Classic TV: Red Dwarf V

The fifth series of the sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf was first broadcast on BBC2 in February 1992. Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Lister (Craig Charles), Cat (Danny John-Jules), Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and the ship’s computer Holly (Hattie Hayridge) all returned for this season and there were no significant changes to the series format. 

Red Dwarf V begins with a story showing Rimmer in an unusually sympathetic light. In “Holoship”, Rimmer is disgusted by the plot of a romantic film, unable to accept the premise that someone would give up their deepest desires in life because of their love for someone they will never even see again. Read more …

Classic TV: Red Dwarf IV (1991)

Seasons 4-6 of the sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf saw the series at its peak, having firmly found its feet with the new line up of Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Lister (Craig Charles), Cat (Danny John-Jules), the android Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and the female version of the ship’s computer Holly (Hattie Hayridge). Read more …

Classic TV: Red Dwarf III

Despite its unusual premise, the first two series of the BBC sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf were ratings successes. The second season built incrementally on the success of the first, developing its characters, strengthening its writing and exploring some of the possibilities of its setting. 

But the series’ peak years began with the arrival of the new-look Red Dwarf III in 1989, Red Dwarf’s first season to be a numbered sequel. At the time, it must have come as a shock to its regular audience. The titles were different, the theme music was different, the sets were different, the look was different and even the characters were different. Read more …

My Man Godfrey (1936)

My Man Godfrey is a screwball comedy starring Carole Lombard as a wealthy heiress who hires William Powell, supposedly a down-and-out, to be her new butler. Complications – and romance – inevitably ensue.  Read more …

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Cancelled in 1969 after three seasons on television, Star Trek appeared to lay dormant in the late 1970s, until it was unexpectedly revived in a big screen version as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the film that would transfer the Star Trek brand from the small screen to feature films and precede its 1980s television revival. Read more …

Power Play (1978)

A military coup in an unnamed country is the basis for this 1970s political thriller starring David Hemmings, Peter O’Toole and Donald Pleasence. 

David Hemmings plays Colonel Narriman, an apparently decent army officer on the verge of retirement. Narriman is looking forward to a quiet life on his farm in the country, when he is persuaded to take part in a coup against the government. The country’s current regime is authoritarian and unpleasant and the country beset by terrorist violence. Narriman himself is finally convinced of the need for action when his friends’ daughter is murdered by the country’s secret police.  Read more …

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

One of John Ford’s last films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is an exploration of some of the myths and mythologising of the old West and the relationship between historical fact and legend. 

Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) is a respected US Senator who arrives unexpectedly with his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) one day in the small western town of Shinbone, the place where Stoddard had first made his name. When the local newspaper editor learns he is there, he senses a story. Stoddard explains that he is in town for the funeral of an old friend, Tom Donophin (John Wayne). When pressed further, Stoddard reluctantly decides that it’s time to finally tell the tale of his friendship with Donophin and the true story behind his famed shootout with outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Read more …

Red Dwarf: The Early Years (Series I & II)

The adventures of a man, a cat and a hologram (and later on an android), Red Dwarf is one of the world’s longest-running sitcoms and the world’s second longest-running sci-fi series, after the BBC’s venerable Doctor Who. It’s also a series with a strong cult following and a legion of fans who have stuck with it through its many ups and downs over the decades. Although based on a small cast of (usually) four characters, the show has undergone many changes and much evolution – a lot of it positive, although not all of it – since it was first broadcast in 1988. Read more …

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