Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Doctor Who is Cliff Richard's father

Unearthed from 1969, a Tyne Tees series in which Cliff Richard tries to do the right thing.

Nicholas Whyte is responsible for the disinterment. There are three episodes surviving, down from six originally broadcast.  The TV is itself remarkably primitive - the black and white square box looks as though it's from 1949, not 1969. And the sentiments aren't much more modern.

It seems to stem from a Sunday sermon program. I don't recall it, but then I didn't see much Tyne Tees (I was in Yorkshire) in 1969.  The format is: youth is disaffected; youth goes in search of his roots; youth learns he is wrong and the Church of England is correct. Wait, that sounds boring. But it's not boring! It's Cliff Richard at the height of his powers along with The Settlers singing fairly good songs. If you like to play "guess the parable", or if you just wonder how Imaginary Youth interacted with Imaginary Police, this is the series for you.

NSFW: Beware that when you see what's graffiti'd on the wall at the beginning of Johnny Up the Creek, you'll want to bail. No TV station on earth would put that phrase up there for all to see nowadays. But the program's heart is in the right place. The type of person who wrote the slogan is shown up as an idiot later on. Still alarming to see, though.

The great delight is seeing William Hartnell, the original Doctor Who, as Johnny's father in Johnny Come Home.

4/23 Edited to put the NSFW warning earlier in the post.
[edited to renew links 10/17]

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