Wallace & Gromit 1, The 39 Steps 0

Well, the Christmas viewing provided slim pickings. I did read that this might be the last time the TV companies invest such a huge amount of money in their Christmas programming.  Far fewer people actually sit down in front of the telly to watch programs the first time they are shown. It might be for the best.

The whole family enjoyed W&G. I’m not a great lover of cartoons but clay animation is another story. The 39 Steps started out okay but soon veered sharply away from the book. This adaptation was done by a woman. She invented a female super spy who totally eclipsed main character Richard Hannay. Buchan’s novels are politically incorrect by today’s standards but do reflect the society of the time. I do wish adapters felt able to respect that.

One highlight of the past week was a program about the (checkered) history of carols. Very informative and most enjoyable.

I had to have some major dental work done this week and watched quite a few movies while recovering. I had a personal mini-fest of old sci-fi movies: Village of the Damned, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Quartermass and The Pit. I also watched Badlands again. Then Funeral in Berlin. I do enjoy the Harry Palmer movies, they have held up pretty well. They provided the other side of the coin to the 007 movies in the 60s.

Today I plan to watch Tiger Bay (1959), which I haven’t seen for donkeys’ years. Waiting in line to be watched are Victim (Dirk Bogarde, 1961), Lord of the Flies (1963) and The Thin Red Line (1998).

I stumbled across a reference to the Modern Jazz Quartet. I had quite forgotten about them. Dad had several of their records when I was small. They must have been popular in Britain as they even went on to release two albums on the Beatles’ label, Apple. I have been listening to several of their LPs. I find the prominence of the xylophone particularly enjoyable.


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