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Our Mother's House
Our Mother's House
by Julian Gloag
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars How did Ian McEwan get away with it?, 2 April 2014
This review is from: Our Mother's House (Paperback)
Nothing to add to what others have put about the novel.

But it's obvious that McEwan's novel was 'heavily inspired', not by the novel, but by the film version of the novel, which starred Dirk Bogarde and Yootha Joyce (among many others) and was released in 1967.


Dear John - Complete Collection - Series 1 & 2 Plus The Christmas Special [DVD]
Dear John - Complete Collection - Series 1 & 2 Plus The Christmas Special [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ralph Bates
Price: 18.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Great series that should have run for much longer., 2 Nov 2013
John Sullivan's writing was at its best in the 80s and Dear John is right up there, with his other great series Only Fools and Horses and Just Good Friends, as one of the very best situation comedies of not just the 80s but of all time.

Dear John really is a great series, with a great range of characters; there's genuine warmth and care in the series' developing relationships, as well as some tortuously agonising moments for some characters. It's a series that should have run and run - so why didn't it?

The lead actor, Ralph Bates, did develop cancer, but that was a good couple of years after the last episode was broadcast.

The real reason for the show's demise lies in interference from the highest level, a salutary reminder of the (careless) effects of ideological decision-making: following a series of run-ins with BBC management, the Thatcher government finally imposed change on the corporation in 1987. The Director General was sacked and accountants, rather than 'creatives', were given control of how spending, including programme spending, was apportioned - with greater emphasis being placed on cheap factual content, news and current affairs.

With less money to spend on traditional entertainment, BBC executives focused on the prestigious and 'big-hitters', as well as some new projects. Unfortunately, having not established itself as a big-hitter (unlike, say, Only Fools and Horses), Dear John was tossed aside. There was never an official announcement that the show would not be continuing, though, and Ralph Bates died in March 1991 still thinking that it might return.


Glorious 39 [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import]
Glorious 39 [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Christopher Lee

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A substantial and memorable film, 13 Oct 2013
It's a Stephen Poliakoff film, so expect a slow-burner that is as much about memory and identity as it is about anything 'factual'/historical.

Stick with it and you have a satisfying, if, in the end, slightly sentimental story.

Not one for the Friday/Saturday night multiplex crowd or for girly Doctor Who fans drawn to the film by the appearance of David Tennant.

Overall, a film that should have been promoted better and more prominently scheduled on first transmission by its co-investor, the BBC; a film that deserves a better reputation than it has.


The Calling Card Script: A Writer's Toolbox for Screen, Stage and Radio
The Calling Card Script: A Writer's Toolbox for Screen, Stage and Radio
by Paul Ashton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, but depressing., 26 Sep 2013
You just cannot argue against this book being very useful for anyone who wants to have their script accepted and produced professionally. After all, it's written by an industry insider - someone who continues to have power over what is and what is not accepted - and it's packed with good advice, addresses the most pertinent issues and presents a range of views by many of today's successful writers.

So what's wrong, then?

Apart from the symptomatically overly florid style - so many accepted scripts are over-written now, even the most supposedly naturalistic scenes - it's the emphasis on what is acceptable and what is not. Technical issues are one thing, but judgements of taste and fashionability are, surely, another? Fashions do change, after all, and shouldn't there be a place for truly individual voices, rather than just for those that are similar to those already lauded?

It's all rather like having Simon Cowell tell you about music.


A Very Peculiar Practice - The Complete BBC Series - [Network] - [DVD] [1986]
A Very Peculiar Practice - The Complete BBC Series - [Network] - [DVD] [1986]
Dvd ~ Peter Davison
Price: 13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars A great series that, satirically, told the truth about universities., 2 Sep 2013
'A Very Peculiar Practice' is from the end of the long period when the BBC used to make, seemingly routinely, great series - from a time when managers and accountants facilitated programme makers and put viewers first, rather than focusing on their own concerns.

It's drama, it's comedy, it's satire, but, most of all, 'A Very Peculiar Practice' portrays the (often uncomfortable) truth about university life. The first series is more straightforward and realistic than the second, but it's the second - largely dismissed, at the time, for being too OTT - that bites most hard at the nature of what university life was only just becoming, with private enterprise beginning to take hold, warping the sector and the experience of students and staff alike.

The spin-off, 'A Very Polish Practice' (1992), a 'prestige' BBC film, was made four years after the second series, when the new BBC regime (e.g. Michael Checkland and, most influentially, John Birt) had really taken hold and it's a pointless exercise; a film of modest length of course not allowing the in-depth presentation/study of issues that a series does.

All in all, five stars for the two series.

(After 'A Very Peculiar Practice', I can only think of an adaptation of David Lodge's 'Nice Work' (1989) having, anything like, a similar focus and I wonder if there will ever be a BBC series that takes a critical look at the university experience again? Given that about half of 18-21 year olds, never mind anyone else, are now in higher education, this seems remarkably neglectful.)


Masters Of Football Liverpool Classics 3 DVD BOX SET
Masters Of Football Liverpool Classics 3 DVD BOX SET
Dvd ~ ITV Sport

1.0 out of 5 stars This has already been released under a different title., 15 July 2013
This is a disgraceful release - it's the Team of the Seventies set plus the poorer half of the Team of the Eighties set.

It's worth getting only if you haven't got the Team of the Seventies set.


Mountain Whistle
Mountain Whistle
Offered by Palmer Riley Electrical Distribution
Price: 2.54

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 17 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am very disappointed with the sound produced from this whistle.

Get a football referee's whistle (with lanyard), instead - they are better, louder and, if you shop around, cheaper.


Dracula [DVD] [2006]
Dracula [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ David Suchet
Price: 5.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire; so bad, I wish they hadn't bothered., 18 Dec 2012
This review is from: Dracula [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
A prime example of ghastly 'event' television during Mark Thompson's time as BBC Director General; resources were being spread so thinly that when an adaptation was attempted it had to be something oh so familiar to ensure a basic audience, and then it had to be given a 'modern' (i.e. trendy) twist, to justify doing it at all.

Unfortunately, it looks like the 'spreading resources thinly' approach is set to stay, even if twentieth century and twenty-first century works are now more likely to be adapted rather than those from the nineteenth century like this.


40/40
40/40
Price: 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Music for people who actually like music., 7 July 2010
This review is from: 40/40 (Audio CD)
Too many favourites missing- nevermind the album tracks, the Carpenters released more singles than there are songs included on this compilation- but this is the place to start.


Most Relaxing Christmas (New World Orchestra)
Most Relaxing Christmas (New World Orchestra)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 11.95

4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Test Card music..., 2 Feb 2010
Now that there's a preview of the disc, you know what you're getting and it's certainly not orchestral versions. The disc itself is just as expected and what's there is actually well played.


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