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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, 28 September 2016

The Organization - out now on DVDCorporate politics sounds a very dry subject to make a TV series from, but anyone who has found themselves in an office environment will sagely nod as they work out “who’s who” in their own workplace from this 1972 series. The idea that everyone is “going through the motions” is reflected in the episode titles of the series – one character of two mentioned in each title appears again in the next, until by the seventh story we have gone full circle, and one character from the first story is mentioned once more. Yes, the action is mainly studio bound, with only the occasional scene committed to film, but this is very much a ‘slow burner’ – the plot weaving its mysterious way to a satisfying conclusion.

The Organization, (not to be confused with a 1971 Sidney Poitier film of the same name) with its American spelling of the term, came from Yorkshire Television and is very stiff upper-lip British in its sensibilities. The central cast is iconic – including the likes of Donald Sinden, Anton Rodgers (two of the actors who played Number 2 in The Prisoner), Bernard Hepton (Albert Foiret in Secret Army) and Peter Egan (Shrimpie MacClare in Downton Abbey) star in this acutely observed drama which exposes the intrigues, resentments, bewilderments and betrayals of the staff of Greatrick (as in “great trick”), a large corporation.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Brewster's Millions from 1985 is out now on Blu-ray“Brewster's Millions” is a 1985 comedy film starring Richard Pryor as Montgomery Brewster, the recipient of a bizarre request in a will, with John Candy as his slow-paced buddy Spike. Originally based on the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon, it spawned several previous films, including ones in 1914 (directed by Cecil B DeMille!), 1921, 1935, 1945 and 1961 – and there was even a “Miss Brewster’s Millions” in 1926. There’s now a new version, called “Brewster’s Billions” which is in development. But in the case of this new Blu-ray version, it was directed by Walter Hill, who was on something of a roll at the time having recently helmed “Southern Comfort”, “Streets of Fire” and “48 Hours” (he would go on to produce the “Aliens” film franchise).

The plot sees a minor-league pitcher, Brewster, finding his services are no longer required, and then learns his great-uncle has left him $300 million. To inherit it, Brewster must spend $30 million in 30 days under a complicated set of rules that forbid him from donating too much to charity, or retaining any new assets when the period is over. Or, he can walk away with just $1 million if he doesn’t want the challenge. As he is not allowed to share details of the will's conditions with anyone, Brewster sets out to spend his money under the stern eye of paralegal Angela Drake (Lonette McKee – Maggie Davis in Third Watch).

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Monday, 26 September 2016

It’s that time of the year again already, the preparation and process of the Cult TV Awards. First given out in 1994, we are now on our 23rd annual ceremony, celebrating extraordinary fictional television. It’s not for movies, unless they were especially made for television. It’s not for rewarding big screen talent, it’s for those who have made a huge contribution towards the appreciation of what has been achieved on the small screen. As usual, it’s down to YOU to decide not only who wins, but as a first stage the five nominees who make it through each category and onto the voting form.

The prizes you could win for nominating in the Cult TV Awards 2016

Thanks to our good friends at Fabulous Films, our collection of incentives for simply telling us your favourites, at both stages in the process, are magnificent this year. First up is the nomination phase, which will tie in with the release of THE A-TEAM on BLU-RAY. Yes, our star prize is this 22 disc set, with a running time of 4,690 mins approx, and an RRP of £149.99, and it could be yours just for telling us your favourites! Nominations go live on 1 October 2016, so look out for the link and get ready to vote.

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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Softly Softly Task Force - Series 2 out now on DVDLong before the days of CSI and NCIS, spin-off shows weren’t unheard of, but none was more popular at the beginning of the 1970s than Softly Softly: Task Force. It featured two stars from Z Cars, Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor, reprising their roles as DCS Charlie Barlow and DCI John Watt. The show had originally come into being as Softly Softly in 1966, running for four and a half series before a sudden change halfway through series five, in 1969. Originally to simply be called Task Force, late in the day the BBC decided to keep the Softly Softly brand in place as an umbrella title. And now, thanks to Simply Media, we had three copies of the DVD set up for grabs of Series 2 of Softly Softly: Task Force (aka series 6 of Softly Softly if you want to be pedantic) in a prize competition.

Formatted by BBC crime go-to-guy Elwyn Jones, other popular characters included fellow Softly Softly stalwart DS Harry Hawkins (Norman Bowler), dog handler PC Snow (Terence Rigby) with trusty Police Dog Radar (who gets his own end credits caption), cheery Sergeant Evans (David Lloyd Meredith) and gruff and rule-bound Chief Constable Cullen (Walter Gotell). Unafraid to address problematic social issues of the day, the show provided an accurate reflection of police methods of the time, and many of the simmering tensions and resentments on the streets of 1970s Britain. This leads to social commentary, and classy production, which even today is worth your appreciation.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Blue Money - out now on Blu-ray and DVD“Blue Money” is a TV movie starring the irrepressible Tim Curry (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) as Larry, an aspiring actor making ends meet as a taxi driver. When a passenger leaves behind a case stuffed with cash, Larry nicks it and flees with his girlfriend Pam (Debby Bishop – “Sid and Nancy”). On the road, the duo encounters a crazy Scottish hitchhiker (Billy Connolly – “The Last Samurai”) and some deadly gangsters who really want their money back.

Directed by Colin Bucksey (Masters of Sex, Better Call Saul), this comedy/ musical/ thriller allows Curry ample opportunity to show off his superb talents, including singing, doing impressions and pulling rubbery facial expressions. Dermot Crowley (Luther, Bleak House) co-stars as Larry’s bent mate Brogan, who – once he learns about the money – is rather hard to shake off!

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Paths of Glory - out no on Blu-ray“Paths of Glory” is a searing critique on the futility of war, directed by Stanley Kubrick (“The Shining”, “A Clockwork Orange”) and starring Kirk Douglas (“Spartacus”, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”). Douglas plays Colonel Dax, a World War I French officer coerced into sending his troops on an impossible assault on a German fortified position, primarily to appease the media and public opinion back home.

The inevitable happens and the attack fails disastrously; countless soldiers are killed and the rest either retreat or refuse to go over the top in the first place. The top brass is incensed and orders the selection of three men to be court martialled as an example to the rest, with death by firing squad a near certainty. Dax, a lawyer by trade, demands to be their defending counsel, clinging on to the slender hope of saving them.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Man in the Moon on DVDKenneth More (“A Night to Remember”, “Sink the Bismarck!”) stars in this madcap British comedy about a human lab rat who is shortlisted for the first manned mission to the moon. William Blood is a man seemingly immune to all ailments, worries and fears. He is unaware of the goal of the mission, the large cash prize attached to it, or that he has a competitor who will stop at nothing to stop him succeeding.

The director is Basil Dearden (“Dead of Night”, The Persuaders!), and the cast also includes Shirley Anne Field (“Alfie”) as a jaw-dropping stripper who catches Blood’s eye, Michael Hordern (“Where Eagles Dare”) as the scientist who sees the hero’s potential, Charles Gray (Blofeld in “You Only Live Twice” and “Diamonds are Forever”) as a devious fellow astronaut and Norman Bird (“The Hill”) as Blood’s best mate.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Flight of the Phoenix - out now on Blu-rayA plane carrying around a dozen men is forced to crash-land in the Sahara Desert after encountering a violent sandstorm. The survivors, a mixture of British army personnel, oilmen, an engineer and a physician, must pull together or die in this harsh environment. Their food and water supplies are limited and they have no way to communicate with civilisation, so it seems that rescue by a search party is their only hope.

Directed by Robert Aldrich (“The Dirty Dozen”, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”), this disaster movie has a very strong cast that includes James Stewart (“Read Window”) as pilot Frank Towns, Richard Attenborough (“The Great Escape”) as his co-pilot, Peter Finch (“Network”) as Captain Harris, Hardy Krüger (“A Bridge Too Far”) as an aeroplane engineer, Ernest Borgnine (“The Wild Bunch”) and Ronald Fraser (“The Wild Geese”).

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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Tingha and Tucker - the lost legendary koalas make it to DVDTingha and Tucker, even for those who were there at the time, are now on the cusp of memory. Between 1962 and 1970, ATV made this pair of koala bears heroes to a generation of pre-school kids, but mainly only for those in the Midlands. And I was one of them, even being taken by my parents to Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire to see the bears, and their matriarch, ‘Auntie’ Jean Morton, for one of their ‘Annual Meetings’.

Jean had been promoted to various onscreen roles, following being one of the inaugural station announcers for ATV Midlands from 1956, along with future Police Five host Shaw Taylor. However, it is for this one children’s series that an entire age band most remembers her, thanks to assorted merchandise and an extremely popular fan club for the koalas. And now, Network has compiled everything that remains of the series in the archives, in an incredible two-DVD set which demonstrates amiable anarchy for pre-schoolers that has, even to this day, never been so raucous.

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Patrick McGoohan in All Night Long on Blu-rayAs we approach the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner next year, it is not surprising that there will be a rising interest in all things ‘Patrick McGoohan’. And so it is that we see a fully restored Blu-ray release of “All Night Long” from Network, which is Shakespeare’s “Othello” set against an internal backdrop of an East London jazz jamboree.  Its subject matter is as timeless as you would expect with work based on the Bard, with one little bit of vintage technology making this very much a period piece.

From 1962, and presented in a brand-new High Definition transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited aspect ratio, McGoohan is drummer Johnny Cousin, with the actor revealing another talent not widely mentioned on his CV. It’s terrific to see him genuinely playing with gusto amongst a parade of topline jazz stars of the time. That said, in one instance when McGoohan's character is playing a drum solo, the kit is different in the medium shots and Point-Of-View shots.

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