based on Stieg Larsson�s novels aren�t the only dark, made-for-TV trilogy of crime films from the northern rim of Europe where the sun retreats behind clouds for much of the year. Drawn from the novels of British expatriate author David Pearce, the �Red Riding� trilogy consists of the interlocked films 1974, 1980 and 1983. But in �Red Riding,� there is no Lisbeth Sala...
08.21.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
It was a clever idea for television. �The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes� was a series based on detective stories by Arthur Conan Doyle�s less-remembered contemporaries, all of them set in late Victorian England and featuring eccentric sleuths. The 1971 first season is out Sept. 1 on DVD. The 13 episodes were filmed on the tightly budgeted stage sets endemic to British TV of that time, and the...
07.14.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Conundrums in space and time are popular right now in pop culture. One example: the ABC series “Life on Mars,” concerning an NYPD detective who wakes up in 1973. Like many standout American shows, from “All in the Family” through “American Idol,” it’s based on a British precedent. The U.K. original of “Life on Mars” will be released as a four-DVD set on July 26. In episode one,...
07.02.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Blame it on Ian Flemming, who led the world to believe that spying, especially for British intelligence, was glamorous business. After all, James Bond wore sharp clothes, drove flash cars and drank in the swankiest lounges on earth. The British television series �Callan� depicted the spy trade in a dimmer light. Closer to the ambivalent perspective of John LeCarre�s Cold War novels, the spy call...
06.30.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Forty years ago this July the world was focused on one thing: the first footsteps of humans on another world. On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 lifted off from Cape Kennedy for a mission to the moon. Anyone conscious at the time will never forget those anxious days of wonder. Would the astronauts land safely? Would they be able to return? The BBC-TV production �Apollo 11: A Night to Remembe...
06.27.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
From the outside it doesn�t look like much. Number 10 Downing Street isn�t Buckingham Palace, or the Winter Palace, or the White House, but a modest-looking townhouse on a street of townhouses. But this relatively anonymous dwelling has been the seat for centuries of Britain�s government, the residence of the Prime Minister and the meeting place for the cabinet. The 1983 British televisio...
04.08.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Veteran British actor Albert Finney is magnificent in �A Rather English Marriage� (1999). For the award-winning UK television drama (out now on DVD), Finney plays Squadron Leader Reggie Conyngham-Jervis, an upper-class Englishman of ponderous and slightly ridiculous dignity. While his wife is dying in hospital, he meets another World War II veteran about to become a widower, the plebeian Roy Sou...