If Meighan's Professor is Doctor Why....

Postby Muttley on Sat Mar 30, 2002 1:23 pm

Frustrated Pilot said:
I never saw Blake's 7, but I have one of the novelizations. Servalan strikes me as being the very model of a modern skiffy major...I think you know the next word. :smile:

Ah, Servalan. She was never military, more the cold-hearted administrator, prepared to use anyone or anything to get her way.

Sorry to hear about the Queen Mum. I am wearing black today.

Ah. Thank you - it is rare for non-Brits to be knowledgable about the less major Royals. She was one of those rare people who are almost universally loved and respected. I suppose it began in the last war, where she, and King George VI truly won the hearts of the people, and stood together with them in our darkest hour.

She was our last link to the Victorian age, born before flying machines existed, when the fastest thing on earth was a steam locomotive. A time for recollection, and a setting of perspectives.

Sadly,
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Postby Roscoe on Sat Mar 30, 2002 7:14 pm

On 2002-03-28 09:33, Nullset wrote:
The Fred? It just doesn't roll off the tongue. :wink:


Reminds me of The Finn.

*click*

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Postby SteveB on Sun Mar 31, 2002 10:23 am

On Blake's 7: The character of Avon redeemed the series for me. He did get perhaps a bit too noble after Blake left, but the constant teetering on the edge between halfway decent and entirely self-serving before that kept me interested.

On Dune: If this miniseries is the same one that was shown on the Sci-Fi channel, it was GREAT!!!

On British TV in general: Back in the late 1970s, before cable, when "American TV" meant three networks, PBS and a smattering of indpendent stations, and British TV in America meant Masterpiece Theater and the Pythons on PBS, an article in TV Guide written by someone who went to England for a few months said that Americans had a very wrong-headed view of British TV because we only get the best stuff.

On a scale of 1-10, this writer claimed, American stuff rarely got as high as an 8, but only the other hand never got below a 5, spending most of the time in the 6-7 range. British, TV, on the other hand, often hit an 8 or 9, but just as often hit a 1 or 2. Since we only got the 8s and 9s, we thought of their TV as better than ours, when actually it just had a broader range.

After having seen Benny Hill and "Some Mothers Do Have 'Em," I see exactly what that writer meant.

Of course, now, I think we have the full range on American TV, too, with a zillion channels to fill up with material. What's amazing is that Britain did it back when their airspace was as limited as ours.

On Python: Watching entire episodes now is almost painful. One becomes very aware that there were moments of brilliance punctuating long stretches of boring silliness. But when they were on, they were on. ("This parrot is dead!") The original "Saturday Night Live" is much the same, young folks raised on the reruns on Comedy Central that chop the best half hour out of each hour and a half show have an inflated idea of just how funny those guys were (although, to be fair to the original cast, the new guys aren't nearly as funny even when CC does the same thing to them).

One more British note: One of my favorite miniseries of all time is "I, Claudius," which was the first BBC production brought over for "Masterpiece Theater" (or at least one of the first -- it ran the first year, anyway). I own a copy of the entire series and recently watched it again. It's still great. And, of course, there are lots of folks in it with fannish connections, from Brian Blessed and Patrick Stewart to John Rhys-Davies and Patricia Quinn. Great stuff.

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Postby FrustratedPilot on Sun Mar 31, 2002 12:41 pm

I forget where I read it (probably <i>Don't Panic</i> by Gaiman) but there was an observation that British TV got its game shows from America and American TV got its sitcoms from Britain. There seems to be a little truth to that, up until <i>Weakest Link, Fear Factor </i>and<i> Big Brother</i> came along at least--<i>Fawlty Towers</i> was remade Stateside TWICE, the last time by John Laroquette a few years back.

As for Benny Hill, he was unabashedly a throwback to the British comedy theater of the previous century. Nothing wrong with that, but in America we don't culture that kind of nostalgia. We have Warner Bros. cartoons for that.

Those gentle posters in the non-U.S. world? What American shows are being shown in your countries now? <i>NYPD Blue</i>? <i>West Wing</i>? <i>Enterprise</i>?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: FrustratedPilot on 2002-03-31 14:57 ]</font>
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Postby Strangeone on Sun Mar 31, 2002 2:25 pm

I remember when my family when on vacation to Europe several years ago, we were watching TV in Paris and to our surprise they had the sitcom "Step By Step" dubbed in French.

Well, at least it wasn't Full House.
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Postby Muttley on Mon Apr 01, 2002 3:58 am

FrustratedPilot said:
Those gentle posters in the non-U.S. world? What American shows are being shown in your countries now?

I have no satellite dish, so can only comment on terrestrial broadcast TV. Skimming through this week's Radio Times I can spot the following, that I know are American or are positively attributed in the listings:

24
X-Files
Andromeda
Smallville
The West Wing
Arrest and Trial
Law and Order
The Simpsons
Futurama
ER
Cheers
TJ Hooker
Oprah
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
South Park
Friends
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

And this is without digging into the "Childrens TV" slots which are all in fine print anyway. But much of it seems to be US-originated, from what I overhear when my son is watching.

The following are ones I suspect of being US but can't be sure of

The Tribe
Popular
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Martial Law
Murder Detectives

Amazingly enough, there is still plenty of time between all of these for some good British programs to fit in too :smile:

Regards,
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Postby SteveB on Mon Apr 01, 2002 9:56 am

On 2002-04-01 03:58, Muttley wrote:
I have no satellite dish, so can only comment on terrestrial broadcast TV. Skimming through this week's Radio Times I can spot the following, that I know are American or are positively attributed in the listings:


What an odd list of new and old! I'd love to know whether you have current or older episodes of, say, "Law and Order" or "ER."

"24," for instance, is a brand new show, just premiered last fall. "T.J. Hooker," on the other hand, ran on American TV from 1982-1986, and I don't think I've even seen reruns on cable networks in a decade. "Cheers" and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" are also long gone, although I think they are currently still being shown in reruns.

The following are ones I suspect of being US but can't be sure of

The Tribe
Popular
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Martial Law
Murder Detectives


"Popular" is now defunct, but there was a show recently with that name. "CSI" is definitately American, as is "Martial Law." Don't know the other two -- which, of course, doesn't necessarily mean they're not American.

Steve Bolhafner
Amazingly enough, there is still plenty of time between all of these for some good British programs to fit in too :smile:

Regards,
Muttley
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Postby FrustratedPilot on Mon Apr 01, 2002 10:21 am

Another thing about <i>Law and Order</i>--there are THREE currently running shows in the <i>L&O</i> family: <i>Law and Order, L&O: Special Victims Unit, </i>and<i> L&O: Criminal Intent</i>. I think <i>Third Watch</i> is also made by the same production company...I don't know.

I'm kinda ambivalent about <i>Martial Law</i>; it's great fun with all the stunts and one-liners...but when it was on here, it was right up aginst the Malcolm McDowell version of <i>Fantasy Island</i>, which was a great sci-fi/fantasy show that didn't get the following it deserved.
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Postby Muttley on Mon Apr 01, 2002 1:23 pm

SteveB wrote:
I'd love to know whether you have current or older episodes of, say, "Law and Order" or "ER."

L&O episode this week: Entrapment
ER: Supplies and Demands

"24," for instance, is a brand new show, just premiered last fall. "T.J. Hooker," on the other hand, ran on American TV from 1982-1986, and I don't think I've even seen reruns on cable networks in a decade. "Cheers" and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" are also long gone, although I think they are currently still being shown in reruns.

oops: I missed out The Fugitive, Little House on the Prarie, Malcolm in the Middle. Oh dear, and Star Trek (TOS)!

Of those listed, Popular, The Tribe, CSI, Law and Order, Arrest and Trial, TJ Hooker and Murder Detectives are all on Channel 5 (the newest channel).

Generally, the newest (and therefore most expensive) series are given prime-time slots, with the older reruns filling in the daytime or late-night schedules. It was most irksome that Channel 4 broadcast their reruns of the last series of Babylon 5, and all of Crusade, after midnight.

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Postby Maccabee on Mon Apr 01, 2002 2:26 pm

I liked Popular quite a bit. It was a parody of teen dramas, and often wickedly effective as such. The big danger was that they would play things too safe and become the thing they parodied (this happened on occasion). I think it's a real shame that the show only ran for two seasons.

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