I can’t believe that ten weeks has flown by and we’ve witnessed the end of the current run of Game of Thrones. I’m surprised that there isn’t enough screaming from the rooftops about the sheer depth and quality of the show, though the fact it is shown only on pay channels in the UK and Spain, does prevent a large joint-viewing experience from taking place. The last three episodes were terrific with some glorious set pieces of big movie standard which had me gasping in admiration. It may be an American funded and produced show, but it’s one heck of an endorsement for British talent on and off screen. April 2016, for the start of series six and the solving of a cliff-hanger (or is it?)featuring Kit Harington’s character of Jon Snow, can’t come quick enough.
Reviving old TV shows often ends in tears as the new product rarely matches up to the original and has the effect of trashing our memories as to what went before. Fortunately and perhaps surprisingly, we’ve had a couple of examples in the last few days where the contrary has happened. Channel Four’s one-off revival last week of TFI Friday was great fun and showed us what a different and far sharper (and to be honest…more sober) presenter Chris Evans is these days. The old clips from the mid-nineties showed a fatter and out of control Evans, whilst the TFI revival had him giving a master class in live TV presentation and frankly looking like a twenty year old as opposed to somebody in their fifties. From the guests to the live bands and the bits of stupidity, it worked splendidly and showed us how badly we need such a show as opposed to the stream of duds that are paraded out on a Saturday evening that fail to entertain. The word is very much out that Channel Four want it back as a series, helped by viewing figures that beat all comers. Three essential riders for me though: – Evans must present it; it must be live; and keep it at 9.00pm where you can get away with some naughtiness.
An even older revival has seen The Clangers back this week for some new adventures for the first time in forty-plus years and the great news is that it’s perfect. No CGI re-working here which has seen the likes of Andy Pandy and The Flowerpot Men lose all their identity and charm whilst being upgraded to high tech. Traditional stop-motion animation is used and it’s delightful for all ages, plus Michael Palin’s excellent narration picking up the mantle from co-creator, Oliver Postgate. The only gripe is that the BBC are running it only on their toddler channel, CBeebies, which is a shame as viewers of absolutely all ages would enjoy it on say BBC1.