Partners in crime

Finally growing up is painful, until one realises one does not need to wallow in it. The earlier post could be seen as Stage 5 of 10 but Stage 6 is realising it will never be right in politics, that BoJo is best of a bad lot.  Stage 7 then thinks no, damn it, it is NOT acceptable.  And so the process goes on.

This nostalgia for bygone days was sent by Chuckles:

… and we could also add 50s Blackpool over here:

… along with Norton and Beeza bikes and so on … but he also sent a cautionary tale which is the post following this.

There are issues with revivals or nostal-gi-a [hard g] as the Russians call it, Star-oy-a Kino or the old films as well, the old tunes – selective memory hides the grittier aspects of life back then.

Plus the concealed lies, such as Laurel Canyon being the cesspit behind the “summer of love” in San Fran in the 60s. Disease and drug ridden.

Which puts the focus squarely back on such curmudgeonry I for one am guilty of.  Would I rob you of your fond memories?  Well … oo, ah … nnnoo, not really but, but, but …

I saw the Old America a few times, particularly in Del Mar, taking the old coastal highway rather than the I-5, never got to see the old Route 66.  Film helps, does it not? Perhaps you have to live in a different era to appreciate something earlier.

And so to old Agatha Christie nostalgia – even the nostalgic pieces are old themselves now.

I’d finished watching the 1980 Why Didn’t They Ask Evans [three hours of it]. which was truly lovely, from the settings to the costumes to the bizarre sight of a Mayfairite Joan Hickson.   So, starry eyed [starry in the Russian sense of starri meaning old], I moved onto Partners in Crime:

… reprising James Warwick and Francesca Annis.  It was a mistake and now I need to work out why. Here are two reviews:

The series had potential but some of the episodes are directed in a bizarre fashion. The costumes are very good, James Warwick is watchable and gives the idea of what might have happened had Roger Moore ever taken the acting lessons he so desperately needed. Reece Dinsdale is amusing enough as a young cock-er-nee type. The problem is that Annis’s performance is so arch, brittle and OTT that it makes the entire thing unwatchable.

The character she plays was a nurse and there is no hint of worldliness in Francesca’s performance (although in fairness the scripts get the character completely wrong too). She is far too old for the role and her make up is extraordinary ( in a negative way). It’s like watching an aging amateur drama diva in a lead role in a television series.

Dodgy acting aside ( and Annis has given fine performances in several other productions), the series seems rather insubstantial and lightweight. It has not aged well.

I had hoped to enjoy this and was rather let down by the whole thing.


I have to agree with Gerry, the acting was very hammy. So much so, it spoilt the whole thing.

Francesca Annis and James Warwick were not acting novices, so why they were so poor I cannot fathom, but the two of them seemed to be having fun doing a spot of spoofing of the am-dram form of over acting. I have read some of the books with Tommy and Tuppence, and they seemed far fuller and more down to earth than portrayal here suggests. The potential, as always with any Agatha Christie book, was there, but unlike other productions, let down badly.

This led to the feeling that the hero and heroine were not even a real couple. I am running out of things to say to fill 10 lines of text on this production. By all means form your own opinion on this series, but don’t expect too much, or to find that you vie for the couple to win over the baddies, none of them seemed real enough to warrant that to me.

Yeeesss, the lack of chemistry between the two, both trying to act their hearts out individually, “doing” the romantic bit. Audiences don’t like that.

Franka Annis was very good in Evans, very good, as was Warwick. So as various reviewers asked – what actually went wrong here? Well, the above, surely that is behind it.

Methinks it was connected with Annis getting star billing in the series, a vehicle designed around the two of them, whereas in the film, they’d had to curb themselves and be directed, they played their parts.

Maybe I’m oversensitive these days to a type – the Maitlis and Newman female “star” journo where the pen is forever held in the hand even when standing before a huge screen and the show is all about her, her, her.

Fair dos – Andrew Neil is a similar star, Marr thinks he is, but someone like Paxman at least delivered. Phillip Schofield seems to be going this stardom route … so the males can succumb, but women of that kind are particularly susceptible. The head swells … and then they divorce [see Sparkle].

Evans was a straight Christie story, lovingly brought to the screen at a time when Christie’s reservations about TV were still fresh in the luvvy mind, and the whole aim was to faithfully depict on the small box.

Not so here, where the “stars” are essentially spoofing it up in cameos … plus that strange direction, the pregnant pauses, the jumpcuts, plus the dearth of good copies on youtube.

“Wooden” is indeed the word – “… now here we are in our fab costumes, what are we going to actually do?” The players themselves have lost the importance of the plot taking them forward and the whole thing is just too smug, slow and … wooden, overweeningly “satisfied” with themselves.

Pity. Maybe Christie had been right to eschew the TV medium. Maybe it’s nothing to do with TV as such.

Nostalgia. Reality. Reality. Nostalgia. What dose of each? Boris has elements of that – lovable rogue, the old chippa Englishness, the irreverent touch, the articulation. Compare that to Commie Corbyn and his screeching harpies.