A Mischief Of Magpies

If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and a Mischief of Magpies would be as small as a pea.

Friday, March 31, 2006

A pile of crap by any other name ...

A somewhat desultary conversation half-started over at 'la Rullsenberg' the other day, when the 'understudy', Anna Waites, running the site in Lisa's absence, used the phrase "quality TV" which I suggested was an oxymoron. It rapidly declined into an agreement that one should try and define the word 'quality' in this context. I suggested to the no doubt younger-than-me correspondents (well, everyone's younger than me these days, dammit!) to try and imagine reaching the age of 60 plus and deciding which current or recent TV programs they would be thrilled to see again.

I thought, in the circs, that the least I could do from my age of 66 was to try the experiment for myself. Immediately I became aware of the enticing dangers of mere nostalgia. Thus, Z Cars, which was required viewing in my barrack-room in the 1960s (required that is, or the 'Scousers' would turn ugly - than which etc, etc.)) was an excellent forerunner of the modern Police series which now seem to fill so many of the channels. But would it stand up today and earn a place under the heading of 'Quality'? I doubt it.

The only program I can think of, and which I can confirm from experience that it reached the required standard because recently a good friend gave me the two BBC videos as a gift, is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. This is more than just 'quality', it is excellence of the highest degree. The plot is intricate and intelligent, the playing of all the actors in roles both big and small took full advantage of a superb script and resulted in a production that was both subtle and profound. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is one that will last and if anyone hasn't seen it, I urge you to buy the two videos.

Anyone else got a TV program they think will qualify as one they would look forward to seeing again in their sixties?