Welcome to Cult TV

Cineology ® presents the official CULT TV ® website.  

Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Frankie Abbott from Please, Sir! and The Fenn Street Gang ...

 

David Barry came to televisual fame in the 1970s, when he starred as Frankie Abbott, the mummy's boy who thinks he's a hardcase, in the sitcoms Please, Sir! (a US version was known as Welcome Back Kotter) and The Fenn Street Gang. At this time he wrote his first broadcast TV script, and in the 1980s wrote regularly for the sitcom Keep It in the Family (US version: Too Close for Comfort), and also played a leading role in the feature film of "George and Mildred".

David was born and brought up in north Wales. At the age of 12 he worked as an actor, and his first stage appearance was at Theatre Royal, Windsor in "Life With Father", the longest running Broadway play. In the late 1950s he made a film with Tyrone Power, "Abandon Ship", then toured Europe with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in Peter Brook’s production of "Titus Andronicus", the most prestigious post-war tour, and one of the first to visit the Iron Curtain countries. As a teenager, he appeared in countless TV productions, including playing the part of Ginger in the first commercial television series of Just William.

He has enjoyed working in the theatre, in plays such as "Under Milk Wood", "Forget-Me-Not Lane", "Funny Money", and more recently in David Mamet's "Duck Variations". He has also played in 25 Christmas pantomimes, and these days usually plays the Dame.!

During the 1990s, he was very involved both as an actor and writer in producing diversity training workshops in public sector organisations, and wrote a full-length play "What Goes Around", which ran for a limited season in London theatres.

More recently he has turned to book writing, and his first novel, "Each Man Kills", was published in November 2002. It is located in Wales, and reached Number 8 in the Welsh bestseller list. He has also created and is writing an internet soap, "Careless Talk", located in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the town in which he now lives. Visit www.carelesstalksoap.btinternet.co.uk to access the stories, and there are links on his website to his book at the publisher and at Amazon.

David has recently published his autobiography, "Flashback", which is also available at Amazon and most booksellers. We were delighted that David joined us for the Cult TV Festival in 2006.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Award winning Director of the likes of Doctor Who, Hex, Bugs and Highlander, and co-creator of As If ...

Brian Grant has directed many a show that is considered a Cult TV series. You'll see his name on the credits of such programmes as Highlander – The Raven, The Hitch-hiker, She-Wolf of London, Mann and Machine, Red Shoe Diaries, Bugs, Second Noah, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, Clocking Off, Queen of Swords, Love Bytes and Sky One's horror hit Hex.

He was the Co-Creator, Executive Producer and one of the Directors of Channel 4's As If, the tale of the lives and loves of six teenagers, set against the background of London in the 21st century that ran for four seasons. He also served as Producer and Director for the short-run American restaging of the series for the UPN network. Recently he has turned his attention to directing an episode of the new regeneration of Doctor Who, namely 'The Long Game'.

Brian started his TV and film career in the 1970s as a television cameraman. He worked on hundreds of productions, covering everything from drama to sport, light entertainment to news and current affairs. Projects included Edward the Seventh, The Strauss Family, Anthony and Cleopatra, Sapphire and Steel, Hamlet and The Muppet Show. He also shot a number of documentaries.

In 1979 he formed a production company with producer Scott Millaney. This led to him directing over 200 music videos for acts such as Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, Olivia Newton John, Queen, Dolly Parton, David Bowie, Aretha Franklyn, Liza Minelli, Elton John, Donna Summer, Sheena Easton, Jodey Whatley, The Bee Gees, Stevie Nicks, The Moody Blues, Spandau Ballet and Peter Gabriel (including 'Shock The Monkey'). He won many prestigious awards including the first Music Video Grammy for Olivia Newton John's 'Let's Get Physical'.

Brian has directed over 30 commercials, including ones for Chrysler, Pepsi, Sharp and Ford. Millaney Grant Productions eventually became MGMM Productions when directors Russell Mulcahy and David Mallet joined in 1984. The company grew and formed Initial Films with Eric Fellner, and produced a number of feature films including "Sid & Nancy", "A Kiss Before Dying", "The Rachel Papers" and "Hidden Agenda".

In true Hitchcock style, Brian has taken a couple of cameos in films he has directed - watch out for him as a Chef in "The Immortals" and a man outside a phonebox in "Bloodlines: Legacy of a Lord".

His most recent cinematic outing was directing the stars of Smack The Pony in a spoof of Xena-esque adventures, "Gladiatress". He has just wrapped production on series two of Hex, screening on Sky One from October 2005.

Brian was a guest at the Cult TV Festival 2005.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From Bergerac to Margaret The Slitheen in the new Doctor Who, here's an excellent actress who joined the fun at Cult TV 2005 ...

 

Annette’s breakthrough television performance was as Charlotte in the early seasons of Bergerac, although the performance more recent Cult TV audiences will have latched on to was her role as Margaret Blaine, one of the Slitheen, in three episodes of the new series of Doctor Who.

She has also become very recognisable from her role as Brawdie Henshall in the BBC’s Cutting It, and has a role in the new movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

This year she also featured in Coronation Street as Thelma Clegg, and as Pauline in the Russell T Davies adaption of Casanova. Guest roles over the years have include 2.4 Children (as Dawn in one of a couple of episodes that included the Star Trek homage "Beam Me Up, Scotty"), Shoestring, The Gentle Touch, Nanny, Minder, Frank Stubbs Promotes, You Must Be The Husband, Love Hurts, The Demon Headmaster, Holby City, Doctors, The Bill, Judge John Deed, Twisted Tales, and several episodes of The Worst Witch (as Mrs Tapioca).

An early TV appearance was as a Tap Dancing Pupil in The Naked Civil Servant, and she later appeared in the mini-series Lace and Lace II, as well as the critically acclaimed The Old Men At The Zoo. She starred as Christine in the series Trouble and Strife, Willow in Making Out (alongside Keith Allen) and as Dolly Buckle in Blackhearts In Battersea. She played Shine in Archer’s Goon, and featured as a Nurse in Inside Victor Lewis-Smith.

Film credits include "Jabberwocky", "Beyond Bedlam", "Twenty Four Seven", "Little Voice", "Honest", "Beautiful People", "Club Le Monde", and the voice of Elsa in "Valiant". She also starred alongside Patrick Stewart as Mrs Fezziwig in the 1999 adaption of "A Christmas Carol".

Annette Badland was kindly sponsored by the League Of The Non-Aligned (LOTNA) when she appeared at Cult TV 2005.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Exploring the reality of television science fiction ...

 

Born in Birmingham of dual British and American nationality, Andrew O'Day spent his childhood in Washington DC, Oxford and Milton Keynes. A firm Doctor Who fan after the transmission of BBC2's "The Five Faces of Doctor Who" season in the Autumn of 1981 and Longleat's "20 Years Of A Time Lord" Convention two years later, he edited the fanzine "Doctor Who Times", then "Sci-Fi Times".

Studying at William Shatner's Alma Mater, McGill University in Montreal where the Students' Union building was named after him, Andrew met Forbes March who was staying in the same Hall of Residence. Best known for playing Jesse Kilman in Mutant X, Forbes helped him get a job researching aspects of culture for The Professor's Page in the Halifax newspaper "The Chronicle Herald".

Awarded a BA in English Literature from McGill, Andrew returned to Oxford to take an MA in Text and Performance Studies at King's College, London in association with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. One of his instructors at RADA was Gregory de Polnay, best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as D84 in the highly acclaimed 1977 story "The Robots Of Death" starring Tom Baker.

Andrew has since completed a PhD thesis at Royal Holloway, University of London on science fiction television. Entitled "Borderline Discourses: Meta-Textuality in Television Science Fiction", the thesis provides a thorough investigation of reflection on genre, ideology, and narrative structure in The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Doctor Who and Douglas Adams' The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

 

He has also co-written the book Terry Nation, with Dr Jonathan Bignell, Reader in Television and Film and Director of the Centre for Television Studies at the University of Reading. Published by Manchester University Press in 2004, the book focuses primarily on Nation's science fiction work for Doctor Who, Survivors, in which civilisation is decimated by a deadly viral strain, and Blake's 7.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The star of The Adventures of Sir Lancelot and Doctor Who ...

 

William Russell has been part of the film and TV world since 1940, when he had an uncredited role as a Field Judge in the film "God Gave Him A Dog" (aka "The Biscuit Eater"). An early television role as the star of St Ives, based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, led to him gaining the leading role in ITC/Sapphire Films' The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, all 30 episodes of which are about to be released by Network DVD.

Other early TV appearances included Sword of Freedom, Assignment Foreign Legion, Triton, Suspense, and the 1963 adaptation of Jane Eyre. Over the years, he has also adopted the stage names of Russell Enoch and Enoch Russell.

It was in 1963 that he took on the other role that most Cult TV fans associate him with – that of schoolteacher Ian Chesterton in Doctor Who, a part that he played from until 1965.

He has been a regular face on television ever since, appearing in series such as The Professionals, Black Adder (as the Duke of Winchester), Shoestring, Strangers, Van der Valk, Father Brown, Disraeli, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickelby, Boon and Heartbeat. He even spent a year in Coronation Street in 1992, playing Ted Sullivan, who married Rita Fairclough before meeting his demise!

His film credits include "The Gift Horse", "Malta Story", "Appointment in London", "Intimate Relations", "They Who Dare", "The Saint Returns", "Always a Bride", "One Good Turn", "Above Us the Waves", "The Gay Dog", "The Man Who Never Was", "The Big Chance", "Breakaway", "Blind Spot", "Duellists", "Deathwatch", and "Mark Gertler". He played Sorren in "The Great Escape" and was the Eighth Elder in the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie.

William held a senior post in actors’ union Equity for a time. He has considerable theatrical experience, having been part of the Old Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre, and has toured the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Sweden and Romania.

We were delighted that William agreed to join us for Cult TV 2005.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The original Colonel Tigh from Galactica, and Sugarman in Bilko ...

 

Terry Carter is best remembered for his roles as Colonel Tigh in the original Battlestar Galactica, and Joe Broadhurst in McCloud (working up from a Sergeant in the first episode, through to being Police Chief in the 1989 reunion TV movie).

Terry has had a multi-faceted career, often portraying police officers and military personnel. He became one of the privates – Sugarman - in Sergeant Bilko's platoon in Phil Silvers Show in 1955. That role saw him as one of the few African-Americans appearing on TV in the USA at the time. He went on to be seen in episodes of The Big Story, Playhouse 90, Naked City, Breaking Point, Dr Kildare, Combat! and The Defenders. He was also a star of the 1957 Hallmark Television Playhouse segment "The Green Pastures", alongside Harry Baird (Mark Bradley in UFO).

He became a newsreader for WBZ-TV in Boston from 1965 to 1968, seeing him gain the status of being the world's first black news anchor. Later he worked as a commercial spokesman for Standard Oil.

He then returned to television with roles in series such as The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, Mannix, Bracken’s World, and The Most Deadly Game.

His familiarity to television audiences has been cemented with roles in The Six Million Dollar Man, Search, The Jeffersons, Falcon Crest, The Fall Guy, Mr Belvedere, 227, The Highwayman and One West Waikiki.

Film work has included "Foxy Brown", "Brother on the Run" (aka "Man on the Run"), "Benji", "Abby", and Hamilton (a movie that was turned into a TV series, in which Terry played Texas Slim).

Terry has also been a director and producer – he produced the segment "A Duke Named Ellington" for American Masters - and we were delighted to welcome Terry to his first Cult TV Festival in 2006, where "A Duke Named Ellington" received a screening.

And if you want to find out more about Terry, why not visit his official website at www.terry-carter.net.

 

Our thanks to Marcel Damen for providing some additional information for this biography.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Professor Clifford Jones from Doctor Who and Max in Blake's 7 ...

 

Stewart is well remembered for his role as Professor Clifford Jones in the Doctor Who story "The Green Death", directed by Michael E Briant in the Jon Pertwee era of the series. Stewart's other notable Cult TV appearance was in the Season Three episode of Blake's 7 - "Deathwatch", as Max.

Over the years, he has been a regular face across many television series – he was Doctor Dawson in Brookside, and Doug Keele Grange Hill, as well as having roles in The Troubleshooters, Dick Turpin - "The Pursuit", Shoestring (3 episodes), Public Eye (two 1975 episodes as Martins), Secret Army, The Enigma Files, Airline, The Gentle Touch, Casualty, Silent Witness, Crocodile Shoes, Emmerdale, The Bill, The Brian Conley Show, The House of Elliott, Days That Shook The World, The Brief, Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Silk Stocking, Nanny, Murder in Mind, a 1994 Jackanory – "Who Stole A Bloater?", and even Noel's House Party.

His film credits include "Brannigan" (with John Wayne), "To Sir With Love", "4D Special Agents", "Steptoe and Son Ride Again", "Burke and Hare", "The Ghoul", "The Confessional", "Chromophobia", "Ivanhoe" (1982, directed by Douglas Camfield) and "Lord Peter Wimsey – Strong Poison".

Stage tours have included "Deathtrap", 2Separation", "Under Milk Wood", "Conduct Unbecoming", and "Macbeth" and "The Importance of Being Earnest", both which he directed himself.

Stewart plays the guitar, and enjoys horse riding, swimming and cricket. We were delighted to be able to entertain him at the 2006 Cult TV Festival.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

One of the original stars of The Tomorrow People joins us at Cult TV 2005, courtesy of Fantom Films ...

 

Sammie Winmill became famous in Cult TV circles for her role as Carol in the first season of the original version of The Tomorrow People.

During the 1970s other credits included appearances along side Frankie Howard in Up Pompeii and Up the Chastity Belt, as well as The Professionals, The New Avengers, The Duchess of Duke Street, The Professionals and of course Nurse Sandra Crumpton alongside Robin Nedwell and Geoffrey Davies in Doctor in Charge.

Her theatre credits include the "Stand and Deliver" (The Musical), "The Clandestine Marriage" with Alistair Simm, and she took the lead in the Redgrave Theatre’s opening production of "Romeo and Juliet".

Sammie made her return to acting in the late 1990s with appearances in BBV’s Only Human and MJTV's Ghostlands and Soldiers of Love. More recently she took part in The Tomorrow People documentary "Beyond Tomorrow", and made a guest appearance in chapter two of the fantasy thriller trilogy Explode.

Sammie was brought to the Cult TV Festival 2005 by Fantom Films, and performed a ten-minute extract from her one-woman show during the Cult TV Festival's Saturday night entertainment.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of One Foot In The Grave, Only When I Laugh, Hot Metal and Doctor Who ...

 

There are not many actors who have claim to portraying a cult icon. But with pensioner crusader Victor Meldrew, Richard Wilson did exactly that in One Foot In The Grave, a role he played between 1990 and 2001 (the last appearance being a specially written "Comic Relief" segment, where Victor does not realise he is a ghost). The character’s catch-phrase "I don't believe it" was even mercilessly sent-up, with Richard’s participation, in an episode of Channel 4's Father Ted.

One Foot In The Grave was not the first time that Richard had been written for by David Renwick who, along with Andrew Marshall, had provided the words for principled newspaper editor Richard Lipton, the character Wilson played in the satirical and much under-rated comedy series Hot Metal. He also featured in the big screen version of the duo’s Whoops Apocalypse, playing politician Nigel Lipman.

Richard starred in the single season of Duck Patrol in 1998 as PC Roland Rose, and co-starred as John Doone in the short-run hospital drama Life Support in 1999. He played Bruce Morton in 2001’s High Stakes, and journalist Alex Cameron in Life As We Know It in the same year.

In a career where he has been both an actor and an accomplished theatre director, Richard previously worked as a research scientist. He first became a well-known face when he played Gordon Thorpe in hospital comedy Only When I Laugh, which was headlined by James Bolam and Peter Bowles. He was Reverend Martin Hooper in My Good Woman, and Henshaw in A Sharp Intake of Breath, one of David Jason’s first starring vehicles, and one that never gets mentioned much these days.

Having received an OBE in 1994, Richard again played a man of medicine in 2005, with his portrayal of Doctor Constantine, in two episodes of the regenerated Doctor Who, namely "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances", the story set during the Second World War.

Other TV appearances have included The Sweeney, Inspector Morse, Under The Hammer, Mr Bean, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Howard’s Way, Crown Court, Tutti Frutti, High And Dry, In Loving Memory, Not on Your Nellie, Room At The Bottom, Chessgame, Andy Robson, A Passage To India, In The Red, Cluedo (as Reverend Green) and Emmerdale (when it was still a Farm!).

Television mini series and specials he has appeared in include "Selling Hitler" "Jeffrey Archer: The Truth", "Gulliver's Travels", "The Four Minute Mile", "Butter", "The Vision Thing", "The Other Side of Paradise", "Lord of Misrule" and "The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything".

Big screen appearances have included "Carry On Columbus", "The Man Who Knew Too Little", and "How To Get Ahead in Advertising".

His most recent TV starring role has been in Born and Bred, playing another doctor, Donald Newman, from the third season onwards.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Paul Morrow from Space:1999, and a well-known TV face from the likes of Doctor Who, The New Avengers, and Survivors ...

 

Prentis Hancock was born and bred in Glasgow, and studied architecture at college. A keen sportsman, he played rugby and was a fencing instructor, but got the bug for acting and directing after joining an amateur theatre company. This led to him attending the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama.

Many television roles followed, including the likes of Z Cars, Dixon Of Dock Green, Softly Softly, Doctor Finley's Casebook, the 1972 version of The Last Of The Mohicans, Paul Temple, Spy Trap and Colditz.

He also appeared in "Wam", the two part episode of The Protectors alongside Robert Vaughn, and several Doctor Who stories (as Jimmy in "Spearhead From Space", Vaber in "Planet Of The Daleks", Salamar in "Planet Of Evil", and the Captain in "The Ribos Operation").

It was for his role as Main Mission Controller PAUL MORROW in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Space: 1999 that Prentis is probably best known. He featured in 23 of the 24 episodes of the first season ("The Infernal Machine" being the exception). He was offered the role without having to audition, and was only the fourth cast member to be signed up to the production. In one episode he was able to use his guitar playing skills as part of the plotline, and to help flesh out his character.

 

Since his stint in Space 1999 he has appeared in episodes of The New Avengers, Survivors, Bergerac, Danger UXB, Bulman, Secret Army, Return Of The Saint, Armchair Thriller, The Famous Five, Life and Death of Penelope, Bodyguards, Kappatoo, Staying Alive, Finney, Civvies, The Chief, and The Bill.

He co-starred in the spooky ITV serials Chocky's Children and Chocky's Challenge, and is one of the only actors to have featured in both The Professionals and its revival, CI5: The New Professionals.

Prentis appeared in the television movies "Lime Street", "Hitler’s SS: Portrait in Evil", "Kim" and "Jekyll and Hyde", the mini-series "King Jamie and the Angel", the 1978 big screen version of "The 39 Steps", "The Monster Club" and "Defence Of The Realm".

Recent theatre work has included "The Cut", "Pygmalion", "Terra Nova", "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", "Best of Friends", "The Last Tram", "My Blue Heaven", and "Striking Silence".

We were delighted when Prentis joined us for the Cult TV Festival 2005.

 

 

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