Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Who on the Radio Times!

Doctor Who cover: William Hartnell, February 1964
February 1964 and the first Radio Times cover featuring the first Doctor, William Hartnell.

Doctor Who cover: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, 1964
This cover dates back to November 1964 and features the Daleks in the six part story. The Dalek invasion of earth.

Doctor Who cover: The Web Planet, 1965
February 1965 and the Doctor Who story, "The Web Planet."

Did he fire six shots or only five? Remembering Dirty Harry - 1971

Dirty Harry (1971) was a critical and commercial success and set the style for a whole genre of police films. The film was followed by four sequels: Magnum Force in 1973, The Enforcer in 1976, Sudden Impact in 1983 (directed by Eastwood himself), and The Dead Pool in 1988.

In 2008, Dirty Harry was selected by Empire magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

A serial killer who calls himself "Scorpio" (Andy Robinson) murders a young woman in a San Fransisco swimming pool, using a high-powered .30-06 hunting rifle from the top of 555 California Street. SFPD Police Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) finds a ransom message promising his next victims will be "a Catholic Priest or a nigger" if the city does not pay $100,000. The chief of police and the Mayor (John Vernon) assign the inspector to the case.

Callahan goes to a local diner for lunch, where a robbery is in progress. The inspector—alone with his .44 Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver—challenges one of the robbers, after shooting three others, who lies wounded near a loaded 12 gauge Winchester Model 1912 shotgun:

"I know what you're thinking: Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all of this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is the 44 Magnum, the most powerful hand gun in the world and could blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?"

The robber surrenders rather than taking the risk, then says "I gots to know". Callahan answers the question by pulling the trigger, while aiming at the criminal; the gun was, in fact, empty.

Callahan is assigned a rookie partner, Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni). The veteran officer notes that his partners always get injured or worse so he needs someone experienced, but has no choice. Scorpio kills a young black boy from another rooftop, and the police believes the killer will next pursue a Catholic priest. Callahan and Gonzalez wait for Scorpio near the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. A shootout ensues, but Scorpio escapes, killing an officer.

Scorpio kidnaps, rapes and buries alive a teenage girl (Debralee Scott), then demands twice his previous ransom before the girl's air runs out. The mayor decides to pay, and tells Callahan to deliver the money with no tricks, but the inspector wears a wire and brings a knife. Scorpio sends Callahan to various payphones throughout the city to separate the inspector from any backup, but his partner follows him. The chase ends at the enormous cross at Mount Davidson. Scorpio brutally beats Callahan; Gonzalez arrives and saves his partner, but is wounded. Callahan stabs Scorpio in the leg, but the killer escapes without the money. Gonzalez survives his wound, but decides to resign from the force.

The doctor who treated Scorpio tells Callahan and his new partner, Frank DiGiorgio (John Mitchum), that he has seen Scorpio in Kezar Stadium. running out of time, the officers search the killer's room without a warrant and Callahan shoots Scorpio in his wounded leg. When Scorpio refuses to reveal the location of the girl and instead asks for a lwayer, Callahan tortures the killer by standing on the leg. Scorpio confesses and the police exhume the dead girl.

Because Callahan broke into Scorpio's home and seized his rifle, the District Attorney decides that the killer cannot be charged. An outraged Callahan follows Scorpio on his own time. Scorpio pays a thug to give him a severe, but controlled beating, then claims that the inspector is responsible. Callahan is ordered to stop following Scorpio, despite his protest that he did not beat the killer. Meanwhile, Scorpio assaults a liquor store owner and steals his Walther P38 handgun.

Dirty Harry

Scorpio kidnaps a school bus load of children. He demands another ransom and a plane to leave the country. The mayor again insists on paying but Callahan instead pursues Scorpio without authorization, jumping onto the top of the bus from a railroad trestle. The killer flees into a nearby rock quarry, where he has a gun battle with Callahan. Scorpio retreats until he takes a young boy as a hostage.

The inspector pretends to be willing to surrender then wounds the killer. The boy runs away and Callahan stands over Scorpio, gun drawn. The inspector reprises his "Do I feel lucky?" speech. Scorpio tries his luck and lunges for his 9mm Walther P38 pistol. The inspector shoots him in the chest, propelling Scorpio into the water. As Callahan watches the dead body float on the surface, he takes out his inspector's badge, angrily hurls it into the water, and walks away.

Dirty Harry was well received by critics and is regarded as one of the best films of 1971. The film holds a 95% approval rating on the Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. It was nominated at the Edgar Allen Poe Awards for Best Motion Picture. The film caused controversy when it was released, sparking debate over issues ranging from police brutality to victims' rights and the nature of law enforcement. Feminists in particular were outraged by the film and at the Oscars for 1971 protested outside holding up banners which read messages such as "Dirty Harry is a Rotten Pig".

Many critics expressed concern with what they saw as bigotry, with Newsweek describing the film as "a right-wing fantasy", Variety as "a specious, phony glorification of the police and police brutality with a superhero whose antics become almost satire" and a raging review by Pauline Kael of The New Yorker who accused Eastwood of a "single-minded attack against liberal values". Several people accused him of racism in the decision to cast four African-Americans as the bank robbers. Eastwood dismissed the political outrage, claiming that Callahan was just obeying a higher moral authority, and said, "some people are so politically oriented, when they see cornflakes in a bowl, they get some complex interpretation out of it".

Eastwood's iconic portrayal of the blunt, cynical, unorthodox detective who is seemingly in perpetual trouble with his incompetent bosses, set the style for a number of his later roles and, indeed, a whole genre of "loose-cannon" cop films. The film resonated with an American public that had become weary and frustrated with the increasing violent urban crime that was characteristic of the time. The film was released at a time when throughout 1970 and 1971 there were prevalent reports of local and federal police committing atrocities and overstepping their authority by entrapment and obstruction of justice. Author McGilligan, argued that America needed a hero, a winner at a time when the authorities were losing the battle against crime. The box-office success of Dirty Harry led to the production of four sequels.

The motif of a cop who cares more for justice than rules was one subsequently imitated by a number of other films. John Wayne, who like Eastwood was associated with the Western genre, starred in McQ and later Brannigan. Sylvester Stallone's Cobra and Judge Dredd shares many elements with Dirty Harry, a cop with an obsession for justice, a law system that is more concerned about the criminal than the victim, and a psychotic killer. The film is also an adaption of the novel Fair Game and was originally intended by Stallone to be the basis of Beverley Hills Cop while he was involved with the project. Stallone's own movie was plagiarised by Italian film producers for the Fred Williamson Blaxploitation film Black Cobra, which also mimicked the famous 'Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?' scene from Dirty Harry.

BBC Schools and Colleges

BBC Schools, also known as BBC for Schools and Colleges, is the educational programming strand set up by the BBC in 1957, broadcasting a range of educational programmes for children aged 5–16. From launch until 1983, programming was based on BBC One during the daytime, before programming was transferred to BBC Two when BBC One gained its own daytime schedule. The strand remained on BBC Two for many years after, supplemented by the 'Class TV' strand on the CBBC Channel. Today, BBC Schools programmes are part of the BBC Learning Zone overnight service. The BBC began broadcasting schools programmes on BBC Television in the Autumn of 1957 in the afternoons. Morning transmissions began on the 19th September 1960.

The Pie Chart

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From September 1960 until September 1974, the presentation was a black and white card with a pie chart split into 5 segments with a BBC logo in the bottom right corner. The pie chart segments disappeared with the seconds and was operated via a mechanical model. They were introduced, from 1969, by a special version of the BBC One Mirror Globe, but without the 'Colour' legend, as schools programmes were still in black and white while the rest of BBC One's programmes were in colour.

The Diamond

The Blue Diamond 1974 - 1975

In September 1974, the presentation was changed to a blue diamond on a black background with the BBC One legend. It was commissioned to mark the start of schools programmes in colour, and consisted of the three diamonds of increasing size inside one another, first forming out of the background before pulsating and splitting into smalled diamonds, before eventually decreasing altogether. The colour scheme was changed following the BBC One rebrand of image to orange on a navy blue background with, unusually, an orange legend.

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The Yellow Diamond 1975 - 1977

This was accompanied by an orange version of the BBC One Network clock. A still version of the diamond was occasionally used on the channel, with a double lined version of the BBC1 logo. This was accompanied by a similar version for BBC Two with double lined BBC2 logo, for occasions when schools programmes were transferred to that channel.

The Dots
In September 1977, presentation was again changed to a countdown clock of disappearing dots around a spinning 'Schools and Colleges' legend. A white BBC1 legend was underneath, with the altered network clock discontinued. The spinning Schools and Colleges legend was in fact unintended and was a result of an issue with the mechanical model used. This was amended by the following summer. By 1981, the new corporate double lined BBC1 logo was added to the model in replkacement of the old one, however this amended model only lasted three months, as the whole mechanical model was replaced by a computer generated version. The primary difference was that the dots, instead of fading to the background colour of blue, they instead faded to black.

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Upon occasions when the schools strand was transferred to BBC Two, a version with the BBC2 double lined logo was used the 2 legend replacing the BBC1 legend. Following the switch to electronic, the BBC2 version was also recreated, however during the Falklands War, a version with a hastilly added BBC Two ident was used, with the replaced region being the orange logo on a black background box.

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At around this time, special holding captions with the phrase 'Follows Shortly' were beginning to be used for junctions longer than the 90 seconds that the ident required. During a junction, the follows shortly caption would be shown over music before the screen faded into the ident.

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Following the rebrand of TWO to BBC2, including the introduction of the 2 idents, no special strand was set out to mark schools programmes. The 'Follows Shortly' captions were phased out in place of promotions of other appropriate programmes, through static programme captions. In 1995, following the launch of the BBC Learning Zone some programming, generally the secondary education programming, was transferred to the new overnight service, as more schools were showing recordings of the programmes rather than the programmes live and by the mid 2000s even the primary schools programming had left the daytime schedules.

Since the launch of the CBBC Channel, their remit has resulted in their need to show schools programming. They resulted in this by theClass TV strand, shown during schools hours for a few hours, usually repeats of previous programmes, rather than new programmes. In 2008, the CBBC remit was altered to remove the schools element from the channel.

Today, all schools programmes are shown overnight on the BBC Learning Zone. And that as they say was that, the end of an era. God bless Schools and Colleges!

Self Indulgent Fergie - Whinging again!

Oprah Winfrey talks with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, about the royal wedding (AP)

The Duchess of York said not being invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding was "so difficult" for her to cope with. In an television interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Ferguson revealed she spent April 29 in Thailand.

Her ex-husband the Duke of York, who accompanied their daughters Beatrice, 22, and Eugenie, 21, to Westminster Abbey, made her feel part of the occasion by talking to her on the telephone. Asked how hurt she felt by the snub, the 51-year-old former royal replied: "It was so difficult. Because I wanted to be there with my girls ... and to be getting them dressed and to go as a family. "And it was also hard because the last bride up that aisle was me."

Sarah, who was filmed offering an undercover reporter access to the Duke of York for £500,000 last year, said she did not feel ostracised by the lack of an invite. But she added: "I felt that I ostracised myself by my behaviour, by the past, by living with all the regrets of my mistakes, that I sort of wore a hair shirt and beat myself up most of the day thinking and regretting why did I make such a mistake? "Why have I made so many mistakes? So I did spend a good three hours on that."

In the interview, to be broadcast in the US, she said while in Camelia, Thailand, on the day of the wedding, she spent "all morning" talking to Andrew. "He was saying, 'It's okay. Just remember we had such a good day. Our wedding was so perfect'. Because we're such a unit together. He made me feel very part of the day on April 29."

Baccara - Yes Sir I Can Boogie: 1977

File:Baccara ICanBoogie cover.jpg

"Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" is a 1977 hit single by the Spanish vocal duo Baccara.

Written by Frank Dostal and Rolf Soja, and produced by Soja, this typical slice of disco was a major hit across Europe and became the duo's sole number one single in the UK, spending a single week at the top in October 1977. It did not chart in the United States, despite receiving major airplay in several markets. It is one of the fewer than thirty all-time singles to have sold 10 Million (or more) copies worldwide.

"Yes Sir, I Can Boogie"
Single by Baccara
from the album Baccara
B-SideCara Mia
Format7" single, 12" maxi
LabelR-C-A Victor
Writer (s)Frank Dostal, Rolf Soja
ProducerRolf Soja
Baccara singles chronology
-"Yes Sir, I Can Boogie"
"Sorry I'm a Lady"
Preceded by
"Silver Lady" by David Soul
UK number one single
October 29, 1977
Succeeded by
"The Name of the Game" by ABBA

Those Dinky Days! (Part One)

It's time to pay homage to the Dinky toy.

Dinky 165 Humber Hawk

Dinky 180 Rover 3500

Dinky 289 Routemaster Bus

Dinky Toys are die cast miniature model cars and trucks. They appeared in early 1934 when Meccano Ltd of Liverpool, England introduced a line of "Modelled Miniatures" under the trade mark "Meccano Dinky Toys". The announcement was made in the April 1934 issue of Meccano Magazine.

In 1931 Meccano issued a series of railway and trackside accessories to complement their O scale Hornby Model train sets. Six model cars were produced alongside model track workers, passengers, station staff and other trackside accessories. The cars were basic representations rather that identifiable marques and had die-cast metal bodies, tin plate bases and wheels with rubber tyres. By 1934 Frank Hornby, who owned Meccano Ltd, had expanded the range to include die-cast model ships and aeroplanes, and the range was christened 'Meccano Dinky Toys'. It has been said that the name came from a friend of one of Frank Hornby's daughters, and was likely derived from the Scottish word "dink".

The first set of 'Dinky Cars' being released in 1934. The set of vehicles was designated No. 22, comprising six 1:43 scale models (i.e. O scale) and retailed at 4 shillings:

22a Sports Car

22b Sports Coupe

22c Motor Truck

22d Delivery Van (with same chassis and cab as 22c)

22e Tractor

22f Tank

Dinky 191 Dodge Royal Sedan

Some pre-war Dinky Toys were cast from an impure alloy and today suffer from Zinc pest, making good condition survivors rare today. Some early castings have survived in numbers, whilst it is difficult to find others such as the 28 Series vans that do not have some form of damage. It is believed that lead from Hornby Train production, as well as lead ties from sacks in the factory found their way into the metal, and corrupted it. The first model car available individually was numbered 23a which was a sports car based on an early MG, and by December 1935 there were around 200 different products in the Dinky range even including dolls house furniture. The first model cars were generic representations of vehicle types and were available individually from trade packs of 6. Models would not be available in individual boxes until 1952. In 1935 a new series was introduced which featured accurate likenesses of specific vehicles.

Series 30 included:

30a Chrysler Airflow Saloon

30b Rolls-Royce

30c Daimler

30d Vauxhall

File:Clipper III flying boat (Dinky Toys 60w).jpg

A scale model of the Pan American Airways flying boat "Clipper III" that took part in the transatlantic experimental flights between Botwood, Newfoundland and Foynes, Eire in the summer of 1937. The flights were carried out in co-operation with Imperial Airways. The "Clipper III" is a Sikorsky S-42-B flying boat of all-metal construction. It is fitted with four Pratt and Whitney Hornett air-cooled engines, and is capable of a top speed of 188 mph. The normal range of the S-42-B is 1,200 miles, and therfore extra fuel tanks were installed in the "Clipper III" for her Atlantic flights.
Damage to the tail and crazing to the nose of the model is due to Zinc Pest, a particular problem with the Dinky aircraft of this age.

An American Werewolf in London - 1981

An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 British-American horror comedy film, written and directed by John Landis. It stars David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, and Jenny Agutter.

The film starts with two young American men, David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) on a backpacking holiday in England. Following an awkwardly tense visit to a village pub, the two men venture deep into the moors at night. They are attacked by a Werewolf, which results in Jack's death and David being taken to a London hospital. Through apparitions of his dead friend and disturbing dream sequences, David becomes informed that he is a werewolf and will transform at the next full moon.

Shooting took place mostly in London but also in Surrey and Wales. It was released in the United States on August 21, 1981 and grossed $30.56 million at the box office. Critics generated mostly favourable reviews for the film. The movie won the 1981 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and an Academy Award for Outstanding achievement in make-up. The film was one of three high-profile wolf-themed horror films released in 1981, alongside The Howling and Wolfen. Over the years, the film has accumulated a cult following and has been referred to as a cult classic. Empire magazine also named An American Werewolf in London as the 107th greatest movie of all time in September 2008.

The film was followed by a 1997 sequel, An American Werewolf in Paris, which featured a completely different cast and none of the original crew, and is distributed by Disney's Hollywood pictures.

Two American college students, David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne), are backpacking across the Yorkshire Moors. As darkness falls, and they decide to stop for the night at a pub called "The Slaughtered Lamb". Jack notices a five-pointed star on the wall. When he asks about it, the pub becomes very quiet. The pub-goers start acting very strangely. The pair decide to leave, but not before the others offer them pieces of advice such as "Beware the moon, lads" and "Keep to the road." Whilst conversing with each other and wondering what they meant, they wander off the road, onto the moors.

Back at the pub, the owner gets very distressed and suggests that they go after the pair. As she says this, a sinister howling is heard. The rest of the pub-goers, having barricaded the door, decline. Back out on the moors, Jack and David have also heard the howls, and they seem to be steadily getting closer. They start back to the Slaughtered Lamb when they realize they are disoriented and lost on the moors. A full moon comes out from behind the clouds, and they remember the advice they were given earlier. The noises get steadily closer until they are stopped by a supernaturally large animal. The animal attacks both of them, and kills Jack. The animal is then shot and killed by the pub-goers, who have now emerged. David survives the mauling and is taken to a hospital in London. When he wakes up three weeks later, he does not remember what happened and is told of his friend's death. David is questioned by an arrogant inspector, and more understanding sergeant and learns that he and Jack were supposedly attacked by an escaped lunatic. David insists that they were actually attacked by a large wolf. But the inspector had already been told there were witnesses and an autopsy report of the maniac, so they deduce that David is suffering from shock. David has several nightmares at night (one of him running through the woods, decapitating and eating a deer, another of him in a hospital bed with a monstrous fanged face, and finally him at home where his family is attacked by Nazis with monstrous faces).

Things get stranger when Jack, now a reanimated corpse, comes to visit David, who explains that they had been attacked by a werewolf, and stating that David himself is, in fact, now a werewolf. Jack urges David to kill himself before the next full moon, not only because Jack is cursed to exist in a state of living death for as long as the bloodline of the werewolf that attacked them survives, but also to prevent David from inflicting the same fate on his eventual victims.

Trying to see if David is indeed telling the truth, his doctor takes a trip to the Slaughtered Lamb. However when asked about the incident, the pub-goers deny any knowledge of David, Jack or the wolf. But one distraught pub-goer speaks to the doctor outside the pub and says that David should not have been taken away, and that he and everyone else will be in danger when he changes. After more investigation, the doctor finds out that the police report was "misplaced", and that David's wounds were cleaned and dressed before he was even looked at. The doctor is convinced that the whole town was lying, and that David was indeed attacked by an animal, though he's not completely convinced it was a werewolf.

Upon his release from the hospital, David moves in with Alex Price (Jenny Agutter), the pretty young nurse who grew infatuated with him in the hospital. He stays in Alex's London apartment, where they later make love for the first time. Jack suddenly appears to David again and tells him that he will turn into a werewolf the next day. Jack advises David to take his own life; otherwise he is doomed to kill innocent people who will then become the living dead. When the full moon rises, as Jack had warned, he begins to feel excruciating pain before stripping nude and turning into a werewolf. In his werewolf form, David walks on all fours, is covered in shaggy gray fur, is larger than a regular wolf, and has a savage demonic face with horrifying fanged jaws. He prowls the streets and the London Underground and slaughters six innocent Londoners. When he wakes in the morning, he is naked on the floor of the wolf cage at London Zoo with no memory of his nocturnal lupine carnivorous adventures, but unharmed by the resident wolves.

Later that day, David realizes that Jack was right about everything and that he is responsible for the murders of the night before. David encounters Jack (in an advanced stage of decay) in a cinema in Piccadilly Circus, this time accompanied by David's victims from the previous night. They all insist that he must commit suicide before turning into a werewolf again. While talking with them, night falls and, consequently, David turns into a werewolf again and goes on another killing spree. Following a horrific melee, he is cornered in an alley by the police. Alex arrives to calm him down by telling him that she loves him. Though he is apparently temporarily softened, he is shot and killed when he lunges forward, returning to human form in front of a grieving Alex as he dies.