Blue Remembered Hills

Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders on DVD

Jon Pertwee’s final season may not be very popular nowadays, but to be young at the time was very heaven. For a start, you couldn’t get away from the programme in those days. Only two episodes into The Time Warrior, and the BBC showed the omnibus repeat of The Green Death. Just to mix things up a bit more they later stuck an unscheduled repeat of The Sea Devils right in the middle of the first run of Planet of the Spiders. This particular perfect storm of Who was the moment that my infant brain was fatefully reprogrammed and a lifetime of sad fandom set in stone. As if that wasn’t enough, at…

Love Makes You Crazy

Zero Zero

Welcome to Thatcher’s Britain. Unemployment is soaring, the Falklands Factor has kicked in and an electoral landslide is imminent. But a recently launched television channel hoped to make a difference. Channel 4 would provide a radical alternative to mainstream broadcasting, both artistically and politically, and on February 5th 1983 they bravely handed over an hour of peak-time viewing to… Mike Batt.

The Scottish Prisoner

Space Time Visualiser: 1st February 1968

Today we look back 43 years to when the final episode of The Prisoner received its premiere. Change your clothes, crank up All You Need is Love and go through the door marked WELL COME to find out more about this geographically unusual event.

Armando Iannucci has often said that his childhood was blighted by the dread announcement “Except for those viewers in Scotland, who have their own programming” and you can see his point when he lists the kind of shows he missed out on. But there’s a big exception. If you were lucky enough to live in the STV region 43 years ago, then you got to see Fall Out, the final episode of The Prisoner, a whole day…

Something’s Cooking in the Kitchen

Doctor Who: The Ark on DVD

The Ark was the final Doctor Who story made with John Wiles as producer, and over the years his era has become known for two things; off-screen he got on so badly with William Hartnell that they tried to get each other sacked/killed, and onscreen the majority of stories he produced were dark, mordantly funny, and typically concluded with innocents being ruthlessly slaughtered. Such is his forbidding reputation among some fans, you get the impression that if he hadn’t resigned, by the time Season Four came around he would have been planning Doctor Who: A Serbian Film. The Ark though, shows that there was more to the Wiles era than harsh realism. The story is more obviously aligned to mainstream…