13/06/2021

Dick Turpin Season One Episodes 9 - 13

 The Whipping Boy

03/03/79 W/Richard Carpenter/ D Dennis Abey
“I’ll see you hanged, you rascal!” “I’ll send you a ticket”

There are more villains than heroes in this excellent episode which is one of those which definitely would have benefited from being a two parter. As it is a lot of developments are nimbly squeezed into 23 minutes without a second of waste. Turpin and Swftnick steal a large sum of printed money from the Duke of Hertford though at first Swiftnick thinks it’s just paper! Needless to say the Duke is livid and calls in his henchman Tobias Moat to bring the county to heal. Moat has a reputation for ruthless cruelty and is accompanied by the sound of a whip every time he turns up. He also seems to have a set of black teeth for no other reason than to make him look even deadlier. Moat has history with both Turpin and Spiker having served with them – or by the sound of it more against them- in Gibraltar.



10/06/2021

Dick Turpin Season One Episodes 4 - 8

 

The Poacher

27/01/79 W Richard Carpenter / D James Allen
“That painted macaroni’s no highwayman”

Appearances can be deceptive in this fun episode which opens with Turpin and Swiftnick’s latest coach having already been robbed. Seems there’s a poacher about and suspicion soon falls on a mysterious newcomer Joshua Vizard who certainly looks like he could be a highwayman with a dark demeanour that suggests villainy. On the other hand Sir John’s visiting cousin Willoughby is a powdered ponce fond of quoting poetry and sporting the latest fashionable wig from London. He couldn’t possibly be the poacher could he? Richard Carpenter’s script creates a pantomimesque atmosphere filled with word play and somewhat exaggerated performances from the cast. This is Carpenter in his element jousting with language and the proceedings play well for all ages- kids will enjoy the action and the silly accents, older viewers will appreciate the allusions and the neat twist of the plot. Perhaps the final five minutes which becomes a sort of hide and seek in Glutton’s manor is a touch too overplayed but by then you’re with it all the way.





08/06/2021

Dick Turpin Season One Episodes 1 - 3

 A series about a notorious highwayman yet aimed towards a family audience is not an obvious idea for a drama but for writer Richard Carpenter it was a typically left field choice. After all he’d already written shows about smugglers, an eleventh century wizard, a group of ghosts and a boy from space. He liked outsiders and the way they interpreted their surroundings, his work packed with rich characters and a sense of place that means they’ve not dated as much as other contemporaneous programmes have done. Often made for younger viewers they have a sophistication and a refusal to talk down to the viewer that makes them easily accessible to people of all ages. Though this series is named after an infamous historical figure the series is not telling that real story at all but one that actually begins with the hanging of Dick Turpin…




 

04/06/2021

Top of the Pops 15 and 22 May 1986

Double bill! reviewed by Chris Arnsby

15 May 1986 -

[25] Status Quo: Rollin' Home. Mike Smith. “Good evening and welcome to Top of the Pops from Television Centre. Let's start with the highest new entry this week, Status Quo- Rollin' Home.” Status Quo's last studio appearance was when The Wanderer charted, 25/10/1984. What have they been up to in the meantime? The usual, splits, solo projects, and court cases. And a 1985 appearance at Live Aid, of course. The court case with original member Alan Lancaster was settled early in 1986, and the band are back with a new line-up and the same sound; dun-der-dun-der-dun-der-dun. "Everybody was coked-up and hating each other,” was how Francis Rossi described the mood at their 1984 Milton Keynes Bowl concert. Well, they're all good friends now. At the start of the instrumental Francis Rossi turns his back on the audience and makes a crank-it-up gesture to the band. He does something off camera which makes the guitarist (who isn't Francis Rossi or Rick Parfitt, and definitely isn't Alan Lancaster) and the keyboard player smile, and then Rossi whispers to Rick Parfitt and makes him break off and laugh.

 


02/06/2021

Midsomer Murders- Dark Secrets

In this excellent episode from 2011, the death of an unpopular social services official sends Barnaby and Jones into the orbit of the Bingham family. Elderly William and Mary Bingham rattle around in their large mansion ordering too much food and piling up the daily papers for over thirty years into a number of impressive towers as tall as buses. Quite how such an ageing couple achieve this gravity defying feat is not really addressed though you just know that sooner or later one of these is going to topple over on someone.