January 25, 1978: Holocaust 2000 opens in UK cinemas

1978-Holocaust-2000-poster-Wikipedia
Holocaust 2000 (1977)

Holocaust 2000 (aka The Chosen or Rain of Fire) is a horror film starring Kirk Douglas.

The world will be destroyed in a rain of fire. It is written.

Despite doomsday warnings from throngs of locals, wealthy industrialist Robert Caine makes the controversial decision to build a nuclear power plant near a sacred cave in the Middle East. But before Caine can reap the benefits of his latest bid for global domination, he discovers that his son, Angel, is the Antichrist, who is planning to use his father’s project to trigger the end of the world.

Notable cast & crew

  • Kirk Douglas, “Robert Caine”
  • Simon Ward, “Angel Caine”
  • Anthony Quayle, “Professor Griffith”
  • Virginia McKenna, “Eva Caine”
  • Geoffrey Keen, “Gynecologist”
  • Ennio Morricone, soundtrack

Selections from the soundtrack by Ennio Morricone

 

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

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December 21, 1979: The Return of the Saint first airs on US TV

1978-The_Return_of_the_Saint-WikipediaReturn of the Saint was a British action-adventure television series starring Ian Ogilvy that aired for one season in 1978 and 1979 in Britain on ITV, and was also broadcast on CBS in the United States. It was co-produced by ITC Entertainment and the Italian broadcaster RAI and ran for 24 episodes.

Return of the Saint is a revival/updating of The Saint, a programme based upon the stories of Leslie Charteris that had originally aired from 1962 to 1969, and starred Roger Moore as Simon Templar (the character, in turn, had been introduced by Charteris in a series of novels and short stories dating back to 1928). An independently wealthy, somewhat mysterious ‘do-gooder’ known as ‘The Saint’. Simon Templar is shown travelling around Britain and Europe, helping out the people he encounters, though he is also often summoned by past acquaintances.

The series borrowed a few storytelling elements from its predecessor. Once again, each episode began with Simon narrating an introduction to set the scene for viewers, and each pre-credit sequence ended with an animated halo appearing above Templar’s head as he was identified. Return also made a recurring reference to the 1930s–40s film series, and the 1940s radio series that starred Vincent Price as Templar: just before the opening credits begin, a short musical phrase is heard that is not part of the theme music for the Return of the Saint, but is the character’s signature theme from film and radio.

Other than these cosmetic touches, there is no continuity implied between the Ogilvy and Moore series.

The first story, “The Judas Game”, featured British actress Judy Geeson. Other stars making appearances include Joss Ackland, Kate O’Mara, Burt Kwouk, Ian Hendry, Christopher Timothy, George Cole, Cathering Schell, Linda Thorson, Gayle Hunnicutt, Britt Ekland, Mel Ferrer and Sam Wanamaker.

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

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K9

K9_in_the_TARDIS
K9

K9 was the designation given to a series of intelligent, dog-like robots who served as companions of Professor Marius, the Fourth Doctor, Leela, Romana, and Sarah Jane Smith.

K9 Mark I, II, III, and IV addressed whoever was directing them as “Master” or “Mistress” depending upon gender, and used the formal “affirmative” and “negative” rather than “yes” and “no”. They were programmed to be both loyal and logical, with a penchant for taking orders literally, almost to a fault. Their striped collars mirrored the Fourth Doctor’s trademark scarf.

K9 had a personality very consistent across the models with some contact with the Doctor. He was polite and formal, with pedantry bordering on condescension. Though he often displayed feelings such as sorrow and self-regard, he often stated that he had not been programmed to have emotions.

He did not use contractions such as “you’ve” for “you have” and addressed others by titles such as “Master”, “Mistress”, “Doctor-Master” (to refer to the Doctor) or “Young Master” (Adric). Though he did not seem to resent his subordinate status, he sided with the Doctor’s companions over the Doctor and showed a dark side, regarding other artificial intelligences with contempt.

With his great intelligence, he had a tendency to bore people with facts and did not stop immediately when asked, as he did to Leela on Pluto. When being told that he would have to stay behind in the TARDIS, K9 often argued, giving the Doctor reasons why he should go such as “he would be a good dog.” K9 always wanted to assist the Doctor.

K9 Mark I

Professor Frederick Marius, who invented the first K9 in the year 5000 while working on the asteroid K4067, described him as “my best friend and constant companion.” Marius had a dog on Earth, but weight requirements did not allow him to bring his real dog into space, so he built K9. Marius used his own medical computer, a state-of-the-art intraresponsive brain app, protective anti-radiation cladding, probes, a laser scalpel, a vision and voice box and two scanning antennas.

The Professor offered K9 to the Fourth Doctor as the same weight requirements made him unable to take Mark I back to Earth. After adventures with Leela and the Doctor, Mark I decided to stay on Gallifrey with his “mistress”.

Appearances

  • The Invisible Enemy (from Part 2)
  • Image of the Fendahl
  • The Sun Makers
  • Underworld
  • The Invasion of Time

K9 Mark II

The Doctor obtained or constructed at least one backup model of K9. Immediately after leaving Mark I behind with Leela, he unpacked K9 Mark II. This version of K9 accompanied the Doctor and his new companion on their quest to locate the segments of the Key to Time.

This K9 exhibited the ability to sense and warn others of danger. He was also more mobile than his predecessor.

K9 travelled to E-Space with the Fourth Doctor and Romana II, where they met Adric. Damaged by the time winds, K9 Mark II could not cross back into N-Space with the Doctor. He decided to stay behind at the Gateway with Romana II to help her free the remaining Tharils from slavery.

Appearances

  • The Invasion of Time (Part 6, boxed)
  • The Ribos Operation
  • The Pirate Planet
  • The Stones of Blood
  • The Androids of Tara
  • The Armageddon Factor
  • Destiny of the Daleks
  • The Creature from the Pit
  • Nightmare of Eden
  • The Horns of Nimon
  • The Leisure Hive
  • Meglos
  • Full Circle
  • State of Decay
  • Warriors’ Gate

K9 Mark III

A third model, K9 Mark III (again either obtained or constructed by the Doctor), was shipped in 1978 to Sarah Jane Smith at the home she had shared with her Aunt Lavinia in South Croydon during her companionship of the Third and Fourth Doctors (A Girl’s Best Friend).

After several adventures, K9 Mark III slowly began breaking down and eventually ended up deactivated in a cardboard box in Sarah’s attic. When the Tenth Doctor met Sarah Jane, he reactivated K9 and made temporary repairs. However Mark III ended up sacrificing himself whilst fighting strange, bat-like creatures.

As a heartbroken Sarah Jane watched the Tenth Doctor depart, the TARDIS dematerialised to reveal Mark IV. K9 said the Doctor rebuilt him with “new omniflexible hyperlink capabilities”.

Appearances

  • A Girl’s Best Friend (K9 and Company)
  • The Five Doctors

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links.

October 7, 1978 on ITV: Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night

Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night

1978-Bruce_forsyths_big_night_title-UKGameshows
Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night (1978), title card [UKGameshows]
Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night was a TV show screened on ITV on Saturday nights throughout the autumn and winter of 1978. It starred Bruce Forsyth. A total of 12 episodes were broadcast between October 7, and December 31, 1978. A further one off special was shown on April 4, 1980.

The show was made by London Weekend Television. Following the huge success enjoyed by The Generation Game, Forsyth was poached from the BBC for a reported £15,000 a show with each show having a budget of £250,000. The idea was that the show would provide Bruce with a vehicle for his many and various talents. The show was designed to take up an entire Saturday evening on ITV and win the ratings battle with the BBC. However, it was poorly received and was broadly unsuccessful with The Generation Game (now hosted by Larry Grayson) winning higher audiences. The first episode topped the UK television ratings, but episode two didn’t feature in the top 20, causing several attempts to revamp the format. Eventually, the show was cut to just 90 minutes in length and moved to a much earlier Saturday night slot, but still the ratings did not improve. Forsyth claimed in many subsequent on-screen interviews that the retooling did result in an increase in ratings, but this was not borne out by contemporary data.

The show featured some mini-games, like “Beat The Goalie” (a phone-in game with similarities to The Golden Shot) and little games with the studio audience – it also featured mini-comedies, such as a revival of 1960s series The Worker, with Charlie Drake as The Worker and Henry McGee (one of Benny Hill‘s stooges) as the man at the labour exchange, and also The Glums, a TV adaptation of short sketches from the radio series Take It From Here, with Jimmy Edwards reprising his role he immortalised on radio as Mr Glum, Ian Lavender (Private Pike from Dad’s Army) playing the role of Ron (played by Dick Bentley in the radio series) and Patricia Brake as Eth, the role played on radio by June Whitfield. Both those series were eventually made into a full series in their own right, but they were short-lived. The show also featured Cannon and Ball doing their own sketches, but the producer decided to axe their part from the show every single week, as they believed more Bruce was the answer to the problems to the show.

Each show also featured a game of The £1,000 Pyramid, hosted by Steve Jones, which was the first UK adaption of the popular American game show Pyramid. This show later became a standalone programme on ITV, with Jones remaining as host. In addition, Jones would go on to be one of the hosts of the UK adaptation of Jeopardy!

[Wikipedia*]

TV Times

7.25pm: Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night

Bruce in sparkling style fronting his brand new star-spangled series of 12 entertainment specials. Games for the studio audience plus viewers at home, situation comedies, music, celebrity spots and, what’s more, Anthea Redfern helps Bruce to host the shows.

Games included Teletennis, Beat the Goalie, and the £1,000 Pyramid. The first episode features situation comedies based on The Glums, starring Jimmy Edwards, Ian Lavender and Patricia Brake, plus Charlie Drake as The Worker, with Henry McGee. Rod Hull & Emu were visiting towns around the country, and Bette Midler performed with Alyn Ainsworth & his Orchestra.

[radiosoundsfamiliar.com*]


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October 5, 1978 on BBC1: Top of the Pops

Totp_logo_1973-1986-Logopedia
Top of the Pops (1964-2006), logo 1973-1986 [Logopedia]

19:20 – Top of the Pops

Introduced by Kid Jensen, with LEGS & CO, and the TOP OF THE POPS ORCHESTRA

THIS WEEK’s NUMBER ONE SINGLE:

“Summer Nights” by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John


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“Summer Nights” by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John is UK No 1 for seven weeks

Travolta-Newton_John-Summer_Nights“Summer Nights” is a popular song from the musical Grease. Its best-known version was recorded by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John for the big-screen adaptation of the musical, and released as a single that same year.

The single reached #1 in the UK on chart date September 30, 1978, for seven weeks.

Doctor Who: “The Pirate Planet”

Pirate_planet
The Pirate Planet (1978), title card

The Pirate Planet was the second serial in season 16 of Doctor Who. It was the second story in the Key to Time arc. The Pirate Planet was the only transmitted story for which Douglas Adams received sole on-screen credit.

Preceded by The Ribos Operation

Followed by The Stones of Blood

The Doctor and Romana I learn the second segment of the Key to Time is on the planet Calufrax. Yet they arrive on a planet called Zanak, which has been hollowed out and fitted with hyperspace engines, allowing its insane, half-robot Captain to materialise it around smaller planets and plunder their resources.

Douglas Adams reserved the novelisation rights to his television stories for himself, saying that he would like to novelise The Pirate Planet and City of Death when he had “run out of things to do”, and didn’t want another author writing them. However, he never got around to writing them before his death in 2001. It was the latest serial of the “classic” era to be novelised, only receiving this treatment in January 2017.

Notable Cast

  • Doctor WhoTom Baker
  • RomanaMary Tamm
  • Voice of K9John Leeson
  • The Captain – Bruce Purchase
  • Mr. Fibuli – Andrew Robertson

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links.