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Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 322
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 6:09am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Ace of Wands was a particular childhood favourite of mine, it starred Michael MacKenzie as Tarot, a stage magician who in his spare time would battle kooky villains with his supernatural and psychic powers. Ace of Wands also had a fabulous theme song written and performed by Andy Brown (Status Quo) that I still occasionally find myself singing in the shower all these decades later (though not quite so well as the original version which can be found on YouTube). Sad to say, many of the early episodes were wiped and now exist only in the memories of those of us who were fortunate enough to have been around at the time.
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10804
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Andrew, i used to love Ace of Wands, i did buy a dvd a
few years ago, but never got around to watching it, i
also bought The Singing Ringing Tree(definitely not
British) which scared the crap out of me as a kid, and
not got around to watching that either!
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1627
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I have both those DVDs/sets Bill. I got interested in such things from reading about them in magazines so no scary memories of The Singing Ringing Tree, I think it's amazing.

Last I'd heard/read the entire first series of Ace Of Wands had been relegated to 'missing presumed wiped'. Just a few stills from that season, and scripts. Everything after that is on the DVD set. If I could see the original first series I suspect it would be up with The Owl Service and Sky as among the best ever. They do turn things up even now though, a first series Avengers with Ian Hendry came out of the blue a few years ago. Also I think someone may have returned a bunch of studio tapes of Hancock's Half Hour radio programmes (or it may just have been tv audio for a vinyl release project later on).
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10804
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 11:33am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Rebecca, the things that scared me as a kid were the
dwarf and the fish, plus it was Eastern European and
badly dubbed, i`m pretty sure the original dialogue was
still detectable in the sound mix which gave it a freaky
quality! I must watch it again to see if my memory is
correct!
This was a thing of early 70`s kid`s tv in Britain, we
got a lot of European imports that were badly dubbed, i
guess they were cheap filler for the summer holidays!
White Horses and Belle and Sebastian spring to mind!
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1627
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I remember some similarly wild Czech and eastern European productions dubbed into English, no idea what they were now but knights and medieval types of settings in some, fantasy powers.In a way they got mixed up with Japanese monster movies like Gamorrah, U.S. puppet Curiosity Shops, and The Double Deckers in my brain. :^)

I loved The Moon Stallion series too, that had Sarah Sutton playing a blind girl with some psychic gifts, before she was in Doctor Who. :^)
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10804
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I can recall The Tinder Box, which was another Euro-
import.We also got ancient American stuff like Champion
the Wonder Horse,Casey Jones, The Forest Rangers(I
remember unkind school kids calling me Billy Two
Rivers!) and Whirlybirds!
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1627
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 1:49pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I'll have to check into Tinder Box. Forest Rangers like Tales Of The Riverbank (with Hammy The Hamster) were Canadian.

Free Wheelers is another '60s-'70s British kids show I've never seen, made by Southern who did Worzel Gummige, I believe a lot of the Free Wheelers were wiped. There was an ex-Doctor Who companion and an ex-Bugaloo in it though.

Dramarama had some good episodes and some not so good, also Shadows. Various itv regional licensees contributed I think, or was Shadows all Thames?
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10804
Posted: 30 May 2018 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Freewheelers I found boring, but that may have been
because it was too old for me at the time.

Edited by Bill Collins on 31 May 2018 at 12:34am
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Sergio Saavedra
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 13 August 2007
Location: Spain
Posts: 403
Posted: 02 October 2018 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I think nobody mentioned "Sherlock". I've seen the first 3 seasons and it's one of my favourite shows.
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Rob Ocelot
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 07 December 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 1149
Posted: 02 October 2018 at 5:02pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Documentaries:

CONNECTIONS:

Anything by James Burke is well worth watching but first series of CONNECTIONS is something really special.   His (unconventional at the time) views on how history and technology are intertwined are more on point now than they were 40 years ago.   Burke's leisure suits with giant collars and enormous flares along with his signature wit and presentation style all make a compelling watch.   The later series for some reason just don't grab me like that first one -- perhaps because they were shot on videotape and seem to be missing something..   The original and it's sister show THE DAY THE UNIVERSE CHANGED were shot on film and have a grittyness in their presentation that could only have been done in the late 70s.

THE SECRET LIFE OF MACHINES:

Like Burke, Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod present how things work in a unique way that make this show a compulsive watch.   I love how stuff Tim is demonstrating sometimes doesn't work or just plain blows up in his face.   All sorts of crazy stuff like demonstrating how heat affects crystal structure by roasting digital watches in an oven, showing how a fuel injector works by turning it into a rudimentary flame thrower, and a giant flaming pyramid of TV sets still pluged into the mains -- er... just because.  

Tim's dabbling in cartooning, engineering and performance sculpture has led him down some interesting paths, such as designing and building large unusual clocks (including water clocks) all around the world, unusual and rude/off colour coin operated machines, and the flying pigs and sheep used for Pink Floyd's Animals tour.  Rex is like the British equivalent of Al Borland to Tim Hunkin's out-there-ness.
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10804
Posted: 02 October 2018 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I like Sherlock too Sergio!
I remember James Burke from weekly BBC technology series
Tomorrow`s World, which was a very interesting
programme, and on at prime time, much better than the
wall to wall soaps we get in that slot now!
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Koroush Ghazi
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Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1560
Posted: 20 June 2019 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Just discovered this thread while looking for a thread on Fawlty Towers. Anyway, I love British TV. There are many, many hours of superb TV ahead of you if you haven't yet seen the following:

Fawlty Towers - "Must watch" TV. Absolute comedic genius by John Cleese. I watch this brief but amazing series once a year.

Yes, Minister, Yes, Prime Minister - Two series on British politics that are brilliantly written such that they're still relevant and apply to pretty much any modern politician/political situation today. As an added bonus grab the books, they complement the series extremely well.

Sherlock Holmes - The Granada series (1984 - 1994) - This is the definitive Sherlock Holmes adaptation, with someone who is widely considered to be the best actor to ever portray Sherlock Holmes: Jeremy Brett. I read the books first before seeing this series, and I was absolutely amazed at how faithful these are to the story, and the image I had in my mind of the events and characters in the books.

The Goodies - Cheap and cheery slapstick comedy by the trio of Goodies: Tim, Bill and Graham; a bit of an acquired taste, helps if you grew up watching The Goodies on TV in the 1970s

The Office (UK) - Not much needs to be said about this, much like Fawlty Towers it's brief, brilliant and endlessly rewatchable.

Karl Pilkington: Sick of It - Added in a brand new TV show for those who think I only watch TV from 20 years ago! This is actually a very well-written and acted series starring (and co-written) by the idiot savant we know as Karl Pilkington. Only came out within the last year, but I've already watched the 6 episodes three times. Looking forward to Season 2!

Too many others to list, The Young Ones, Classic Doctor Who, Keeping Up Appearances, etc. all have their charms.
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