Friday, December 31, 2010

"Mission Improbable: Confessions of an Astronaut" - 2001

Did a little internet search and came up with this description of this game show, on which Robin was once a contestant:
Mission Improbable...challenges two teams of celebs you've heard of somewhere before to make movie magic (or something) on a budget of £750 given 48 hours, a title, a few production-y type people and three bizarre and random things to try and include in the film for extra bonus points...The films are judged out of 50 by the B-list celebrity judge.
Go look at the page...there's a couple more pix of Robin on it. Short-haired this year, must've been just after filming "U-571". Sounds like a lot of fun, I'd love to see how his film turned out!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Alladin, 2010

All you lucky fans in the U.K. have a chance to see Robin this holiday season in a play!

ID Pantomimes Limited presents
In association with Lincoln Theatre Royal
Back by popular demand CANNON & BALL as

Wednesday 15 December 2010 to Sunday 16 January 2011

The story of Aladdin and his wonderful lamp is one of the most popular tales of all time.
Cannon and Ball will be returning to Lincoln Theatre Royal with their wonderful brand of anarchic banter and knock-about humour to play the Chinese Policemen. Joining them is Robin Askwith (Gary in Benidorm), one of the best ‘baddies’ ever to appear in pantomime. Also starring is Michelle Hardwick (Lizzie Hopkirk in The Royal) and Lincoln’s very own Steve Barclay as Widow Twankey.

I feel like just ordering tickets for one of the shows and be content in the fact that there's an empty seat for me there, watching the show for me. Sniff sniff.

He does seem to be in a lot of these type of plays, though, so maybe one day I'll get lucky. These are called "Pantomime" shows, which aren't what we in America think of pantomime. From what I've gathered, they're family friendly shows featuring a well-known story, usually performed around the holidays. Audiences can participate in some parts, like booing the bad guy. Sounds like fun. Actually, we have one that is sort of like that here in my town of Astoria, Oregon called "Shanghaied in Astoria". It really fits the mold of an English Pantomime show, with the comedy and singing and flamboyant characters and a big bad guy to hiss at. Robin would be just perfect in it, hint hint ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stagg’s Night – 1983

Another film I can’t find! I also barely can even find any info about it!

Here’s the summary the British Film Institute website had on it:

Slapstick comedy based on the stag night of a chef.”

And Robin does get top billing, from the list of castmembers:

Cast Member ASKWITH, Robin
Cast Member AUKER, David
Cast Member SAVAGE, Mike
Cast Member ANDREWS, Joanna

So hmmm! Anyone out there see it? Want to give us a little review of it?? Was it a theater release? A made-for-TV movie? Why is this one so elusive??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Robin's a Tintin fan!

Found another page from someone who attended that "Memoribilia Show" I mentioned a couple weeks back - and here's a short interview he did with Robin, as well as another pic! My fave part is that Robin mentions his fave superhero is Tintin! Wow! Mine too! Ever since I was in 3rd grade and discovered the Tintin books at our local library. Only me and one other kid in class really loved him. Most American kids then just had no clue. Tintin "stuff" was very hard to find here, especially in those pre-internet days. So imagine my happiness when I got over to London at age 19 and found all kinds of cool Tintin collectibles to buy! Ah, Robin, we again think alike!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fenn Street Gang – 1971

This is the spin-off of the Please, Sir! series reviewed last time. It focuses on the lives of the 5C class who graduated from Fenn Street school at the end of the 3rd season and their jobs in the real world. The 4th season of Please Sir! was on the air at the same time as the 1st season of Fenn Street Gang, so stories sometimes entertwined. Like when Sir decides to quit Fenn Street school and no longer appears on that show…a few of the episodes of FSG will show what he’s up to.

So that brings us to Robin’s episode. It aired a week before his episode of Please Sir! Aired, and he plays the same character. In this, he is sitting in the unemployment office chatting with one of the former 5C class members when Sir walks in, also in need of a job. He looks amazing. I think 1971 was his best “hair” year. His part is not that big though, they really could’ve had anyone in that role. Later on in the episode he gets a job as an in-store demonstration salesman for a juicer named “The Wizard”. Funny, as we were just in Costco a few weeks back watching a similar demonstration, minus the hot ‘70s guy. While he is making his presentation, unfortunately the camera is focused on the Sir character yakking to other people, while you barely see Robin in the background. Until near the end when Sir comes over and asks him something. Hilariously, Robin tries to turn off the juicer and it explodes and the power goes out. So anyway, yeah, this is loosely the same character of “Eddie” that he plays in Please Sir. And this one aired first, so when in Please Sir he is hanging out in the pool hall boasting that he’s a man of the world because he “had a job”, this is probably what he is referring to.

Happily, the guy I found who was selling this series was happy to negotiate and let me purchase only season 1 (containing the Robin episode) for a reduced price. I’m willing to accept that there were no surprise Robin appearances in any later episodes (there were 2 more seasons), but feel free to let me know otherwise if you know differently! I did get through all the episodes of this season but don’t feel any need to learn what happens further to these characters.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birmingham Winter Memorabilia Show 2010

Robin made an appearance at this on Nov 20-21. Sadly, no, I didn't attend. I guess it looks like some sort of film memorabilia convention type thing. Not that interesting to me otherwise, but I would have loved to go meet Robin :( Sadness and woe, being half a world away! Anyhow, next best thing, another fan out there DID get to go and posted a bunch of nice photos of Robin on his flickr account at: so check them out! Robin looks good for his age, glad to see he still has his long hair. Can you believe how shiny it is???

Friday, November 19, 2010

Please, Sir! - 1971

This was a popular sitcom in Britain in the late 60s/early 70s. Robin is listed as only having appeared in one episode from 1971. I found someone on an online marketplace selling bootleg copies of the entire series PLUS a spinoff movie. Did I really want to puchase all that for one small glimpse of Robin playing some minor character? No. So I politely asked the guy if he’d be willing to sell me JUST that episode, plus a couple other Robin episodes from other series he was selling. Um, sorry, no can do. Really? You’re already bootlegging stuff and can’t push a button and re-copy 3 shows onto one disc for me? Sigh. But I held my tongue, who knows, this guy might be my only source. So I made an offer for the whole series PLUS another whole series that had just one Robin episode. Offer accepted.

Well, as I paid for the whole 4-season series plus its spin-off movie (where the class goes to camp), I might as well get my money’s worth and watch it. Actually, it’s not too bad. Kinda funny. Enjoyable. First season is filmed in black and white and is a cross between the movie “To Sir With Love” and “Welcome Back Kotter” A new teacher in a high school located in a working class section of London is given the school’s most unruly class of seniors: 5C. In England, at least at that time, not sure of now, grades were known as “Forms”. The 5 in 5C means 5th Form, roughly equal to our Senior class in High school. But if you want to go on to university it seems that there is a 6th form as well, but these kids certainly won’t be doing that. The C may stand for the not as smart group? “A” may be the smart group? I’m assuming that part.

So….of course the kids give the new teacher a hard time at first but also of course he quickly wins them over even though all their previous teachers have quit in disgust. And the viewers find out that these kids, underneath their smart mouths, have hearts of gold.

Robin originally tried out for the role of “Duffy” but lost it to the worst looking “teenager” imaginable. When the series starts in 1968 Peter Cleall, who plays him, is 24 years old! But looks much, much, older, despite his long shaggy blond hair. An 18 year old Robin would have been a lot more believable as a high school student. Funny enough, he is also the guy who played the aging Gary Glitter-esque rocker in “Confessions of a Pop Performer”!

Most of the other main characters also probably are not played by teenagers. There’s the “sexy” one, Sharon, who looks like a voluptuious woman in her mid-20s. I am amazed by her beautiful thick hair though! There’s the dowdy religious girl, Maureen, who has a schoolgirl crush on Sir. There’s the learning-disabled one who is abused at home. The streetwise one who boasts about how tough he is but has an overprotective Mum at home (played by the same actress who plays the nosy neighbor in “Beryl’s Lot”). And the one I like, the sharply dressed blond guy, who looks the youngest of the lot.

Despite Robin officially being in only one episode, in his autobiography he mentions he appeared in a few episodes in 1971 as a character named “Eric”. After wading through the first 3 seasons I finally come to season 4’s episode 6 titled “A.W.O.L.” He is playing a character named “Eddie”, not “Eric”. Faulty memory on the part of Robin? He is also not in ANY other episodes. Hmphs.

By the 4th season, the original class has graduated and it’s a big changeover at Fenn Street School. The show no longer focuses on just one class or teacher. Nor does it focus on a just few main students. But the kids are all really kids now, and definitely look like it. Each episode brings in different kids for the stories to revolve around. New teachers are introduced as well.

In “A.W.O.L” two boys in their late teens have been ditching class and hanging out at the local billiard hall. Robin plays an apathetic young man, none too smart, who also hangs out there. They are involved in mischievous petty theivery. A popular new teacher comes down to have words with him and to talk the kids into coming back.

It isn’t the best display of acting talent I’ve seen, but Robin sure looks hot with his long fluffy hair and groovy jacket!

On a side note, the actor that plays the energetic and dynamic young new teacher is Richard Warwick, who was in a few of Robin’s other works, including “If….” And went on to become good friends with him in real life, according to his book. He’s fun to watch in “Please Sir”, very flamboyant and cheerful. I looked him up on the web to see what he’s been doing lately and unfortunately, he died of AIDS in 1997. Too bad.

Season 4 was the last season of the show, and I can see why. Characters come and go which leaves the viewer confused. Richard Warwick’s character, who comes to the school with much fanfare, disappears all of a sudden without explanation. There’s so many different kids you can’t keep track of who’s who. The last few episodes focus on the core staff of elderly teachers who’ve been there since the beginning and get on your nerves after awhile. Why the show just couldn’t have continued to follow the original characters instead of spinning them off into a new show “The Fenn Street Gang” is puzzling.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stand Up Virgin Soldiers – 1977

Like in 1978’s “Let’s Get Laid”, Robin plays a short-haired soldier. His character is a lot more appealing in this one though, for some reason. He acts more like himself. And even with the short hair, he’s really hot! Maybe it’s because he made this one straight after “Queen Kong” and his glowing tan hasn’t faded yet.

The setting is 1950, Malaya, Singapore. The British army are there fighting some war – Korean, maybe? Robin is a likeable young soldier who pals around with a fellow soldier. They visit the local brothel, put on a talent show, play tennis, date nurses, get invited to a fancy dinner given by the officers…. Um, is this a war they’re in, or are they on vacation? There’s a tiny bit of a toned-down Timmy Lea in him, in a couple incidents where he either is bumping into a wheelchair-bound patient in the hospital or knocking something over at fancy luncheons or dinner. But it’s so much more subtle and nicely done in this than in the Confessions films.

This more serious-than-usual role again demonstrates the range he’s capable of . To go from a wacky hippie in Queen Kong to a believable 1950s era soldier is quite a shift!

I think anyone would find this film enjoyable. Although some of the dangers of war are touched upon, it is basically a lighthearted look at the fun and comradarie of life as a soldier. It was filmed in England, yet still you still get a realistic feel of them being in a hot, humid jungle environment. Everyone must have had to be continuously spray-bottled for them to have that “always perspiring” look!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Menace – “Trespasser” - Nov 17, 1970, season 1, episode 8

This week I’m treating you to yet another appearance that I cannot find to watch. There were two seasons of 23 episodes put out in the years 1970 and 1973. Wikipedia says that 21 of these are “lost”, but who knows. The originals may be stored somewhere.

It was a BBC drama described as “series of thrillers designed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.” In his episode, Robin plays a character named “Robbie Clay”. Man, it sounds like an interesting show!

Found a nice write up about the series in general on an informative website called “Action TV”. Here’s what they have to say:

“Jordan Lawrence was the creative force behind Menace, a series of twenty-three plays running to seventy-five-minutes which found their basis in the aspects, perceptions and representations of menace in various settings in and around the villages, townships and cities of the United Kingdom. The stories, whilst thematically linked, approached the essential premise from a wide variety of different directions, some subtle and some far less opaque. The nature of menace could either be reflected through a particular act, the body language of a particular character, the environment in which an episode was set, or a set of circumstances under which a character or characters was placed. The success of the series was firmly rooted in the changing nature of menace from episode to episode, and this became a potent allure for audiences ensuring healthy ratings figures and commanding attention from the popular press. The programme drew from the creative well of a fine combination of writers (amongst whom the most notable were Alun Richards, Roy Clarke, Hugh Whitemore, Fay Weldon and James MacTaggart) who were able to inject menace into darkly comic situations, and heighten darkly menacing situations to make a viewing pleasure transform itself into an uncomfortable time for the audience. The first series proved more popular than the second, probably because of the novelty value of the programme and, perhaps, by virtue of the fact that it was originally transmitted on BBC 2, the risk-taking arm of the corporation. When the programme shifted its home to BBC 1 for the second, shorter season, audiences were more accustomed as to what to expect from the series. Also, in part, the emphasis shifted more towards action rather than menace and thus, the original premise became somewhat watered down so its popularity somewhat waned…Menace was never commercially exploited, but with the announcement that Thriller is soon to be released on DVD in the United Kingdom, perhaps a raid on the BBC archives may now be warranted.”
-Text © Matthew Lee, 2004

I also found a cast listing at “Action TV” where they have summaries of a lot of the episodes but not this one!

Cast : Moira Redmond (Laurie), Gordon Jackson (Lander), Thorley Walters (Thatcher), Geraldine Newman (Pauline), Robin Askwith (Robbie Clay), Gerald Rowland (John Clay), Roberta Tovey (Annie Clay), Barbara Lott (Mrs Clay), Nick Brimble (The Locksmith) and David Quilter (The Doctor)

Well, I’ll keep track of it and see if it is indeed ever released!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Confessions of a Driving Instructor – 1976

The third in the “Confessions” series of movies Like, the “Window Cleaner” one, I’d previously just seen an edited version of it on the TNT channel. Now, thanks to my DVD player hacker code, I have finally seen the original, PAL format British release! Robin is still Timmy Lea, who again follows his brother -in-law Sid into business…this time buying an out-of-business driving school to run. The usual hanky-panky ensues. Robin’s love interest this time around is a somewhat mannish woman who is the daughter of the rival driving school’s owner. Not sure why she was chosen, as she looked way too old to play a “daughter” type role and didn’t blend in well with Robin. Unsure why they couldn’t’ve found him a nice, pretty, petite girl like in “Window Cleaner” and “Horror Hospital”!

After the “Pop Performer” fiasco this one goes back and more fits the mold of “Window Cleaner”. The story is a little more interesting, the jokes a little more clever, and the pointless sex seems to be turned down. I think Timmy only shags something like 5 women? Robin looks a little better in this one too, but still not quite his best. What is it during this time period? Maybe the hairstyle. Still looks like it has a weird cut growing out. OH. I think I know too…sideburns. I loved the sideburns in Horror Hospital and other appearances around that time. He’s too clean shaven in this! Ha ha. But at least you can definitely tell he’s gotten some sun recently – his tan lines are VERY evident in quite a few scenes, if you know what I mean!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Confessions of a Pop Performer – 1975

I’d been dying to see this one for years due to my love for anything concerning the early ‘70s British pop scene! Unfortunately, it turns out the band in this film attended the “Gary Glitter School of Pop” and are butt-ugly! They couldn’t somehow scrape up some hot looking guys in the vein of Sweet or T.Rex?? I’ll admit that the songs were catchy though, very glam-inspired. But wasn’t glam on its way out by 1975?

The movie itself was a disaster. With “Window Cleaner” you got a decent story and characters with some depth and feeling. This one is a charactature of it. Robin’s character Timmy has been made way too one-dimensional and doesn’t seem to have a thought in his head. They amped up the sex and thus this one does fall more into the “softcore” realm. The writers don’t bother with much of a clever story for each woman like in Window Cleaner, nope, it’s pretty much New Woman Meets Timmy and Starts Attacking Him. Without any rhyme or reason. And Timmy is stupider and clumsier than ever! I know it’s all for laughs but jeez. The joke gets a little old when EVERY single time a woman comes onto him Timmy acts like he has NO idea what she wants from him until his clothes are off. Um, he hasn’t figured it out by the 50th time this happens to him?

Plus, Robin just doesn’t look his best in this one. His hair isn’t as shiny and full and blond as it sometimes is, and is cut in somewhat of a bad shag. His skin pallor is sorta pasty, like it’s been a long winter in England that year!

The story: lamely put together. Timmy and brother in law Sid, still window cleaning, decide at the spur of the moment to manage a pop group they’ve barely heard. After that, they spend the rest of the time trying to get them booked in clubs and a record made and played. Their drummer suffers a hand injury so Timmy steps in. Robin’s drumming is the highlight of the whole film. He looks adorable in those scenes! And it’s a chance for him to show off his drumming skills, as he did used to play them in a band he was a part of in high school. If you don’t want to see the movie, at least you can watch those clips on You Tube!

Sigh. This one could’ve had so much potential!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Journey – 1982

Going through Robin’s film listings, I found this one that really doesn’t “fit in” with the rest of his body of work. Its synopsis: “Christmas story told through animation and 16th century Flemish drawings, with carols and extracts from the Bible.” And Robin is credited with doing the “music”. Interesting. I was not aware he dabbled in music composition. It is just 30 minutes long and was shown on Dec 24, 1982 in Britain. Would be interesting to hear how he got involved with something like this, but it is not mentioned in his book. Wonder if it’s trotted out every year over there or is instead stuck on a back shelf somewhere and long forgotten. Nevertheless, I’ll file this one away under “Will never get to see”.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Confessions of a Window Cleaner – 1974

Yes, yes, I know I did this one already. But…guess what? Remember, before I only had access to the heavily edited version I’d copied off cable TV years ago. I recently threw all caution to the wind and bought a PAL-format boxed set of all four “Confessions” movies! If I could figure out how to make my DVD player region free, perfect! If not, at least I’d have a cool collectible boxed set. But, using codes from a handy DVD hacking website I successfully changed all 3 of my DVD players into region free ones! Wow! It was super easy, too. This is one of those rare times I’m glad I’m living in the modern age where you can literally make anything work for you! The world of British DVDs is now open to me and no one can stand in my way!!!!

It was nice to watch a clean, sharp version of this! My old one on VHS had that deteriorating tape quality to it, plus all the cut aways to commercials. And now I see what a bad editing job they did as well. Many scenes were just cut off so short that the following dialog didn’t even make sense! Now as I watched this one I was thinking to myself, “Ah….so that’s what he meant when he mentions fetishes!” hehe

And right from the beginning you see how much had been taken out! Lots of scenes of Robin looking in windows and seeing naked women. Lots of Robin running around in bedrooms stark naked. With all that, though, I still can’t classify it as soft porn or anything though. You pretty much see all this in any R rated film of today. Absolutely no full-frontal guy action. He’s pretty discrete in keeping a leg or knee in front of what us female fans are curious about seeing! Even the infamous “soapsuds on the kitchen floor” scene I kept reading about being so shocking wasn’t really that shocking, as soapsuds covered every part of their bodies! It was also filmed in a madcap, fast motion way to make it silly rather than sexy!

Nothing really to review that I’ve not said in the previous review. A few extra thoughts: So many of these British movies/TV shows seem to center around families where adult children are still living at home, and when they get married, the new husband/wife just moves on in the family home! Does this reflect reality? Does it reflect reality in the ‘70s? Are taxes just too high over there to make a living where you can afford your own home?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beryl’s Lot – “Dancing Lessons” – Season 1, episode 4 - 1973

Back to this series. I’m trying to make them last, as I only have 6 episodes of them! This 4th episode, though, is getting to be somewhat tedious and formulaic. Again the story is about aging housewife Beryl, now fully enrolled in night school classes at the local college. Her husband again feeling pushed aside in their relationship. Robin’s character Fred again bickering with their teenaged daughter Rosie. Nice part of this episode is you get to see Robin’s nicely shaped, somewhat tanned shoulders as he lounges around the kitchen in a tight wifebeater style undershirt! Main theme of this one is that the college is giving a dance and she wants to go. Husband does not…she does anyway….followed by Rosie, some nosy neighbors, and Robin’s Fred so as to keep an eye on her!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Last Bus – 10 Oct 1968

Robin says this is his very first speaking part, which places it before “If….” Amazingly, I found it on YouTube! I knew beforehand it was something about “bus violence put out by the BBC for the schools" so I was assuming it was something about bullying on a schoolbus with Robin playing a character similar to what he played in “The Double Deckers”. But no. This interesting little half hour black and white dramatization takes a look at a late night double decker London bus with a few passengers on it, on their way home. On comes a group of 4 longhaired troublemaking youths, the leader of whom is Robin, playing “Robbo”. Another of them I noticed at the end was named Arthur Wild – could that be the brother of my beloved H.R. Pufnstuf’s Jack Wild???

The bus conductor comes around to take their fare. Funny how this is done! You don’t have to pay when you get on? The conductor walks around and asks where you’re going and lets you know the price! Seems like a big confusing hassle if there are a lot of people! Robin and his gang start giving him a hard time and don’t want to pay the full fare. Lighthearted arguing soon turn into angry accusations and racial insults (the conductor is Irish, the driver is black). The boys angrily leave the bus. But at the last moment grab the conductor and beat him up. The people on the bus sit in shocked silence, no one daring to go help out. The scene ends there and we are shown a man who talks to us a bit about what we have just seen. Then he starts to “interview” some of the characters from the film – ask them why they did nothing to help the bus conductor. Fascinating to hear their explanations and rationalizations. One older lady brings up a lot of issues you hear about today in America! And probably in Britain too. How she doesn’t know why, with all society does for underprivileged kids like these (free schooling, public housing, job training, etc) they still run around getting into trouble. I felt the interviewer’s comments back to her were a bit harsh, as she did have a point! What else is society to do about problem youths? Sheesh. The other people talked about fear for their own safety and worry for their families if something happened to them. They had a point too, and I’m sure most people could relate. How could the interviewer really expect these riders to go up against 4 strong violent young men? I suppose the 3 men on the bus could’ve gone out as a group but honestly, the older lady and the young girl would’ve been helpless (because, as you know from a lot of Robin's movies, all girls are good for is standing around and screaming a lot! ;-) )

I see the point the show was trying to make – how we should be involved and help each other but it would’ve made more sense to have put a few more people – stronger people! – on there.

Also, the “gang of toughs” looked more like a clean-cut mod pop group that a gang of serious street thugs that would act this way. It was hard to watch Robin be so mean and violent, he just doesn’t look like he SHOULD be! Was bus violence really a big problem back in 1967 London? I have to laugh just a little bit about this premise, me, who had to endure riding packed L.A. city buses full of gang members cursing, spitting, throwing things, carving graffiti into the seats and blasting rap music on my way to and from my private high school as a teen – as it went by the public high school on its way there. “Public school” has a WHOLE OTHER MEANING here in the US than it does in Britain! Give me a busload of troublemaking young Robin Askwiths any day!

As a sequel to this there was:

Sentence of the Court – 17 Oct 1968

But I can’t find it, so I’ll just give you this:

From the BFI website: “A sequel to 'LAST BUS', this semi-dramatised documentary looks at what the subsequent history might have been of the boys in the gang that attacked the conductor in Last Bus, what might have caused the boys to behave in the way they did, and what the nature of their punishment will be.”
Anyone have it? Could you YouTube it for me? Please?

2011 UPDATE:

Cool page I found which tells all about these shows:
And here's the YouTube of "Last Bus" - I meant to come back and put it on then just forgot about it, sorry!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cool it, Carol! – 1970 Aka The Dirtiest Girl I Ever Met

Joe (Robin) and Carol are small-town kids working in dead-end jobs. Joe is a butcher’s assistant, Carol pumps gas. Carol reminds me of a British version of the girl who plays “Jackie” on “That 70s Show”! To impress her, Joe tells her of connections he has in London, how he’ll be going there on business and did she want to come along? She, with dreams of a modeling career, agrees. On the train, she shows her adventurous nature by disrobing and trying to seduce him, but he nervously can’t keep up with her.

Upon getting to London they check into a hotel and hit the nightlife. Joe gambles away most of their savings and Carol makes out with some guys they’d just met. Joe tries to keep up his charade of having an important job to report to, but little by little she realizes he has been all talk. They wander around, hungry, trying to figure out something when she suddenly she decides to try her hand (just for fun) at playing prostitute. Eventually they find a sleazy older guy (who also played a sleazy sort in “Four Dimensions of Greta!”) who agrees to take them over to his place. As he has his way with her in the bedroom, Joe nervously stands by in the living room. When through, they agree to come back another time….but when they do, they find he has invited a whole group of guys waiting to get a piece of Carol’s action! What can they do but go along with it? Joe frets again in the living room, but in the end at least now they have some money to live on. Carol is upset over the whole thing, and Joe assures her she won’t have to do that again. They do instead find themselves talked into making a pornographic film together. This is when we get to see young Robin naked! But, alas, the shifty camera barely gives us a glimpse of his backside now and then and mainly focuses on the leering men surrounding the bed watching!

Eventually she breaks into modeling, and her career takes off. Joe comes along for the ride, as her manager. She gets a little huffy now and then about this, but mostly enjoys their new lavish lifestyle as they check into a luxury hotel and throw decadent parties.

They soon come to realize they are not happy after all and wind up back on the train to their old town and their old lives.

I must say, Robin really out-Brian Joneses Brian Jones in this one! His hair is perfect. He wears flamboyant late 60s/early 70s fashions and flowing scarves around his neck. He is young and vibrant and glowing! Whew. And he plays this “serious” role very nicely, very believably.

One of the easier films to find – even Netflix has it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tuf Boots Advertisement – 1971

Super quick review for this one, but when I say I want to review everything Robin ever filmed, you have to now give me points for being thorough! I found this on YouTube. He doesn’t speak, and is only in the ad for a few seconds. A bunch of men are modeling boots. He comes out in his pair in classic Robin style, making the most of his few seconds, giving a skip and a twirl, long hair bouncing all over the place. Mmmmm.


I'd previously seen this in a compilation of adverts. Now I've just come across another copy of it - better quality, even - and it's all alone! It says 1974 on it, but elsewhere I'd read it's from 1971, so who knows. you go!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Flesh and Blood Show – 1972

A horror movie from the same producer as “Four Dimensions of Greta”, Pete Walker, who made quite a few other low-budget creepy British horror flicks that I’ve enjoyed down through the years. 1972 seems to be the year he was fascinated by 3-D for, like in Greta, he gives us that swirly swirl announcing that a 3-D scene was coming up! Unfortunately, this DVD did not contain the 3-D effect and was just shown in black and white. Robin was not in this scene.

Atmospheric and suspenseful, although for the most part, nothing really interesting goes on. A group of actors from London is summoned down to a foggy seaside town to rehearse a play in an abandoned old theater. None of them think that’s weird at all. Robin is one of the actors, and although his character has no real action, he is in most scenes making comments and small talk. The actresses have no qualms about spontaneously whipping off their clothes in front of the other actors who they’ve apparently just met, and parading around topless in the cold, drafty old theater….to the point where they’re not to be bothered putting anything on before they go investigate a weird noise! Poor Robin gets none of the girl-action in this movie, though. He keeps his clothes on the whole way through. He does wear a couple of cute tank-tops!

One of the other actors is our old friend from ‘Greta’ – the guy who played the German lead, Hans. In this one he’s an Australian named Tony! Funny, cuz he’s probably really Australian in real life, but every time he opened his mouth I was expecting the German accent! I’ve noticed in most of Robin’s films the same actors get recycled a LOT. Must be a small pool of actors for what’s being produced over there!

OK, so the actors are down at the theater, and one of them happens upon a room full of wax heads….only to notice that one of the heads is not wax at all but belongs to one of the actresses in the group! The police are brought in, but the head has disappeared and they think it has been a sick joke. The actors then suspect it’s a prank by one of the actor guys who is known for pulling grotesque pranks like this in the past. Only he’s disappeared now too. Another of the actresses’ body is found thrown in the ocean. The prankster actor shows up dead. Another actress is found with a knife in her back while the rest of them are onstage rehearsing a scene. I’m not sure what the play is supposed to be, but the two scenes they show them rehearsing involve some kind of performance-art type dance sequences.

An elderly former actor gentleman they had previously met in a local café shows up, and predictably turns out to be the killer. Turns out (we are shown in the 3D scene) back during the ‘40s while he was in a Shakespearean play he discovered his wife making out with another actor (a hot guy with curiously long ‘70s hair in the 1940s!) Note to the ladies out there: the guy is shown completely naked! I mean completely! So…..the husband drags them both to the basement, ties them together and locks the door. Their skeletal remains are now finally discovered.

In case a viewer might not be able to comprehend the whole thing, Robin’s character sums up what we’ve just watched to the other characters, as Shaggy might do in an episode of “Scooby Doo”. I was waiting for the old guy to come out with, “…and I might have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!” hehe

Good to have Robin make it through to the end without getting killed off in this pre-slasher era slasher. He does a lot of what he does best when he isn’t actually the star: standing around looking perplexed, rubbing his nose in confusion, and mischievously slapping any giggling girl butt that happens to run across his path!

Friday, August 6, 2010

LOST! The Borderers – 1970 – Season 2, episode 7: “The Quacksalver”

Well, another show I’ll never be able to see.

According to the Lost UK TV shows website at: this is one of the missing episodes of this show. Too bad. But, I’m going to assume Robin’s role of “Hewie Heriot” was not a very big one? Who knows. Sheesh, I wish the British would keep better hold of their old TV shows! There is a little summary of it at: and Wikipedia has a great description page of it at: Their basic summary of the show is:

“A historical drama series, The Borderers was set during the 16th century and chronicled the lives of the Ker family, who lived in the Scottish Middle March on the frontier between England and Scotland.”

And their summary of Robin’s episode is:

“The Quacksalvers trick their way into Slitrig, and Gavin has to decide whether they should be pitied or are rogues.”

Oh well. Perhaps one day someone will “find” the lost episodes of it!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Four Dimensions of Greta - 1972

Pretty hard to find any official copy of this, but I eventually found someone selling a bootleg copy of it on an online marketplace.

Rated X when it came out, the few reviews I could find about it all made it seem like it was quite scandalous. So, of course I was curious and didn’t know what to expect. Soft porn? Finally would I see Robin completely naked? He sorta makes it seem that way when he writes about this movie in his book.

As my birthday treat I talked my husband into watching this one with me. Couples porn, I said. Lots of girls for you in it, Robin for me. He agreed.

The story: German guy (no, not played by Robin) is planning a trip to England to do some research for a story he’s writing for a magazine. An older couple he meets wonders if he could do them a favor while he’s over there? Their 18 year old daughter Greta had gone to London to work as an au pair and has disappeared. Could he go talk to her last employer? He agrees.

He arrives and meets up with an old girlfriend. She’s engaged to be married, as is he, but wind up naked in each others’ arms anyway. Nudity, but nothing what I’d call porn. Perhaps in its day. My husband yawns. No guy nudity, but I’m not watching this to see the German guy anyway.

German guy goes round to visit Greta’s employer who informs him she’d only worked there a week because she was a horrible worker and has no idea where she’s gone. Dead end there. He then scours the swingin’ music clubs of London, showing her photo to various club-goers. When he happens upon one that is a favorite amongst German immigrant girls, one girl said yes, she could give him some info, but he’d have to come visit her tomorrow for it. He does, to find an apartment full of naked hippies, who give him a story about Greta being cruel and manipulative and they asked her to leave. Last they heard, she was now a stripper.

While they are telling that story, we are treated to the first of four “3-D” flashback scenes. I’m sure it was pretty impressive to see on a big screen in the still-technologically primitive early ‘70s, but sadly these scenes did not transfer well to the small screen. Yes, we had a couple pairs of old 3-D glasses too!

When Hans (German guy) talks to someone from the strip club, she gives a whole different picture of Greta (via 2nd 3-D flashback). Greta was a sweet, naïve thing, who got herself talked into stripping and didn’t last there very long. But, perhaps Hans could try talking to her boyfriend, Roger?

Roger turns out to be Robin Askwith. In the 3rd 3-D sequence, he says he met her while working at a massage parlor which happened to be owned by the same guy who owned the strip club. He is an athlete and had to go to the place to help soothe a pulled muscle, and he could tell she was very new to the job. However, they clicked and moved in together. He talks fondly of the times they had together, and it’s a really cute scene where they’re giggling and she’s throwing him grapes. They wind up naked in bed, but it’s hardly anything X-rated. You barely see Robin at all with her laying on top of him.

Either Robin’s memories of this film have faded, or he actually filmed something more explicit than what was in the final cut. But I sure wouldn’t call this much of a “sex scene”.

Back to the story: he doesn’t know where she is now. But perhaps he should talk to the guy who owns the strip club and massage parlor? He gives him the address of gambling hall he also owns.

Once there, Hans is given a story (in the 4th 3-D scene) of an aggressive Greta who came on to him at his massage parlor. In the throes of passion, Roger had walked in and gotten into a fight with the guy, who broke his arm. But….when Hans reports back to Roger with that story, he is told what had happened instead. Roger had actually walked in on the guy raping Greta, threatened him, and took Greta away. Afterward, the owner sent some people round to kidnap Greta and break Roger’s arm in revenge.

Hans’ girlfriend is then sent in to try to sexily cajole Greta’s whereabouts out of the owner. She gets the info, but doesn’t escape a gang-raping. Don’t worry, nothing explicit is shown of that. The bad guys drive out to a houseboat where they are keeping Greta, but are followed by Hans and Roger, who climb aboard and bring everyone to justice with a good fight scene. And in the end, sweet Greta is shipped back to Germany, with a wistful Robin Askwith left behind at the airport.

Anyway, we both thought it wasn’t a bad little film. My husband was not that impressed by the selection of naked girls – he said they looked too old for the ages they were supposed to be playing, and their boobs were too big and saggy. All he really liked was when Hans’ girlfriend wore these hotpants with thigh-high stockings: “I don’t remember any girls I knew wearing those in the early ‘70s!” he said ruefully. Um, sorry, Jim, but as you were spending those years in Hacienda Heights rather than Swingin’ London, that’s what you get.

As for me, I wasn’t disappointed at all. Robin was in his prime here, and his hair was just perfect. Fluffy, clean, long enough to have a beautiful natural wave to it….mmmm. And, oh yeah, nice acting job too. ;)


Just found the original trailer on YouTube! Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

LOST!!! Z-Cars – 1968

Unfortunately, Wikipedia lists the entire 1968 year of this show as lost. Here’s their explanation:

The original series was one of the last British television dramas screened live regularly — already rare by the time the programme began in 1962. It was felt that this helped immediacy and pace, and episodes were live as late as 1965, despite cameras appearing in shot. Most were videotaped for repeat, but the BBC regularly wiped tapes after programmes exceeded their usefulness, agreements with unions meaning they could only be shown a limited number of times. The space needed to store large videotapes, as well as the expense when they could be re-used, were factors.”

Anyway, here’s what they say the premise of the show was:
Z-Cars (pronounced "Zed Cars", sometimes written as Z Cars) is a British television drama series centred on the work of mobile uniformed police in the fictional town of Newtown, based on Kirkby in the outskirts of Liverpool in Lancashire. Produced by the BBC and screened on BBC Television (renamed BBC1 in 1964), it debuted in January 1962 and ran for 16 years until September 1978.”

That’s about all I know! So, unless there’s a Robin fan from way back who happened to somehow film a copy of this show and send it to me (yeah, right!) or Robin himself is secretly reading this and has a copy of his own he could let me borrow (a double “yeah, right!”) I’m going to give up on ever trying to find a copy of it. But you know, we can comfort ourselves with the probability that it was a really small part, being so early in his career and all – he doesn’t even mention it in his book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

If…. – 1968

I saw this almost 20 years ago so I had to rent it via Netflix to refresh my memory. It was considered shocking in its day with its portrayal of a school shooting massacre that has sadly become a commonplace occurrence in modern-day times. Malcolm McDowall stars as Mick Travers, one of the older boys in a upper class boarding school in England. He has a rebellious streak and little by little gets more and more fed up with the structure of the school until he reaches his breaking point.

This is 18 year old Robin’s first role in a major film. He is not one of the main schoolboy characters, but is one of the senior boys who does get to be in the background of many of the scenes. He plays “Keating”, a mischievous type who enjoys giving the younger boys a hard time. He is seen doing things like making fun of the fat kid and dunking a younger kid’s head in the toilet. There’s also a nice shot of him walking naked across the shower room.

A very absorbing, interesting film. Although I don’t think it went far enough if it was trying to portray the horrors of an English boarding school. Aside from some injustices and cruelty here and there I didn’t see how being a student there was really horrendously miserable. Perhaps because I’m looking at it from the point of view of someone who has herself gone to a private school with strict discipline (no beatings though, thank goodness!) and expectations, I dunno. I just really didn’t feel the abuse Mick took was enough to push someone (and convince his friends as well) into carrying out a massacre. From what I’ve read, the kind of kids that do this are tormented and bullied, isolating themselves and then finally lashing out in revenge. The character of Mick has friends, he’s respected enough by his peers. But, I suppose it’s pointless to try and psychoanalyze a character in a movie!

In Robin’s autobiography he mentions that part of this movie was filmed in Cheltenham, Brian Jones’ hometown. He was a fan and was able to find his house and stare at it in awe. Hey – me too! When I was in England in 1989 I took a trip up to Cheltenham and got a picture of myself standing in front of Brian Jones’ old home. I also got to visit his grave, which wasn’t yet there in 1968, but soon would be.

Why the fascination with Brian Jones? What’s the tie in for me to Robin Askwith? Who knows. For some reason I’ve been mesmerized by Brian Jones since I first saw a photo of him in a book when I was around 9. Like I’ve said before, Robin looks just like him but with a dash of Mick Jagger thrown in to give him a harder, sexier edge than Brian Jones had. Brian Jones is pure angelic. In looks anyway. Robin is him, but with a dash of devilness added!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Children’s Film Foundation films: Scramble 1970, Hide and Seek 1972, The Hostages 1975

From the Children’s Film Foundation website: “The Children's Film & Television Foundation, then the Children's Film Foundation, was set up with the support of Lord Rank in 1951. Its remit was to make films specifically for children to be screened at Saturday morning matinees and used in schools.”

There were a ton of these movies made in England. But now it seems as though they’re impossible to get! Not sure why, as from my research many adults over there have fond memories of watching them. There were only 8 put out some years back on DVD, in 4 volumes, and ONE of the ones Robin was in (Hide and Seek) was on volume 2. STILL it’s hard to find! The set was put out under the name of “Saturday Morning Pictures” and guess what, the guy who’d sold me the entire series of “Please Sir!” had that listed on his leaflet he sent out with my purchase. He listed it as: “Saturday Morning Pictures, 6 Films.” Whoo-eee, I thought, jackpot! I emailed him asking exactly which 6 films they were. As helpful as ever, he emailed back and said he didn’t have title info. Sigh. But, it was cheap, £1.95, so I purchased it anyway. Worst comes to worst, at least I still have 6 children’s films to show my son.

And guess what? “Hide and Seek” was NOT on it. Typical. What was (for anyone collecting these things): “Adventures of Hal 5” from 1957 and “Egghead’s Robot” from 1970 (both on vol 1 of “Saturday Morning Pictures”). “Go Kart Go” from 1963 and “A Hitch in Time” from ? (both from vol 3) and two others that were unlisted "extras" on the “Saturday Morning Pictures” DVD series: “The Magnificent 6 ½: Ghosts and Ghoulies” and “The Magnificent 6 ½: A Good Deed in Time”.

I noticed that a FEW of the CFF films can be seen on YouTube, but so far I don’t see the ones with Robin there. Will a kindly person out there please upload them there, if you have them? Thanks. Until then, all I can give you is the CFF’s website’s synopsis of them:


Jimmy Riley, who has been in trouble with the Police, is befriended by members of a schoolboys' scramble club and given a job in a garage run by the club organiser. Unfortunately, his previous associates interfere with his efforts to start a new life. Robin plays “Lennie”

Ooooh just found a better review of Scramble at: :
“Jimmy Riley, who has been in trouble with the police, makes friends with Colin and Brian Buxton, both keen scramblers at a schoolboys’ scramble club. The club’s organiser gives Jimmy a job in his garage, where Jimmy builds his own bike, Lennie and Cliff, old friends of Jimmy’s, steal wealthy Mr Hepplewhite’s car. Mr Hepplewhite buys his son, Oscar, a bike, which he has no idea how to control. Next week when the scramblers are away, Jimmy – left behind – finds the crooks with the car but will not join in with them. Oscar’s bike, again out of control, crashes into the barn. Lennie and Cliff escape in the car, but are caught by Jimmy and Colin on their bikes. Cue lots of freeze-framing of bikes in mid air, to a pumping rock – or more likely high octane skiffle – soundtrack.”

Apparently, “Scramble” was shown in the States on the CBS Children’s Film Festival with Kukla, Fran and Ollie (puppets) hosting. I vaguely remember watching some of those as a kid, but don’t know if I saw them all.


Keith absconds from an Approved School in the hope that his father will take him to Canada. But Keith's father seems more interested in robbing a bank. Robin plays a “fake police constable”.

AUGUST 5, 2011 UPDATE! I have now seen "Hide and Seek" and have reviewed it here!


Children on lonely farm outwit escaped Dartmoor prisoners. Robin plays prisoner “Terry Sladden”

AUGUST 12, 2011 UPDATE! I have now seen "The Hostages" and have reviewed it here!

(all photos “borrowed” from the CFF website!)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bless This House – 1973

A fun, fluffy, family-friendly comedy. This movie is based on an early ‘70s British sitcom of the same name. Robin had originally tried out for the part of Mike, the teenaged son, but had lost it to another actor because the producers had wanted a darker-haired guy to resemble the actress who would be playing his sister. Robin eventually got a part as Mike’s friend Sam in ONE of the episodes in the 2nd season. But by 1973 when they were putting together the movie they somehow felt their Mike (Robin Stewart) was too unreliable and wound up casting Robin Askwith in the part.

I loved it! It’s about a middle-class family: parents, art college son Mike and teenaged daughter Sally. New neighbors move in next door and because of a few hilarious problems, an instant feud arises between the families. Except for their lovely daughter Kate, and Mike, who naturally fall madly in love with each other. They do make a striking couple. Inexplicably, Robin has a real-life affair with the actress who plays his sister, who is nowhere near as beautiful, and is honestly, a horribly annoying actress. But I digress. The ending seems to be tied up rather too neatly as all characters make up and celebrate the marriage of Mike and Kate. Boy does he look nice in a tophat!

This is the same year Robin makes “Horror Hospital” so he looks exactly like that in this movie, same hairstyle, same sideburns. He goes through quite a few wardrobe changes and wears some of the grooviest, early 70s fashion I’ve ever seen him in!

I highly recommend this one - this is definitely a Robin movie you can watch with the kids! Funny though, because this has SO many of the same actors and actresses in the naughty “Carry On, Girls!”

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beryl’s Lot (season 1, episode 3, “Box and Cox”) – 1973

In this episode Beryl takes her first night class – only to show up and find its been cancelled. She and another middle-aged woman decide to drown their disappointment at the local pub. Meanwhile, her husband takes advantage of his freedom at home by holding a card party with his buddies. Beryl’s friend passes out at the pub and Beryl has her brought home to sleep it off. Robin has a lot of scenes in this one, milling about, making comments, etc. Lots of nice close-ups, too…you can practically count his eyelashes. Mmm. When Beryl worriedly tells him that daughter Rosie has left word that she will be sleeping over her boyfriend’s place that night, Robin’s “Fred” quickly leaves, saying there’s something he must do. Next day. The point is blatantly made that Fred is very tired by lots of yawning and stretching. At the end Rose arrives home to be questioned by her mum, only to protest that she was NOT with her boyfriend at all, just at his PLACE with his SISTER while he was out of town, and, goodness, did not even get a WINK of sleep what with the phone mysteriously ringing all night, the police and fire brigade showing up at all hours….etc. Much confusion on her part while Beryl and Fred start to giggle.

Had no idea what the title “Box and Cox” even meant, so…internet search to the rescue: says:

Meaning - To take turns.
Origin - The term comes from the comic play 'Box and Cox - A Romance of Real Life in One Act', by John Maddison Morton. This was first produced at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, London, in November 1847. Box and Cox were two lodgers who shared their rooms - one occupying them by day and the other by night.

Still not sure how that describes this episode, but oh well.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bartelby - 1970

This is actually the movie that got me on my current Robin fascination…the one that got me started on wanting to see ALL his movies. Purely by chance, I had rented this from Netlflix, and was taken aback when I saw his familiar face in it! I then sent it back, but when I decided to do this blog a few months later I refreshed myself re-watching it using Netflix’s “Play it now” feature, which allowed it to come through surprisingly smoothly. I’d never tried streaming their stuff before! But it’s not available for everything.

It’s a weird but interesting movie. About an introverted sort of guy that gets hired in an office but starts telling his boss that he “prefers not” to do the work. The boss is dumbfounded and doesn’t know what to do. He knows he needs to save face by getting rid of the guy, but also is intrigued by him and wonders about his background and why he acts like this. Robin has a small part as an office worker. I just love that suit-and-tie-but-with-long-hair look on a guy. He has a few good scenes of being sarcastic with the guy, and cheeky with the secretary.

So…the boss, instead of forcing the guy out, he decides to avoid conflict altogether and moves his whole office to another building. Bartleby then keeps coming back to the abandoned office, which gets the other workers in the building upset. The original boss finally comes back and makes arrangements for him to be carted off to a mental institution.

Check out the super creepy anorexic girl near the end of the movie, one of the patients at the institution. Now, I’ve always been super-skinny myself, so I hate it when skinny people get accused of being anorexic. But the true anorexic look is scarier than anything you’ll see in a horror movie, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone this skinny before outside a concentration camp documentary! Who is this girl? Did she die soon after? She has a small speaking part and seems like she’s in a daze. So sad!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Beryl’s Lot (season 1, episode 2), “Quite a Reception” – 1973

Beryl isn’t as angsty as she is in episode #1, but she does decide to sign up for night classes and read the philosophy book Robin’s character Fred had suggested to her. But all that is pretty much the “B” storyline. “A” storyline focuses on her arranging a friend’s daughter’s wedding reception at the hotel where Beryl works as a housekeeper. Bring on the snooty hotel owner that turns the whole thing into a mess….and drives out the entire wedding party to the local pub instead. In this fun scene, Robin lets his hair down (literally, as it’s usually neatly parted and brushed for this character) as he joins in on the drinking and dancing and singing. He even winds up dancing with 17 year old Rosie, who has been ditched by her latest boyfriend. With all the arguments between them and the previous adamant protests from her that “Fred just isn’t my type!” we can now see where this will be going…

Friday, June 4, 2010

Beryl’s Lot (season 1, episode 1, “Getting Up”) – 1973

I was happy to find someone online selling a few episodes from this early ‘70s British TV show. It is not a sitcom, but more of a serious, slice of life hour-long drama. With just a little bit of humor tossed in. The show centers around a woman named Beryl, who upon turning 40 starts to go through somewhat of a midlife crisis. She is married to a nice enough guy, has one grown out-of-the-house married daughter and one 17 year old daughter “Rosie” who is living at home. But she is dissatisfied. In this episode it is revealed that she “had” to get married at age 17 when she became pregnant, and now feels as if her whole life since then was nothing but cooking, cleaning and kids. Her husband doesn’t understand, he’s content with his lot in life.

Robin plays their boarder, Fred Pickering. Somewhat a change from his other 1973 roles, his character is rather conservative and rule-abiding. His hair is short-ish, but long enough to give him a wonderful Brian Jones-circa-1964 look. No backstory for him is given in this episode, but he seems to look to Beryl as a mother figure and tries to look out for the family’s best interests by doing a lot of nose-poking into their affairs. For example, when 17 year old Rosie starts dating a guy who is bad news, Fred makes it a point to tattle on her to her parents in typical big-brother style. Rosie is played by an actress named Verna Harvey and dated Robin briefly during this time. According to his book, it seems as though he pretty much dated every pretty actress he ever co-starred with!

I also loved his sarcastic attitude when kindly Beryl allows a friend to temporarily stay with them after she gets thrown out of her hotel room for nonpayment. Ah, that familiar pissed-off scowl, so reminiscent of Horror Hospital….

It’s a good show. I only have 6 episodes of it, I hope I can find more.