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There's a lot of talk here of the latest and greatest TV shows, and you might hear the odd mention of some older shows here and there, but does anyone else here enjoy watching old TV programmes going back?

 

Right now I'm really enjoying The Sandbaggers, an ITV espionage drama that ran between 1978 and 1980. Whilst some of it dated the actual stories are still great, revolving around government involved in off-the-books political operations abroad, assassinations etc.

 

Also been working my way through Doomwatch, or at least the remaining episodes. It ran from 1970 to 1972 and concerns a government department investigating bad science. Again, it's very dated yet still entertaining in a retro-future sort of way.

 

Picked up a few DVD/BluRays as well including 1990, Threads and Edge Of Darkness. Quite a few of these are on Youtube.

 

Anyone have any other good recommendations for old telly, especially forgotten shows worth a watch?

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Gerry Anderson's UFO - live action plus some model work; Earth faces alien invasion, but a secretive organization protects us from their various attempts.

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8 minutes ago, smac said:

Gerry Anderson's UFO - live action plus some model work; Earth faces alien invasion, but a secretive organization protects us from their various attempts.

Right, from the far future of 1980!

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Pity they didn't get the groovy cars right, then.

 

The one that depresses me most is Back to the Future. Yup, all three films are now firmly set in the past.

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a masterpiece even now.

 

Funny how The Sweeney still stands up but The Professionals doesn’t. Or maybe not because you can relate to the story in The Sweeney in precisely the same way you can’t in The Professionals. (A nuclear bomb! In a bowling alley! In Hemel Hempsted!”)

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I've been slowly making my way through Taxi. Some of the comedy is a bit dated but a lot stands up and it's totally worth it for Danny DeVito alone, not to mention the music by Bob James.

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Blakes 7 Season 1 is superb and the rest isnt half bad either!

 

Survivors , the original, is another great 70s show. Three series I think and the first is the best but again all are worth a watch.

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On 16/03/2021 at 23:55, Clipper said:

Survivors , the original, is another great 70s show. Three series I think and the first is the best but again all are worth a watch.

 

They've just put it on Britbox so that's going on me list. 

 

In addition to all the good stuff mentioned above the BFI have been doing some great releases over the years. Things like the Changes, or the adaptation of Red Shift.

 

Also no one's mentioned Edge of Darkness yet, which I must rewatch. Great series. 

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Just finished series 1 of The Sandbaggers. That was fantastic especially the last episode. It's a crime this isn't on some sort of streaming service for more people to watch (yeah I know it's on Youtube but some of those episodes up there are not great to watch because of the efforts made to avoid a strike; I had to go elsewhere to find them).

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On 16/03/2021 at 21:42, Camel said:

I've been slowly making my way through Taxi. Some of the comedy is a bit dated but a lot stands up and it's totally worth it for Danny DeVito alone, not to mention the music by Bob James.


i barely remember the show funnily enough, but man that theme tune.

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On 16/03/2021 at 22:50, davidcotton said:

Been making my way through Blake’s 7 randomly, but even so nearly done it now.  If you can take classic Who effects then try season 1 if you haven’t.

Watched all of those a few years back and was impressed how, despite the Doctor Who-level sets and effects, the writing was generally still great. They had to adapt the overarching story somewhat when various major cast members decided they'd had enough but it still stands up. It's also great for spotting people each week and saying "it's that guy off The Bill!" or whatever.

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I've just recently watched it all and I loved it. In fairness to Who, the effects in that are better as at least you can generally work out what's going on. In Blake the effects (certainly the space battles) are impenetrable and hardly tell the story at all. Luckily, the writing and performances are all excellent. And then there's Darrow :wub:

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19 hours ago, Arn Ironjaw said:

Some old "Play For Today" stuff is pretty good. 

 

Scum and another one with Sting in it were good from what i remember, i should imagine they'll be on YouTube somewhere. 

Yes, Youtube delivers, it has both the film and the original TV version: needs a VPN to watch it

 

 

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I hadn’t heard of Children of the Stones, nor The Changes, until I saw Stewart Lee talking about them on Screenwipe. Both brilliant shows, very much in a “they don’t make em like they used to” way. 
 

Stones is proper folk horror stuff, Changes is really interesting as it had a lot of episodes including a group of Hindu travellers the main character joins. Very progressive for the early 70s. 
 

 

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37 minutes ago, Twinbee said:

I hadn’t heard of Children of the Stones, nor The Changes, until I saw Stewart Lee talking about them on Screenwipe. Both brilliant shows, very much in a “they don’t make em like they used to” way. 
 

Stones is proper folk horror stuff, Changes is really interesting as it had a lot of episodes including a group of Hindu travellers the main character joins. Very progressive for the early 70s. 
 

 

Where did you find them ? Would be interested in watching both of these. 

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I bought them both on DVD (The Changes was a BFI release a few years ago, with a nice making-of booklet and a documentary about the Asian population of the UK in the 70s, which was good).

 

I believe some enterprising soul may have added episodes to YouTube though. 

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14 hours ago, Arn Ironjaw said:

 

Scum and another one with Sting in it were good from what i remember, i should imagine they'll be on YouTube somewhere. 

 

Brimstone and Treacle? (Which i recently learned was actually a remake, the original lacking Sting) ITV's equivalent, Armchair Theatre,  was also good and gave us the pilot of The Sweeney.

 

I've been going through the second volume of Scarred for Life and there's a show called Deadhead that I really want to see. And the Strange World of Gurney Slade.

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Plus the original wasn't broadcast for years and years on the BBC, due to BBC execs finding out about the plot at the last minute.

 

(obviously: watch everything Dennis Potter wrote. Even Blackeyes)

 

I'm working my way through The Owl Service right now, which is another late 60s-early 70s children's TV series that's vaguely terrifying.

 

The Beiderbecke Trilogy is oh-so-slight, but so fucking charming. Either this or What Ever Happened To The Likely Lads? is peak James Bolam. But this also has Barbara Flynn.

 

Plays For Today that are readily available and fit into the 70s hauntology theme: Robin Redbreast, Panda's Fen, and A Photograph.

 

For proper old-school political drama, seek out PFTs like Country, Destiny, and All Good Men (which is darkly hilarious as it castigates the 1945 Labour government for being too centrist). You should also look at ITV's Bill Brand - an 11-part serial about a newly-elected Labour MP.

 

Another bit of 70s conspiracy tucked away on the BBC in the 70s: The Donati Conspiracy (I haven't seen its follow up, State of Emergency, yet, but both series are available on youtube if you look).

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15 minutes ago, Peter St John said:

Plus the original wasn't broadcast for years and years on the BBC, due to BBC execs finding out about the plot at the last minute.

 

(obviously: watch everything Dennis Potter wrote. Even Blackeyes)

 

I'm working my way through The Owl Service right now, which is another late 60s-early 70s children's TV series that's vaguely terrifying.

 

The Beiderbecke Trilogy is oh-so-slight, but so fucking charming. Either this or What Ever Happened To The Likely Lads? is peak James Bolam. But this also has Barbara Flynn.

 

Plays For Today that are readily available and fit into the 70s hauntology theme: Robin Redbreast, Panda's Fen, and A Photograph.

 

For proper old-school political drama, seek out PFTs like Country, Destiny, and All Good Men (which is darkly hilarious as it castigates the 1945 Labour government for being too centrist). You should also look at ITV's Bill Brand - an 11-part serial about a newly-elected Labour MP.

 

Another bit of 70s conspiracy tucked away on the BBC in the 70s: The Donati Conspiracy (I haven't seen its follow up, State of Emergency, yet, but both series are available on youtube if you look).

Some good shouts there, cheers. 

 

I managed to pick up a Likely Lads/Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads box set for £3 back in the days when you'd buy things in town. Looking forward to returning to the office because on the way back to the bus stop I'd take a shortcut through CEX and if I had time to kill brows the DVDs. Picked up some really good stuff for not a lot that way including a Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister box set for £3 as well. 

 

Re James Bolam, a friend if my brother's at uni shared a house with James Bolam's daughter. He would sometimes visit her at the weekend, she told her housemates not to say "oh you're that guy off the telly" as he absolutely hated it. 

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Bolam is famously really tetchy and seems to hate being a public figure. He didn’t speak to Rodney Bewes from late 1970s right until Bewes’ death due to Bewes talking about fairly innocuous private conversations in an interview. One hell of a grudge. (although from all accounts, Bewes was a bit of a pain)

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Looking at plays, I want to watch The Spongers again, a 1978 Play For Today about a single mother's battle against the welfare state, played dead straight. Not seen it in a good 25 years but I remember it was very hard-hitting even then. I see it's on Youtube but will have to fire up the VPN to watch it later. 

 

Tony Garnet produced The Spongers, he also had an involvement with one of the best police shows of the last 30 years: The Cops. Again, played very straight, it was phenomenal. I was at uni when it started and our house would make a point of sitting down and watching it each week. A fantastic combination of dry comedy and high drama. 

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I used to work with one of Rodney Bewes' triplet sons. Lovely bloke named Joe; released techno records, lived with his brothers in a big house in Wimbledon, had a massive teetering pile of SNES games. Never did return my copy of Super Mario World.

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