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Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Deadly Prophecy
Episode 22, Season 1

The Case of the Deadly Prophecy
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson go to Belgium. A young Belgian schoolboy has an uncanny knack to predict who is going to die next.

Each month he writes the name of the school faculty member who is going to croak next.

It is a case that certainly intrigues Holmes as he sets about to question various villagers. The local doctor knew everyone and it seems from his clothes, he has spent time in Paris.

Then there is the soothsayer who predicts fortunes, an obvious suspect Holmes thinks.

Just how did the schoolboy get to have the knowledge though, a mesmerising notion his Holmes.

I do wonder if the makers thought Belgian and France were interchangeable. Maybe it should had been set in a small village in France.

The murderer was easy to figure, it was the prophecy with the schoolboy that was intriguing.

The Detectives: Point of No Return
Episode 13, Season 3

Point of No Return
Louise and Everett are newlyweds on a quiet desert road. They are stopped by Michael who claims that his car has broken down and his wife is all alone.

The couple are reluctant and Michael agrees with them. He would not stop to offer a life to a stranger. However he is a trustworthy looking person so they ask him to jump in.

They should have listened to Michael. He is a robber on the run and he needs to rendezvous with the other robbers.

Soon Everett is injured and Louise is held captive. Luckily Captain Matt Holbrook is in a hunting trip and hears about the robbery and decides tom help out local law enforcement. He also sends a garbled message to his home base.

Holbrook finds the injured Everett and then decides to go after the rest of the gang by pretending to be a local hunter.

There is a lot of location footage, some expensive helicopter shots as Sgt Steve Nelson tries to find Holbrook.

It ends with a lot of muscular gunfire and some character moments with the head of the gang, Tully. Not for him going fishing and living of his memories in old age. He wants to enjoy himself by drinking wine like you do in middle age.

Zane Grey Theatre: The Long Road Home
Episode 3, Season 1

The Long Road Home
Host Dick Powell talks about cattle rustling which led to cattle being branded, so neighbouring ranchers which ones belonged to them.

This is the cause of a family feud in Texas between two landowning families, the Hattons and the Gracies. It has led to a nasty blood feud.

Now older brother Sam Gracie (Dick Powell) has come to town after some years, his sister wrote a letter to him.

Sam is not a popular man around town, not even with his father. He fought for the Yanks in the civil war but now he wants to stop the killing.

Kimbal Hatton, an old friend now wants to provoke Sam, but the latter knows that Kimbal is an expert gunfighter. So he turns to Sam's younger brother instead.

A solid story but this was very much a staple of the 30 minutes television westerns back in that era.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Big Switch
Episode 15, Season 1

The Big Switch
Set in 1920s Chicago, it is the time of the bootleggers and gangsters. Big Sam Dunleavy (George Mathews) is a lug just back from doing two hits in Miami.

He loves his cat, bird and his girl Goldie (Beverly Michaels) but she has ditched hi. Tonight Sam is going to run her out, he just needs an alibi. There is a cop hot on his tail.

Nightclub owner Barney (George E Stone) agrees to provide a watertight alibi for a price of £2500. Sam will be playing cards with him all night in a back room while Sam quietly slips away.

Only there is no hit of Goldie, she thinks on her feet and manages to talk herself out of certain death. Sam has to go and rejoin Barney.

Sam's big problem is, Barney's penchant of cleaning his gun misfires.

This is a nice character piece, Mathews does a good portrait of Big Sam who loves his pets and might just be a bit dim. The ending though is not that watertight. After all there would be no fingerprints of Sam on the gun.

The Goodies: The Stolen Musicians
Episode 5, Season 2

The Stolen Musicians
Musicians all over Britain are going missing. In some cases, whole orchestras have disappeared.

The Goodies are determined to get to the bottom of it. Graeme has an idea, they will become musicians.

Only no one turns up to see them perform. The plan is successful though, they too are abducted.

The mastermind of this dastardly scheme is The Music Master (Henry McGee.) He wants to own all the music in the world and make money from releasing it all. He is a loony.

He has them all in little cells, even The Beatles but they are too busy arguing than actually making new music.

Now the Goodies have to write a hit song, but it is to make sure everyone escapes, apart from Cilla Black that is. Bill finds her too loud.

There are plenty of barbs against Rolf Harris, a small disc that is his greatest hits record, it has no songs. I wonder if Rolf once tried to get Bill to play with his didgeridoo.

Cilla Black makes a vocal only appearance. McGee once again shows he is a master of light comedy.

Star Trek: Voyager: Ex Post Facto
Episode 7, Season 1

Ex Post Facto
Tom Paris has been arrested for murder and is sentenced to relive the crime from the point of view of the victim every 14 hours.

It is up to Tuvok to play detective and clear Paris. To do this he performs a mind meld with him.

The episode starts like a neo noir with a scantily dressed femme fatale, Lidele Ren who is married to the much older scientist Tolen Ren.

Voyager had contacted the Baneans as there technology could help out the crew with a damaged piece of equipment. While Harry Kim and Tolen Ren talked science, Paris went schmoozing with his wife.

The Baneans are at war with with another race, the Numiri. It is this Tuvok believes why Paris was framed for murder.

LeVar Burton directed this story and it has similarities to a ST:TNG story. Only this one is a bit rubbish. Maybe Paris and Kim should had told Tolen Ren to stick to his lab.

The dog at the end was just taking the biscuit.

Colin from Accounts: Bandit
Episode 7, Season 1

Anyone who has been out with someone. Then felt they were subsequently getting gaslighted by their new boy/girlfriend. Especially in front of their friends. Will understand Gordon's predicament in this episode.

It is Ashley's birthday, she and her friends come down to Gordon's pub. Unfortunately they do not like the food, wanting to order their own pizzas. They want shots and fancy cocktails instead of beer.

The biggest sin is Gordon trying to be hip, he just comes across as a square. Most of her friends think he is Ashley's dad.

I can understand why this would be a divisive episode, Ashley acts out of character. Only some people do not realise how they behave when they are with bosom buddies.

I liked how some random holidaymaker from England got involved in the bad behaviour.

The Larkins: Total Welfare
Episode 5, Season 2

Total Welfare
With Hetty away, her mother has come over to look after the family. Only Gran Foskett is not so enamoured with the Larkins.

She has bad things about them, like they are always scrounging from Hetty and Sam.

Gran Foskett also tries to stop Eddie from seeing Myrtle. Son in law Sam has had enough of her.

It is Alf Larkins who has a scheme up his sleeve. He gets Jeff to pretend to be a council inspector and makes out there is something wrong with the drains.

Sam and Myrtle would have to move next door and Gran Foskett has to go back home. Only she also moves in with the Larkins as well.

She makes the Larkins lives a misery.

Well it was a daft plan, Jeff does a bad Irish accent as the council inspector. At least it makes a change from the bad tempered would be writer he portrays. I guess he just reflects the real writers of this comedy. No wonder there are no laughs.

The Eiger Sanction

The Eiger Sanction
Clint Eastwood stars and directs The Eiger Sanction. A plan to move away from cowboys and cops movie and move into espionage.

It is an uneasy mixture of taking a cynical look at spycraft and poking fun at the Bond movies.

Dr Jonathan Hemlock is a college art lecturer with an art collection worth millions. That is because he made his real money as a secret government agency assassin run by the shadowy albino Dragon (Thayer David.)

When a friend of Hemlock is killed in Zurich. He his reluctantly coaxed out of retirement to kill the two agents responsible. Hemlock completes the first mission however the second agent is unknown.

All the agency knows that he has a limp and he will be part of a team climbing the Eiger mountain in the Alps. Hemlock needs to get in shape for the climb. He goes to Utah to be trained by a gregarious old friend Ben Bowman (George Kennedy.)

There is a lot wrong with the movie. The plot is bonkers. Too much time is spent on the Utah bits as Hemlock goes to train. Although Hemlock romances two women, one black, the other native American, it also gets involved in tiresome sterotypes. Although Jack Cassidy treacherous gay agent can be traced back to movies such as Secret Agent directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

The mountain climbing scenes are breathtaking, it seems Eastwood is up there at the mountain and not the stuntmen. It is just an oddly structured movie and not a very good thriller.

Till Death Us Do Part: Christmas Club Books
Episode 5, Season 6

Christmas Club Books
There is a lot what Alf says that never adds up. With Else away, it is time to distribute the Christmas club money. Only Alf cannot get his books to add up.

Bert comes around to enquire as Christmas will soon be here. Only geography is more his strong point.

Back at the pub some of the regulars are suspicious that Alf might have been pilfering the Christmas club money. He might be joining Else in Australia soon.

While Mike is unhappy that his father in law might soon be in the clink for stealing. Rita is shocked that not only are the books in disarray but he borrows money from the darts club.

It is a bit of a stretch anyone would trust Alf with their money. At least there was fun to see Alf being silenced when nothing adds up. It does have a dark ending with a detective wanting to look at the books.

Guilty Conscience

Guilty Conscience
Written by Richard Levinson and William Link, the creators of Colombo. This is an American television movie from the mid 1980s.

Arthur Jamison (Anthony Hopkins) is a much lauded defence lawyer. Unfortunately his his wife Louise (Blythe Danner) wants a divorce and it is going to be an expensive one for him.

Years earlier she was a good catch, her father was a judge. An ideal match for an aspiring lawyer. Now he is successful and wealthy and he plans to kill Louise.

Only with the plans in his head. Arthur cross examines each murder scenario to see if he can get away with murder.

Later a curve ball is thrown, when his mistress Jackie (Swoosie Kurtz) turns up and it seems both her and Louise have met before. Maybe even cooked something up.

The story is very much like a stage play, a three hander. This plays into Hopkins strengths as he in essence interrogates himself for long portions.

It is clear that Guilty Conscience is an updated version of Sleuth. It is not as captivating as the Caine/Olivier movie.

The Outer Limits: The Mice
Episode 15, Season 1

The Mice
A prison warden is looking for volunteers. Chino Rivera (Henry Silva) volunteers and it involves being transported to alien planet of Kromo.

It is a mutual exchange and the alien being from Kromo has already arrived. It is supposed to be a scientist and feeds by photosynthesis. Only the alien monster seems to according to Chino, a garbage eater spending a lot of time by the pond.

The photosynthesis part was a lie. The alien wants to feed and is prepared to kill if the food source is threatened.

Silva gives a committed performance, a prisoner incarcerated for murder. Only Chino thinks that the death was justified. His character has some kind of understanding with Dr Julia Harrison (Diana Sands.)

The alien rubber monster looks terrible. It seems the minster manages to roam around at will and no one seems to be bothered. This is an ineptly guarded facility.

Apart from Silva, one of the leads is a black actress. There is nothing much going here, the story moves at a slow pace.

The Goodies: Culture for the Masses
Episode 6, Season 2

Culture for the Masses
In Culture for the Masses, The Goodies are once again more inspired by the Pythons.

You certainly need to know your art and there is even some Gilliam lite animation.

With Americans buying up art in Britain. Tim makes a stand and outbids the Yanks for a Velazquez self portrait at an auction. Only he paid so much gazillions for it, the National Gallery cannot afford to buy it back from the Goodies.

So the Goodies steal other artwork from the Gallery by pretending to be cleaners of artwork. Only now the minister closes the National Gallery down as it has no paintings left.

Later Graeme has an idea of making art galleries more interesting. Such as pin the ear on Van Gogh, knocks the arms off the Venus de Milo.

This is a Goodies episode you would appreciate more as you get older. Most of this episode would have flown over my head in the 1970s. I was not cultural enough as a kid.

Maigret: Maigret on Home Ground
Episode 5, Season 1

Maigret on Home Ground
Based on the book L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre. The earlier BBC version was called Maigret and the Countess.

This is the more faithful adaptation and it begins with Maigret getting a note at his police station in Paris. The anonymous letter warns him of a murder that will take place during mass at the church in the village Maigret grew up in.

Lucas thinks the letter is a hoax but Maigret travels to Saint-Fiacre and the aged Countess is found dead. The doctor thinks it was due to her weak heart. Maigret still believes it was murder. The prayer book which he later finds, contained a torn newspaper headline that her son had died. Enough to shock her to death.

The story gives Maigret an opportunity to visit the Countess's estate. His father used to manage it under the old Count when it ran like clockwork. Now it has been delipidated. Bad investments and overspending.

The Countess' son is a gambler in Paris. The farms, artworks all had to be sold off to pay debts. The estate is a shadow of what remains in Maigret's memory.

It was a tricky story, there is a suggestion that the murderer was mad. Why would they warn Maigret in Paris?. An important clue is noticed by Maigret as he interrogates one of the suspects, it looked trivial at first.

In the end the motivation was robbery but one that was going on for years.

Litvinenko: Episode #1.4
Episode 4, Season 1

Episode 4
Litvinenko the mini series was a frustrating piece of drama. I have to acknowledge, not as frustrating what the friends and family of Alexander Litvinenko are still going through.

The police hand over the their evidence, boxes of them, a product of over 20,000 man hours to the Crown Prosecution Service. I am sure the police knew deep down that President Putin will never allow the extradition of the suspects.

Marina Litvinenko is pushed to hire a human rights barrister Ben Emmerson QC who goes for the public inquiry route. It is the only way to make the Russian state complicit in Alexander Litvinenko's murder.

This was a dry and dull end to the story. It really could had been tacked to an extended third episode. It highlighted the documentary aspects of the real life drama but there was not enough drama to fill the full hour.

Screen Two: The Long Roads
Episode 3, Season 9

The Long Roads
Peter McVurrich (Robert Urquhart) and Kitty McVurrich (Edith MacArthur) are a couple who leave their farm in the Isle of Skye to visit their children.

Peter was a sailor who travelled the world while Kitty stayed at home to raise her children.

Their first port of call is Glasgow. Iain is a police officer and his wife might be having a fling with his colleague. She is also not comfortable with her in laws staying with them.

They then visit their daughter Fiona in Liverpool. She has money problems having to work as a masseuse to make ends meet.

In Peterborough their son Roddie is a technocrat with a vision of a future that was not that far wrong.

Down in London, daughter Deirdre is married to a wealthy financier who puts them up in a suite at a hotel with all expenses paid. Whereas their other daughter Mairi is aghast that Deirdre would not put her parents up for a few nights at their mansion.

It is a final journey for Kitty, she is dying of cancer and she wants to see her children for a final time. In turn the couple experience the changing face of 1990s Britain in both socio-economic terms. Peter and Kitty just suddenly turn up, they wrote a letter that they would be arriving to stay. Not even a phone call.

In Glasgow the children and grandchildren seemed oblivious, Iain unable to even say goodbye to his mother. In Liverpool the family is deep in debt whereas Deirdre has no money issues at all.

At its heart this is a bittersweet and poignant story. Even though Peter is from Skye he is a man of the world, he can greet people in other languages. There is a nice moment where he play roulette to make the night at a hotel to be little more swanky.

Even Kitty is more understanding of Fiona's predicament to make ends meet. It allows her to ask Peter whether he ever strayed. The experience of travelling the country brings both of them together despite the apathy of some of their offsprings.

Writer John McGrath was inspired to write this personal piece after the death of his parents. It also has similarities to Tokyo Story.

The Four Just Men: Crack-Up
Episode 22, Season 1

Ingrid Brandt is the young glamorous widow of a Swedish banker. He was thought to have died five years earlier when his plane crashed in Canada.

He fled with half a million dollars of gold bullion. The bank tried to cover it up but it eventually went bust.

Now the plane has been found by a Canadian hunter called Flynn. Ingrid has come to see Jeff Ryder to find the wreckage. She is convinced that there is no gold in the plane. Her husband was not a thief and she wants to clear his name.

It very much looks like a few people with their own agendas such as a Swedish journalist who also has his eye on the gold. There is an effective twist although you do wonder how well Ingrid new her husband from sight.

Robert Shaw plays a Canadian Mountie, he has a wavering accent like all the other guest stars.

Annika: Episode #1.5
Episode 5, Season 1

Episode 5
Paul Galbraith a property developer was having a party in his boat and is later found dead. His body thrown overboard. However he died of a heart attack after being waterboarded.

Annika needs to figure out why would someone want to torture someone who was regarded as a popular person.

The investigation is linked with the Greek tragedy of Agamemnon.

Annika encounters an angry Greek neighbour of the dead man. The first sign that Paul might have been a nasty piece of work.

Investigations revealed that the manner of his death, mimicked that of Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer linked to asbestos.

A straightforward story with some nasty edges. Revenge against a toxic man who would deliberately place his close friends in danger. It even leads to the actual culprit being driven to the edge of what could had been a fiery demise.

The story is padded with Annika's budding romance with therapist Jake.

Purple Rain

Purple Rain
Let's face it Prince was never much of an actor. His movies were even more atrocious once he started to direct them.

Purple Rain at least fulfilled the purpose of launching Prince to superstardom. The song When Doves Cry with is accompanying video grabbed from the movie was a smash hit. That was followed up by the title track Purple Rain and Let's Go Crazy. It even won an Oscar for its music.

Director Albert Magnoli at least kept it offbeat and somewhat coherent. He also got the movie made on a low budget which became a cult classic. Prince doing his songs and moves on stage shows what a talent he was. That is as far as the praise goes.

The story about Prince playing the Kid. An egocentric lead of the Revolution who play in a Minneapolis bar band. The Kid has a troubled home life with an abusive father, a failed musician. The Kid has also upset the women in the band, Wendy and Lisa who have recorded their own song which the Kid has ignored.

Rival Morris Day with his group the Time wants the Revolution replaced as one of the regular bands in the club. He plans to entice the Kid's girlfriend Apollonia to start her own band.

Apart from Clarence Williams III as the father, no one in the movie could act. Prince and Morris Day are bad. Apollonia Kotero is atrocious.

The story is thin and a bit of a mess but Magnoli keeps it watchable. It really kicks in when Prince performs his best known songs.

The Buccaneers: Dan Tempest's War with Spain
Episode 4, Season 1

Dan Tempest's War with Spain
With Governor Woodes Rogers written out of the show. His character has gone away on an urgent secret mission.

This allows Robert Shaw to very much take over. The only issue is whether Dan Tempest will go back to be a pirate or remain someone to protect the Island of New Providence.

The ineffectual Lt Beamish is made the Acting Governor. He has introduced strict rules such as a curfew. After some rowdy behaviour in a bar. Tempest and his men have been locked up in jail.

Meanwhile a Spanish Galleon has landed with Beamish giving them a royal welcome. Not knowing that the uneasy truce has shattered, Britain and Spain are back at war.

The island is taken over by the Spanish. What Captain Philip Catalan does not know, Tempest and his crew escaped from prison and took over his ship which was left defenceless.

Dan Tempest then decides to expel the Spaniards from New Providence rather the be a pirate.

With the decision made, Tempest is the hero of the series.


Director Ivan Reitman and Arnold Schwarzenegger made three movies together. Twins was the best and Junior failed on delivery.

Arnie and Ivan reteam with Danny Devito but the magic from Twins is not replicated.

Arnie is Dr Alex Hesse, a research scientist from Austria. He is working with Dr Larry Arbogast (DeVito) a fertility expert. They are testing a new fertility drug, Expectane. However their funding is pulled in favour of a new project led by geneticist Dr Diana Reddin (Emma Thompson.)

Larry persuades Alex to continue with the research from another funding source. It involves Alex getting impregnated by an ovum codenamed 'Junior' that is stolen from Dr Reddin's lab.

The film follows Alex's pregnancy from getting morning sickness and then going into labour nine months later.

The comedy is forced with the only natural comedy coming from Thompson as her character is clumsy.

This was certainly a concept movie but it should had grown no further from there.

Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks: Part One
Episode 1, Season 25

Remembrance of the Daleks: Part One
Wow where did that come from?

From sheer mediocrity of Season 24 to pulling out all the stops for Season 25. The influence of Andrew Cartmel's vision is only fully realised here. He was brought in last minute as script editor for the previous season so many of the scripts were commissioned before his arrival.

From the pre title sequence with speeches from JFK to MLK and Hitler. The anticipation is amped up.

The Doctor and Ace return to Totters Lane in November 1963 as he left something behind. There are sinister goings on at Cole Hill School with something bad occuring in the basement.

The Doctor along with some soldiers led by Group Captain Gilmore (Simon Williams) and scientific advisor Professor Rachel Jenson (Pamela Salem) manage to catch a lone dalek. The Doctor just knows more are on their way.

Remembrance of the Daleks very much saved the McCoy era. John Nathan Turner knew that he was in the last chance saloon with the future of the show. There was some care and attention here.

It has outside location shooting, the sets are more atmospheric and detailed. At times a little reminiscent of EastEnders such as the cafe scene. This might have been the house style for shows shot on video in that era.

More importantly it was exciting and you wanted to see more. The best was at the end, Ace kneeing the headmaster (Michael Sheard) and that dalek climbing the stairs.

Target: The Corruptors: The Wrecker
Episode 22, Season 1

The Wrecker
Jonathan Amber (Luther Adler) is the Wrecker. A ruthless businessman, an asset stripper.

Amber does not stop there, if they are not for sale. He wrecks those companies. They lose customers, lose key contracts, or their best staff are poached. Then buys Amber them up cheap. Amber has been investigated in the past but he has managed to put up smokescreens.

Paul Marino wants to have a crack at Amber. He has got Jack Flood as bait with the help from a rival company that lost important research to Amber.

However Jonathan Amber has personal problems. His wife is a drunk and his daughter Ann has married a man he disapproves of. So Amber has got his new son in law Harvey Warner a job in a newly acquired company. It is a set up.

Amber plans to ruin Harvey with some subterfuge.

Directed by Sydney Pollack who became a decorated film director. He very much makes it like a melodrama. You can sense a touch of A cat on a hot tin roof in this story.

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?: Heart to Heart
Episode 2, Season 2

Heart to Heart
Bob returns from his skiing honeymoon with his leg in plaster. It was not a skiing accident, he fell getting off the plane.

He shows off the signatures on his cast from the ladies in the office to Terry. Since Bob has returned from honeymoon, he has become a babe magnet. Women like to flirt with newly married men.

However Terry has not got time to sup with Bob in the pub. He has a date with Susan, Thelma's sister. Things have got serious between the two while the others were away.

Only it is time for Susan to return to Canada where she has a boyfriend. Meanwhile Thelma is suspicious of the scribblings on Bob's leg.

The writers have managed to keep the banter between Terry and Bob going even with the changed circumstances. I liked the line from Bob that made Susan and Thelma's mother faint.

Kingdom: Episode #1.2
Episode 2, Season 1

Episode 2
In the second episode and Peter Kingdom is trying to trace that mysterious phone call. Could it really be from his dead brother?

Meanwhile Aeste an Estonian woman working for local farmer Jack Thriplow (Steve Pemberton) comes to see Peter. The farmer has taken her child.

Peter is reluctant to take matter to court. He finds out from Thriplow that Aeste abandoned her child. He is the father of the child and named on the birth certificate.

Worse still, Aeste is Ukrainian, a non EU citizen so faces deportation. Maybe Peter needs to get both parties to be united. The potential hiccup is that Lyle is willing to marry Aeste so she could stay in Britain.

The main story had several areas of insight. The use of EU labour that verged on exploitation. Yet at the same time the surrounding communities were also anti immigrant. A precursor to Brexit.

The supposedly humorous B plot was Lyle trying out for the annual dyke leaping contest. Unfortunately the poles were defective as it was made from the wrong type of wood.

Unfortunately Peter sister Beatrice is already increasingly irritating. I really thought that her character was not needed. She is really there for the main arc regarding the supposedly dead brother.

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