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In the land of 80s telly

I have been YouTubing. Don't you just love rich people, who had video recorders long before the rest of us had even heard of them?! Back in 1982, Children's BBC screened a fifty minute long adaptation of a book called Ghost In The Water, by Edward Chitham. This then disappeared into the bottomless vault of tapes in the BBC basement. I recall finding it brilliantly spooky, and the two and a half other people I've since met who also remember it agreed. I long ago gave up any hope of seeing it again though. And now it's turned up on YouTube! You can watch it here, if you are so inclined. Since it's a one-off film rather than a serial, it keeps the pace up throughout, making it seem almost modern (save for the almost universally brown colour scheme, obviously!), and the cast are terrific. Fourteen year old Tess is assigned a local history project by her teacher, and finds herself haunted by the restless ghost of a young woman who died more than a century before. I didn't find it scary this time, but it is very nicely done, and very atmospheric. So pleased to have seen it again!

Seriously though, check out this school interior:

Who even makes a paint that colour, let alone buys it or uses it?! It may have been 1982, but clearly they were not free of the seventies yet.

And then, also on YouTube, I found East Of Ipswich, which I hadn't seen since the Beeb broadcast it in the late eighties. It's a short film (seventy-odd minutes) written by Michael Palin, and very loosely based on an incident in his early life. Richard is seventeen, and hauled along by his parents on a deathly dull seaside holiday at the tail end of the fifties. It's brilliantly evocative of a particular time and place - rock & roll might have got the big cities hopping, but out in the provinces, a church social was still seen as the height of entertainment; and a seventeen year old boy staying out until ten o'clock at night - in a coffee bar! (gasp!) - was in for a stern telling off.

Though it's roughly based in reality, it's not really autobiographical. In real life he met his future wife, but I'm guessing that two youngsters becoming pen pals, and eventually getting married, was far less likely to be commissioned as a film! Instead, Richard gets tangled up with a naughty Dutch exchange student and some bad boy rockers on motorbikes. And! Guess who turns up as one of the rockers! Yep, looking startlingly young (and not terribly dangerous, it must be said), whilst sporting a quite fabulous DA:

Tip Tipping - one of the many reasons why old telly is better. The other rocker there is fellow stuntman Wayne Michaels, known to fans of Robin Of Sherwood as Michael Praed's regular stand-in. And, telly being what it is, frequently the stand-in for the bloke that Michael Praed was fighting as well. He's also the man behind the infamous bungee jump at the start of GoldenEye.

I'm a well of useful information, aren't I. Who needs sensible facts and figures, when you can end up with a head full of stuntman resumés?


( 14 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Feb. 26th, 2016 05:49 pm (UTC)
Is Tip Tipping stalking you or are you stalking him? :-)
Feb. 26th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
It's impossible to stalk him - individual stunt credits are rarely included on TV shows. Usually it's just the stunt arranger, so IDMb listings are woefully incomplete. Consequently it's always a happy surprise. I have been known to cheer, and startle the cats.
Feb. 26th, 2016 06:12 pm (UTC)
Aha, then he must be stalking you!
Feb. 26th, 2016 06:19 pm (UTC)
If he is, he's very welcome. :)
Feb. 27th, 2016 08:17 am (UTC)
I love Luck Be A Lady and had to investigate a new version. Think I still prefer Frank, though, for that laid-back quality. But those are some pretty curls on Lee Mead.

I think I may have seen Ghost In The Water at the time, it seems familiar. Lucky you to be able to clearly remember and name it, for tracking-down purposes. I still think regretfully of a kids' series with a lad sent off to boarding school in Switzerland, where he and the rest are revealed as having mysterious powers by the sinister headmaster who belongs to a shadowy organisation... It was fantastic, I can't remember a name or a single actor, and no-one else seems to have heard of it. Blessed if I know what it was. Wah, wah wah, this is your regularly scheduled plaint.

I do like nostalgic YA coming-of-age stories, the Michael Palin one sounds fun. Jack Rosenthal's 'Ptang, Yang, Kipperbang' was also great.

Feb. 27th, 2016 11:11 am (UTC)
I love Lee Mead's voice. Frank does that song best though, certainly (although, had Dino sung it, his would be best! :p ). Did you find Lee's version? The album just came out a day ago.

If you like that sort of thing, I definitely recommend "East Of Ipswich". The YT link is up above. It's beautifully done. And that series you're trying to remember sounds really good. I want to know what it is now!
Feb. 27th, 2016 09:25 am (UTC)
I don't know any of these ... I think. Though of course the title may have been completely different in German!
Feb. 27th, 2016 10:58 am (UTC)
I'd be surprised if they were sold abroad. But then, sometimes some very unlikely stuff is.
Feb. 27th, 2016 12:39 pm (UTC)
I wish rich people had video recorders in the 50's and 60's!

Lol to the school interior, it's the shade Amanda Lamb advises house sellers to paint their homes on telly. It doth not look good(to me).
Feb. 27th, 2016 01:02 pm (UTC)
The earliest home videos were around in the sixties, apparently. It's just that very very few people had them! And it seems that none of them were DW or AAL fans. *grumble grumble*

I have no idea who Amanda Lamb is, but she's clearly colour blind! Or having a quiet giggle on the side...
Feb. 27th, 2016 01:11 pm (UTC)
Wah! I wish the lost AAL eps could be found, but the power of the mind doesn't work as well as Uri Geller claimed.

Amanda Lamb does property shows telling homeowners how to improve their homes. It doesn't always work; one couple put up a mural like she said and the new buyers said they hated it and were going to remove it!
Feb. 27th, 2016 05:45 pm (UTC)
Uri Geller's only any use for bending spoons though, and we don't want to go bending episodes of stuff. Or at least, I don't think we do. It might help find them, I suppose.

If Amanda Lamb told somebody to paint a mural using that sort of colour scheme, no wonder it got painted over!
Feb. 27th, 2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
I remember reading somewhere that Ringo Starr was the first person to own a vcr in the UK. I don't know if it's true, but maybe he's the one uploading all this old TV to youtube. :oD
Feb. 28th, 2016 05:13 am (UTC)
Maybe! I wonder if he takes requests! :D

I'd heard that as well, and no, I don't know if it's true either. I don't suppose there were many people with the money back then though, and he is interested in tech, so it does make a sort of sense.
( 14 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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