Sunday, 4 December 2011

Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) - Episode Nineteen: A Sentimental Journey

A reluctant Jeff agrees to take a valuable item worth £10,000 from Glasgow to London on the overnight express. When the consignment turns out to be an attractive blond, Jeff initially concedes that the assignment is to his liking. However whilst on the train Randall becomes gradually suspicious that the girl was being held and is being traded although it seems curious to him that she appears to be very able to take care of herself. On the train Randall knows he is being watched and later that night the carriage of the girl is raided by one of the watchers. However it turns out that he is police officer sent to monitor them keeping in contact later.

Randall delivers the girl in return for a receipt but learns that one of the bosses henchmen is a traitor allowing the girl to escape, taking the receipt. Using Marty, he locates the girl in her London Hotel room as Randall becomes increasingly suspicious. Whilst there he is overpowered by her boyfriend who turns out to be the disloyal henchmen and he discovers that what he was really after was a stolen an extremely rare and valuable postage stamp which was masked in the receipt by a newer stamp.

The duo escape leaving Jeff unconscious, and are again tracked by the ghost Marty as they escape by car. However whilst in their car it turns out the pretty blonde also double-crosses her boyfriend, pretending there is a problem with the rear wheel. As he stops and checks, his supposed girlfriend leaves him in the lurch with the valuable postage stamp. Marty is able to give Jeff and the police the radio number and they contact her in the car but the runaway female thief leaves it off the hook as they keep ringing. In doing so, Marty is able to speak to Jeff by phone and tell them exactly where she is going. Eventually she attempts to leave the country at an airfield, and is stopped by the police as Marty blows away her plane as she attempts to enter it.


Goombay Dance Band - Seven Tears (1981)

File:Goombay Dance Band Seven Tears single cover.jpg

"Seven Tears" was a popular song by the Goombay Dance Band, released in 1981.

Written by Wolff-Ekkehardt Stein and Wolfgang Jass and produced by Jochen Peterson, "Seven Tears" was a major hit across Europe in the winter and spring of 1982. The song spent 3 weeks at No1 on the UK Singles Chart being only the second time a German act had topped the UK chart, only six weeks after Kraftwerk had achieved that feat with "The Model".

Preceded by
"Lion sleeps tonight" by Tight Fit
UK Number One Single
27 March 1982 - 10 April 1982
Succeeded by
"My Camera Never Lies" by Bucks Fizz

Joe 90: Episode 4 - Operation McClaine

Operation McClaine

"Give him the scalpel. If you don't, the next bullet
will go straight through your patient's head."

Joe dons the mantel of a brilliant brain surgeon,
and carries out an operation which saves a man's life.

Maurice Estoral, one of the world's most famous writers, is facing a major brain operation, but the Specialist, Dr. Emil Kados, is seriously injured when the plane bringing him from Switzerland to England crashes.
The news reaches Professor McClaine, who is very concerned to save the life of the eminent Writer and fears that the less experienced Dr. Blakemore, who will now have to carry out the operation will not be able to succeed. He and Joe therefore pay a secret visit to the unconscious Dr. Kados to collect his brain pattern, which in turn, is transferred to Joe. Because it is obvious that the hospital would not permit a nine year old boy to operate, Mac himself receives the brain pattern of a WIN agent and accompanies Joe.
The patient is wheeled in to the operating theatre and Mac makes the dramatic move. He holds the hospital staff at gun point while Joe carries through the difficult operation. It is a triumphant success, but how can the secret be kept? Mac manages this by pointing out to the hospital staff that they will have to take the credit. After all, who would believe them if they said a nine-year old boy had carried out such an operation?

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

The Guns of Navarone is a 1961 British-American Action/Adventure war film based on the 1957 novel of the same name about the Dodecanese campaign of World War 2 by Scottish Thriller writer Alistair MacLean and is one of my favourite films. It stars Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn, along with Anthony Quayle and Stanley Baker. The book and the film share the same basic plot: the efforts of an Allied Commando team to destroy a seemingly impregnable German Fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea, and prevents 2,000 isolated British troops from being rescued.

In 1943, the Axis powers decide on a show of strength to bully neutral Turkey into joining the war on their side. Their target is 2000 British soldiers who are marooned on the island of Keros in the Aegean. Rescue by the Royal Navy is impossible because of massive radar-directed guns on the nearby island of Navarone. Time is short, because the Germans are expected to launch an assault on the British forces.

Efforts to destroy the guns by bombing have proved fruitless. So that six destroyers can pick up the stranded men, Commodore Jensen of Allied intelligence activates a team of saboteurs to sail to Navarone and destroy the guns. Led by Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle), they are Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck); Andrea Stavrou (Anthony Quinn), a former Colonel in the defeated Greek army; Corporal Miller (David Niven), an explosives expert; Greek-American Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren); and "Butcher" Brown (Stanley Baker), an engineer and expert knife fighter.

Disguised as Greek fishermen on a decrepit boat, they sail across the Ageaen Sea. They are intercepted by a German boat and boarded. They attack and kill all the Germans and sink the patrol boat. During the remainder of the voyage, Mallory confides to Franklin that Andrea has sworn to kill him after the war, because he was inadvertently responsible for the deaths of Andrea's wife and children.

In a violent storm, the ship is wrecked and they lose part of their equipment, but manage to land on the island. Led by Mallory, who was recruited for his climbing skills, they scale the 'unclimbable' cliff. But Franklin is badly injured; the injury later becoming infected with gangrene. They find that the cliff is in fact guarded after all. Miller, a friend of Franklin, suggests that they leave Franklin to be "well cared for" by the enemy. Mallory, who now assumes command of the mission, feels that Franklin would be forced to reveal their plans, so he orders two men to carry the injured man on a stretcher.

Franklin tries to commit suicide, but Mallory lies to him, saying that their mission has been "scrubbed" and that a major naval attack will be mounted on Navarone. They rendezvous with local resistance workers, Spyros's sister Maria (Irene Papas) and her friend Anna (Gia Scala), who is supposedly mute after German torture.

The mission is continually dogged by Germans, and they are captured by Lieutenant Muesel (Walter Gotell) in the town of Mandrakos, when they try to find a doctor for Franklin. Muesel and Hauptmann Sessler (George Mikell) of the SS fail to persuade the commandos to tell them where Miller's explosives are. Andrea pretends to betray the others and surprises the Germans, allowing the group to overpower their captors. They escape in German uniform, but leave Franklin behind so that he can receive medical attention.

In due course, Franklin is injected with scolpolamine and gives up the false "information", as Mallory had hoped. German units are deployed away from the guns and in the direction of the supposed invasion point.

Miller discovers that most of his explosives have been sabotaged and deduces that Anna is the saboteur. It transpires that she is not mute after all and was not tortured by the Nazis; but she agreed to become an informer in exchange for her release. She pleads that she was coerced by the Germans into treachery, but Mallory decides she must be silenced. It is Maria who shoots her dead.

The team splits up: Mallory and Miller go for the guns, while Andrea and Pappadimos create a distraction in the city; Maria and Brown are assigned to steal a boat for their escape.

Mallory and Miller make their way into the heavily fortified gun emplacements. Locking the main entrance behind them — which sets off an alarm — they set obvious explosives on the guns and hide more below an elevator leading to the guns. The Germans cut through the thick emplacement doors, as Mallory and Miller make their escape by diving into the sea, reaching the stolen boat. But Pappadimos and Brown have been killed and Andrea is wounded. Mallory saves him, pulling him into the boat; thus voiding the 'blood feud' between them.

The Allied destroyers appear on schedule. The Germans remove the explosives planted on the guns and begin to fire on the passing Allied flotilla. The first salvo falls short. The second brackets the lead ship. However, just as the guns are prepared to fire again, the elevator descends low enough to trigger the hidden explosives. The guns and fortifications are destroyed in a spectacular explosion. Franklin is able to hear it from his hospital bed.

Andrea, who has fallen in love with Maria, decides to return to Navarone with her. Mallory and Miller observe the aftermath of the destruction from a destroyer.

The film was a major Box Office success and the top grossing film of 1961 earning a net profit of $18,500,000. As a result, MacLean reunited Mallory, Miller, and Andrea in the best-seller Force 10 from Navarone, the only sequel of his long writing career, in 1968. That was in turn filmed as the significantly different Force 10 from Navarone in 1978 by British director Guy Hamilton, a veteran of several James Bond films. Despite a cast that included Robert Shaw, Edward Fox, and Harrison Ford, it was a critical and commercial failure.

Countdown: UFO (1971) Part Two - The Picture Strip: Part One

UFO Masthead by Gerry Haylock
Issue 1: Week ending 20th February 1971
The year is 1980. It has been established that hostile visitors from deep space are reaching the Earth in machines code-named, UFOs. A UFO manages to evade interception by moonbase and lands on Earth. However, waiting SHADO Mobiles are confused when the UFO only touches down for a matter of seconds before taking off again. But the following morning two Scientists are reported as not turning up for work in the same area. Colonel Alec Freeman investigates, only to be ambushed by an Alien in the runs of Marsham Abbey. Colonel Paul Foster, still in the same area in a Mobile, searches for Freeman when he doesn't report in and is also wounded by the Alien. Realising that the disappearances are all connected, Straker lays an ambush for the UFO which will have to arrive to collect the abducted men. Unknown to the Commander, a Moonferry has sighted the UFO and intercepted it, causing a delay in its arrival. On Earth, the helmetless Alien is weakening, which gives Freeman a chance to escape, just as the UFO arrives. With no chance of capturing it, Skydiver is alerted and Sky 1 is able to destroy it. With a dead Alien and a destroyed UFO, the only positive aspect is that Freeman and the two Scientists were not taken.

Radio Times: 13th-19th March 1971

This cover from the Radio Times dates back to March 1971 and gracing the cover are characters from the classic BBC Crime series, Z Cars.

Tarzan and the Huntress (1947)

Tarzan and the Huntress (1947) was an adventure film that starred the late, great Johnny Weissmuller in his eleventh outing as Tarzan. Brenda Joyce makes the third of five appearances as Jane and Johnny Sheffield marks his eighth and final appearance as Boy. Patricia Morison and Barton MacLane co-star. The movie was produced by Sol Lesser and Kurt Nuemann, written by Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh (based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) and directed by Kurt Nuemann. It was released on April 5, 1947.
TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS 1947 Johnny Weissmuller RARE Lobby card 2 - Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan and the Huntress (RKO 1947).  Directed by Kurt Neumann.  Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, Johnny Sheffield, Patricia Morison, Barton MacLane.

Due to a shortage of animals in American zoos following World War 11, Tanya Rawlins (Patricia Morison), a big-game "huntress," Carl Marley (John Warburton), her financial backer and Paul Weir (Barton MacLane), a cruel trail boss, are given permission by King Farrod (Charles Trowbridge), to capture a male and female of each species of animal on his land.

In a subplot, Oziri (Ted Hecht), nephew to King Farrod, colludes with Weir to allow him to trap more animals than bargained for. He also has Weir's men kill King Farrod and his son, Prince Suli (Maurice Tauzin), in order for him to take over the throne. Farrod is shot in the back and killed, and Suli is thrown into a pit full of crocodiles, but, unknown to all watching, he lands on a hidden ledge and is knocked unconscious.

TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS 1947 Johnny Weissmuller RARE Lobby card 4 - Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan and the Huntress (RKO 1947).  Directed by Kurt Neumann.  Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, Johnny Sheffield, Patricia Morison, Barton MacLane.

Boy (Johnny Sheffield) trades two lion cubs to the trappers for a flashlight. When Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) finds out, he returns the flashlight, retrieves the cubs, and calls all the animals from King Farrod's land across the river to his part of the jungle. When the hunters begin trapping on his side of the river, Tarzan and Boy sneak into their camp at night, take their guns and hide them in a cave behind a waterfall. They then begin to systematically release all the trapped animals from their cages.

Cheeta inadvertently reveals the location of the cache of weapons to Rawlins and her safari.

Prince Suli is able to make his way through the jungle, and is found by Tarzan. Tarzan, Boy and a herd of elephants defeat both the usurping nephew and the huntress, but the latter escapes onboard a plane.

TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS 1947 Johnny Weissmuller RARE Lobby card 7 - Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan and the Huntress (RKO 1947).  Directed by Kurt Neumann.  Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, Johnny Sheffield, Patricia Morison, Barton MacLane.