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Forever in a fandom of one

I have run out of episodes of Between The Lines. Therefore I am now officially in mourning. I tried to spin it out as long as possible, and even stuck to one episode a week for a bit. I ran out anyway. No fair. It's been great, though. It's been years since I last watched it, so some episodes were almost new, in a manner of speaking. New, but very nineties! It's weird revisiting the nineties now. Everybody has a bouffant. Everybody drives a Saab. White boxer shorts are clearly a big thing. And the BBC drama department was single-handedly keeping Britain's cigarette companies solvent. It was all long ago enough to feature early appearances by people who have since gone on to be really famous - and also long ago enough for some of them to have gone even further than that, and dropped out of sight altogether. Almost the entire cast of Soldier Soldier are there in series one, and all of them bent coppers, so clearly the army isn't too picky. Then one episode of series two features both Michael Kitchen and Colin Salmon, which pleased me to a stupid degree. Judi Dench wasn't their boss though, and the episode was about MI5, not MI6. But still. I like it when that sort of thing happens. It amuses me far more than it should.

It really is a good series. Very downbeat at times, and surprisingly funny at others. A good cast too. Tom Georgeson has that brilliant, lived-in look, and he does a lot even with his smallest scenes; and Siobhan Redmond also shines, especially when she's throwing verbal razor blades about the place. Robin Lermitte plays the fabulously smarmy Graves, a role that calls for him to be eminently punchable at all times, but oddly entertaining with it. A shame he quit acting. He reads the weather on ITV these days, which was a heck of a surprise when I first saw him. Still, it's work. Can't argue with that. One of the real stand outs is Tony Doyle's spectacularly dodgy Deakin. Such a great character actor. He died just a few years after the series finished, which was very sad. He certainly can't have been terribly old.

But it's Neal Pearson's show really, and that was part of the fun back in the day, as his other show, Drop The Dead Donkey, would often be airing at the same time of year. So during 1994, for example, you could watch him as Tony Clark, scourge of the underworld, mopping up blood and sleaze on a Wednesday night; and then as Dave Charnley over on Channel 4 the following day. He was taking over the world! (I thought). Ah well. Clearly I shall never be a successful fortune teller. Still, it was fun while it lasted.

But as ever there are downsides to old TV. Never have a stuntman for a hero, people. I know that's not the sort of thing that's likely to be an issue for most of you, but I always did like the behind the scenes stuff. And watching the credits roll during series one, I very much enjoyed seeing the stunt credits go by. But I had forgotten when it was all filmed, and the obvious omission from the credits for series two was a bit of a jolt. I really should be used to that by now, but it seems that I never will be. Ho hum.

Dying gets awfully tedious really, doesn't it. Sooner or later practically everybody does it. Seriously, don't bother. Do something more interesting instead. That's your bit of free advice for the day.

I shall now go in search of more nineties TV. I'm revisiting my university days, apparently. By rights I should be watching all this stuff on a five inch black and white, but sadly it lacks everything bar an aerial socket. If anybody needs me, I shall be in a Saab in 1994, probably obscured by cigarette smoke. Cardiac Arrest next, I think. That way at least medical treatment will be on hand.


( 13 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
Aw. *passes tissues over (or whatever is most appropriate)*

But still. I like it when that sort of thing happens. It amuses me far more than it should.

Oh, you're not the only one. :-)

Besides, you're not in a fandom of one if liadtbunny is in it with you!
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:23 pm (UTC)
She's only seen the first series so far though! I can't talk to her about spoiler, or spoiler, or spoiler spoilering the spoiler. Or laugh about how often spoiler gets spoilered in series spoiler.

*woe* ;)
Jul. 4th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
Aw, but she will get there, so it's not all bad! And then you can discuss all the spoilers to your heart's content.

It seems an odd thing to be a fandom of one, though. I remember when it was on and it was everywhere, even when you weren't watching it because you were that bit too young, as I was. (I remember our newspaper had an interview with Neil Pearson that put me off ever wanting to watch anything he was in anyway, but I can't remember why at this late date. Maybe the fame went to his head in unfortunate ways at the time or something; it happens. I've watched Drop The Dead Donkey since and he was fine in that. But it's probably just as well I can't remember. :-D)
Jul. 4th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Odd. He's always come across very well in the interviews that I've seen. But "Drop The Dead Donkey" was fab anyway. Strange how there's nothing like that now, to give the current government a good kicking.
Jul. 4th, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
Given how long ago it was, it could have been nothing worth even batting an eyelid at, or a joke I didn't get, really. I was much more easily shocked back then. I don't think I'd actually realised he was in DtDD till I watched it and then I was, like, oh, wait, he's all right after all...

Too much material to work with? Maybe that's the problem? :-/
Jul. 4th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, I hated Lulu for ages, because I read something about her hating Davy Jones! Poor woman was probably misquoted anyway. :D
Jul. 4th, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
You always watch stuff I've never heard of before.
Seems before the millenium we didn't get any British TV. (We didn't even have Doctor Who!!!)
Jul. 4th, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
I can't seem to help it. It's like I only enjoy TV if nobody else has heard of it. ;)
Jul. 4th, 2014 11:04 am (UTC)
Not to mention the future cast of 'Eastenders' & random sitcom stars - get back to Dibley! The boxers are all black so far - 70's pants were more varied in colour - brown, beige (of course), light blue, bright blue...

When Tony gets exasperated it reminds me of Dave off DttDD - I keep expecting Stephen Tomkinson to turn up and put a doll's head in rubble:D

Oh no, I thought Tony Doyle was still alive:( I'd forgotten about Tip Tipping - it was so long ago now. Yeah, stop dying people - don't they realise how socially unacceptable it is?
Jul. 4th, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
I had to look it up - Tony Doyle died in 2000, which is more recent than I'd thought. But then of course he did BallyK after BTL. I didn't see that, but my younger sister loved it, so I was sort of aware of the cast. He's just so good in BTL though, and he had a lovely chemistry with Neal Pearson. His daughter is Susannah Doyle, who played Joy in DtDD. Everything is connected somewhere!

The thing about the dying is, it's so passé. It's been done so many times. Can't people be more original?
Jul. 4th, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
Ah, Joy for Joy!<3 I didn't know that. I wonder if they told Pearson stories to wind the other up.

People are like sheep everybody has to copy what's popular, even when it's bad for them.
Jul. 4th, 2014 04:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, I used to adore Neal Pearson so much. I think perhaps because, whatever character he was playing, he was clearly destined for destruction, nihilism and mayhem.

90's TV: I did used to love Reckless so very much. And it has Michael Kitchen! Fighting in back gardens and ponds with Robson Green! (My mum was completely obsessed, that's my excuse.)

Haydn Gwynne was my fave in Drop The Dead Donkey. Oh, she was fabulous. Couples that really absolutely should have been....

My fave pairing in Between The Lines, though, was Pearson and his sexy, classy married older woman. What was it with him and unattainable women, either married or gay or somehow otherwise out of reach?...???/1!!!?

All that occurs to me re: Soldier Soldier, is horrific novelty 45s. Less said the better.

Edited at 2014-07-04 08:47 pm (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2014 05:01 am (UTC)
I think perhaps because, whatever character he was playing, he was clearly destined for destruction, nihilism and mayhem.

That is so true! Series three of BTL is particularly hilarious for the personal violence inflicted upon Tony Clark. If they can possibly find a way to beat him up, they jump upon it. And my apologies, by the way, as LJ didn't bother to tell me about your comment until this morning.

The older woman was Francesca Annis in series two. I'm in two minds about her, as she wound up getting him into trouble. Still, it led to that fabulous series two finale, so it was all good in the end.

Poor "Soldier Soldier". :) It was a good show for the first few years, but repeats are pretty much non-existent. All anybody remembers is the singing!
( 13 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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