The last stretch in this gargantuan, never-let-me-do-it-again, failed A-Z challenge! If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, you’ll not be aware that I’ve squashed most of the second half of the alphabet into two posts. Because I can. And also because I was really bad at a daily blog!
Shall we move on?
U: Under Siege is one of those films that when I watched it (oh young, naive brain), it seemed like it had the best action, character development and plot-driven suspense ever. In reality, it was a load of testosterone-fuelled, sexist tosh. But I’m really struggling to think of anything else from my youth that I watched beginning with U, so please forgive me for scraping the barrel!
If you’ve never seen it, the premise goes something like this: Navy vessel. Cranky chef (Seagal). Some retirement celebration with a scantily clad Baywatch star jumping out of a cake, used as a cover-up to stage a coup and take over the ship. In steps Seagal with his loose limbs, martial arts training and a kitchen knife, and you have the poor man’s version of Die Hard, on water.
Something in my head tells me Trump would be a fan of this movie…
However, I’ll not deny that when first viewed, I seriously did enjoy it. There’s so much to be said for hindsight!
V: The letter says it all when it comes to the title of the sci-fi show I loved…but probably shouldn’t have watched!
A reptilian race of aliens had taken over Earth and, I presume, the show was about fighting back. You see, I don’t remember that much about it, except weird babies with snake tongues and that there seemed to be a lot of sex in it. So this 10 year old obviously decided it was a great thing to watch, if she was able to see something taboo, before being caught out!
As a side note, it did me no harm. I did not turn into some promiscuous nymph or become scarred by the viewing. Probably as it was either a) actually very tame, b) turned off within 30 seconds by my parents or c) both! I never did bother with the 2009 re-imagining though.
W: Far more wholesome, are my collection of Ws.
No family with more than four members in it could have gone through the 70s or 80s without shouting out everyone’s name in turn at bedtime. Why? Because The Waltons of course! Set in the time of the Great Depression, it followed the life of eldest child, John-Boy, his family and their daily struggles. It blends together for me with Little House on the Prairie, being of a similar nature but Sundays were never complete without it.
Moving on to a tatty-head after my own heart, Worzel Gummidge was just a delight. Based on a children’s book, John Pertwee brought the scarecrow to life, changing his heads for different occasions and causing mischief for his two young friends who would visit the farm in the holidays.
Joined by his love interest, Aunt Sally, I recall a lot of mayhem, tea, cake and sayings (that I still use today) such as ‘simplest is bestest’. They’ve just announced a 2018 modern-day reworking of it, starring Mackenzie Crook. They have some very big, welly boots to fill!
However, the heroine of the era, was the DC Amazonian warrior princess, Diana a.k.a Wonder Woman.
Although I’m a big (and pleasantly surprised) fan of Gal Gadot’s recent incarnation of the comic book superhero, for me it will always be Lynda Carter and her piercing blue eyes that I think of in the title role.
I had the costume but as I unfortunately didn’t have the ability to transform into it like Diana did on screen, I’d perform the signature spin, rush upstairs, change, come back and finish the spin as if it had all been seamless! Then, I’d launch into the title track and lasso one of my teddy bears…
These days, I’m a Marvel fan and even then, my time was weighted towards them with Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man. But I’ll always reserve a place in my heart for Wonder Woman and enjoy that not everything in the DC universe is dark!
X: “Things are getting strange, I’m starting to wor-reeee. This could be a case for Melder and Skelleeeeee.”
No, I haven’t misspelled the names of the protagonists in arguably the paranormal series I have the the longest relationship with. I’m just trying to sound Welsh and sing like Cerys Matthews!
X-Files, with FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, was unlike anything else on TV at the time I feel. Whilst Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected had the weird and wonderful element, nothing developed the characters or have an ongoing storyline like this did…or made things feel real by being an actual government agency tracking down aliens!
I lapped up every episode, trusted no-one, wanted to believe and had a mahoosive crush on Fox. The twists, turns, conspiracy theories and seriously bizarre ‘monsters’ (Eugene Tooms still tops the list), fuelled my love of the strange and paved the way for me watching Buffy, Charmed, Ghost Whisperer, Most Haunted, 4400, The Leftovers and anything else that involved the unexplained.
I have a single episode left to watch in the newest series (after a revival two years ago), which I believe is and feel should be the last. It lost its way several time over the years and watching it now seems dated, despite being in the present day. I guess we’re just spoiled by other shows that copied and improved the formula.
It has been great to see Mulder and Scully grow older and watch their relationship progress but I have no real interest the overall story arc anymore, so it seems I’m ready to say goodbye… 😦
Y: No TV memories for this letter but we do have a film in the form of Young Guns.
I have to confess, I’m not sure I’ve seen this movie all the way to the end but I wasn’t really bothered about a plot. I was only in it for Estevez! Emilio was part of the Brat Pack, a group of teen / early twenties actors who starred in several coming of age films in the 80s, most notably Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s fire. And everyone wanted a piece of them!
I missed both those films at the height of popularity, seeing them much later as an adult. But Young Guns came a few years after and I was at an age when I could appreciate a pretty face. Of course, my excuse to watch it was the historical accuracy as it retold the life of Billy the Kid. But I was Billy-the-kidding nobody!
Z: And finally, the end of the alphabet is claimed by another caped crusader, this time the magnificent Zorro!
The image used shows the Zorro I remember most, from the 90s, but it has had so many reworkings over the years, since the birth of the stories in 1919, that I’m sure I’ve caught many other versions too.
Like a Latin version of Robin Hood, the masked vigilante helped the indigenous people of California and fought for the poor. With his signature all-black costume and wielding a rapier sword, he cut a dashing figure and literally cut Z into everything as his calling card. All round, swashbuckling fun! (I wasn’t sure if buckling swashes only worked for pirates but as the official definition states ‘to engage in daring and romantic adventures with bravado or flamboyance‘, there’s clearly no better way to describe him!)
And there we have it. the A-Z challenge is completed, albeit incorrectly and at the wrong times. Thanks for following along with my nostalgic look back at TV memories – I hope it’s brought back many of your own. 🙂
IMAGE CREDITS: AV Club, Den of Geek, Radio Times, Hallmark Channel, YouTube, iO9, DVD forum,