Criminal Minds: "Amplification"

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Stacy Keach's series was inexplicably axed after 3 seasons. Not too long after, they did another TV-movie, this one set almost entirely in in Las Vegas. Someone kidnaps Mike and then straps him into a parachute and pushes him out of an airplane. When he arrives in town, he's pissed. Whatta ya know, shortly after, he's FRAMED for a murder. The rest of the story is his stumbling across one murder after another, and being suspected of being the killer in all cases. It gets frustrating, and worse, boring, very quickly. Perhaps this is why we didn't get to see a SERIES of TV-movies following up this one?

Lindsay Bloom, who had inexplicably VANISHED halfway thru season 3 (a succession of "temps" filled Velda's slot as Velda was reportedly on a long-overdue vacation in Europe and-- apparently-- Rio), turns up, back again, in a 3-minute cameo. As does Pat Chambers, but, thankfully, no ratface Barrington, who always reminds me of an arrogant S.O.B. I used to work with in the 80's.

Ed Winter plays the 1st murder victim; Michelle Phillips plays the Vegas casino head of security who keeps trying to have Hammer arrested over and over and over, Lynda Carter plays a woman who bails Hammer out of jail, and Jim Carrey plays an accountant who gets annoying REAL fast.

Insanely, not long after this, the same producer did COME DIE WITH ME, a total reboot which starred Rob Estes & Pamela Anderson, which had Mike Hammer as a young P.I. living on a boat in Florida, whose career was allegedly inspired by Frank Sinatra's "Tony Rome". Pat Chambers was a woman in that one...  (Why?  WHY?????)

I'm watching a few more episodes of The Flash TV show (only a couple more to go). Episode 19 ("Done With Mirrors") has a couple of nice name-checks in it. There's an Infantino Hotel and a Garrick Gallery (an art gallery). 

Watching Daleks this week. "DESTINY" (mildly amusing), "RESSURECTION" (horrible, overly-complicated, utterly soulless,cold-blooded and excessively violent), "REVELATION" (sick, twisted, brilliant, but with a terrible sound mix and one REALLY bad effects shot-- made up for by one of the coolest characters to ever appear on the show, "Orcini", a Knight of the Royal Order of Oberon). Tomorrow night: "REMEMBRANCE" (the story that single-handedly turned the whole show around, and to my complete shock, actually made me like "Ace").

Naturally, after all this, the only sensible thing to watch Saturday night will be... Peter Cushing.  Smile

"Doctor, there's something I don't understand.  That police box!  Outside, it's perfectly normal, but inside, well..."
"Very good, young man! I like an inquiring mind..."

Today: the last really great episode of THE AVENGERS...  "The Gladiators".

The pre-credit sequence has a KGB agent whose specialty is unarmed combat addressing a line of picked men.  He describes how, at the start, there were 112 of them, but it's been narrowed down to 4.  And for the mission he has in mind, he only needs 2.  How to choose?  Simple.  They split into pairs and prepare to fight.  TO THE DEATH.

Right from the start, you know this is one REALLY SICK M*****F*****!!!

It cracked me up no end when, a few years ago, I realized the actor who played the KGB guy later played Jamie's father on MAD ABOUT YOU.    ;D

By the way, of the 4 final episodes, this is only REALLY good episode of "The New Avengers In Canada".  Laurie Johnson ressurected the "Cybernaut" music for the score.

I just watched the first 45 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. again

And if you need to ask why, you haven't looked at the calendar date, have you?


"Henry, was this with Mrs. Peel, or had Tara King stepped into the role by now?"

I did mention "The New Avengers In Canada".   : )

What happened was, the Tara King episodes ("Tara-ra-boom-de-yay") were very popular in France.  Some French producer inquired why they weren't sending any more, and found to his shock it had been cancelled (due to the rampant incompetence of ABC in America, who SABOTAGED the show after THEY were the ones who put up the money to do it ON FILM in the first place).

Linda Thorson had done a commercial in France, but proved unavailable (or uninterested) when Brian Clemens began looking into a revival.  Although some are turned off by it, I've always liked the team of Mike Gambit & Purdey, AND Steed, whether Steed takes a back-seat or not.  It feels very much like Purdey & Gambit are the "next generation", indeed, Gambit feels like "Steed without the pretense".  As Purdey mentioned to Steed in the pilot, "But YOU'RE no gentleman!"  Gambit doesn't even pretend to be one.  Steed is always kidding Mike about how "You can't help you're background."  While Steed came from a well-to-do family, Mike was working-class and not ashamed of it.  I suspect if they'd gone to a 3rd season, Steed might have taken a further back seat and eventually they would have been the field agents, and he might have been promoted to an office job-- even as happened in THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM UNCLE: "The Fifteen-Years-Later Affair".

A couple of factors doomed the show to a (relatively) short run.  The French backers somehow vanished halfway thru the 2nd season.  To finish it out, they had to scramble to find new backers.  To secure the funds, they had to film 3 episode IN France, and 4 IN Canada!  What I find bizarre is one guest-actor, Maurice Marsac (who later popped up on a NIGHT COURT, of all places) was in 2 stories filmed back-to-back as 2 different characters.  The 2nd, "K Is For Kill" turned out to be the only 2-parter in AVENGERS history, and possibly the most violent ever, with all the army-style shootouts.


The Canadian episodes continued the trend of having Russians as the baddies in ALMOST every episode.  "Complex" involved a Canadian Secret Service security building turning out to have been designed by an architect working for the Kremlin, and was somewhat of an update of the Tara King story "KILLER" combined with elements of the Emma Peel story "THE CYBERNAUTS".  The mystery angle was played better than in some episodes, though watching it again, it SEEMS almost too obvious, once you already know what's going on.

"The Gladiators" involved a man trained to be a killing machine, and capable of stopping knives, OR BULLETS, and bunching through solid steel.  There's a funny scene where the NEW head of Canadian security (the previous one was killed in "Complex") invites Steed to sit in on a meeting with a Russian diplomat who he has "gotten to know very well".  When the man arrives, he lights up as soon as he sees Steed-- turns out they're old friends!  The Canadian guy, he treats with contempt by comparison.  Apparently they've moved into a new building by this episode.  I'm sure they weren't meant to be watched back-to-back.  STUPIDLY, CBS in America, who ran the show in LATE night (at the time, it was actually considered "too violent" for prime time!!!  --hard to imagine looking at it now) ran them completely out of sequence.  In "Complex", Purdey says "I've never been to Canada!"  A rare bit of continuity, completely screwed over by running it after one of the other 3 Canadian eps.

"Forward Base", like "Complex", involves Russians trying to get a foothold in Canada without anyone knowing it.  A recurring scene from the story, when all the water from a lake suddenly VANISHES in minutes, was repeated in the film A VIEW TO A KILL, which also had Patrick Macnee in it.  That film also had a scene where a Russian official arrives to give a British agent an award for services rendered, just as happened at the end of "K Is For Kill".

"Emily", about a old car nick-named by the elderly lady who owns it, was possibly the STUPIDEST episode of the series ever made... and, tragically, the last.  At least when CBS ran the show, they put "K Is For Kill" last, just as they did with the RETURN OF THE SAINT 2-parter a year later.

I've gotten in the habit of watching these in production order, since I found out what it was (from Dave Rogers' 3rd AVENGERS book).  It generally just works so much better that way, as does STAR TREK.

I knew at least one person (at work) who told me Purdey (Joanna Lumley) was HIS favorite AVENGERS girl.  I know I had such a thing for her for many years.  It was a real SHOCK to the first time I saw ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.

from the Comic Book Plus board...

In many ways, for the first 2 years of DOCTOR WHO, Ian Chesterton (William Russell) was the show's HERO!  The Doctor started out as a mysterious trouble-maker who tended to pull things out of the fire, after he threw them into it in the first place.  Think of it this way...

Ian Chesterton -- John Robinson
Barbara Wright -- Maureen Robinson
The Doctor -- Dr. Smith
Susan -- Penny


This is especially noticable in the first 13 episodes (before The Doctor finally becomes friends with Barbara and stops being almost a villain).  When I finally got to see those early episodes (around 1985?), the similarities with certain aspects of LOST IN SPACE (as well as THE TIME TUNNEL) made me believe that unlike most Americans, Irwin Allen probably HAD seen DOCTOR WHO and was (ahem) "inspired" by it.

I would say the point where The Doctor really becomes the show's hero was in the 2nd part of "The Rescue".  Susan is gone, he no longer has to worry about protecting her.  In the climax, he confronts the baddie single-handedly, and projects an aura that just seems to scream at me that the character audiences tend to recognize from later seasons has finally arrived.

"The Keys Of Marinus" is one of my favorite Terry Nation stories.  It's got so much going on, so many ideas, great pacing (for once for such an early story).  Watching it in the mid-80's, it also struck me that a TON of things in it inspired things done later on the show (and not just "The Key To Time").  My only problem is, the ending is a total let-down and cop-out, and makes you wonder, what was all that about anyway?

Just watched INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D. (again!).  It's got not only "Professor Van Helsing" (Peter Cushing) but "Professor Quatermass" as well (Andrew Keir).  I also get a kick out of Philip Madoc's brief role as the black market guy, who comes to a BRUTALLY violent end, a few years before he first turned up on the TV show (he guested on the show 4 different times... twice in the 6th season!).

It's funny that in this, they mention the Daleks burrowing down to the center of the Earth... and some years later, Peter Cushing starred in AT THE EARTH'S CORE, seemingly playing the SAME character (under a different name).

Tomorrow I'm planning to see the other "Dr. Who" film... the one made IN JAPAN!   ;D

"Empire Records"  on FUSE movie channel.  The local cable company is previewing it on a free channel today, and I've seen the Runaways bio pic and then this great comedy movie that everyone loves, but I've never had the chance to catch til today!

My 19 year old daughter didn't want to watch the movie again, but sat through the D-Day sequence.  The day afterwards, she remarked that she's been watching too much cops and drama TV recently....because she caught herself about to ask why the solders pouring off the LRCs into the hail of bullets on Normandy beach were going down but not getting up again. She was thinking they were getting hit in the chest and that their vests would surely be able to save them.

Then she released that this was WWII in 1944... years before Kevlar.  ( Smart girl kept her mouth shut.)

Kirk G said:

I just watched the first 45 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. again

And if you need to ask why, you haven't looked at the calendar date, have you?

I picked up DVD sets of a few seasons of Sliders recently, and last night I started watching Season Two. I have fond memories of that show, and so far I've been enjoying it a lot.

The last week or so... the craziest run of DOCTOR WHO I've ever programmed for myself...


I have never watched the show in any form like this before... I'm having a blast doing so!

Tonight on WHO...

"You're too late, Doctor!  Nothing can prevent the catharthis of spurious morality!"

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