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Sunday, 13 January 2008 00:00

Boston Legal's Back!

Shatner's back on LIVINGtv for a fourth season of legal fun ...

 

The fourth series of the smash-hit US legal drama from the multi-award-winning maestro of legal drama David E Kelley (Ally McBeal, LA Law) comes back exclusively to LIVING on Thursday 31 January at 10.00pm.

Set in the morally dubious world of high-priced litigation at a Boston law firm, the show has garnered both critical acclaim and major awards. Both its leading men, James Spader and William Shatner, have won Emmy Awards for their roles, while Shatner has also been honoured with a Golden Globe. This series also sees Hollywood actress Saffron Burrows ("Enigma", "Troy") join the cast.

Fast-paced and darkly comic, Boston Legal follows the personal and professional lives of the litigators at Crane, Poole and Schmidt. Five times Emmy-winner Candice Bergen plays Shirley Schmidt, the firm’s founding partner who continually tries to bring order to the chaotic office.

Other members of the practice include Jerry ‘Hands’ Espenson (Christian Clemenson - a guest star who has now become a series regular), a lawyer with Asperger’s Syndrome, and Clarence Bell (Gary Anthony Williams), an attorney whose feelings of inadequacy cripple him to such an extent he often switches between personalities, meaning he is also known as Clarice, Clevant and Oprah.

In a captivating series premiere, Shirley asks Alan Shore (Spader) to represent her when she is sued after withdrawing her donation to a university. Alan is happy to help, but is distracted when he discovers that the opposing council is one of his ex-girlfriends (Burrows). Also, Denny Crane (Shatner) is arrested for soliciting a prostitute, and no-nonsense attorney Carl Sack (John Larroquette) joins the team. Sack immediately puts Clarence’s nose out of joint when he berates him after uncovering a video of ‘Clarice’ performing at a local dance competition.

Also joining the cast is Tara Summers as Katie Lloyd, a 'freshman' lawyer who immediately finds herself defending a murder suspect who doesn't want to be defended. Born in London, Tara trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, guest-starred on a trio of episodes of Dirt, and was also seen in the movies "Wha A Girl Wants", "Factory Girl" and "Rabbit Fever".

The show was originally going to be called The Practice: Fleet Street, as it was designed as a civil law spin-off from that series (another of the David E Kelly stable, which also includes Doogie Howser MD, Picket Fences, and Chicago Hope).

An accomplished actor, James Spader appeared alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal in the critically-acclaimed film, "Secretary" which won the 2002 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Originality. Spader also starred in "Speaking of Sex", "Supernova", "Slow Burn", "Critical Care" and "Crash".

The characters of both Shore and Crane originally made their debut in The Practice. Brad Chase (Mark Valley - previous the lead in Keen Eddie) has left the show this season. Mark Valley's career began when he was discovered by an agent in Berlin, and his first role was working in John Schlesinger's "The Innocent", which starred Anthony Hopkins and was filmed in Germany. Mark made an impact on television viewers with his lead role in Pasadena, as well as in recurring roles on ER and Once and Again, plusguest spots on CSI, The Lone Gunmen and Gideon's Crossing. He also featured in the long-running daytime drama Days of Our Lives.

Rene Auberjonois (Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) who was Paul Lewiston, has also left the regular roster of the series, along with Julie Bowen (who played Denise Bauer) and Constance Zimmer (Claire Simms). The show already has a reputation of regularly freshening up the line-up of its less quirky characters each season.

 

Posted in Latest
Friday, 22 February 2008 08:54

Champions, The

A plane crash in Tibet gives these secret agents the edge ...

 

UK (ITC) - 1968-69 - 30 episodes (60 mins) – Colour

 

01. The Beginning
Guests: Felix Aylmer (The Old Man), Kenneth J Warren (Whittaker), Joseph Furst (Chislenkan), Eric Young (Ho Ling), Burt Kwouk (Chinese Major).
Plot: Rescued from certain death, Nemesis agents Sterling, Barrett and Macready find themselves with special powers given to them by a mysterious Tibetan order. They put their new abilities to the test as Chinese soldiers set out to recover a stolen bacteriological material.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Cyril Frankel

02. The Invisible Man
Guests: Peter Wyngarde (John Hallam), Sumner James (Culliford), Basil Dignam (Sir Frederick Howard), Aubrey Morris (Van Velden), Steve Plytas (Boursin), Dave Prowse (Weightlifter).
Plot: Trying to determine which bank will be the next target for a gang of robbers, Sterling's capture leads him to hear voices from an invisible foe.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Cyril Frankel

03. Reply Box No 666
Guests: Anton Rogers (Jules), Brian Worth (Bourges), George Murcell (Nikko), George Roubicek (Semenkin), Imogen Hassall (Cleo), Nike Arrighi (Corinne), Linbert Spencer (Clive).
Plot: When an advertisement is placed in the personal column of a Caribbean newspaper: “Wanted, a Parrot that speaks German”, our heroic trio find themselves in an explosive situation.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Cyril Frankel

04. The Experiment
Guests: David Bauer (Doctor Glind), Allan Cuthbertson (Cranmore), Madelena Nicol (Chrissie), Nicholas Courtney (Doctor Farley), Caroline Blakiston (Marianne Grant), Nita Lorraine (Susan).
Plot: Persuaded to volunteer for a secret experiment, Sharron finds herself tricked by a scientist, creating a breed of super-humans, equal to The Champions, to carry out a series of thefts.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Cyril Frankel

05. Happening
Guests: Jack MacGowran (Banner), Michael Gough (Joss), Grant Taylor (General Winters), Bill Cummings (Aston).
Plot: As one of three men isolated in an atomic test area, Barrett has to disarm a bomb that is soon due to go off, before it devastates part of Australia.
Writer: Brian Clemens
Director: Cyril Frankel

06. Operation Deep-Freeze
Guests
: Patrick Wymark (General Gomez), Robert Urquhart (Hemmings), Walter Gotell (Jost), Peter Arne (Margoli), George Pastell (Colonel Santos), Michael Godfrey (Mendoza), Martin Boddey (Gregson), Derek Sydney (Zerrilli), Alan White (Hoffner).
Plot: A mysterious explosion in Antarctica and the disappearance of the scientists sent to investigate, leads Stirling and Barrett to a secret bunker stockpiling nuclear missiles.
Writer: Gerald Kelsey
Director: Paul Dickson

07. The Survivors
Guests
: Clifford Evans (Colonel Reitz), Donald Huston (Richter), John Tate (Schmeltz), Bernard Kay (Emil), John Porter (Hans), Stephen Yardley (Pieter), Hugo Panczak (Heinz).
Plot: Assigned to the murders of three students in the Austrian Alps, the Nemesis agents find that their investigations lead them to the discovery of survivors from World War Two.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Cyril Frankel

08. To Trap a Rat
Guests
: Guy Rolfe (Walter Pelham), Edina Ronay (Sandra), Michael Standing (Edwards), Kate O'Mara (Jane Purcell), Toke Townley (Peanut Vendor), John Lee (Ambulance Doctor).
Plot: After Scotland Yard investigations lead to a dead end, The Champions are called in to infiltrate a drug ring whose tainted consignments are killing off London's drug addicts.
Writer: Ralph Smart
Director: Sam Wanamaker

09. The Iron Man
Guests
: George Murcell (El Caudillo), Patrick Magee (Pedraza), Robert Crewdson (Gallezan), Michael Mellinger (General Tornes), Stephen Berkoff (Carlos), Norman Florence (Cabello).
Plot: Asked to protect a former dictator, Sterling, Barrett and Macready take on the roles of domestic staff in his household to discover who is trying to kill him.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey

10. The Ghost Plane
Guests
: Andrew Keir (Doctor John Newman), Michael Wynne (Coates), Tony Steedman (Hardwick), Dennis Chinnery (Bridges), Vanessa Tindall (Hilary), John Bryant (Crolic).
Plot: The discovery of a revolutionary Chinese fighter aircraft leads the Champions to investigate a British Professor of Engineering, who is embittered after the Government shelved his original plans.
Writer: Donald James
Director: John Gilling

11. The Dark Island
Guests
: Vladek Sheybal (Max Kellor), Brandon Brady (Withers), Alan Gifford (Admiral), Benito Carruthers (Perango), Bill Nagy (Controller), Andy Ho (Kai Min), Robert Lee (Tsi Chang).
Plot: After an Air Force plane is shot down, and three agents disappear investigating an island off the coast of America, the Nemesis team uncover a plot to bring about nuclear armageddon.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Cyril Frankel

12. The Fanatics
Guests
: Gerald Harper (Croft), Julian Glover (Anderson), David Burke (Roger Carson), Donald Pickering (Colonel Banks), David Morrell (Krasner), Barry Stanton (Faber), John Robinson (Collings).
Plot: Assigned to infiltrate a group of fanatical murderers, Barrett has to find a way to stop them when he learns the next target is the Nemesis leader, Tremayne.
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: John Gilling

13. Twelve Hours
Guests
: Mike Pratt (Raven), Henry Gilbert (Drobnik), Peter Howell (Admiral Cox), John Turner (Lieutenant Commander Street), Viola Keats (Madame Drobnik), Laurie Asprey (Jackson).
Plot: Accompanying a visiting President and his wife on a submarine journey, Barrett and Macready need to use all their resources when an attempt is made on the President’s life.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Paul Dickson

14. The Search
Guests
: John Woodvine (Kruger Haller), Reginald Marsh (Conrad Schultz), Joseph Furst (Dr Mueller), Patricia English (Suzanne Taylor), Ernst Walder (Albrecht).
Plot: After a neo-Nazi regime steals a submarine armed with four warheads, The Champions find themselves in a race to sabotage plans to hold London hostage under nuclear threat.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Leslie Norman

15. The Gilded Cage
Guests
: John Carson (Symond), Jennie Linden (Samantha), Clinton Greyn (Lovegrove), Charles Houston (Orley), Tony Caunter (Brandon), Sebastian Breaks (Haswell).
Plot: Worried that someone is attempting to wipe out Nemesis agents after an operative's files are stolen from their Geneva headquarters, Tremayne allows Barrett to be kidnapped to snare the forces acting against them.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Cyril Frankel

16. Shadow of the Panther
Guests
: Zia Mohyeddin (Prengo), Donald Sutherland (David Crayley), Hedger Wallace (Charters), Tony Wall (Riley), Christopher Carlos (Doctor), Tania (Girl in Red).
Plot: There are unusual happenings at a Haitian hotel, currently entertaining a large number of scientists and politicians. It leads Sharron to investigate a death seemingly caused by voodoo.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Freddie Francis

17. A Case of Lemmings
Guests
: John Bailey (Umberto), Jeanne Roland (Claudine), Edward Brayshaw (Del Marco), Michael Graham (Jacquet), Michael Slater (Pillet), Olive McFarland (Madame Carnot).
Plot: After several agents take their own lives, The Champions are led to the discovery of a drug that causes recipients to commit suicide, part of a daring plan to infiltrate the Interpol network.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Paul Dickson

18. The Mission
Guests
: Anthony Bate (Doctor Pederson), Dermot Kelly (Hogan), Harry Towb (George), Patricia Haines (Sophia), Robert Russell (Maltman), Paul Hansard (Emil Boder).
Plot: Posing as a Mafiosa gangster and his moll, Barrett and Macready attempt to infiltrate an organisation that provides escape routes for criminals, by having them altered using plastic surgery.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Robert Asher

19. The Interrogation
Guest
: Colin Blakely (The Interrogator).
Plot: Returning from a mission, Stirling finds himself imprisoned and subjected to brutal, drug-fuelled questioning by an unknown interrogator, who suspects him of being a double agent.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Cyril Frankel

20. The Silent Enemy
Guests
: Paul Maxwell (Captain Baxter), Warren Stanhope (Admiral Parker), James Maxwell (Stanton), Marne Maitland (Minoes), Esmond Knight (The Minister) David Kelly (Lighthouse Keeper).
Plot: After a missing American submarine surfaces off Ireland with all the crew dead, the Champions retrace the voyage, leading to a secret laboratory developing a sinister gas.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Robert Asher

21. The Body Snatchers
Guests
: Bernard Lee (Squires), Philip Locke (Yeats), Ann Lynn (Inge Kalmutt), JG Devlin (Frank Nicholls), Gregory Phillips (David Fenton), Christina Taylor (Lee Rogers).
Plot: Attempting to unravel the hidden meaning of a letter received by a journalist, The Champions travel to Wales and find themselves involved in a macabre espionage plot.
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: Paul Dickson

22. Get Me Out of Here!
Guests
: Frances Cuka (Anna Maria Martes), Ronald Radd (Commandante), Philip Madoc (Angel Martes), Eric Pohlmann (Minister), Anthony Newlands (Cuevos), Godfrey Quigley (Josef).
Plot: When a leading doctor in medical research is lured home to a Caribbean island with the false story of a patient requiring her attention, The Champions are sent to rescue her.
Writer: Ralph Smart
Director: Cyril Frankel

23. The Night People
Guests
: Terence Alexander (Douglas Trennick), Adrienne Corri (Mrs Trennick), David Lodge (Porth), Anne Sharp (Jane Soames), Michael Bilton (Dan), Walter Sparrow (George Whetlor).
Plot: After Sharron disappears on holiday in Cornwall, Craig and Richard’s attempts to find her lead them into an encounter with the supernatural.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Robert Asher

24. Project Zero
Guests
: Rupert Davies (Doctor Voss), Peter Copley (Antrobus), Geoffrey Chater (Forster), Reginald Jessup (Grayson), Jan Holden (Miss Davies), Donald Morely (Sloane), John Moore (Travis).
Plot: Investigating the murder of a scientist, Barrett poses as a computer expert to infiltrate a secret project to detonate all stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Don Sharp

25. Desert Journey
Guests
: Jeremy Brett (The Bey), Roger Delgado (Yussef), Peter Madden (Sheikh), Nik Zaran (Said), Reg Lye (Curtis), Henry Soskin (Branco), Tony Cyrus (Major Tuat), Yole Marinelli (Sonia).
Plot: The Champions are faced with the challenge of returning The Bey, a young leader enjoying his self-imposed exile in Rome, to his strife-ridden North African homeland to avert a revolution.
Writer: Ian Stuart Black
Director: Paul Dickson

26. Full Circle
Guests
: Patrick Allen (Westerman), John Nettleton (Booker), Martin Benson (Garcian), Gabrielle Drake (Sara), James Donnelly (Pickering), Jack Gwillim (Carrington).
Plot: Posing as a prison inmate to determine who is attempting to free other prisoners, Stirling discovers the escape route, but finds more than he bargained for after making his bid for freedom.
Writer: Donald James
Director: John Gilling

27. Nutcracker
Guests
: William Squire (Duncan), John Franklyn Robbins (Warren), David Langton (Lord Mauncey), Michael Barrington (Manager), John Brown (Walcott), David Kelsey (Travers).
Plot: After attempts are made to steal valuable NATO documents, The Champions are assigned to test an impregnable vault whose security systems are designed to kill any intruders.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Roy Ward Baker

28. The Final Countdown
Guests
: Alan Mcnaughton (Von Spitz), Wolf Frees (Doctor Neimann), Derek Newark (Kruger), Basil Henson (Wolf Eisen), Morris Perry (Schultz), Hannah Gordon (Anna), Michael Lees (Tom Brooks).
Pot: Sent to locate a bomb before it detonates, what seems like a routine task for the three Nemesis agents soon turns into a mission fraught with dangers.
Writer: Gerald Kelsey
Director: John Gilling

29. The Gun-Runners
Guests
: William Franklyn (Hartington), Paul Stassino (Selvameni), David Lodge (Filmer), Guy Deghy (Schroeder), Wolfe Morris (Nadkarni), Eric Young (Burmese Police Captain).
Plot: Assigned to track down a gang of arms dealers, The Champions find themselves in the perilous depths of the Burmese jungle, facing off against ruthless opponents.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Robert Asher

30. Autokill
Guests
: Eric Portman (Barkar), Paul Eddington (Klein), Harold Innocent (Doctor Amis), Richard Owens (George Brading), Rachel Herbert (Loretta Brading), Bruce Boa (American Colonel).
Plot: When Nemesis agents are brainwashed into killing their colleagues, Barrett is captured during the investigation and is programmed to kill Sterling.
Writer: Brian Clemens
Director: Roy Ward Baker

 

REGULAR CAST
Stuart Damon
as Craig Stirling
William Gaunt as Richard Barrett
Alexandra Bastedo as Sharron Macready
Anthony Nicholls as Tremayne

 

Posted in Episode Guides
Friday, 22 February 2008 08:07

Star Trek (The Original Series)

Opening the final frontier ...

 

USA - 1966-69 - 79 episodes (60 mins) - colour

One of the most successful concepts in television history, spawning a franchise that is still alive today with a new big screen movie in pre-production, this is the biggest American Cult TV series of them all.

Devised by Gene Roddenberry, a former LAPD officer and veteran scriptwriter of shows like Dragnet and Naked City while off duty, the pilot episode "The Cage" was rejected by network executives who deemed it too cerebral for the average viewer, and consequently unbroadcastable. Unprecedented at the time, the show was given another chance and, after extensive recasting, a second pilot was filmed, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" with the requisite dose of action added.

Charting the adventures of the crew of the USS Enterprise, seeking out new life and new civilizations in the high frontier of outer space, Star Trek used science fiction properly, as a commentary on contemporary social issues and society's ills and gains. Amongst the action and adventure, many of the new worlds discovered in the wide range of thought-provoking stories were skewed reflections of our own world. That said, the triumvirate of charismatic Captain James T Kirk, inspired by C S Forester's Captain Horatio Hornblower, the loyal and coldly logical Vulcan First Officer, Mister Spock, and cantankerous Chief medical Officer Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, supported by their mixed gender, multi-racial crew, never lost touch with the human experience that became central to Star Trek's ongoing identity.


REGULAR CAST
William Shatner as James T Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
DeForest Kelley as Leonard McCoy
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott
Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura
George Takei as Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov
Majel Barrett as Christine Chapel
Grace Lee Whitney as Janice Rand

 

Posted in Series Formats
Friday, 22 February 2008 07:45

For The People

William Shatner fighting for law and order ...

 

US - 1965 - 13 episodes (60 mins) - B&W

Having followed his first television appearance in the 1956 Goodyear Television Playhouse episode All Summer Long with numerous guest roles, including The Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, For the People brought William Shatner his first starring vehicle, prior to taking the role of James T. Kirk in Star Trek.

Created by producer Herbert Brodkin, the series evolved from the legal drama The Defenders starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed as father and son lawyers, which had started life as a two-part Studio One drama in 1957 with Shatner in the role of the younger Kenneth Preston opposite Ralph Bellamy.

As a no-nonsense New York Assistant District Attorney, Shatner's David Koster finds himself up against not just the criminal underclass but also his superiors who found his single-minded dedication for justice abrasive. Only his immediate boss, Bureau Chief Anthony Celese, played by Howard Da Silva who was returning to regular work after being blacklisted in the 1950s, admires Koster’s zeal and offers sage advice, while Lonny Chapma'’s Detective Malloy helps seek out the criminals to prosecute. In private Koster's life was just as tumultuous, married to a string-quartet viola player whose priorities often conflicted with his own.

Although short lived, the series employed one of the first story-line cross-overs between different series as an episode of Brodkin's The Nurses, which followed the lives of two nurses working in a large New York hospital, concluded five days later in the fourth episode of For the People. Several episodes have recently turned up at Festivals around the world.

 

REGULAR CAST
William Shatner as David Koster
Howard Da Silva as Anthony Celese
Lonny Chapman as Frank Malloy
Jessica Walter as Phyllis Koster

 

 

Posted in Series Formats
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