Elizabeth Ah!

The BBC in its infinite wisdom are repeating Elizabeth R, the famous dramatisation with Glenda Jackson in the title role. I love Glenda Jackson; she will live forever in my memory not only as Elizabeth I, but also Gudrun Brangwen in Ken Russell’s Women in Love where she plays opposite Oliver Reed and more recently as a woman with dementia in Elizabeth is Missing. I thought the BBC were repeating Elizabeth R because I heard that Jackson was set to reprise the role, but I can’t find any reference to this so maybe I imagined it – however I tuned in (as the quaint phrase has it) wondering if the 1971 series would seem slow and pedestrian. It really didn’t. Jackson is really superb and the action is thrilling.

I really think the BBC are missing a trick here. They have a massive back catalogue and I know much of it is available on DVD and other platforms but surely they could take advantage of lockdown by revisiting some of it? We could have ’70’s sitcom night or Play for Today week. We could have programmes placing classics side by side with modern equivalents – like Mike Yarwood compared to Rory Bremner, for example, or Morecambe and Wise put next to Fry and Laurie. And I’d love to see some of the Dennis Potter plays again. Instead of all this we get endless reality shows – celebrity this that and the other, which do not interest me But At All.*

In other news, my Proust has just arrived (that was quick) and I have dived straight in once more to Swann’s Way. Deep joy. In between all these activities I am listening to this recording of Beowulf in the original. Have a listen – it’s very epic.

*in fairness I should point out that there’s a Victoria Wood evening coming up either tonight or tomorrow, so that should be good.

Kirk out

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth Ah!

  1. The BBC have put their choicest back catalogue onto “BritBox”, a subscription streaming service in partnership with ITV and Channel 4.

    It’s not The Singing Detective or Pennies From Heaven but Potter’s final dramatisations, “Cold Lazarus” and “Karaoke”, both with Albert Finney, can be watched at present, for free, on All4, streaming online.

  2. I have Elizabeth is missing recorded, but yet to watch; I expect it to be a difficult watch, but great acting, of course. Yes, 100% to the Dennis Potter repeats. Cheers, Jon.

  3. It’s not as difficult as you might think – in the end quite uplifting I thought (and not in a Jacob Rees-Mogg way)

  4. I liked Elizabeth Is Missing a lot. Jackson was as good as ever. I watched Elizabeth R the first time it was on, and once had the whole thing on VHS. I agree about Potter, and Play For Today, but I won’t pay for Britbox because of the ITV content that doesn’t appeal so much.
    Another old BBC drama series still worth watching now is ‘I Claudius’, with John Hurt and Derek Jacobi. I had that on VHS too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s