Archive for TV

The Remorseful Day

Posted in Biographical, Television with tags , , , on April 20, 2021 by telescoper

The final episode of Inspector Morse is on TV tonight, so I thought I’d reblog this post about it from over a decade ago.

According to the wordpress dashboard thingy that post has been viewed 44,412 times!

In the Dark

Not for the first time, I’m going to make an admission that will no doubt expose me to public ridicule. I can’t watch the last episode of the TV series Inspector Morse (The Remorseful Day) without bursting into tears at the end when it is revealed that the eponymous detective has died. Not that it comes as a surprise – the story has plenty of scenes that make it clear that Morse knows his days are numbered. Take this one, for example, wonderfully acted by John Thaw who was himself very ill while this episode was being filmed; he died in 2002.

The poignant quotation is from a poem by A. E. Housman. Here’s the poem in its entirety.

 Yonder see the morning blink:
The sun is up, and up must I,
To wash and dress and eat and drink
And look at things and talk and think

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Posted in Television with tags , on March 14, 2020 by telescoper

Who among you is old enough to remember the 1975 TV series Survivors?

I remember it well, as it scared me to bits. I never figured out, though, why if 99% of the human race had died, why were there no bodies anywhere?

A Little Bit of Hummel

Posted in Music with tags , , , on June 24, 2012 by telescoper

I came across this bit of music a while ago. It appears in the very first (pilot) episode of the detective series Lewis. You can find it at the start of this clip and later on about 6.30 into the clip. It’s the central Andante movement of a Trumpet Concerto by Johann Nepomuk Hummel, of whom I knew nothing at all before hearing his name on this programme.

It turns out that Hummel is actually a leading figure in the history of classical music and in his own lifetime was every bit as famous as Haydn and Beethoven; he was a pallbearer at the latter’s funeral, in fact. He died in 1837 with his musical reputation apparently secure, but was quickly forgotten. Always a bit overshadowed by Mozart, when the romantic era dawned Hummel’s classical style was considered extremely old-fashioned. It’s just another illustration of a fact that applies not only in music but also in many different spheres of activity: popularity in one’s own lifetime is by no means certain to turn into renown thereafter…

I don’t usually like the sound of the classical trumpet that much- I prefer the broader and more expressive way the instrument is used in Jazz, whether it’s the brassy brilliance of Dizzy Gillespie or the moody melancholia of Miles Davis – but this piece is really lovely, especially when played with beautiful clarity by Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth.