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Classic Thames telly productions

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Classic Thames telly productions

Old 7th Feb 2019, 21:45
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Classic Thames telly productions

I use the word "classic" carefully as I know it is overused these days, but can there be any doubt as to the high quality of some of at least two of the old Thames documentaries from around the 1970s? (Plus or minus a few years of course as Thames was running from 1968 to 1992)

Wife was recently watching, on YouTube, a 70's era 13 part documentary on the Hollywood silent film era. It had the Thames imprimatur at the beginning of each episode so I assume it was commissioned by them. Brilliant stuff as a good handful of the stars and support personnel were still alive and open for interviews. James Mason narrated.

Of course who can forget The World at War?

Sure production values have changed in many ways for the better, but the tempo and pacing of these documentaries is such an enjoyable find. No breathless pronouncements every ten seconds to try to drive the narrative. They treated the viewer as an intelligent participant and the research was the best available for the day. Those who put these series together, assuming they are still with us, can be rightfully proud of their work.

Last edited by Uncle Fred; 7th Feb 2019 at 22:26.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 22:34
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All modern documentaries / wildlife programmes / reality TV are basically a collection of 5 second "blipverts*" - count it yourself - every time the frame changes count 1,2,3,4,5 next frame, 1,2,3,4,5

TV for the attention deficient. Here is a stunning scene 2 3 4 5 different angle 2 3 4 5 and from above 2 3 4 5

*(c) max headroom, but it's a great phrase
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 22:52
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Originally Posted by Snyggapa View Post
All modern documentaries / wildlife programmes / reality TV are basically a collection of 5 second "blipverts*" - count it yourself - every time the frame changes count 1,2,3,4,5 next frame, 1,2,3,4,5

TV for the attention deficient. Here is a stunning scene 2 3 4 5 different angle 2 3 4 5 and from above 2 3 4 5

*(c) max headroom, but it's a great phrase
Sad isn't it? Wife showed me a clip a few weeks past of Fred Astaire doing one of his dance numbers. Obviously the camera set up was a bit more primitive and did not allow a lot of cuts to another view, but it was astounding how long he used a single shot--and that was for fast moving entertainment. Why they can't do that today for the docus and wildlife programmes leaves me baffled--and annoyed.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 23:05
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And while we are on the subject why does all moving imagery have to have 'Background music'. I use the term music quite loosely. Youtube videos which may be quite interesting have aggressive, twanging guitars or incessant synthesised beats. Televison programmes have raucous music playing over speech. I have good hearing but for those with any hearing loss it makes listening to speech a nightmare.

Same in pubs and restaurants there has to be some incessant racket coming out of the speakers to create 'atmosphere'.

Bah! Humbug!
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 23:17
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How about the Kenny Everett Video Show?
It certainly wouldn't pass the censors these days, but the music was great, ELO, 10CC, Wings, Boomtown Rats. Etc.
Oh and Hot Gossip......

​​​
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 00:10
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And while we are on the subject why does all moving imagery have to have 'Background music'.
I do like seeing videos of aircraft in flight but why is it absolutely obligatory for these clips to be accompanied by some form or other of "rock" music. I usually mute the sound, and even occasionally put on a bit of what I judge to be appropriate classical music. I once watched a long sequence of aerobatics accompanied by part of Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending which worked very well.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 00:37
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Somewhere I've got a short film on the history of flight (narrated by James Mason) which finishes with a sequence by two of the Rothmans Stampes - Manx Kelly and Neil Williams I suspect; the music is Johnny Pearson's Sleepy Shores and ends with one of the Stampes doing a low pass against the setting sun. Perfect.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 04:47
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The opposite to the normal for movies was "Birdman" which, through some clever editing, looked like one continuous shot for nearly all the movie.

Yes, the Thames docos were very well done. Sadly, the modern dills who MUST have a camera on the shoulder, always moving, jumping in and out of focus, rapid zooms in and out, drives me crackers, and I turn to another channel. Shots do NOT have to be only 1.8 seconds long before the next jump-cut.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 07:15
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Rapid zooms accompanied by a "whooshing" sound effect, onto some "reality TV" person looking TUFF with arms folded and/or walking in slow motion. Aargh. Unless it's Gordon Ramsey, he can get away with it.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 07:39
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Recently bought the box set of all 53 episodes of the Sweeney ever made. I'm on about ep 42 now, and it is still as great as when I watched it back in the 70's.

Classic quotes:
"We're the Sweeney and we haven't had our dinner"
"All right twinkletoes you're nicked"

And the cars, a trip down memory lane spotting all the 70's motors in the background. Strange to see a lot of actors getting their start who became well known later on, Ray Winstone for one.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 07:42
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Thread drift, but picking up on TTN's point: there was a Buccaneer video about thirty years ago, perhaps more, that was accompanied by Classical Gas - terrific.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 08:56
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Originally Posted by Filler Dent View Post
How about the Kenny Everett Video Show?
It certainly wouldn't pass the censors these days, but the music was great, ELO, 10CC, Wings, Boomtown Rats. Etc.
Oh and Hot Gossip......

​​​
I shared a flat with one of the Hot Gossip girls. She was in the habit of wearing very little around the house.

Fans of Sweeney would also enjoy the series Life on Mars, a take on Sweeney with Phillip Glenister delivering some very un PC lines.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 08:58
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GB, we are working through Prime Suspect. As you say, classic cars and also crap cars and unlike a modern remake of an earlier period the cars are dirty and driven!

But even the modern British crime drama has longer scenes and demands the viewer pay attention. Thank goodness for rewind.

I watched an 'Attenborough ' documentary the other night. Thought that is an odd one before realising the 'incredulous ' old man was Dimbleby, dragged out of retirement to earn free days out and pin money. In contrast to the informed narrator of yester year we have to have the incredulous stooge, a well known figure, acting as a representative of the uneducated Great British Public. Probably earning 5-6 figure sums for the series. We have Walsh touring America with his son. Now we have Clunes about to have a holiday too. Stick with Cornwall and act the grumpy sod - much better.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 09:28
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Devil

​​​I shared a flat with one of the Hot Gossip girls. She was in the habit of wearing very little around the house.
hiflymk3; The quote above is of absolutely no benefit to anyone without photographic evidence!

Got any to post here and show us?
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 10:57
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Anyone recall that classic Red Arrows Gnat film with the awesome jazz soundtrack? Probably the best RAF recruiting film ever.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 11:22
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Here you go Pinky, Perri Lister of Hot Gossip whom I shared a flat with. BTW the chap isn't me, AFAIK it is Billy Idol who Perri later shacked up with.

Last edited by hiflymk3; 8th Feb 2019 at 11:36.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 11:31
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Documentaries these days are particularly annoying. Very light on detail, relying on computer graphics and presented by the standard raft of presenters - Brian Cox (smiles too much), Alice Roberts (preferred her in Time Team) or Richard Hammond, etc.
All are edited for commercial TV, so obvious ad break inserts all the time. A 3 minute introduction of the programme, (possible ad break), 5 minutes of later, cut (possible ad break), then a 30 second recap, then 5 minutes, cut - etc....
Jim Alkhalili bucks the trend somewhat with his physics and chemistry programmes, proper experiments with smoke and flames and a bit of detail.
Recent World War 2 documentaries really grate with me however, how the Germans are always referred to Nazis. The Nazi aircraft done this, the Nazi bombs landed here, the Nazi battleship attacked here...they were Germans, Nazi wasn't a nationality in its own.

Anyway, I'm very jealous HM3, I had a couple of Hot Gossip posters in my bedroom which my mum didn't approve of. They weren't wearing very much if I recall. Teenage years - what joy.

The reboots/pre-equals (for want of a better word) are interesting especially when you compare them to the originals. Endeavour is well done and Prime Suspect 1973 was entertaining, shame they aren't continuing with it. I was unwell a couple of months back and the only energy I could muster was to lift the TV remote, found an episode of Minder and it had a warning before it started - may contain language some viewers may find offensive. (or words to that affect). Blimey - standard family entertainment back in the day.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 12:54
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Originally Posted by Filler Dent View Post
How about the Kenny Everett Video Show?
It certainly wouldn't pass the censors these days, but the music was great, ELO, 10CC, Wings, Boomtown Rats. Etc.
Oh and Hot Gossip......​​​
Bloody Funny. He frequently referred to a fictional "Lord Thames".
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 14:04
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
I do like seeing videos of aircraft in flight but why is it absolutely obligatory for these clips to be accompanied by some form or other of "rock"
At an air show, so I suppose it doesn't count, we had the Founier Duo performing very gentle aerobatics to Pink Floyd. Absolutely perfect match.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 14:13
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Originally Posted by hiflymk3 View Post
Here you go Pinky, Perri Lister of Hot Gossip whom I shared a flat with. BTW the chap isn't me, AFAIK it is Billy Idol who Perri later shacked up with.
I used to share a flat with Catherine Zeta Jones, look, here's the evidence...



...although that isn't me with her in the picture (or is it?)

Last edited by MFC_Fly; 8th Feb 2019 at 22:17.
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