Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I guess I am just old fashioned but the “progress” we are all supposed to be “enjoying” just doesn't seem like progress to me, and runs counter to what is supposed to be our most pressing concerns – the environment.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Poets have that touch and it was interesting and encouraging to hear about the popularity of poetry programming on some overseas broadcasters on last nights Front Row on BBC Radio 4
Finally we hear the the Times and Sunday times will be charging for web access from summer. Who really cares? Terre are many better alternatives available on line, certainly more balanced and non Murdoch ones!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Created in the mid 70s and running to four series ending in 1981, it has all of the hall marks of classic TV of the era. Wobbly sets, dubious locations – so some windswept northern masquerading as Spanish beach by the addition of some potted palms - and truly hopeless special effects when viewed from an age of CGI. But these are ephemeral and what makes it such a continuing success is the quality of the material – the series was originated by and largely written by James Mitchell - and the outstanding cast.
Mitchell wrote much of the Callan series and contributed to many seminal British TV series. He also wrote novels as James Munro and his work is shot through with wit and life.
Bolam handles the part of Ford with great aplomb – as you would expect - using the many contradictions inherent in the character to form a compelling agent in storyline. IT would be easy to go on. The cast list includes many performers with exceptional dramatic skills and understanding of their craft. Edward Wilson for example who went on to do such highly regarded work at the NYT and the California Youth theatre. However the main point is that regardless of some of the failing of the set and production values, good quality material and exceptional performers will still produce compelling absorbing and lasting work. These are the values TESCAPE aims to uphold.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
At the risk of this blog becoming an obituary column we have to say farewell to Harry Carpenter. Harry has been described as “one of the old school”, and I think that is meant affectionately rather than in any pejorative sense. He was without compare as a boxing commentator but was versatile and acted as anchor for more general sports programmes – notably Sportnsight.
He was, though, BBC trained in the days when the BBC could get it right. An interesting voice rather than a spectacular voice, but he used it to such good effect. Modulated and not prone to hyperbole or high volume outburst he was able to inject tension excitement and bring the viewer of listener into the event. Today's scruffy and unrestrained commentators – who seem to think that shouting and squeaking, as if on the terraces, makes for good commentary – would have learned a lot from Harry – know what I mean?
Saturday, March 20, 2010
But for my need to listen to spoken word keeping me tuned into the radio through the night I might never have heard it. It is a constant reminder that the usual channels and popular culture is very much a constraining path through life, so we should always try to investigate the new and less common routes. It is also a reminder of just how much craft and skill there is to be found away from the heavily promoted and over hyped.
Sorry to have to say goodbye Charlie but thanks for the ride – we wont forget you.