"Who says we have to like each other?" - rewatching Dempsey And Makepeace

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Mel O'Drama, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yesterday I watched Armed And Extremely Dangerous with the Brandon/Barber commentary. They know their episodes quite well, including episode titles, which was a nice surprise. It's rather sweet to listen to this married couple reminiscing about the thing that brought them together (albeit tacitly). I particularly enjoyed the moments where they were a bit more relaxed and banter-y. Like ten minutes in when they were speaking about choosing their characters' wardrobes, where Brandon suddenly observed with great horror "Oh my God. I'm talking to you about shopping.".

    Brandon confirmed in the commentary that this was indeed a blooper that he ran with.


    They mentioned in the commentary that they'd filmed at least The Squeeze and Lucky Streak before the opener. I'd love to know more about this, like which was the first scene they filmed, for example.
     
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  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Winner

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    I think there is a commentary for The Squeeze (if you've got the same boxset as me!) - haven't listened to the commentary for a while but I vaguely recall them mentioning their first scenes, so you should be able to find out.

    Swami
     
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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, there is a commentary for The Squeeze which I hope to watch before wrapping up my viewing. I'm sure you're right about them mentioning their first scenes. It's a number of years since I've listened to it too, so it all feels like new to me.

    Speaking of D&M box sets, I'm surprised the Network DVDs don't have the LWT logos which I'm fairly sure used to appear at the beginning. They're normally really good at including these. Also, some of the episodes are apparently edited for violence (most notably Tequila Sunrise). Again, this is very unlike Network, so they must have somehow ended up with different prints of the episodes. Apparently there's an international release (Australian?) that has the uncut episodes but lacks the bonus material.

    The series was shot on film, so it would be great if we get a blu ray further down the line. Network have already released D&M's spiritual LWT antecessor The Professionals on BD, and from the little I've seen it looks wonderful:








    It would be great to see Dempsey And Makepeace with this clarity, unedited and with idents intact.
     
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  4. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Winner

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    Yes, I must say I am tempted to get the Professionals boxset as well!

    Swami
     
  5. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Series Three has been a bit of a mixed bag in some ways and yet wholly predictable in others. There have been a couple of episodes that are tonally different, such as the obligatory Thriller Killer stalker episode, which have aimed for atmosphere and even a jump or two. A mostly successful experiment. But on the other hand the action has become rather A-Teamish and juvenile, with an abundance of gunfire and huge explosions the order of the day.

    Even by its own standards to this point, Dempsey And Makepeace feels like it's lost any kind of reality. With alarming regularity, Jim is facing off against hordes of bad guys, each equipped with machine guns which they aren't shy about using. With just his Colt Python, Jim takes them out one by one, each shot he fires landing with pinpoint accuracy no matter if he's shooting round corners or whilst lying down. The thousands of rounds fired off each minute by the bad guy all manage to completely miss him.

    Don't get me wrong, the stunts are impressive and the series is still fun, but the action sequences are feeling tired and formulaic in places. One episode in the latter part of Series Three featured about eight minutes of wordless gunfire which was incredibly tedious. Thankfully, Spikings and Chas have saved the day a number of times. Just cutting back to them in the grotty SI10 office for a few moments here and there brings instant believability. And the banter from Spikings is currently the thing I look forward to the most.

    There's just one episode left of the series. I believe Kate O'Mara is going to appear - something to which I'm greatly looking forward.
     
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  6. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Winner

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    Yes, Kate O'Mara does indeed appear in that.

    My only real criticism of the series is that I think Chas could have featured even more prominently than he did.

    Swami
     
  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The final episode, while not giving complete closure, at least had a sense of conflict resolution and a change of gear in the relationship between Makepeace and Dempsey. The acknowledgement that they both care for and have feelings towards one another is one that could easily have been quickly forgotten about had a fourth series entered production, but felt significant enough to make this a key episode. Which is wholly appropriate since it ended up as the series' coda.

    Kate O'Mara - presumably in between her two Dynasty seasons - effortlessly discards the glamour and soap-eze and slips back into the role of reliable British supporting player. As Joyce Hargreaves, her role on a literal level is to temporarily replace Makepeace who has resigned from the force. Metaphorically, though, she's here to play out the early stages of Harry and Jim's relationship - she turned off by his brash colonial ways (as with Harry in the pilot film, he arrogantly "corrects" her pronunciation of "Lieutenant"), he determined to do his own thing and partner be blowed. I enjoyed that she and Harry knew and liked each other (something that makes sense given their similar backgrounds), and we were treated to a nice scene in which Joyce brought Harry a bottle of champers and got to the heart of Harry's feelings for Jim. In a Knotsian touch, this was cross cut with Spikings and Jim having a similar conversation in which Spikings awkwardly tries to point out that Jim might have feelings for Harry. Appropriately for the final episode, the scene also represented a detente in Gordon and Jim's relationship, and there's a lovely moment where Jim starts his response to Spikings by saying "Chief... Boss... Gordon", to which Spikings silently boggles.

    Being a previously unseen member of SI10 is not without its difficulties. As a general rule, a new colleague that appears in the cold opening will be dead before the main titles. Joyce does a little better than that. But not much as it turns out in the long run. O'Mara did a wonderful job of lying perfectly still in the road - her character unconscious having been mown down by a speeding car - while Dempsey roared up behind her at great speed, screeching to a halt just behind her. Kate was in the foreground all the time, her face to camera and I was hugely impressed that she didn't flinch. A real pro.
     
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  8. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Winner

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    Yes, that is a lovely scene with Spikings and Dempsey. Equally when Joyce tells Harry quite forcibly that she (Harry) is Dempsey's best chance of staying safe.

    Swami
     
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