O The Tube (Channel 4) 5.3(l—7pm Cover star Sting is the main
, attraction in tonight‘s show which
comes live from Newcastle City Hall and also features Wet Wet Wet. Beltane Fire and Stevie Nicks.
o Rembrandt (BBC2) 6-7.2(lpm. Hungarian-born movie mogul Alexander Korda died on 23 January 1956. BBC 2 uses the 30th anniversary of his demise to trot out an excellent season ofsome of his
' choicest productions. Made in 1936
Rembrandt is a handsomely mounted biographical portrait of the Dutch painter following him through the dark days of his wife’s death. the
' controversy surrounding ‘The Night
Watch‘ and the discovery of a spiritual reawakening through the beauty ofa young girl. Husband and wife Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester give justly celebrated
o Lovejoy(BBC1) 9.3()—1().25pm First ofa new series starring Ian McShane as a Fenland antiques dealer and part-time detective. Ian La Frenais has adapted the Jonathan Gash novels for the small screen and declares ‘l‘m tired ofall those macho
studs in American detective series‘.
which can only bode well for one
1 comedy-thriller with a promising
SATURDAY I 11
o Frickley—The Changes ( BBCZ) Final programme in the series
examining life after the strike in a West Yorkshire mining village.
0 Arena Special (BBCZ) Director Lindsay Anderson introduces the world television
premiere of the renowned Russian
silent movie New Babylon. Evoking the heroism and tragedy ofthe 1871 Paris commune and accompanied by a Shostakovich score the film remained lost treasure for halfa century until a fortuitous re-discovery in the 1970s.
0 Dverdrawn at the Memory Bank
Raul Julia. currently on view in Kiss
- of the Spiderwoman. plays Aram
. Fingal. a rebellious data processor in i a futuristic world dominated by a
corporations. He gains access to forbidden computer records labelled ‘cinemas' and finds his mind reconstructing the world along the lines of Rick‘s Place in Casablanca. Distinctly odd-sounding state-of-the-art video drama from North America.
40 The List 10— 23 January
o Bluebell (BBCI)
Carolyn Pickles stars in the first ofan eight-part series on the rise to fame ofDublin orphan Margaret Kelly. better known as the founder ofthe high-kicking Bluebell girls.
0 The McGuftin (BBCZ)
Charles Dance stars as a film critic obsessed by Alfred Hitchcock. Voyeuristic impulses lead him into a mystery of his own. Among the cast are a trio ofgenuine Hitchcock stars — Ann Todd (seen in The Paradine Case. 1947). Bill shine (Under Capricorn. 19-19) and Anna Massey
Whilst American television heroes continue to conform to the clichés of the muscle-bound, shop-window
dummy the best of British drama series
preferto offer a bit more character; fallible human beings with vulnerable edges. Bidding for our attention over the coming weeks are Ian McShane as antique-dealer cum detective Lovejoy and Michael Elphick as Ken Boon, a formerfireman invalided out of the service. Forced to make ends meet he advertises in the situations wanted column of the local paper seeking interesting work and willing to consider anything legal. His services are called upon for a succession of weird and wonderful jobs.
The series has been specifically created for Elphick by Bill Stair and Jim Hill. Hill has previously written episodes of Minder and The Bill whilst Stair's career encompasses a spell in Hollywood working on films like John Boorman’s Point Blank. They say, ‘The thing about Boon is that when you tune in, the story might be about a cat up a tree or a gold robbery. He is not an ex-policeman who can summon the squad cars to his aid or an ex-crook who can call on his criminal friends for assistance. He'sjust an ordinary bloke.‘
Glasgow born producer Kenny McBain welcomed the series after his work on Maggie and Grange Hill. ‘I wanted to produce a series which reflected the problems of today in some part and Boon does just this. One of the great strengths of British TV drama is the way in which it has been able to create and expand characters in great depth. Dur three main characters don‘t remain static—they change and develop as do their relationships with each other.’
Described as ‘an ordinary man in extraordinary situations' Boon is something of a romantic figure, trying to survive in the harsh realism of an
l l l
o Wogan (BBCl ) 7—7.40pm With our Tel sent on his hols with bucket and spade the ever
3 enchanting Felicity Kendalstepsin as guest presenter throughout this
i 0 Comrade Dad (BBCZ) On 27 June 1989 the Russians engineered a bloodless coup on our
‘ fair and sceptred isle. Now Britain
SUNDAY 12 i
languishes in Communist Europe.
. George Cole plays Reg Dudgeon in this fanciful sit-com.
o Boon (STV) 9—10pm Seepanel
Documentary on the violent forms of
persecution suffered by minorities and nonconformists around the
globe. Followed by a studio discussion chaired by Robert Kee. 0 Head (Channel 4) 9—l().4()pm
Rarely seen surreal comedy musical from 1968. designed as a cinema
unsympathetic world. He rides a
motorbike and dreams of becoming a self-sufficient smallholder reviving the
f frontier spirit. It’s only the unavoidable necessity of earning an income that
forces him to become a
7 iackof-alI-trades; digging gardens, climbing gasometers, offering
marriage guidance and rescuing a kidnapped lion. Sympathetic to the character he portrays Elphick believes, ‘If I was in a position like Ken, I’d pitch in and do lots of different things to earn a crust. I feel quite strongly about the sort of things that we touch on in this
debut for the Monkees and partly co-written by Jack Nicholson. Yes. that Jack Nicholson.
0 Dead Head (BBC‘Z) Small-time crook Eddie Case is
. . g offered easy money to deliver a parcel from one side of London to
the other. 'l'hus begins ‘a journey
; through the high and low social
3 strata of the country.‘ Denis Lawson stars in this four-part serial by
3 Howard Brenton.
S oThe WickerMan(S'I‘V)
A police sergeant investigates the
disappearance of a young girl on a remote Scottish island and uncovers
‘ a pagan-worshipping society.
Unsettling. atmospheric horror-thriller made in 1973 with Edward Woodward and Christopher
0 Yes, Prime Minister (BBCZ) 9—9.30pm Elevated to No l(). the hapless Jim
A REAL BOON IN A TIGHT SPOT
3 series. After all, what does a guy of my f age do if he’s tossed on the scrap
heap? It is a situation that is increasingly common in these troubled times.‘
Apart from Elphick, Boon features
David Daker, Rachel Davies, Joan Scott and Gordon Warnecke, last seen
as Drnar in My Beautiful Laundrette. Produced by Central Television, who also have a fresh helping of Auf Wiedersehen Pet waiting inthe wings, the 13-part series begins on SW on 14 January. (Allan Hunter)