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Various what nots

You know what the drawback of watching Simon & Simon is? No, it's not the thing about old TV being finite. I'm fairly upbeat about that with S&S, given that it managed to last for the entire 1980s. It's the fact that they've twice had Henry Darrow guesting as a bad guy. In the first season he did the right thing in the end, but in the seventh season episode that I just watched the other night, he was not only spectacularly evil, but he got blasted to death with a machine gun. They don't kill people all that often on the show, so this is doubly unfair! And yes, okay, it was pretty thoroughly deserved, but he's Henry Darrow. I am on his side, always. Even when he tries to kill AJ Simon. (Sorry, AJ).

I'm sure I've said this before, but play nice, television. When you're killing people, Manolito Montoya is off limits.*

Speaking of television (when do I ever speak of anything else?!), I keep meaning to mention The Scarlet Pimpernel. It was horribly dull though, so I never bothered while I was watching it; but liadtbunny recently made me think of it again. Produced in the 1950s, this is a black and white show that co-stars Patrick Troughton (credited as Pat Troughton). It's roughly the same age as the likes of The Adventures Of Robin Hood (sometimes slow, but generally fun), and The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot (gloriously entertaining). Maybe the lack of "The Adventures" in the title should have been a warning?! It's bad. No, really. Given my frequent standards, if I'm saying it, then you know it's bad. The lead is a charisma-free zone, and although dear old Pat gives it his all in trying to jolly things along, it's a task comparable to trying to pep up wallpaper paste. I recommend avoiding this one. Although! The final episode does have a jolly good guest star. Sadly, it's one of the two episodes that the Trout isn't in, which is an example of Fate being a bitch. Because, bereft of his Beard of Evil, and in a rare outing as a hero, we have this fellow here:





Took me a moment to recognise him without the beard, I must admit! (Watching on YouTube has its downside). But then he smiled, and there was no mistaking him. Damned scriptwriters though. Couldn't they have known?! Somehow?! We could have had Patrick Troughton and Roger Delgado, together in the 1950s and creating a time paradox. But no. Instead there's just Marius Goring, being the dullest hero that ever badly failed at swashlebucking. Troughton and Delgado did actually appear in several of the same things, back in ye olde black and white days (including one serial, Queen's Champion, that even had a little Frazer Hines in it as well). The BBC thoughtfully lost that one though. And, in a twisted mirror of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Delgado was a regular in the 1960 series The Splendid Spur, which Troughton once guested on - in an episode that didn't feature Delgado. WTF, universe?! This is just cruel. They did a TV play together in 1956, which still exists, remarkably, but the BBC is sitting on it, so nobody seems to know if Delgado and the Trout actually had any scenes together anyway. It's a conspiracy, and life is harsh and cruel. Woe woe, etc and so forth.

So yeah, that's my bit of public service for the month. Avoid the 1955 TV adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, lest you be sucked into a spiraling mire of boredom and despair. Older is not always best. (I do quite recommend the 1982 movie version though, even if it is about three hours too long, and doesn't have Malcolm Jamieson in it nearly enough).

Swashbuckling should never be done badly. It's mental cruelty, plain and simple.



* Yes, apparently I did. It was when they killed him in an episode of Hart To Hart, the unfeeling sods.

Comments

( 18 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
lycomingst
Nov. 20th, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
I can see why he grew the beard. He looks like Punch from Punch & Judy.
swordznsorcery
Nov. 21st, 2015 05:07 am (UTC)
He does have quite an impressive jaw, doesn't he!
lost_spook
Nov. 20th, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear, TV going to great lengths to prevent or obscure the meeting of Delgado and Troughton - how mean is that?

It's v sad to know The Scarlet Pimpernel is rubbish; I have seen some entertaining Patrick gifs from it on Tumblr, but it sounds as if it's best to stick with the gifs.

*pets you for people killing the wrong people*
swordznsorcery
Nov. 21st, 2015 05:08 am (UTC)
Oh, dear, TV going to great lengths to prevent or obscure the meeting of Delgado and Troughton - how mean is that?

I knew you would understand. Woe, woe, etc. ;) It is mean of it though. As much as anything, they'd look so good together. They could practically have been brothers back in those days. (The Doctor and the Master - brothers after all!)
sarren
Nov. 20th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC)
ANTHONY ANDREWS' SCARLET PIMPERNEL IS PERFECT HOW DARE YOU.

Thanks for the heads up about the old series, i hadn't heard of it but would no doubt have given it a go if i cam across it. I didn't mind the very old Leslie Howard movie.
swordznsorcery
Nov. 21st, 2015 05:10 am (UTC)
Needs moar Malcolm Jamieson. :p No, it is a good film. Anthony Andrews was jolly good casting. The Leslie Howard film isn't bad at all, but I think I prefer Andrews as the lead. He has a vibrancy that, for me, Howard lacks.

There's a new film version in the works at the moment. No word on the lead yet though.
sarren
Nov. 22nd, 2015 04:29 am (UTC)
I am excited yet terrified by the idea of a new movie version *g*

Anthony Andrews looked like he was having so much fun with the role.

The only other thing I've seen Malcolm Jamieson in is Victor Victoria.
swordznsorcery
Nov. 22nd, 2015 05:20 am (UTC)
He did a Brit/New Zealand adaptation of Enid Blyton back in the nineties. Absolutely hilarious stuff. He played Bill Cunningham, a danger-prone secret agent who clearly believes that small children make the best espionage accessories. In one episode he's held captive, and menaced by the best rubber shark ever. :D

Enid Blyton would likely have been horrified, but I was delighted.
sarren
Dec. 27th, 2015 03:34 am (UTC)
That sounds amazing, I'll have to have a look for it!
swordznsorcery
Dec. 27th, 2015 05:32 am (UTC)
Episode One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf6wYgDOedg

Episode Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N37v7_JOmeY

Episode Three: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaHE6Mn-pnc

:D

The shark pops up a bit here and there, but its best appearance ought to be in episode three.

sarren
Dec. 27th, 2015 06:27 am (UTC)
Oh, wonderful, thank you!!

I will watch later, currently mainlining current season of spn with housemates (all on holiday, kid away)
emeraldarrows
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:45 pm (UTC)
It's never good when they kill Henry Darrow in things. :(

I didn't even know there was a '50s Scarlet Pimpernel. Shame it wasn't good.
swordznsorcery
Nov. 21st, 2015 05:12 am (UTC)
It was a BBC series, and it doesn't seem to have shown its face in a long, long time. Too slow-moving (and too black and white!) for repeats, I'm guessing. So I should think a whole lot of people are unaware of it.

(Manolito says thank you ;) ).
crabby_lioness
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
S&S was quite entertaining until it became "Rick is always right and AJ is always wrong." After that it tanked.
swordznsorcery
Nov. 21st, 2015 05:15 am (UTC)
Did it become that? This is the first time that I've seen season seven, and I don't think I've seen season eight at all. I'm very much watching episodes at random from across all the seasons, which probably gives me a very different impression of any trend like that. A shame, then. So far they've always seemed very balanced in favour of both.
liadtbunny
Nov. 21st, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC)
Boo to the BBC, both for losing things and sitting on shiny things, grrr.

'The Scarlet Pimpernel' sounds as good as 'Sir Francis Drake' zzzz. I'll spend my money on 'Pimpernel Smith' then and stick to SP gifs? 'The Buccaneers' is fun and had Roger Delgado pooping up in it three times, but I guess you've already seen it.
swordznsorcery
Nov. 21st, 2015 02:56 pm (UTC)
It had Roger Delgado pooping up? Is that a euphemism? ;)

In all fairness, other opinions probably do exist. I'm sure SP has its fans! My main issue with it was the lead rather than the plots per se. He's terrible, and on screen for pretty much the entire running time of each episode. It is all up on YT if you want to give it a go, but I'd advise against it. :D
liadtbunny
Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:21 pm (UTC)
Let's hope not! It could have something to do with poopdecks;p

One of my f-listers was v. enthused about SP AND the lead! I might go and watch guns on string in 'The Invisible Man' on youtube for a bit instead.
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