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A giant leap for mankind.... It's more like a stumble in the dark.

On September 13, 1999, nuclear waste from Earth stored on the far side of the Moon exploded in a catastrophic accident. The explosion knocked the Moon out of orbit and sent it, and the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space. Their subsequent trials and adventures were chronicled... in Space: 1999. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 12, 2013 - 62 comments

β€œIt is good to see that NOEL EDMONDS has bounced back.”

On 1st November 1988, ITV dispatched over fifty crews to chronicle the production, reception and marketing of British television, at a time when, with satellite television yet to launch, the four main networks were your only viewing choice. It became the documentary One Day In The Life of Television, which you can now watch in full on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Oct 25, 2013 - 7 comments

Imagine "Thunderbirds" with people instead of puppets

UFO is a 1970 British science fiction television series about a secret military organization which defends the Earth from Alien invaders. The series was created by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, who previously created the "Supermarionation" puppet TV series in the 1960's (Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5), and would later create Space: 1999. The production is highly stylized, from the cars, hair styles, and future fashions to Ebert-worthy parties of the future, mesh space shirts and groovy theme music. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 31, 2013 - 44 comments

Meet the Blackadder's American cousin, 1775.

Black Adder American style (part 2). Perhaps not as good as we might have hoped.
posted by FatRabbit on Dec 20, 2011 - 70 comments

Syd Dale, Legend of Library

There is no questioning Syd Dale's [mid-60s UK NSFW] place amongst the legends of library music. ... his lavish big band inspired compositions were quickly brought to the public's attention through their use in countless t.v. shows and advertisements. Much of his work could be as classed as easy listening however Dale was also adept at incorporating elements of funk and spy jazz.* [The music of the 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series - to which he so memorably contributed - has been discussed previously.] [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 8, 2011 - 10 comments

The Benny Hill Show

Thanks to his work in television, especially The Benny Hill Show, Benny Hill is the most universally recognised of British comedians. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 27, 2011 - 68 comments

A St. Bernard and a year's supply of whisky

"Little slices of glamour beamed directly into your home in half-hour chunks; a perky theme, flashy titles, charismatic host, inventive format, gags, quiz, games, raucous outro – the works! Incredibly plain people given a quick glimpse of the good life, to which the tanned, funny man in the nice suit held the door." The joys of the 1980s game show. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Aug 4, 2011 - 4 comments

And now, a choice of viewing

TV idents provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon on Jun 26, 2010 - 15 comments

It's always September 13, 1999 somewhere

Space: 1999 (1975-77) is a British sci-fi series, the last production of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who were first recognized for their work in "Supermarionation." This series saw the end of the couple, with Sylvia Anderson leaving the show at the end of the first season. She was replaced by Fred Freiberger, who brought in some Star Trek sensibilities and attempted to cater the show more to the American action-adventure audience. A third season was planned but not produced, and left the series unfinished, ending on an episode that was "like bad Shakespeare, or worse, bad Star Trek." Fans still support the show in many forms, even creating a semi-official fan-produced mini-episode entitled Message from Moonbase Alpha to bring some completion to the series, which was shown on September 13, 1999 at the Breakaway: 1999 convention. Another group of fans has recently taken to updating the whole series, to bring Space:1999 into the future. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 13, 2010 - 91 comments

Perhaps "Screen Bleach" would be more accurate....

Charlie Brooker, host , columnist and inspiration for Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee is an overall snarky bloke. He has his own tribute song and a brilliant TV review programme Screenwipe. [more inside]
posted by litleozy on Aug 1, 2009 - 34 comments

Mollie Sugden dies at 86

Mrs. Slocombe is no longer free. Actress Mollie Sugden has died at 86, after a long illness. Best known as the irascible Mrs. Slocombe in the long running British sitcom "Are You Being Served?" who famous cared a great deal about her pussy.
posted by dnash on Jul 1, 2009 - 84 comments

Ignore the fact he also made movies

Bean. [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 8, 2009 - 36 comments

Wear your pants high, Simon!

Channel 4's Star Stories! exposes the truths behind the rising & falling of some of your favo(u)rite celebrities: Madonna, Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, George Michaels, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta Jones, Posh and Becks, and Take That. Partial episodes: Brad/Jen/Angelina and Jude Law. Occasionally NSFW (language/simulated sex)
posted by miss lynnster on Aug 20, 2007 - 25 comments

Interactive British Game Shows at wedigtv

Are you a fan of Channel 4's venerable game show Countdown, but never had the chance to play? Check out this well-made Flash version. It's just one of the classic British game shows made interactive at wedigtv.com, which also features The Price is Right, Family Fortunes, and Blockbusters. Caution: Heavy Flash video, commercial breaks, and some of the UI takes a bit of practice. Via.
posted by milquetoast on Jul 1, 2007 - 17 comments

Jerry Springer: The Opera

Jerry Springer: The Opera? You know, whenever I happened to have this misfortune to watch Springer, I too thought "It's got tragedy. It's got violence. There are people screaming at each other and you can't understand what they're saying." but I didn't quite make the leap that "It's perfect for opera."

But now on an operatic journey that takes us the tv studio to hell, the British National Theatre is realizing this vision.

To quote from the libretto: "This is a Jerry Springer moment!" sing the chorus. "We don't want this moment to end, so cover us in chocolate and throw us to the lesbians."

Skeptical? Read the reviews!
posted by jearbear on Apr 18, 2003 - 1 comment

The Big Breakfast

The Big Breakfast used to be the cornerstone of British breakfast television. In recent weeks, however, it's been looking a bit limp, the recent sacking of a host being the least of their worries. And although much of the country are looking elsewhere for their morning TV, the head of the network it's on has come out in support. Perhaps he should be looking to the past.
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 21, 2001 - 3 comments

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