Saturday, January 10, 2009

Found It! Longstreet

A while ago I came across a series called Longstreet in a book I was reading about a blind detective from the 1970s. It isn't available on DVD but I've found some clips from an episode on Youtube.

It is an episode called "The Way of the Intercepting Fist" which stars Bruce Lee, hence its popularity on the web. Here is an extract. The whole of this episode is online but broken up into YouTube sized chunks, but I will watch it all at some point soon.

Song of the Week: "Theme from Ironside2 by Quincy Jones

There hasn't been a song of the week for a long time. This week is can only be one thing, the theme from Quincy.

I usually avoid just doing theme tunes, but I've pretty much ran out of other tenously connected songs, and this one is by the legendary Quincy Jones so I think deserves its place here.

It is a great dramatic opening to the show and the theme is then reprised through the episodes in different forms to indicate the mood. I do love it but ten episodes into the boxset, it is beginnign to grate on me slightly.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hometown Detective

Imagine my surprise when I turned over to watch George Gently and saw the name of my hometown appear as the caption for the episode. South Shields, 1968.

I've never seen a detective programme set in my home town before. It was most strange. It was about racism with locals and immigrants from the Yemen (my town was also the site of the first UK race riots - not something they put in the tourist brochures). The episode featured a seedy bar on the beach called The Shoreline, which I was sure was a real place and having checked with my mother, it was. She went there once, thought she was too good for the place and then tripped on the step on the way out.

I guessed what was going on quite quickly, rather ruining the plot for myself, but I still enjoyed the episode. I'm a big fan of Lee Ingleby, who plays the sidekick, Bacchus.

I wondered if every episode would be set in "canny auld Shields" as it is often referred to up there, so investigated further. It turns out that the series is set in Northumberland (except obviously this episode as South Shields is not in Northumberland at all), but is based on books set in East Anglia (where I went to university coincidentally), but is filmed in Ireland. So it wasn't probably wasn't South Shields afterall, but it looked just like it.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Old Beginnings

In the last week I've seen the pilot episodes of two shows. Unfortunately they aren't the discovery of new shows, but just that I've finally seen how two old favourites began.

I was given the boxset of the first series of Ironside for Christmas (hurray!) which begins with a feature length pilot episode which shows Ironside receiving the gunshot injury that leds to him being in a wheelchair. I had assumed that much of Ironside's tough-talking cynicism came from being disabled, but this episode showed that the pre-shooting Ironside was much the same. He gave a great welcome to new recruits to the police force that told them they'd either be corrupt or assumed to be corrupt, and unappreciated until they were shot in the line of duty. He gave the nun nurses in hospital a hard time, he gave his colleagues a hard time and then he caught the person who shot him.

ITV4 continues to show no logic in how it shows Randall & Hopkirk Deceased and completely out of sync throw in the original pilot episode in the middle of the series. Whereas Ironside was disabled, the first episode here shows how Marty Hopkirk ended up dead and wearing a white suit. Marty is killed in what appears at first to be a hit and run, but he returns to haunt Jeff to tell him that it was murder. It is a great introduction to the premise of the series, that would have been better had it been shown at the start of the series!