Thursday, April 19, 2018

Forthcoming Schlock

The main thing I've realised after two weeks of three half days a week as part of my 'phased return' to work, is just how bloody boring it all is.  Really, even at only three half days a week (I go up to three full days next week) it is pure tedium.  How did I stick it out for so long?  Why did I stick it out so long?  (Actually, the answer to that is easy - my mortgage).  But enough about work.  Back to the schlock.  Of late, I've found Forces TV (Freeview 96) a rich source of schlocky old TV series.  Right now, for instance, a double bill of Hogan's Heroes has just finished.  I have to say that this is one series which hasn't aged well.  It feels very creaky and contrived.  Poor editing of the episodes showing tonight didn't help.  Still, it's always fun speculating about Bob Crane's alleged off screen antics and strange demise.  As I've noted before, Forces TV has already given airings to some classic eighties TV schlock in the form of Knight Rider, Starsky and Hutch and even Airwolf and Streethawk.   I've also enjoyed reruns of Danger UXB and UFO. Most recently, we've seen a rerun of the original Battlestar Galactica - a show I never really enjoyed first time out, but seeing it again now, I can't deny that it has a certain charm about it. 

It seems that there is more to come - over the past few days they've been trailing Mannix, the long running US private eye series from the late sixties and early seventies.  Despite its US popularity, the show never seemed to get a regular networked slot on ITV.  When I was a kid I remember it turning up late at night, usually acting as a filler to take the schedule up to close down on Saturday or Sunday nights, (those were the days when TV went off the air for several hours overnight).  Consequently, I never got to see that many episodes, but I fondly recall the catchy theme music and the fact that every episode seemed guaranteed to deliver at least one massive fist fight and several car chases.  I've subsequently caught up with a few more episodes in more recent years and confirmed that Mannix was, indeed, a pretty action-packed PI show.  The plots were pretty much standard fare for a US crime series of its era, but it was extremely well staged, with far more action than most of its contemporaries.  I look forward to catching up with many more episodes once it debuts on Forces TV.  Mannix, though, isn't the only new show they've been trailing: apparently Buck Rogers in the Twenty Fifth Century is also coming.  Not a great show, I'll grant you, but I do fondly remember it for those incredibly tight spandex suits Erin Gray used to wear...

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