Daily Archives: January 9, 2009

It’s Classic Clip Friday: Who Dares Wins – The Coffee Advert

The Choob will be welcoming the weekend from now on by sharing a classic clip from the TV archives.

To kick us off, here’s a memorable offering from the excellent, ground-breaking, but largely over-looked, 80s late-night comedy sketch show Who Dares Wins.

The show ran from around 1984 till 1988 and was one of the most notable shows from very early days of Channel 4 (which launched in 1982). Filmed in front of a studio audience, it starred a talented cast of rising comedy stars: Jimmy Mulville (better known as a TV producer these days and as co-founder of Hat Trick Productions), Rory McGrath (a familiar face on panel shows), Philip Pope (who mostly works as a composer of TV music these days), Julia Hills (best known for along-running role in 1990s BBC1 comedy 2point4 children) and Tony Robinson (who was also starring as Blackadder‘s Baldrick at the time and nowadays mostly presents documentaries, including popular archaeology show Time Team).

Who Dares Wins was clearly a spiritual successor to Not The Nine O’clock News – many of the performers and writers had contributed to that show.

A late-night slot, designed to appeal to a post-pub audience, meant the show could be more edgy and daring than comedies had been up till then – reflected in some biting satire… but mainly a lot of near-the-knuckle jokes and some swearing (still very much a novelty on British TV in those days).

The show was so successful that there was at least one live nationwide tour – The Choob was in the audience for a Glasgow performance and the site of a naked Tony Robinson clambering over rows of audience seats will haunt me forever.

Anyway, this classic clip is a sketch that parodies a cheesy, suggestive series of TV adverts  for instant coffee that were running at the time, starring Anthony Head (in the days before he became cool as Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Little Britain) and Sharon Maughan as new neighbours who flirted endlessly while discussing the merits of coffee granules.



And just for fun, you can see just how spot-on the parody was by checking out the original version of the advert:

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Flash Forward – Brannon Braga’s Vision For Future Of New Show

Sci-Fi Wire reports that former Star Trek executive producer Brannon Braga has been revealing more details about his upcoming sci-fi pilot for ABC, Flash Forward, which the network hope could be their new Lost.

The story begins with a strange event during which everyone on Earth falls asleep and has a 2 minute 17 second glimpse of their own futures, five months down the line. The show follows the effect the premonition has on various people.

At the premiere party for season 7 of 24 this week (on which he is a co-executive producer), Braga revealed that Flash Forward will reset itself each season, starting each new run with a new set of visions and ending when they come true.

He said: “Yeah, the structure’s not dissimilar from 24 and we want to reset the show at the end of each year, where we’ll do another flash forward at the end of the first season, and then potentially another flash forward at the end of the second season, each one kind of resetting the core characters’ visions of the future and introducing new characters.

“One of the cool things about the show is you have 5 billion potential storylines. And we plan to tell the stories of people all over the world. Obviously they’ll be focused on mainly people here in L.A., but we’re going to go all over the place.”

Braga added that the central theme of the show is free will vs. fate: “Thematically that’s what the show is about, for sure. Yeah, and seeing how these people’s visions come true or not come true or come true because they tried to not make it come true. Some people want it to come true. Some people don’t want it to come true. It’s a fascinating concept. We’re very excited about it.”

The pilot starts shooting next month, with a cast including Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger, John Cho, Christine Woods, Jack Davenport and Courtney B. Vance.

 The show was developed by Braga, producer/writer/director David Goyerand Goyer’s wife and producing partner, Jessika Borsiczky Goyer. David Goyer will direct the pilot.

Goyer and Braga’s last TV project together was the much-missed 2005 alien invasion sci-fi drama Threshold, which failed to make it to the end of its first season.

Asked how the shows compare, Braga said: “Just based on what David and I have been talking about, this’ll be more grounded. Threshold, I think, had a slightly more heightened reality to it. Our aim with this show is to make it more—to say believablewould belittle shows like Threshold or Star Trek—but just more relatable and more realistic. There’s one big science fiction conceit: these flash-forwards. That’s all there is, and so we want the show to have a naturalistic vibe to it.”

The show also has a long-term vision, Braga added: “It’s so early in the game, [but] we have a lot planned. We have a lot we want to do. Before we sold the show, we sat down, and we were like, ‘This is a big idea. We want to have as much as we can planned for the duration of the show in case it does go. We don’t want to be winging it.'”

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Who Watches The Minutemen?

As a one-time obsessive comics reader, and still an occasional dabbler, the Choob is looking forward to the long-awaited Watchmen film (assuming the legal problems over who owns the rights are worked out).

So I was pleased to see this behind-the-scenes featurette appear, spotlighting the Minutemen, the Golden Age counterparts of the main characters. Enjoy!

Click here for a High-Def version.

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