Sunday, November 18, 2007

Toenails

Lucy Griffiths as Maid MarianA few weeks ago I wrote a piece that lamented the fact that Josie Lawrence and Tony Slattery were no longer to be seen on our television screens. And then a mere week later Josie Lawrence popped up in the BBC’s Robin Hood. A direct hit and no mistake.

Well, folks, call it luck, call it a fluke, call it psychically synchronized schedule programming but I’ve scored a double.

Last night saw Tony Slattery also attempting a TV comeback in the BBC’s Robin Hood.

Tres bizarre.

Have I got the televisual Midas touch? Have I got the power of the Mysterons over the casting department at the BBC?

Well, hey, let’s put it to the test shall we? If there’s anybody you’d like to see on TV – or to be precise in Robin Hood – then leave a comment and let me know and I’ll see what I can do…

Personally I’m still working on having Lucy Griffiths appear in nothing but a Cornish fishing net but I’ll be happy to make room for other requests too.

As for Tony… well it was both a pleasure and a tragedy to see him back on TV. The poor man looked dreadful. Disturbingly over-weight – though he was never a svelte ballet dancer – and eyes sunk further than the Titanic. Karen assures me it was just heavy eye make-up but personally I don’t think the Robin Hood make-up department are that good.

It’s plain he’s been ill and that’s sad to see but let’s hope that this outing is the start of a major health and career recovery. Though being shot in the man-boob by Robin Hood can’t have been good for his cholesterol.

Yes, there was death and carnage a-plenty in last night’s episode. Tony’s Canon of Birkley was punctured by Robin but only after he’d skewered Marian’s father, Edward, on the end of his jewelled dagger. Ooh the cad.

Personally I think this was a good move on the part of the writers (and it’s not often I agree with their plot decisions) as it frees Marian up to join Robin in the forest and pushes their burgeoning romance a little further down the road to soft pornography. Did I say soft pornography? I meant to say family centred fulfilment. Ahem.

For the Robin Hood nerds among you, you’ll no doubt have noticed that last night’s episode doffed it’s cap to not one but two episodes of it’s forerunner Robin Of Sherwood. The story of a young man coming to rescue his love from the evil clutches of the Sheriff was redolent of the "Alan-A-Dale" story in the first series of Robin Of Sherwood and the scene where Edward sneaks into the Sheriff’s bed chamber to steal the keys to ye olde safe was a salute to "Seven Poor Knights From Acre". It’s good to see the writer’s acknowledging Richard Carpenter’s far superior series…

Lastly folks, my favourite anachronisms from last night’s episode:

1) John of York’s protestations that he only had 10 shillings to his name. Shillings? Shillings? Surely the coin of choice in the 1100’s was the mark?

2) Robin and his merry men all wearing cowboy hats and duster coats as their latest disguise. “I say Gisborne, have you seen Robin Hood creeping about the castle?” “No Sheriff, but I thought I saw Clint Eastwood and Clyde the Monkey poking about your oubliette…”

Yes…

Much really needs to get rid of those ginger sideburns…

18 comments:

Daisy said...

okay not that i want to see him...and yes you have me watching now...but as a challenge...sean connery...

Steve said...

Ooh... you're not going to make it easy for me are you...?!

per.pri said...

Ooooooh nooooooooooooo! I forgot it was on and missed it! Darn!

Steve said...

Sorry to hear that per.pri - I was sure the BBC repeated it in the week on one of their cable channels but I'll be darned if I can find it!

Daisy said...

now steve if it was easy it wouldn't be a test now would it...

MOTHER OF MANY said...

Tony Slattery really did look as if he had been poorly, perhaps more acting work will help him in getting better.Mental health problems can take their toll emotionally and physically.The show though was very entertaining even with the bloopers.

TimeWarden said...

The first series of "Robin Hood" was repeated in the week twice on BBC THREE but not this year, sadly. It is repeated, however, on BBC ONE, Sunday teatimes around six.

Seeing as you have the voice of the Mysterons, Steve, I have a long list of actresses I'd like to see more of on our screens! Top of the pile is Caroline Harker, or her sister Susannah, or, not to be greedy, but both if you can manage it!!

Many thanks for your family's best wishes for my Mum. I'll pass them on when I see her tomorrow.

Steve said...

Hi Ally, yes I remember that Tony suffered depression and a breakdown - possibly due to overworking - back in the 90's. I daresay accepting this role was a brave move for him. It's quite poignant though to watch a younger, more virile Tony Slattery japing about in the repeats of Whose Line Is It Anyway on Channel Dave... mind you, I daresay I don't hold up too well against early footage of me!

Thanks for the information TimeWarden - I trawled through the Radio Times and missed that completely. Doh! Regarding the multiple Ms Harkers... I'll see if the old magic can work one more time... you never know! :-) Hope you have a good visit with your mum tomorrow...

TimeWarden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Hitch said...

Come of it steve
youre their agent arent you?
(+:

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Tony Slattery was interviewed as part of Stephen Fry's documentary on depression. Apparently he had a massive hyper-manic breakdown caused by drug addiction/depression after his initial fame and not being able to cope with it, but he seems to be working more now. Did anyone see him in (also)Stephen Fry's Kingdom recently?

Yes, he's piled on the pounds but he's got to be healthier than he was if he's able to work again.

Rol Hirst said...

Paul Darrow.

Work your magic!

Steve said...

Hitch, I charge a very reasonable 10 per cent...

Hi Laura, I recall reading a newspaper interview that Tony did years ago - one that he took no payment for - to highlight the dreadful nature of severe depression. I didn't realize he'd fallen into drug addiction though. Not a great combination. I hope you're right and that he is now on the up-and-up. It would be nice to see him get back into comedy.

Rol, hmm... he could be ye olde Blakesmith perhaps? To be honest i think I'd stand more chance getting Elvis Presley to appear... but I'll do my best!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

AbracaDarrow!

Boy, was I in love with Paul Darrow as Avon!

Except that every time he chased Servalan to the ends of the universe and had a chance to kill her/end her evil, he kissed her instead!

Afraid I lost a little respect for him due to this, notwithstanding I was only 10 or 11 at the time (just extremely precocious!)

Actually PD did turn up in a crime drama recently, but I'm darned if I can remember which one.
Here's his fansite:

www.avon-paul-darrow.co.uk

And evil would-be mistress of the universe Jaqueline Pearce was a tremendous icon for teenage boys too I seem to recall. Still amazingly glamorous even now, looks a little like Jan Leeming!

EmmaK said...

Can you get George W Bush on the tube as one of the merry men? Go on, see if you can lol

Steve said...

Thank for dropping by Emma - I might stand more chance getting George W a part as the King's Fool...!

Anonymous said...

geez, I didn't even recognize Tony Slattery.
Time hasn't been kind to him I guess.
It's kinda like when I see Robin of Sherwood's Nasir(Mark Ryan) in recentcon photos. Far from being the lithe assassin, he looks like two (hairless) saracens rolled into one!

Steve said...

I know what you mean, Anonymous, though in all honesty Mark Ryan was never lithe or svelte! I suspect his leather costume hid many a portly sin and kept him well cinched in for the cameras. There was one scene in series 3 when he had to fight his brother, Barak, and they were both topless... it was painfully obvious that Mark Ryan was something of a barrel even then!