Categories / Film and TV

Retro TV W/C 28th September 2007

Barry Murphy
returns once more trawl the TV and radio guides (so you don’t have to) to find anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 28th September to Thursday 4th October.

Highlights of the week

As Radios 1,2,3 and 4 celebrate their 40th birthdays, the BBC has a week of anniversary programmes spread across TV and radio. Highlights include The Story of Flowers in the Rain (Sat 29th. Radio 4. 3.30pm), Stand By for Switching – the Soundscape of 1967(Sat 29th. Radio 2. 8.00pm), Blood on the Carpet – A hilarious documentary about the infamous Radio 1 DJ cull of the 1980s (Sun 30th. BBC 4. 11.00pm) and profiles of the late John Peel in Arena: Today Carshalton Beeches – Tomorrow Croydon (Sun 30th. BBC 4. 11.40pm) and Keeping it Peel (Sun 30th. Radio 1.10.00pm)

Friday 28th September


The Girl Can’t Help It (1956) – Film4. 1.00pm – 2.55pm
Classic rock’n’roll comedy. In Frank Tashlin’s clever satire on the music industry, Tom Ewell plays the theatrical agent trying to turn the fabulous Jayne Mansfield into a star. With a terrific supporting cast of musical acts including Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Fats Domino, Gene Vincent and Julie London. A real treat.

Fathom (1967) – Film4. 2.55pm – 5.00pm
Terrific tongue-in-cheek spy spoof starring the ‘statuesque’ Raquel Welch. Bikini clad, skydiver Fathom Harvill is recruited by a top secret Western agency to retrieve a vital lost atomic device hidden in a rare Chinese dragon by parachuting into a house occupied by some Chinese ‘reds’. But Fathom soon realises that nothing is as it seems. Johnny Dankworth provides the cool jazzy score. Not currently available on DVD in the UK.

Flight of the Conchords – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 11.30pm
Sitcom-cum-musical comedy about a New Zealand duo in New York.

Batman – BBC 4. 11.30pm – 12.20am
Another double bill of the classic 60s series. In the first episode, the Joker lures the Caped Crusader into a trap. In the second, the superhero escapes a public unmasking.


Don’t Start me Talking – BBC Radio 2. 7.00pm – 7.30pm
This programme recalls the golden days of pirate radio in the 1960s and hears from ordinary pop fans and listeners to offshore stations such as Radios Caroline, Luxembourg and London.

Rockin’ Against Racism – BBC Radio 4. 11.30pm – 12Midnight

Mark Steel looks back on the history of the Rock Against Racism campaign and considers how effective its mix of confrontation, musical alliances and determination were to counter the threat of the National Front in the 1970s.

Saturday 29th September


Film: Batman (1966) – Five. 3.45pm – 5.45pm
Feature length action fantasy, based on the 1960s TV series, starring Adam West and Burt Ward.

Film: Carry On Screaming (1966) – Channel 4. 5.00pm – 6.50pm
Comedy starring Kenneth Williams and Harry H Corbett. DS Bung investigates a doctor who is carrying out sinister experiments.

Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe – BBC 4. 9.30pm – 10.00pm

The critic takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the TV industry, exploring the hit drama Heroes and recent fakery scandals, notably The X Factor.

Film: Westworld (1973) – ITV 4. 10.15pm – 12.05am
Futuristic thriller starring Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin. The Idyllic holiday resort of Delos offers its clients anything they want – for $1.000 a day, they can even kill "people" over and over again. But things begin to go terrifyingly wrong.

Film: Frenzy (1972) – Film4. 1.25am – 4.00am (Sun am)

The police hunt for a murderer on the loose in London in this unsettling, blackly comic thriller from director Alfred Hitchcock.

Lee Marvin: a Personal Portrait by John Boorman – BBC 2. 1.40am – 2.30am (Sun am)

Documentary looking over the life of the Oscar-winning actor, with contributions from William Hurt and Terry Wogan.


Sounds of the 60s – BBC Radio 2. 8.00am – 10.00am
Brian Matthew spins two hours of hits, B -sides and album tracks.

The Story of Flowers in the Rain – BBC Radio 4. 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Exploring the controversy around the Move’s 1967 single, the first ever played on BBC Radio 1, but now most famous for libelling Harold Wilson, the prime minister of the day, in publicity material.

The Funk and Soul Show – BBC Radio 6. 6.00pm – 9.00pm

3 hours of funk, soul and blues.

Stand By for Switching – the Soundscape of 1967 – BBC Radio 2. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Tony Blackburn presents this programme which mixes archive news material with some of the hits of ’67 from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Move, the Monkees, Traffic and Jimi Hendrix.

Sunday 30th September


Film: Please Sir! (1971) – Film4. 7.05pm – 9.00pm
Comedy based on the popular ITV sitcom starring John Alderton. The students from Fenn Street Secondary School get the chance to go on a trip to a country recreation centre.

Stuart Maconie’s TV Towns – ITV 3. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

The DJ and culture critic visits Liverpool locations featured in productions for the small screen.

Arena: the Comic-strip Hero – BBC 4. 8.10pm – 9.00pm

Portrayal of Superman in comic-books and films.

Jonathan Ross in Search of Steve Ditko – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

The TV presenter visits Los Angeles and Northampton to find out why Steve Ditko, the reclusive co-creator of Spiderman, left Marvel comics.

Comics Britannia (3/3) – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm

Examining how the 1970s and 1980s gave birth to comic strips aimed at an adult audience. Featuring 2000AD, Watchmen, V For Vendetta and an interview with Alan Moore.

Blood on the Carpet – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 11.40pm
A look back at former Radio 1 boss Matthew Bannister’s drive to bring in a younger generation of DJs.

Arena: Today Carshalton Beeches – Tomorrow Croydon – BBC 4. 11.40pm – 12.20am

The role DJ John Peel had in encouraging bands who had yet to secure recording contracts.

Film: Night of the Demon (1957) – BBC 2. 12.10am – 1.45am (Mon am)

Atmospheric horror based on the story by MR James and starring Dana Andrews. American psychologist John Holden remains sceptical of the work of sinister occultist Dr Karswell, until his own life is put under threat.

Arena: Caroline 199 – a Pirate’s Tale – BBC 4. 12.20am – 1.20am (Mon am)

A history of the 1960s pirate radio station.

Film: Stardust (1974) – ITV 1. 1.45am – 3.40am (Mon am)

Musical drama starring David Essex, Adam Faith and Larry Hagman. Having finally made the break from friends and family, Jim becomes a rock musician with the Stray Cats. But gradually the pressures take their toll.


The Kenny Everett Radio Show – BBC Radio 2. 11.00am – 1.00pm
A 1981 show hosted by the festive Kenny Everett, who died in 1995.

Pick of the Pops with Smashy and Nicey – BBC Radio 2. 2.30pm – 4.30pm

A tribute to Alan "Fluff" Freeman, as satirists Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield run down the charts from late September 1967.

Brian Matthews – BBC Radio 2. 4.30pm – 6.30pm

Radio veteran and living legend spins 60s hits and archive interviews.

Keeping it Peel – BBC Radio 1. 10.00pm – 12.00am

Actor Elijah Wood pays tribute to John Peel with Peel classics.

Monday 1st October


Minder – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
Terry looks after an ex-convict who is targeted by old partners.

Gagging For it: TV’s Hunger for Radio Comedy – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm
A pocket history, from Hancock’s Half Hour to Little Britain, of comedy hits that transferred successfully from radio to TV, plus a look at some of those that failed.

Film: Death Race 2000 (1975) – ITV 4. 10.00pm – 11.40pm

Futuristic action satire starring David Carradine. The champion of a nationally televised Transcontinental Death Race – where contestants gain points by running over pedestrians – questions the ethics of this sick entertainment.

Movie Connections – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – BBC 1. 10.35pm – 11.15pm

Cast and crew recall how Guy Richie’s low-budget London gangster film became an icon of cool Britannia.

4Music: Oasis: Video Exclusive – Channel 4. 11.05pm – 11.10pm (Repeated 1.35am)
The band’s new video for Lord Don’t Slow me Down.

Film: Almost Famous (2000) – ITV 1. 11.05pm – 1.20am
Oscar-winning comedy drama. Despite warnings from his mother and a rock journalist, a dream commission from Rolling Stone magazine to accompany a touring rock band proves a life-changing experience for 15-year-old aspiring writer William Miller.

The Comic Strip Presents… Five Go Mad in Dorset – More4. 11.25pm – 12.05am
Parody of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

Film: The Andromeda Strain (1970) – BBC 1. 11.55pm – 2.05am
Tense science-fiction thriller starring Arthur Hill. A group of scientists attempt to save humanity from a fatal alien virus.

Film: Repo Man (1984) – Film4. 2.10am – 4.30am (Tues am)
Cult sci-fi thriller starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton.


6 Music Plays It Again – BBC Radio 6. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Blues to the Bone: the Life of Etta James (1/3) – Candi Staton profiles the revered R&B, soul, blues and jazz singer.

Tuesday 2nd October


Sounds of the Seventies – BBC 4. 7.30pm – 7.35pm
Performances from the decade.

Batman – BBC 4. 7.35pm – 8.00pm

The duo are frozen.

Ripping Yarns – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 9.30pm
The tale of Eric Olthwaite, the world’s most boring man, who turns to a life of crime. Starring Michael Palin.

Flight of the Conchords (2/12) – BBC 4. 9.30pm – 10.00pm

Faced with dire financial circumstances, the two musicians must get a job.

Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 10.30pm

A tongue-in-cheek take on the TV industry, including reviews of that week’s viewing highlights.

Film 2007 with Jonathan Ross – BBC 1. 11.20pm – 11.50pm

Includes a review of Control, profiling the life of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.

Film: A Clockwork Orange (1971) – Film4. 11.15pm – 1.50am

Drama starring Malcolm McDowell. Imprisoned after the murder of a woman, Alex, leader of a gang of thugs, agrees to undergo behaviour therapy. 20 years ago, you were lucky if you got to see a N-th generation bootleg VHS of this, these days Film4 seem to show it almost weekly.


6 Music Plays It Again – BBC Radio 6. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Blues to the Bone: the Life of Etta James (2/3) – Candi Staton profiles the revered R&B, soul, blues and jazz singer.

George Lamb – BBC Radio 6. 10.00pm – 1.00am
If you can stomach 3 hours of late night smugness from "personality" Lamb there’s a 1965 session from the Yardbirds tonight.

Wednesday 3rd October

Film: Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966) – Channel 4. 1.55pm – 3.30pm
Sci-fi adventure starring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. The Doctor, his niece, granddaughter and a policeman, are transported into a future ravaged by the Daleks. Also starring Bernard Cribbins and Ray Brooks.

Batman – BBC 4. 7.35pm – 8.00pm

The Caped Crusader sacrifices himself to Mr Freeze to secure the release of a hostage.

ONE Life – The Brick in the Wall Kids – BBC 1. 10.40pm – 11.20pm

The children who featured in Pink Floyd’s hit Another Brick in the Wall reveal what impact the song has had on their lives. The anthem’s writer Roger Waters contributes.

Gagging For it: TV’s Hunger for Radio Comedy -BBC 4. 11.20pm – 12.20am

A pocket history, from Hancock’s Half Hour to Little Britain, of comedy hits that transferred successfully from radio to TV, plus a look at some of those that failed.

Film: The Business (2005) – Film4. 11.25pm – 1.15am

Gangster drama starring Danny Dyer. Frankie flees South London for Spain’s Costa Del Sol, and is taken under the wing of fellow Brit Charlie who draws Frankie into his gang’s dangerous world of crime.


6 Music Plays It Again – BBC Radio 6. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Blues to the Bone: the Life of Etta James (3/3) – Candi Staton profiles the revered R&B, soul, blues and jazz singer.

Suzi Quatro’s Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll – BBC Radio 2. 11.00pm – 11.30pm

Profiling the rather under-rated (in my opinion and his) Chubby Checker. Probably won’t mention any of his Cameo-Parkway northern ‘hits’ though.

Thursday 4th October


The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
A safe breaker gains access to a foreign embassy in London.

UFO – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

Foster is brainwashed into challenging Straker’s authority – and then launches a more deadly attack.

Stuart Maconie’s TV Towns – ITV 3. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
The DJ casts his eye over small-screen productions in Manchester. But misses all the best film locations that have been used. Sloppy research methinks.

The Peter Serafinowicz Show – BBC 2. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
Off-the-wall comedy sketch show in which Peter Serafinowicz creates a wacky world where familiar faces mingle with his own quirky creations.

Film: The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) – BBC 2. 12.05am – 2.00am (Fri am)

Gritty crime drama starring Frank Sinatra as an aspiring musician and heroin addict who is determined to clean up after getting out of jail.