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The Arthur Askey Collection (DVD Review – I Thank You, Back Room Boy and More)



Distributor: ITV DVD
Certificate: PG | Region: 2 | 6 disc set

Extras: No

Arthur Askey, Richard Murdoch, Moore Marriott, Graham Moffatt,

One of the all time greats of the thirties and forties, who along with the likes of George Formby and Will Hay scored more than a few successes on the big screen. ITV dvD have put together a brilliant box set highlighting six of the best of them.

Born in Liverpool in 1900 the diminutive of stature (5 foot 3) but energetic of nature Askey had risen to prominence on the radio show Band Waggon, the first ever regular comedy, variety series and also the first type of this show to feature a resident comic (Askey), he was teamed with semi straight man Richard “Stinker” Murdoch and one of the regular segments on Band Waggon saw the two of them actually living on top of Broadcasting House, given that the radio show was a huge success, a natural progression was a film version which appeared in 1939, of interest not just for helping preserve the radio show but also for an early look at TV goings on at the BBC as the pair here are running a pirate TV station, it’s also very funny.

I THANK YOU made in 1941 is our personal pick of the bunch, featuring besides Askey and Murdoch the likes of Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt (the pair were former Will Hay regulars who stayed with Gainsborough – who Askey was also contracted to – when Hay moved to Ealing Studios). Also appearing was the brilliant Kathleen Harrison and the plot of I Thank You saw a group of actors posing as servants to try and get backing for a stage production they want to put on.

BACK ROOM BOY (1942) is another classic that pretty much steals wholesale the plot from the Ghost Train, Arthur, this time out minus Murdoch, is a meteorologist who is sent to a remote light house off the coast of Orkney and is soon getting mixed up with spies. Marriott and Moffatt again feature as does a mostly scantily clad Googie Withers and a whole troupe of music hall girls. Its great stuff and hugely entertaining.

KING ARTHUR WAS A GENTLEMAN (1942) whilst still very much a comedy tries to introduce a spot of pathos into the mix, Askey is a soldier who thinks he has discovered King Arthurs sword which gives him heroic qualities.

BEES IN PARADISE (1943) reunites most of the cast from King Arthur (Anne Shelton, Jack Train etc) and ramps up the comedy factor with a saucy plot that sees a quartet of airmen crash land on an island in the South Seas ruled by women.

Last but not least is MISS LONDON LTD (1943) which again features the same cast from the previous two movies and once again, this being wartime, sees Arthur playing a soldier and getting mixed up with the goings on at an escort agency.

This is a wonderful collection that transports us back to a more innocent and infinitely more fun period for movies. Any fan of the golden age of British cinema and any fan of classic comedy would do well to acquaint themselves with this handsomely packaged box set.



Dave Saint Show, The (UK Play 2000, John Thomson, Alexander Kirk)




UK Play Logo

The Dave Saint Show was a comedy about a useless heavy metal DJ on a local radio station. As was usual with with shows on extra terrestrial channel UK Play music videos were interspersed throughout the show.

production details
UK / UK Play – Channel X / x30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2000

Writers: Alexander Kirk, Simon Messingham / Script Consultant: Stacy Herbert / Music: Steve Cripps, Dan Mendford / Costumes: Pookie Russell / Producer: Jim Reid / Director: Mark Mylod

JOHN THOMSON as Dave Saint

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Game of Thrones Season Six Opener reviews from around and about




Assorted reviews from the interweb of the season six opener for Game Of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is back, with a premiere full of shocks, bloody acts and creepy reveals – but no definite answer about the fate of Jon Snow.

Season six is the first time the TV series has moved ahead of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, so even dedicated readers have no idea what will happen. Reviewers say the first episode, The Red Woman, resolved some of the cliffhangers from the last series, but also has a few shocks in store, including one very creepy reveal involving a leading lady.

“The tension was incredible,” says Ed Power in the Daily Telegraph.

Season six opened with the camera swooping low over Castle Black and pausing on noble Jon Snow after his bloody run-in with the traitorous Night’s Watch.

“Alas, the Bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) was, for the time being at least, staying very dead indeed,” says Power. This was confirmed by “a haunting close-up of his waxy visage and the pool of scarlet arranged like a skewed halo”.

Short of spelling out: “He’s dead!” in huge flaming letters, the writers couldn’t have driven the point home harder, adds the critic, who asks whether this was “a sadistic riposte to fans” who have waited a year to see if their heart-throb will return or “a sleight-of-hand intended to make his eventual reappearance all the more dramatically satisfying”.

Christopher Hooton in The Independent writes: “The last season of Game of Thrones didn’t so much end on a cliff-hanger as a splat on the beach below. Jon Snow is unequivocally dead,” or so we’ve been repeatedly told over the past few months.

However, he adds, the sheer amount of screen time given to his body “suggested more than just a ‘funeral then we all move on with our lives’ narrative”.

With the “obligatory Jon Snow death check” out of the way, this episode was mostly about setting up the playing field for the rest of the season, continues the critic.

Indeed, it was “a sombre, sturdy opening”, says Matt Fowler on IGN. While “not a high watermark for the show”, the series’ opener resolved some cliff-hangers and included “a big creepy reveal regarding Melisandre right at the end”.

It also set up the pieces on the chessboard and managed to touch upon just about every character in the ensemble, says the journalist, a much easier task these days, “now that the herd is so thin”.

Yes, it was a “table-setting episode”, says Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter, as premieres are supposed to be. The episode did what it needed, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track.

Being Game of Thrones, however, there were a few shockers, including some gory violence and nudity that is “more shocking in its narrative ramifications than its gratuity or titillation”. And while the answer to Snow’s wellbeing comes quickly, says Fienberg, “it needn’t necessarily be permanent, because what things are?”

Source: The Week

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Columbo Series Three Region 1 DVD Review




Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment

Certificate: Not Rated | 11 Hours and 24 minutes
Available to buy

Extras: Yes

Peter Falk, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper

The Columbo releases from Universal are now upto the third season and of course by now it is full steam ahead as Columbo really hits its stride, of course the basic premise of the show dictates that we know who the killer is right from the get go but by the third season the audience was lapping up the way the Superlative Peter Falk as Lt Columbo doggedly pursued

his villain who were always lulled into a false sense of security by Columbo’s grubby mac, battered old car and down at heel demeanour, all tactics designed to throw the suspect off guard before he lets them know that he knows they did it.

Spread over two double sided discs this nicely put together set features all 8 feature length season three episodes, Columbo’s cases include the mysterious death of a well known author, a country singer who is prime suspect in a murder case, he also finds time to uncover police corruption and political skullduggery. Columbo also always managed to attract a high level of guest and this series includes the legendary Johnny Cash in the episode Swan Song as well as the likes of

Jose Ferrier, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, Dana Elcar and Robert Culp. A classy slice of 1970’s Tec TV Heaven, Columbo always entertains and should be on any Classic TV fans must have list.

There’s a great bonus episode from the series Mrs Columbo (which many have claimed isn’t a spin off from Columbo but having now seen an episode it clearly is) this is called Murder Is A Parlour Game (from 1979) and features Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo, journalist on a small local paper and married to a never seen Lt Columbo, she investigates when a suicide case appears to be murder, the excellent Donald Pleasance guest stars, this is great fun and is hopefully a precursor to the whole series getting a release.

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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