Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Three Musketeers - Episode One: "The Littlest Musketeer"

The musketeers are watching D'Artagnan fencing with the young lad Toulee. Toulee decides that as he cannot better the musketeer he will resort to underhand methods. He hits D'Artagnan on the foot and so sort of wins the fight as the Musketeer hops around on one foot. Constance does not approve of this and marches Toulee away. Toulee goes off in search of someone to fence with. He soon realises he has bitten off more than he can chew with this fellow. Whilst hiding, Toulee overhears some bad guys talking about a plot.

At the castle

The Three Musketeers

D'Artagnan and Toulee fencing

Toulee is hiding from a bad guy

Bad guys up to no good

Toulee is discovered

Toulee is discovered and taken away as a prisoner. Constance comes looking for Toulee and suspects something is wrong. She asks the Musketeers for help. They finally locate Toulee and free him. He tells them of a plot and they take swift action to stop it.

Constance looks for Toulee

The Musketeers to the rescue

Toulee is safe

Bad guys waiting to drop a huge rock

Musketeers' warning saves the coach

Porthos mops up the bad guys

The Pop Weekly Mag (1962)

Check out these front covers from the classic magazine, Pop Weekly from way back in 1962.

Ol' Blue Eyes - Come Dance With Me (1959)

This classic album released in 1959 by Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. The album was released on UK rainbow rimmed Capitol Label 12-track stereo LP. Accompanying Ol' Blue Eyes was Billy May & his Orchestra.

Frank Sinatra,Come Dance With Me,UK,Deleted,LP RECORD,387490

1. Come Dance With Me
2. Something's Gotta Give
3. Just In Time
4. Dancing In The Dark
5. Too Close for Comfort
6. I could Have Danced All Night
7. Saturday Night
8. Day In Day Out
9. Cheek To Cheek
10. Baubles Bangles & Beads
11. The Song Is You
12. The Last Dance

When TV was naff! Remembering Eldorado (1992)

Eldorado was a British Soap Opera that ran for only one year, from 6 July 1992 to 9 July 1993. Set in Coin on the Costa Del Sol and based around the lives of British and European expats, the BBC hoped it would be as successful as EastEnders and replicate some of the sunshine and glamour of imported Australian soaps such as Home and Away and Neighbours. It was made as a co-production between the BBC and independent production company Cinema Verity, and aired three times a week in a high-profile evening slot on the mainstream channel BBC1, filling the BBC1 slot vacated by Terry Wogan's chat show Wogan, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.00pm.

In spite of a high-profile advertising campaign on television, radio and in the press preceding the launch ('Are you ready for Eldorado?', read by actor Campbell Morrison), the programme was not initially a popular hit with viewers and critics. Ratings improved with a radical overhaul, but it was eventually cancelled by the new controller of BBC1, Alan Yentob.

Although the show contained many professional actors (such as Patricia Brake and Jesse Birdsall), many of the cast were inexperienced actors whose limitations were clearly exposed on such a new and ambitious project: prior to filming, some of the cast did not even know what a read-through was; the acting was derided as amateurish, while the attempt to appear more 'European' by having people speaking other languages without subtitles or bizarre/unconvincing accents was met by viewers with incomprehension and ridicule.

As a result of filming in bare-walled villas rather than a studio, there were many sound and acoustic problems such as echoing. Possibly in a bid to court media attention, the show opened with the controversial story of middle-aged man, Bunny (played by Roger Walker) returning from the UK with a 17-year-old bride, Fizz (Kathy Pitkin); many viewers felt this storyline was implausible and seedy. On top of this, ITV decided to air a special one-hour edition of Coronation Street against Eldorado on the show's debut evening, to "strangle it at birth" as network executives put it.

Eldorado was conceived by EastEnders creators Julia Smith and Tony Holland, and was executive produced by Verity Lambert, who had made her reputation as an in-house producer for the BBC, and had previously launched the BBC's successful Science Fiction television series Doctor Who. As a result, the costly production - although not exorbitant by contemporary television standards - was used by critics of the television licence to argue that the corporation was feathering the nest of former employees. Due to the stresses of internal feuding, producer Julia Smith had a nervous breakdown and left the soap opera, to be replaced by Corinne Hollingworth, who had previously worked on EastEnders and brought about many changes to Eldorado by hiring new scriptwriters, creating extra rehearsal time, and removing many of the inexperienced and poor actors who had attracted criticism.

Roy Orbison - 1967 UK Tour

Back in 1967 the late, great Roy Orbison embarked on a full UK tour. Accompanying Roy on this tour was, Small Faces, Paul & Barry Ryan & Ray Cameron.

March 1967

03 - Finsbury Park (Astoria)
04 - Exeter (ABC)
05 - Plymouth (ABC)
07 - Hadleigh (Kingsway)
08 - Birmingham (Odeon)
09 - Bolton (Odeon)
10 - Manchester (Odeon)
11 - Chesterfield (ABC)
12 - Liverpool (Empire)
15 - Luton (Ritz)
16 - Southampton (Gaumont)
17 - Tooting (Granada)
18 - Wolverhampton (Gaumont)
19 - Newcastle (City Hall)
20 - Edinburgh (ABC)
21 - Glasgow (Odeon)
22 - Carlisle (ABC)
23 - Leeds (Odeon)
24 - Doncaster (Gaumont)
25 - Lincoln (ABC)
26 - Coventry (Thaetre)
27 - Blackpool (Odeon)
29 - Cardiff (Capitol)
30 - Bristol (Colston Hall)
31 - Cheltenham (Odeon)

April 1967

01 - Bournemouth (Winter Gardens)
02 - Leicester (De Montfort Hall)
05 - Ipswich (Gaumont)
06 - Slough (Adelphi)
07 - Aldershot (ABC)
09 - Romford (ABC)

Roy Orbison
Small Faces
Paul & Barry Ryan
Jeff Beck Group
Sonny Childe & The TNT
Robb Storme Group
Ray Cameron (compere)

Promoter : Harold Davison & Tito Burns

Roger Moore's First - Live & Let Die (1973)

The first Bond film to star Roger Moore, Live and Let Die is an enjoyable international adventure, flawed by some episodic storytelling and dubious racial politics in its tale of corrupt Caribbean politics and voodoo.

Roger Moore, already familiar as an action hero as The Saint (ITV, 1962-69) and half of The Persuaders (ITV, 1971-72), does well as Bond. His characterisation is noticeably more relaxed than his predecessors; more cheerful and less brutal. He still exhibits the misogyny of the character, notably in his patronising treatment of Rosie (Gloria Hendry), and in his references to women as commodities. Moore delivers the dialogue with an attractive laid-back charm and obviously enjoys the generous selection of schoolboy puns and one-liners. He looks less confident in the fight sequences than the previous Bonds but his presence is sufficient to hold together the plot.

Yaphet Kotto makes a strong impression in his double role, especially during his elegant speeches to Bond, but his character is more mundane than is usual in the Bond films, with rather modest ambitions compared to the grandiose plans of previous villains. The use of heroin dealing does, however, lend the film a gritty and contemporary feel which suits the excellent New York location shooting. The rest of the impressive Black cast are somewhat wasted, with only Julius Harris' sardonic Tee-Hee and Geoffrey Holder's sinister, semi-supernatural Baron Samedi standing out.Holder gets the most memorable image in the film as he laughs maniacally on the back of a train during the end credits. Jane Seymour is given little to do, but makes a stylish appearance as Solitaire.

The action scenes are lavish and well choreographed but the speedboat chase - another Bond tradition - is overlong and not as exciting as it might have been. Tom Mankiewicz's script paces the story well and gives plenty of opportunities for the new Bond to find his feet, although the comedy scenes involving J.W. Pepper are somewhat jarring. The main disappointment is the absence of the customary 'office' scenes at the beginning, which means that 'Q' does not appear. Guy Hamilton's direction is at its best during the well-staged pre-credits sequence and the voodoo ceremony scenes. As a whole, this is an entertaining Bond film but less memorable than the best of the series.