Monday, 12 January 2015

The Creator!



"I always put in scenes that contain humour. I guess that’s the way I write."

Sad news of the death of Brian Clemens, the genius behind such timeless "tongue-in-cheek" British television action series as The Avengers (it was he who cast Diana Rigg to replace original star Honor Blackman), The Professionals, and many, many more, has prompted me to reprise (in parts) a blog I posted five-and-a-half years ago.

Here's a fabulous selection of theme music from shows Mr Clemens created or for which he wrote. It's quite a significant cross-section of seminal series indeed...

The Protectors!:



The Adventurer!:



The Baron!:



Danger Man!:



The Avengers!:



The New Avengers!:



The Professionals!:



And possibly my favourite (theme, not show) - The Persuaders!:





RIP Brian Horace Clemens OBE (30th July 1931 – 10th January 2015)

11 comments:

  1. His work defined the TV of a generation.
    fab post - keep up the good work

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    1. Several generations, in fact - The Avengers started in 1961 and The Professionals ended in 1983... Jx

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  2. ITV was great then, what the hell happened since?


    RIP Mr Clemens. I love the Avengers.

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    1. Well, certainly anything produced by Lew Grade's ITC (that's most of the above shows plus Thunderbirds et al) was excellent, but I am not certain stuff like "Bless This House" and "Love Thy Neighbour" really stand the test of time, where ITV's general output was concerned... Jx

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  3. Sad news indeed. He was behind some of my favourite programmes (with the best theme tunes), and of course brought us the young Martin Shaw. Sigh

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    1. We never looked at curly-permed men falling out of the backs of vans in the same way again, did we? Sigh. Jx

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  4. ITV never did much good in the way of comedy (I hated Vicious, I'm sorry, wonderful to see two great actors but it did waste them) , no, and there's always been loads of its programmes that are just copies of BBC formats (Magpie, Highway, Dancing on Ice) but it did used to do really good dramas and plays, and that sort of thing has really disappeared.

    Did some fantastic children's programmes too..

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    1. There was a time (as the companies, still regional, were awash with money, I suppose) when some shows of remarkable quality came out of ITV - Brideshead Revisted, The Naked Civil Servant, Spitting Image, Cracker and Inspector Morse all come to mind - but apart from Benidorm, The New Statesman and Rising Damp, I agree most of their comedies seemed to be of the cheap-gag variety like Benny Hill or Duty Free; and didn't they churn them out..? Jx

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  5. You forgot Jewel in the Crown. And there's the Fry and Laurie version of Jeeves and Wooster, and RTD did some great comedy dramas for ITV. I don't why it's always been bad at sitcoms, people say it's hard to be funny when you've got to accommodate an ad break but Channel Four have managed it over the years. So have US networks.

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    1. I was never completely comfortable with "Jeeves and Wooster", actually. As for comedy on commercial TV, I think it revolves mainly around how a producer gauges an audience (which in ITV's case probably means "Daily Star reader"). Also how much "canned laughter" one can tolerate - one of the main reasons ("Golden Girls" aside) I can't bear to watch a helluva lot of American comedies. The reason "M*A*S*H" took off so well here was the wise move by a commissioning editor to remove the laughter track for British audiences... Jx

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  6. You might be right, Channel Four is a public service broadcaster, it has to please advertisers but it doesn't have to answer to shareholders like ITV does, so it can take risks and come up with a classic like Father Ted, Black Books or Spaced.

    I think there have been TV execs working in American commercial TV, who tried to do good things with the medium (Norman Lear at CBS being one) but there definitely outnumbered

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