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War of the Worlds - Oh dear...

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I did enjoy the tv adaptation of Sword of Honour, though (although much of the subplots were lost - where was the smoothly treacherous Sir Ralph Brompton, the cynical self-seeking careerism of Ian Kilbannock, the utopian folly of Joe Cattermole, and much else?). Daniel Craig was rather good as Guy Crouchback, Ritchie-Hook suitably ghastly, Ludovic was well realised.. definitely a success. 

 

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1 hour ago, JSpencer said:

Hollywood is renowned for "based on true events" and taking us off in a totally different direction.

 

Nolan's Dunkirk film, captures the tension well but way off the mark for historical accuracy (who has even seen a spitfire shoot down aircraft on empty fuel tanks? and what the hell was he doing over the actual beech itself where naval gunners had orders to shoot down any aircraft that flew there? and so on.....)

and boats with stainless steel cockpit rails and plastic fenders..

The train at the end taking survivors home using 1950s mk1 stock with interiors that actually looked 1950s!

 

The new Midway film, portraying an actual pilot in the Midway battle as a sort of WWII Top gun film Maverick. The real chap was quite reserved and seriously professional. Portraying a book wrong is one thing, but reinventing the entire character of a real world veteran who fought for our freedom is another. We then have 200 knot planes skimming the sea with wing tips (your plane would crash and kill you instantly), planes weaving in and out of Japanese warships (they were spread over a 20 mile radius, the chances of flying over one is remote let alone several) and if the Japanese actually had AA flak like the film, they would have won the war!

Try The Great Escape for altering characters.. Steve maqueens role didn't exist and several others were mash ups or re inventions 

 

The last Wonder Woman film has a lot of errors for WWI (how did refugees in 1918 cross no mans land? Why are allies from different nations mixed in the same trench?...) but that at least is based on a geek's originally child's comic book (fun fiction), and the train, though technically post WWI (except the loco which is pre WWI) was pretty well chosen given the operating constraints of modern railways.

How about Doctor Who, Winston Churchill and daleks wearing khaki webbing..

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1 hour ago, alastairq said:

 Plus, that poor devil who lost his shirt in both films whilst manning an AA machine gun?  

 

The significance of the black guy (actual name Doris Miller) manning the AA gun during the attack at Pearl Harbour, is that, at that time, the US Military did not allow black servicemen to use guns. They could normally only work in the engine room or in the mess in the Navy. So when Miller took over firing an unmanned AA gun, and then went on to bring several injured sailors to safety, he rightly earned himself the Navy Cross.

 

Actually, many black American sailors joined the submarine service because, although nominally they worked in the mess, on a submarine every crew member is trained to do any job, just in case.

 

These stories are far more interesting (and socially relevant) than the Beeb's WOTW.

 

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8 hours ago, JohnR said:

In terms of what can be done to change train scenes filmed on a heritage railway into something more appropriate, here is a video of how the Train crash in Ripper Street was achieved..

 

 

I'll leave others to notice which locomotives were wrong for late Victorian London but I did notice Stothert and Pitt level luffing cranes in the London docks at least twenty years before Claude Toplis invented them and electrically powered cranes in the late nineteenth century? 

 

In terms of general period impression I doubt if that is going to stop anyone's enjoyment (not mine certainly). The clip does show what good CGI is capable of so there's really no need for TV producers with decent budgets to portray Britain's trunk railways as single tracks full of curves winding there way through the depths of the countryside.  

Edited by Pacific231G
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6 hours ago, Mike Storey said:

 

Why? 

 

I can think of countless progs and films "based on", but which go off in a very different direction.

 

Why bother re-making something which has been done before?

Yes, we certainly don't need any more productions of Shakespeare and why do we need Rowan Atkinson to provide yet another interpretation of  Simenon's Maigret when we have the Rupert Davies' version from the 1960s and Michael Gambon's from 1992-93 ?  (I barely remember Rupert Davies, but really enjoyed the Michael Gambon series and am enjoyng Rowan Atkinson's even more. The books are pretty good too!! Simenon is generally my favourite author)

I have though seen films that I thought told the story better than the book. These include the 1960 version of the Time Machine with Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux and the 1973 adaptation of Simenon's novelette Le Train with  Romy Schneider and Jean-Louis Trintignant - released in the UK as The Last Train presumably to avoid confusion with the Burt Lancaster film. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

Yes, we certainly don't need any more productions of Shakespeare and why do we need Rowan Atkinson to provide yet another interpretation of  Simenon's Maigret when we have the Rupert Davies' version from the 1960s and Michael Gambon's from 1992-93 ?  (I barely remember Rupert Davies, but really enjoyed the Michael Gambon series and am enjoyng Rowan Atkinson's even more. The books are pretty good too!! Simenon is generally my favourite author)

I have though seen films that I thought told the story better than the book. These include the 1960 version of the Time Machine with Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux and the 1973 adaptation of Simenon's novelette Le Train with  Romy Schneider and Jean-Louis Trintignant - released in the UK as The Last Train presumably to avoid confusion with the Burt Lancaster film. 

 

 

I did not see much of the Gambon version. Atkinson is way better than I expected and generally the filming is great with not too many glaring pics of Eastern European architecture.

 

The Rupert Davies series was filmed here in the UK and inappropriate village architecture featured frequently. Davies made a supplementary income. It was his own BL11 that was used.

 

My favourite Maigret was Bruno Kremer. Why not show those here with subtitles?

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4 hours ago, Ian Morgan said:

he significance of the black guy (actual name Doris Miller) manning the AA gun during the attack at Pearl Harbour, is that, at that time, the US Military did not allow black servicemen to use guns. They could normally only work in the engine room or in the mess in the Navy

 Yes, I understand that particular link....however, I was referring to the semi-shirted lad firing the AAMG on the airfield, in both Tora etc and Midway....[along with the fella who crashed and rolled what i believe was a bomb-crane truck,  into the hanger doors??]

 

 

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I did not see much of the Gambon version. Atkinson is way better than I expected and generally the filming is great with not too many glaring pics of Eastern European architecture.

 

The Rupert Davies series was filmed here in the UK and inappropriate village architecture featured frequently. Davies made a supplementary income. It was his own BL11 that was used.

 

My favourite Maigret was Bruno Kremer. Why not show those here with subtitles?

Budapest has often been referred to as "The Paris of the East"

The oft stated logic with the Granada series (Gambon) was that if you wanted a city that looked anything like 1950s Paris, 1990s Paris was the last place you'd choose. Far less modernised Budapest fitted the bill rather better (until you needed a train, then it got silly) and, what they don't mention is that it was probably a lot easier to film in bureaucratically. The Rowan Atkinson Maigrets  have also been filmed in Budapest and the surrounding countryside.-  Montmartre, was the riverside town of Szentendre about twelve miles away.

The Bruno Cremer Maigrets were mainly shot in Prague. They are available with English subtitles on Amazon Prime and in French they all seem to be on Youtube.

Edited by Pacific231G
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10 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Oh well, I tried for humour.

Give us a chance mate, some of us have been at work all day & only just catching up :(

I thought your comment was hysterical..!! :rofl:

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2 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

I'll leave others to notice which locomotives were wrong for late Victorian London but I did notice Stothert and Pitt level luffing cranes in the London docks at least twenty years before Claude Toplis invented them and electrically powered cranes in the late nineteenth century? 

 

In terms of general period impression I doubt if that is going to stop anyone's enjoyment (not mine certainly). The clip does show what good CGI is capable of so there's really no need for TV producers with decent budgets to portray Britain's trunk railways as single tracks full of curves winding there way through the depths of the countryside.  

 

Oh yes, there were a number of details - but for me it showed what CGI could do - I think if something was moving, it had to be real. But everything else could be computer generated.

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9 hours ago, Mike Storey said:

Why bother re-making something which has been done before?

The thing is, Mike, that no one has really done a completely faithful adaptation of the HG Wells novel, which in my view is a perfectly good and readable story in it's own right and doesn't need to be set in the USA or be made to jump about from 'resent day' to 'future' etc.

 

In many ways, the version that is most satisfactory from that point of view is the Jeff Wayne musical one.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Hroth said:

 

Annnnnnnnnnnnd we're back to the "Dallas/Bobby in the shower" scenario!

 

Oh, that brings it all back. Back in the seventies I used, amongst other things,  to make the evening menu trailers for BBC-1 several days ahead. Dallas, which was on film, was alway quite late getting to us and on more than one occasion  I had no idea what the story line was. Fortunately I had a standby line  "and at nine thirty (or whatever time it was) there's trouble for JR in Dallas"  It never failed. 

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In a way, I'm glad it was quite that poor.  For a few years now a friend and I have been talking about writing the book that H G Wells and Jerome K Jerome would have produced had they collaborated (let's not forget the hobby of miniature wargaming was basically created by the pair of them one evening).  I imagine Three Men in a Tripod would be hard-pushed to be as terrible as BBC's Bore of the Worlds.

 

Typical extract;

 

We beat it out flat; we beat it back square; we battered it into every form known to geometry – but we could not make a hole in it. Then George went at it, and knocked it into a shape, so strange, so weird, so unearthly in its wild hideousness, that he got frightened and threw away the hammer. Then we all three sat round it on the cinders and ashes and weeds and looked at it.

 

There was one great dent across the top that had the appearance of a mocking grin, and it drove us furious, so that Harris rushed at the thing, and caught it up, and flung it far into the air, and George fired at it with the heat ray. As a liquid puddle of metal fell to the ground we hurled our curses at it, and then we set off and strode away from the spot, laying down a choking screen of black smoke, and never paused till we reached Maidenhead.

Edited by James Harrison
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Robert Silverberg wrote a short story version of WotW in the style of Henry James, featuring that author (rather than Wells) as the narrator; one if the better pastiches around. 

Edited by rockershovel
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11 hours ago, James Harrison said:

We beat it out flat; we beat it back square; we battered it into every form known to geometry – but we could not make a hole in it. Then George went at it, and knocked it into a shape, so strange, so weird, so unearthly in its wild hideousness, that he got frightened and threw away the hammer. Then we all three sat round it on the cinders and ashes and weeds and looked at it.

 

Took me a couple of minutes to remember that they were trying to open a tin of Corned Beef.....  :jester:

 

But to my mind, the best anecdote in the book is the Cheese narration, including the journey on the LNWR from Liverpool to London.

 

 

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I hate to think what this bunch of scriptwriters would do with "The TIme Machine" or "The Shape of Things to Come", someone should take out a court order preventing them from producing any further adaptations of classic fiction.  Having spent the last few years thinking that nobody could do a worse adaptation than the Tom Cruise version (at least it had the haunting burning train sequence), this was by far the worst.   

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On the subject of the nature of content and emphasis on the BBC and elsewhere, my good wife spends a considerable amount of time watching the torrent of repeated “classic” soap operas which fill the airwaves. 

 

The difference between the mid-80s and later 90s is immediately evident, to the most disinterested observer (and anyone less interested in them than me, is probably dead.. )

 

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16 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Budapest has often been referred to as "The Paris of the East"

The oft stated logic with the Granada series (Gambon) was that if you wanted a city that looked anything like 1950s Paris, 1990s Paris was the last place you'd choose. Far less modernised Budapest fitted the bill rather better (until you needed a train, then it got silly) and, what they don't mention is that it was probably a lot easier to film in bureaucratically. The Rowan Atkinson Maigrets  have also been filmed in Budapest and the surrounding countryside.-  Montmartre, was the riverside town of Szentendre about twelve miles away.

The Bruno Cremer Maigrets were mainly shot in Prague. They are available with English subtitles on Amazon Prime and in French they all seem to be on Youtube.

 

Plain fact, it is a lot cheaper to film in Prague or Budapest than in Paris. And, yes, the authorities are more accommodating to film companies.

 

But, if they wanted to, there are still plenty of quiet corners of Paris that have changed remarkably little since the 1950s. Being almost as fussy about architectural style as I am about BR Mk1 carriages cropping up in the 1930s, I wish they would take more care about such details. Or simply take the Maigret stories and adapt them to 21st century French settings. The storylines are strong enough to do that.

 

Perhaps they should  build a big filmset somewhere and create a tourism venue with it. Build it in the right place (ex-coal or ex-steel) and they could probably get EU finance for it.

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Inspired by James Harrison's brilliant post .....

 

Three Men in a Tripod (To say nothing of the Martian)

 

We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it.  Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of post-colonial guilt come over him at times, that he hardly knew when to insert a suitable monologue into the action; and then George said that he too had fits of Imperial Angst, but hoped that joining the Fabian Society and Living in Sin would cure it.   With me, it was my Martian physiology that was out of order.  I knew it was my Martian physiology that was out of order, because I had just been Googling "Martians - proneness to disease", where links detailed the various bacteria that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.  I had them all.

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On 22/11/2019 at 16:36, Steamport Southport said:

How many locomotives from the era are there running about? Dozens of them in virtually every livery you can think of. Plenty of carriages as well. There really isn't an excuse for getting basic things wrong.

 

Cost.

And the aforementioned fact that your average viewer doesn't know one steam loco from another, so the expense of getting the exact rolling stock correct is basically a complete waste of money.

Remember that TV series and film makers are telling stories, not writing accurate history books. The details don't matter, only the story does (that still doesn't excuse WotW for a simply god-awful story pimped up with a load of socio-political contemporary claptrap as well!).

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On 24/11/2019 at 10:08, JSpencer said:

10 years would have been a different story.

Not so sure, by 1915 RN gunnery was not all that much better. Sure, we had artillery that could technically lob shells out to 18,000 yards but we were still reliant on optics to spot fall of shot and that's pretty hard even in good weather in the North Sea. British warships didn't even need heat-rays to help them blow up...

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On 24/11/2019 at 10:32, Edwardian said:

Regarding artillery, Wells seems to have been fairly well up on technical matters.

 

He would presumably have known, I'm sure, for instance that British field batteries of his time would have been equipped with high-explosive (HE) shells.  These were probably air-burst shells, fused to explode before ground impact in order to maximise their effectiveness.  Pre-tank artillery had, after all, been designed to kill people and horses.  There were no land-based armoured fighting vehicles, and, therefore, no armour-piercing rounds to combat them.

True airburst ammunition was not invented until about 1915 with the need for a shell to explode at altitude and shower canvas aircraft with splinters. I believe these were activated via a pressure sensitive fuse so that the burst was triggered at a certain altitude. All previous "airburst" ammunition was shrapnel which exploded with a time-fuse, as invented in about 1790, all similar time fuses being advances on the basic technology used by Wellington in the Peninsular war. If I recall, the single tripod that was brought down by the artillery battery in the book was done by a lucky hit that caused a shell to impact the hood of the machine and therefore explode via its contact fuse.

I always thought this was why the Victorian artillery of the book was so useless vs the machines; the gunners had to pinpoint a direct hit on it's "head", a miss even by a couple of feet would go flying by and land on some hapless farmer near Reading.

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On 24/11/2019 at 17:38, JSpencer said:

 

Shells don't explode on contact with water, the shock triggers a time fuse, it will probably reach a depth of about 5 metres then boom.

 

This is completely incorrect, at least for WWI era naval artillery. Both HE and AP shells had contact fuses so that they burst immediately upon impact. The huge white columns of water you see in WWII era naval action film are shells exploding on contact with the sea, not the splash of an unexploded shell hitting the sea.

John Campbell, in his exhaustive study "Jutland - An Analysis of the Fighting" breaks down in detail the impact and effect of every single large calibre shell strike (11" plus) obtained by both sides during the battle. What makes interesting reading is that British shells often broke up outside of the main German armour belts but fragments of them got through and did considerable damage to steam lines, electrical wiring and feedwater lines, enough in several cases to cripple German ships, so the technical calculations where X weight of shell or bursting charge was needed to defeat Y thickness of Krupp steel armour was found, in practice, to be not terribly relevant, as shells technically incapable of defeating an armour belt of a certain thickness could still get partly through and do a lot of damage.

 

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On 26/11/2019 at 12:37, F-UnitMad said:

I'd stay there, if I were you. The 20th Century takes a massive nose-dive in 1914..... 

and crashes and burns in 1917...

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On 03/12/2019 at 09:05, Enterprisingwestern said:

 

Now there's a phrase you don't come across very often, if at all. 

(Discounting his Oompah Loompah performance in Charlie and the chocolate factory!)

 

Mike.

Jack Reacher anyone?

 

Little Tommy Cruise pretending to be a 6'7" 17stone of solid muscle type of guy.  Perfect bit of casting..........................

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