Author Topic: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.  (Read 577 times)


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« on: August 09, 2020, 01:14:10 AM »

Ready... set... "Disco-groovy!" That was just one of the hilarious catchphrases uttered by everyone's favourite 1980's TV android, Roger the Robot! And with nostalgia for the 1980's still vaguely present, now is a ripe time to check out the classic teatime sitcom... exclusive to Britbox!

Running from 1981 to 1984 on ITV, RtR was essential early-evening viewing on Saturdays for a whopping 65 million viewers at the peak of it's popularity. Produced (unusually!) by one of Herman's Hermits, it was the brainchild of comedy writer Calum Bostik, who noticed a craze for science fiction and felt the need "to create a sort of robot-centric The Goodies". [citation needed]

But it was the cast that really brought Roger to life, quiet literally in the case of Mickey Knight, who played lonely nerd Pete. Knight would later make his name in gentle comedy series The Dregs of the Silt Autumn but he excels in this early role as the geeky kid who 'accidentally' gifts sentience to Roger via some electrically-enhanced gobstoppers! Roger himself was voiced by an uncredited Lenny Henry, who later admitted he was coaxed into indulging in the show "during lean periods".

Meanwhile, a pre-The Scrap Trade Rodney Lynchburg played Pete's brother, lairy mod-rocker Gary, while sister Kate was played by Liv Ulsterman, who would of course later move to America and score a hit with The Liv Ulsterman Show. Father was played by old favourite Tony du Stanton, who would go on to further success with middle-age-com Pastures New. Mother was played with great elan by Neris Georgia.

The casting of the hilarious Gran would be a tough one, but vintage classic Wispie Willows slotted perfectly into the role! And rounding out the main cast was Layla Murray, the exuberant West Indian girl neighbour.

While Roger entertained the nation with his outrageous doings (even appearing in his own comic strip in Look-in magazine, and scoring a top 40 hit with novelty single 'I Can Groovy All Night'), behind the scenes there was controversy aplenty. There were complaints about Roger's 'affectionate' name for Father ("Old Bumface!"), while robot operator Ken Morse described working on the show as "a nightmare". Meanwhile, Melvyn Hayes was reportedly unhappy with his occasional role as an effete postman, with the use of the term "woofter" shocking many. Thankfully, the line "that Windrush child next door" has been removed from latest broadcasts.

Interestingly, the show was later remade for the US market as the rather-distressing Little Miracle.

All in all, it was a rather fruitsome adventure, so look forward to the first series... only on a BritBox! Further series will appear if you're arsed.

Roger on the cover of Look-in.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 01:24:28 AM by Glebe »


  • I feel like swimmin' in rat piss
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2020, 01:18:33 AM »

Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 01:54:28 AM »
not as good as you remember


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2020, 08:46:46 PM »
not as good as you remember

To be fair though it was hardly great to begin with. Daily Mirror TV critic Chaz Wossups' contemporaneous description of it as "a bleak merry-go-round of telegraphed gags and childish pratfalls" perfectly sums up the view of the cognoscenti at the time.

SOME ADDITIONAL TRIVIA: The show's 'bouncy' theme tune was composed and sung by failed US musician and radio personality Jerk Nesquicks.

An attempt was made in 1989 to revive the series in Australia, where reruns of the show proved popular.  Geoffrey 'Catweazle' Bayldon was all set to take over the role of Father, with a young Mick Hucknall also set to appear, but funding failed to materialize when Paul Hogan pulled out of voicing Roger at the last minute.


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2020, 09:19:17 PM »

Yet more 1980s nostalgia now, with Denis Norden's Bran Flake Hour. The '80s were a special time, when you could spend your weekly pocket money on a the latest editions of The Beano, The Dandy, The Beezer and Whizzer and Chips, indulge in a large assortment of Black Jacks, Fruit Salads and sherbet dips, go and see the latest Indiana Jones film and still have change over for a can of Tizer!

But I digress. The Norden-fronted Bran Flake Hour was a one-off ITV special broadcast in 1985, and is possibly available to watch as it was uploaded to YouTube in 2011! While the BBC had to adhere quite stringently to the product placement laws of the time, ITV were not so affected and were only too delighted to partner with Kellogg's to produce the 60-minute spectacular (actually 56 mins approx. with ads, which were shorter back then).

Norden fronted the programme toting the trademark clipboard he sported as presenter of classic outtake series It'll Be Alright on the Night. But he had help in the form of actor Gorden Kaye, who had recently achieved fame thanks to his role as downtrodden French barkeep René François Artois in BBC sitcom 'Allo, 'Allo! and was controversially on loan from the sinister rival corporation. Kaye had form with Bran Flakes, having helped hawk the product as the similar-to-René waiter character in a 1982 advert.

To help celebrate the show, limited edition Bran Flakes boxes were released.

During the special, Norden encourages Kaye (in his guise as René) to "Tell 'em about the Bran Flakes!" Kaye brings up the classic Bran Flakes song during one particularly memorable moment;

"My wife Edith was offering zee English tourists all sorts of things. I said 'You stupid wo-man! Offer them some Bran Flakes!"

Suddenly, actress Carmen Silvera pops up in a brief Special Guest role. "I did mention zee Bran Flakes René! But initially I recommended the frog's legs and said the escargot was nice, but got no reply! But then when I asked about zee Bran Flakes, then it didn't fucking matter - they all stood up and replied, singing, 'They're tasty, tasty, very very tasty... they're very tasty! They're very tasty!"

Norden, meanwhile, is much more comfortable presenting special 'bloopers' from the Bran Flakes ads. "Now, this particular cluster of cock-ups features one especially funny moment," he describes at one point, adjusting his specs with a smile. "Watch Gorden Kaye closely when the grapefruit is produced!"

Meanwhile, Carmen Silvera wasn't the only celebrity to make a surprize appearance. "Bran Flakes are actually quite palatable - even moreish! - with a slice or two of banana," explains Norden deceitfully at one point. "And if you don't believe me, here's athlete Daley Thompson, 'sporting' a bowl of Bran Flakes themselves!" Thompson jogs out in a pair of navy shorts and quips, "Before every decathlon, I treat myself to a bowl of delicious Kellogg's Bran Flakes - they're a great source of fibre!"

Yet behind the scenes, things were not so rosy. Kaye has wanted to move on from his Bran Flakes waiter persona, but the six-figure sum offered by ITV proved too tempting. But money isn't everything, and in 1995 he told Reader's Digest: "I found Norden difficult to work with. The rest of the crew were fine, but I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say he could be an absolute animal."

For his part, Norden told The Mail on Sunday that very same year that "Gorden's claims are unfounded, and I'm very disappointed to hear that he said those things. In fact he described me as a 'consummate gentleman' to a stage hand at one point. So his subsequent comments are particularly hard to accept."

But on a lighter note, the Bran Flake Hour was a pretty special moment in television history, with 20 million tuning in to watch. And, as previously mentioned, the whole thing* has been available to watch on YouTube for the past nine years, so let's get that miserable 53 views (w/47 dislikes) count up before YouTube take the illegally-uploaded ITV content down!

*When I say the 'whole thing' I mean the first couple of minutes are missing and it goes a bit wonky in the middle and is unwatchable for about four minutes.

To help promote the show, Kellogg's commisioned game company Code Masters to make a special tie-in computer game entitled René's Bran Flakes Adventure. To claim your copy you had to collect six tokens off special packs of Bran Flakes, and send them in (with £1.49 P&P), specifying Spectrum, Commodore or Amstrad.

Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2020, 12:04:15 PM »
Hiya Roger mate

Dex Sawash

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Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2020, 03:04:48 PM »

Fave streaming platform; queening stool


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2020, 08:18:59 PM »

One of the most controversial and surprizing releases coming to Disney+ this autumn has a startling and bizarre history to it. Running for one series in 1957, Max Bygraves' Blackface Weekly was, perhaps ironically, the first ever colour TV show broadcast in Britain, with an estimated 50 million tuning in regularly to watch variety legend Bygraves introduce an all-singing, all-dancing array of white people with boot polish covering their mushes singing such outdated classics as 'Swanee Ribber' and 'Zibadeedoodah'.

The programme ran for one series on BBC TV and then disappeared. So why is it now reappearing on Disney+? "You have to go back a couple years to explain that one," chuckles Disney rep Landis Faris, on the phone from his Los Angeles office. "One day in 2018 I was digging out a load of old tapes we had acquired from the many corporations we had bought up. And I came across some unusual reels marked 'BBC - PROBLEMATIC'." After viewing the tapes with some Disney execs, a stunning decision was made.

"It was determined that despite the troubling nature of the show, this was something that could be a real winner with some slight repurposing for US audiences. Of course we don't own the BBC - yet! - but a judge ruled that since it had accidentally ended up with some of the stuff we had acquired, through no fault of our own, we had the right to screen it."

But protests have been swift and lucid in the wake of the decision, with hoards of people - of every stripe and colour - descending on Disney's offices carrying placards of outrage. But Disney is adamant, with PR person Lance Wellcomes explaining that "Disney has had to take risks throughout it's illustrious history." So is the proof of the pudding in the eating? Lance expands; "I know there's a lot of stuff about cultural appropriation and the like going on at the moment and Disney has been very sensitive about that, with that Mulan film and all, but again, y'gotta take risks every now and then."

In order to give some context to the programme for modern US audiences, Disney have employed digital wizzes Industrial Light and Magic to bring Song of the South character Uncle Remus back to life via CGI technology. Remus will explain the show via specially-added inserts, where he will also fill Marvel and Star Wars fans in on the latest geek gossip from the company. Incredibly, Bygraves himself was set to star as Tony Stark (alongside the likes of Don Estelle, mooted to play Thanos) in an Avengers movie that was planned during the early '00s, but the idea fell through due to lack of cohesion.

As previously mentioned, the show ended it's original screening in 1957 after some complained about the use of the term 'blackface', and was subsequently replaced with the much-less controversial The Black and White Minstrel Show the following year. But the cancelling of the Blackface Hour did not sit well with all, including late racist comedian Bernard Manning, who had guest-starred on the show. "When they cancelled it, I was up in arms," he told The Radio Times in 2003. "I'd give my Spider-Man two-disc special edition to have seen what joys future series would have held."

In any case, look out for this vintage classic... only on Disney+!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 10:52:20 PM by Glebe »


  • Disregard the Constabulary
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2020, 09:17:52 PM »
Glebe I love you.


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2020, 12:02:47 AM »
Glebe I love you.

Ah thanks Kryton right back at yah! Here's another one I 'tossed off':

The BBC is renowned worldwide for it's classic BBC programming, and that is certainly true for one (sadly little-seen) particular gem. Comedy and drama mesh marvelously in The Autumn Years of Umpster Gee, which ran on BBC2 for two series in 1998-9. You can rediscover this hidden nugget on Netflix - soon!

One of comedy writer Jestin Hovis' last works, the series starred James Bolam as the Umpster Gee of the title, a grumpy old so-and-so who has just retired from his civil service job. Though Berwick-born, Umpster has been living in London for many years... though he hasn't lost his typical 'Geordie' wit!

One day Umpster is joined by an attractive woman on his favourite park bench. A little bit of light chat reveals she is Melba (played by Brenda Blethyn), recently-divorced and running the local orchard. The two strike up an unlikely friendship, which forms the kernel of the series will-they-won't-they dynamic.

And thus is born a series of ups-and-downs, most hilarious but with the occasional tear. Umpster is a bit of a stick-in-the-mud ("I see you've got yourself one of them bloody mobile phones!"), but his soft inner flesh is usually exposed by Melba's upbeat personality. There were amusing mishaps aplenty ("Just for once could you not end a sentence with 'pet', Umpster?") but the pair were ably abetted by a stellar line-up of a supporting cast. John Nettles proved a surprisingly agile comedy foil as Umpster's best mate Barry, while Melba's sister Meg (Anne Reid) always pleased with her drunken nonsense!

As I say, the laughter was plentiful, but there was the occasional sob. Series 2 episode 'A Call from Uncle' featured a surprizingly emotional Bolam, whilst last ever episode 'A Friend When You Need One' nearly saw Umpster and Melba tie the knot... but last minute blunders put paid to that.

The show's used '90s band Cast's 'Guiding Star' as it's theme tune, the song's upbeat nature providing an amusing juxtaposition to Umpster's glumness! Meanwhile, the series had some fairly big-name fans, with John Cleese calling it "A true undiscovered gem, better than my own Fawlty Towers in many, many ways."

Anyway the whole thing is available to rediscover soon... on that Netflix!


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2020, 10:28:52 AM »

Controversy is ten-a-penny on Channel 5, but never more so than with it's own, homegrown Stay the Fuck Away From Our Gated Community, which it has actually been advised not to broadcast but has - incredibly! - been picked up by HBO Max. The ill-advised shitecom has garnered many rolled-eyes from critics who were present at special preview screenings of pilot episode 'A Day in the Community', and the whole thing will be available soon for ye to judge yeself on, I say again, HBO Max!

Scripted by Jeeves Wossnams, who was hot a couple of years back with his E4 mockumentary comedy Dafuq We Doing Working in This Awful Computer Shop?, the oddly-named StFAFOGC has already been deemed "ill-advised" pre-broadcast. Set in the fictional gated community of Coswhams Fife, it features a line-up of top stars who were clearly eager for a payday.

John Challis takes the lead as the domineering Mr. Chalfont Fees, who will brook no litter on his street and is always badgering the neighbours to sign his 'STOP THE WINDFARMS' petition. Mrs. Peculia Fees is essayed - surprisingly! - by respected actress Leslie Manville, who apparently looks like she'd rather be anywhere else doing anything else.

More surprises are in store with the gay couple next door, played by David Mitchell and - stunningly! - Eammon Holmes, who swaps the comfort and security of his morning chat couch for sitcom-role shenanigans, and is the series' dark horse, with insiders suggesting that he displays an acting talent one would be surprized to see. Roger and Harry (Mitchell and Holmes respectively) may have tied the knot thanks to modern mores, but not everyone is happy with their unusual ways (although Chalfont is unusually accepting of their modern 'lifestyle').

Rounding out this sextet of rambunctious snobs is Arabelle Weir as Charlize Deacon, with the role of hubby Tony going to old favourite Russ Abbot. They are the least pretentious of the lead characters, with Charlize making fun of "this fucking back sale I have to organize!" and Tony showing his working-class roots with chat like "You'll never get me near a Volvo mate, not for toffee!"

The show will apparently feature some uproarious antics, with whispers suggesting that episodes such as 'He Parks for England!' are all set for legendary status, but there will apparently be drama too, will series finale 'A Weekend Away' being mooted as a kind of Blackadder Goes Forth tearjerker. Anyway, it's all yours to enjoy... only on HBO Max... SOON!


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2020, 04:31:27 PM »

Fans of exploitative, voyeuristic, tabloid-level trash are in for a treat this autumn, with The Netflix's chilling real-life nightmare series World's Most Grisly Gruesomes. While not spectacularly different from all the other similar dredge on offer, if you like wallowing in the worst of humanity then this is the show for you!

Indulge in the awful depictions and play amateur sleuth along with host Gyles Brandreth, who's name is misspelled 'Giles' on the promo poster above! Swapping his The One Show role for this seedy job, Brandreth recently explained to True Crime magazine how he landed the gig. "They wanted Piers Morgan to do it but he was too busy filming Woman in Prison Who Plan to Escape and Kill or something. Being a similar posh English creep, I put myself forward and they said, 'Hey, this limey might do!' So I'm hoping to go Transatlantic and make it big in the ol' US of A!

"We've got some lovely nastiness from all over the world for audiences to suck up," Brandreth continues in the True Crime article. "There was one guy in Albania who removed a head and posted it atop a tree outside a school. And a Norwegian death metal couple who wrapped some intestines around a stationary clerk! Not to mention the case in Wisconsin, US, where a guy shoved a metatarsal into the anus-region. It came out the rear side and ended up exploding the spleen!"

But there is plenty of police procedural stuff for the home audience to attempt to second-guess too. "I had to dig into various files and do a bit of private eye work," Brandreth continues in the True Crime sneak peak. "Myself and the production team uncovered some stuff that was too much even for our show, so we gleefully included it! Chicago police are still trying to find the fiend who collected human bones over a period of decades, rubbing himself with a cucumber to orgasm as he did so. We delved into their secret fingerprint files, but found no new evidence... or did we?! Watch and find out!"

And if you enjoy such muck there's also Gary Barlow's Unsolved Nastiness coming this winter season... only on This Netflix!


  • putting the 'rimmage' back in pilgrimage
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2020, 06:19:31 PM »


  • But when Bruce Wayne goes it's all gonna collapse.
Re: Coming soon to your favourite streaming platform.
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2020, 02:44:47 PM »

A belated thanks Planks! Hey, look what else is streamin'!

Oh no they didn't! From Chris Warliss and Jimmy Nocknees, the creators of such sitcom classics as Three Kids is Enough! and RV Couples came The Blunderschmidts, which has been being running since 2012 and is now into it's ninth season. Having been shuffled between NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and Comedy Central, it has now found it's permanent home thanks to Apple TV+, who were able to snap it up at a fire sale price!

If you're unfamiliar with "America's craziest family!" (Rolling Stone) then let me fill you in. Don Blunderschmidt is a property surveyor living in the fictional Californian suburb of Tweaks Portal, with his wife and three children - and boy, what a wife and three children! As if having to deal with workplace mishaps isn't enough, Don has to come home every night to wife Dana complaining about the incredible nonsense that has filled her day, with goofs a-plenty and mishaps a must!

Meanwhile, son Tron is usually happy enough just to enjoy his VR headset, but he can give Bart Simpson a run for his money in a pinch ("Stink bombs in the soufflé? TRRRRON!!!")! Elder daughter Valium is a nightmare in braces, while youngest Miko is - unusually - haunted by the ghost of a Japanese murder victim.

If you thought the Blunderschmidts were wacky, just wait till you meet their friends!

As if that wasn't enough mayhem to deal with, there's Don's work-buddy Drone to contend with! When he's not staging illegal bullfights in his backyard, he's having crazy backgammon nights in the cellar! Then there's Dreedle, Dana's eccentric (and overweight!) brother, who will pop around in a thrice at the mention of snacks! Throw gay neighbour Hadley into the mix and you're in for a rough-and-tumble ride filled with laughter, humour and jokes!

It seems like everyday is a non-stop rollercoaster of misunderstandings and insane behaviour with the Blunderschmidts, and to be fair much-loved episodes such as 'Roughhousing with Randy' and 'Road Trip to Reno' certainly attest to that. But there have been tears too, with 'The Long-Lost Uncle' and 'A Friend in Tough Times' moving audiences in incredible droves. Meanwhile, darker episodes such as 2016 Halloween special 'From Beyond the Veil' have drawn complaints from some, with many having commented that the now-infamous 'Has Dan really been dismembered?" cliffhanger went too far. Still, it's all in good fun, and if you like plenty of gurning and pratfalls with your stale old gags, this is the show for you!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 05:35:09 PM by Glebe »