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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars September wrap-up
Sunday 30th September 2018 12:17 pm

This month I've been watching Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Last time when I watched something for Never Seen Star Wars I watched one episode and decide that was enough. This time I watched an episode of the original and an episode of the Vic & Bob remake, bought both sets of DVDs and watched all 26 episodes of the original and 13 episodes of the new. This, and work being crazy, is the reason I haven't posted much this month.

In other words, I liked it. I liked both, in fact.

Going between them, it was obvious how much more dizzying camera movement is in the remake. I think it's more obvious when going from old TV to new, but is also something my dizziness makes more obvious.

There's all sorts about the famous people in the remake, but there are some really famous people in the original too. I knew David Jason was in one, but failed to recognise him at first. He looked the same, just younger, but was doing an RP accent, which I was not expecting. I also failed to recognise Brian Blessed. I had to look up the name of his character and then pay attention to see who he was. Even then, I could sort of agree it was him only when his character started shouting, and I paid attention to the sound and not how he looked.

Nicholas Courtney and Roger Delgado were easy to spot. I spent most of an episode (When the Spirit Moves You) thinking one of the characters looked familiar. And when I looked him up on imdb I found he was Anton Rodgers - who I know from Fresh Fields/French Fields and May to December. Although these were twenty years later, and I haven't seen either since they were on TV, there was still something about him that was recognisable.

And then there's Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave. Wikipedia tells me exactly who Andrew Sachs plays, but he's just so different from Manuel that I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't Andrew Sachs. And the gardener turns out to be Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances. Once I knew I could see a resemblance, but he doesn't look different in a shirt.

Famous people aside, I just generally enjoyed it. Quite a few of the plots were a bit samey and I liked when Marty got Jeff out of trouble by some means other than finding someone who could hear him. I liked that the remake did more interesting things with the whole ghost idea. Of course, it helped that by then they could do more special effects. I liked that the remake went a bit silly with the plots - but I also liked that the original was more sensible.

I found the friendship between Jeff and Marty was easier to believe at first in the remake, but that's because I know Vic & Bob are friends. I've seen them do Shooting Stars together. But I could see it in the original too, after a while.

I like that the remake gave Jeannie more to do (in the making of, Annette Andre does point out that The Avengers was the exception in those days). At first, I disliked having the whole thing about whether she'll get together with Jeff. But then I was reminded of something in the first episode of the original, where Jeannie says she doesn't see Jeff because Marty gets jealous (it sounds to me like Jeff and Jeannie are friends outside of their relationship with Marty). That would be really iffy in 2000, so I don't mind that they kept Marty's jealous side, but gave him a respectable 21st century reason for it.

In common with everyone else, it seems, I also really love the music.

So, 10/10. I wish I'd seen the original earlier.


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Tennis
Wednesday 12th September 2018 9:19 pm

I haven't recovered from the US open yet. I stayed up late watching/listening to the tennis on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and my body hates me so has been waking me early for weeks. I am tired. I was tired by the time the men's and women's finals started, never mind after two sets!

I dislike commentators generally, and the rubbish they spout. I like the 5 Live ones better because they talk about interesting things. Plus I think I've just got used to listening to a lot of tennis while I'm at work. So for the US open I watched on Amazon Prime and listened on 5 Live. When I listened on the radio the radio was a point ahead. When I listened on the internet, the radio was a point behind. It only occurred to me in the middle of the second set of Djokovic vs Del Potro that I could have tried listening on the telly - and if was head, but not close enough, taping it so I could listen on a short time delay.

I should point out that at 3-4 in the second set I thought I'd go to bed after that game, and finish the set in bed. That was a 20 minute later bedtime than I was expecting...

Most of my viewing was some early Murray and Edmund matches and then the men's and women's finals, mixed doubles final and Nadal vs Del Potro semi-final. The latter was an expectedly short experience. I watched the first set, then went to bed, assuming I'd be spending quite a bit of Saturday getting it in before the mixed doubles final. I opened the replay part A and found that was just set 1. B only appeared to be 52 minutes long. I assumed that either I hadn't noticed there was a part C (and D and E) or someone was horribly injured during the second set. The commentators were talking about Nadal's knee, but I thought his leg would have to fall off before he retired. So it must have been really bad.

The mixed doubles final was fun. Jamie is now well ahead of Andy in grand slam wins - as it should be, since he's the eldest.

The women's final of course is still being talked about. The terrible thing is how sorry I felt for Naomi Osaka on the stage, in tears and not because she was happy to have won. You shouldn't be feeling sorry for the champion. What particularly annoyed me was Pat Cash and Jeff Tarango in the commentary complaining that the umpire was just doing it all to draw attention to himself. Okay, so you're entitled to believe that and maybe it was true, I don't know, I've never interacted with any tennis umpires. But it didn't feel like the right place to sat it.

And the most tacky part of the whole thing was announcing they were giving a cheque for $3.8 million to the champion. But I think that's the difference between Brits and Americans. Also, surely they pay by bank transfer?

The men's final was pretty close. Although once Djokovic won two sets I knew I just needed to watch the third set on Monday and that would be it. Although it turned out that Amazon would only let me watch from 3-4 in the second set and not fast forward. So I ended up listening to it through the iPlayer instead. Which probably worked out better given that this was while I was getting dressed and breakfasted etc. At least it meant I knew the result before I went to work - the year Andy Murray won I had to avoid everything until I finished the match on Monday evening. It worked - I had no idea he'd won - but it was hard work.

I would have watched Alfie Hewett's final, but they kept updating me on the score during the men's final.

This weekend is the Davis Cup. It should have been our World Group qualifying tie, but they changed the system and now we're in the World Group, it's just a question of whether we're going to be seeded or not. But it will be good to see Cam Norrie play, and Dan Evans back again, and some doubles.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – September
Monday 3rd September 2018 8:43 pm

This month I've going to watch Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

I've been meaning to, for years. I knew the premise before I saw the Vic & Bob version, which I watched when it was on TV. I think I liked it (I only remember Emilia Fox was in it an nothing else) and wanted to watch the original, but never got round to it.

So now I will.


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