A nice surprise this week! A Robin fan let me know about this ad he’d found in a compilation video of Henry Bentinck commercials for J Walter Thompson. I edited the others out and uploaded just this one to YouTube. Such a treat to see another glimpse of Robin from this early 70s era, even though his segments are brief. Love the flip of his hair as he turns around to look while he’s painting (with his left hand? Is he left handed or was this the most convenient position?) and how enthusiastic he is as he happily shows the owners how well his paint job turned out. He really does bring that happy enthusiasm to everything he does, doesn’t he? I am told that the older lady who appears is Noel Dyson, who played Nanny in Father, Dear, Father and also appeared with him in The Last Bus!
All those of you lucky to live close enough, Robin will be appearing in a play in December and January! More info can be obtained here! http://www.millatsonning.com/wp/ If you do go see it, how about letting me know how it was? :)
Isn’t this where I came in? Yep, HH was the first movie I reviewed here, and it just may be the last. :( Although I’ll keep looking, I may have come to the end of finding the Robin movies/appearances that are available.
I was very excited to hear that HH was re-released in June of 2010, in HD transfer from the original 35mm camra negative. Wow! And it definitely was noticeably crisper and brighter. You can see everything in the previously too-dark rock club at the beginning of the film. But now you also see that the “blood” on Robin’s nose in that scene is WAY too bright to look like blood and looks laughingly like paint. Someone online mentioned that this release has 2 extra minutes but I couldn’t tell if and where this was true. There’s no extra scenes that I’d not seen before, so perhaps it’s just a few seconds here and there interspersed throughout the whole thing.
There’s a very interesting commentary by producer Richard Gordon.(RIP 2011- see here for info) Why Robin never does DVD commentaries, I have no idea! He apparently thought quite a lot of Robin and talked highly of his work ethic. I loved hearing how Horror Hospital came to be and some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on. Also talked about are some scenes that were in the original screenplay but never got filmed due to one reason or another. You also find out about Director Antony Balch’s uncredited surprise cameo in HH, rare because he did not like to appear on film! It is even a talking part. I’ll keep that a secret just so you’ll have to buy this! Richard Gordon seemed like a fun, smart, likeable guy and I’m glad he did this insightful commentary!
Not a lot of “extras” though. Oooh, what I would’ve given for some “deleted scenes” or “bloopers” but alas, no. There is a slideshow of publicity photos and posters, but not a lot have Robin in them. Weird how you rarely see him in photos from HH, even though he’s the main star!
What more can I say that hundreds of movie reviewers haven’t already said about this extraordinary film, so I won’t rehash the storyline yet again. I must say I did notice a “continuity” issue I hadn’t in the past. Robin’s shirt gets pretty torn up in the fight scene with the bike boys…yet in later scenes the shirt will sometimes be torn, but sometimes not. Hehe.
I’m proud to say this was a DVD I was able to easily and legally purchase, brand new. I can only hope Robin receives big royalties from this new release!
Well, that’s it. I have no more appearances lined up to review. I’ve exhausted almost all possibilities. There’s some stuff I will probably never get to see. But I’m amazed at how much I WAS able to get my hands on! Wow! There’s a couple of things out there I’m still waiting for the price to come down on, so perhaps half a year to a year from now I’ll finally have something else to comment on. From now on I’m just going to write about things that I’m still searching for, things indirectly related to Robin, or any current news about him that I hear of. Please feel free to let me know ANY news or stories you may have! And if you know Robin, casually mention that there’s a whole blog dedicated to his body of work, will you? :)
I’ve made mention of Robin’s autobiography so I may as well include it in my reviews of his work!
Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge fan, but I found this highly engaging and could barely put it down! Upon starting it, I was a little confused, though. He jumps right in at the beginning with how he got the part in “Confessions of a Window Cleaner”. At this time, I had not even seen all the Confessions movies and was a little confused by the people he mentions. Was he not going to talk about his family and childhood? I flipped through the chapters and right around the middle of the book he does a jump back in time and fills us in on his birth, genealogy, getting polio at age 4, schoolday shenanigans, etc. So that’s where I started reading. He continues on with his early acting jobs, and so on. At the end of all that I started back at the beginning and the “Confessions” stuff was then a lot more comprehendable! Maybe if all you liked about Robin was those movies that’s what you care about finding out first. Who knows.
Anyway, I love his style of writing. Not sure if he did it all himself or had help, but it sounds like it’s just all him, telling his story. He definitely has a very cute, wry, “British” sense of humor. And yes, you can tell he’s writing it for a British audience, making references that he takes for granted people will understand. At least I have the internet to look up stuff like the actors who may be famous over there but unknown in the U.S., sporting teams, areas of London or towns in England (thoroughly confused about what he meant getting "Ruislip Lido" in his lungs, ha ha).
The book ends with you wanting to know MORE!!! He published it in 1999 and at the end just gives us a brief overview of the years 1981-1998, promising a few things that he’ll be covering next, implying that there WILL be a next one? Yet here it is, 2011 and still nothing, humphs.
Any fans who are in communication with him, please urge him to write a part two! Or, if he thinks anything that doesn’t have to do with the “Confessions” years wouldn’t sell well, perhaps Republish this one, with a part two added on!
Truly by chance I stumbled across this film. I enjoy early 70s British horror films so I found this one I hadn’t seen before while browsing through Netflix’s latest “instant play” offerings. A little while into it, I saw that there were TWO Robin connections: his girlfriend at the time, plus his co-star in “Confessions of a Window Cleaner” Linda Hayden, plays one girl who gets killed. And then Natasha Pyne, who played one of the daughters in “Father, Dear Father” and a friend to Robin’s character in one episode, plays another girl. I kept thinking, wow, this would be a great movie for Robin to have been in! But then again, didn’t really see a part for him after all as I watched further.
BUT…here’s where the mystery comes in! There IS a character named Nigel who does not have a speaking part who strangely looks like Robin and has a similar way of moving. You don’t see him for more than a few seconds, so it’s hard to tell. The credits do not list who this “Nigel” is at all. Could it be an uncredited spur-of-the-moment appearance by our hero? Perhaps he was on the set that day hanging out with his girlfriends and was asked to step in for a scene? Hmmmm!
Here’s the summary of the plot: Vincent Price plays Paul Tombes, an actor who was famous for playing the role of a “Dr. Death” in many horror movies. Soon each person who has annoyed him starts getting violently murdered. Is he the one who is doing it? Linda Hayden plays Elizabeth, a young actress who pesters him to give her a break in one of his movies. “Nigel” is some kind of gofer on the set of the latest Dr. Death movie whom one of the main characters asks to go fetch something. He nods and leaves, and then we don’t see him again.
I can’t find any info about who this “Nigel” was. He looks so much like Robin, but you only see him from the side and back. His hair is darker than Robin’s usually is. I don’t know. Hard to say. Would be very funny if I really stumbled across a secret appearance, though, wouldn’t it!!!!
A guy who writes the "The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth" blog went and took some fantastic photos that really capture Robin's personality well. Love the ones where he's flashing a huge happy smile. Great to see current photos of him as a 61 year old! Some people change so much as they grow older...Robin is still VERY much Robin Askwith, isn't he?
Soooo jealous I cannot be in England to go to these events! You know, I keep hearing of events happening or movies or shows being filmed in or taking place in, or bands being from Manchester lately. Is Manchester the new London these days?
“Public Eye is a British television series that ran from 1965 to 1975 (7 series in total). It was produced by ABC Television for three series, and Thames Television for a further four series. The series depicted the investigations and cases handled by the unglamorous enquiry agent (i.e., a Private Eye - hence the twist in the title) Frank Marker, an unmarried loner who is in his early forties when the series begins.” – Wikipedia
I ordered this from Amazon UK at the same time I ordered “Boon”. I knew Robin appeared in an episode from 1975 so I ordered the “complete 1975 final cases” and crossed my fingers! And yes, whew, his episode was on it.
The episode starts out with Marker recovering from having been beaten up in the previous episode. He is bitter and tired of the dangerous aspects of his line of work. So, once released from the hospital he goes to an employment agency and inquires about what is available. Robin plays the employment clerk! Odd role for someone with his groovy longhaired look, being behind a desk, asking official questions better suited for a more clean-cut type of guy. Remember, back in “Fenn Street Gang” he played the out-of worker on the OTHER side of the employment desk! But anyway. He looks awesome in his big-collared ‘70s blouse and is hilarious as he gripes about people who say they want to work, but don’t have any skills to offer. That’s the extent of his role in this one, but it’s worth seeing. I also watched all the other episodes. Good series, good stories. I enjoyed the title character (played by Alfred Burke) with his quiet, sneaky way of getting things accomplished. I see that he just died recently, in Feb 2011, age of 92. He had also been acting as recently as 2002, when he played Professor Armando Dippet in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Wow! Found another old tv ad on YouTube that Robin was in! Even though his hairstyle is super-80s and the picture quality is rather bad, it was still fun to see him in this. He enthuses about Care Care Magazine, and how helpful it can be in instructing you how to take care of your car, whether you are a beginner, or more advanced in your knowledge. Where do I sign up to subscribe??? :)
I am considering myself very fortunate for having seen 2 of the 3 "Children's Film Foundation" movies Robin has appeared in since having originally written my description of each here.
The hunt continues on for "Scramble" though. I feel myself getting closer. I know someone out there DOES have a copy of it and DOES have the ability to upload it to YouTube because...ta da!...here is what I've found so far: The first 4 minutes and 45 seconds! Unfortunately, Robin is not in the first 4 minutes and 45 seconds, sigh.
This person has uploaded quite a few clips from the CFF films, but does not seem to have whole episodes. He has not responded to my query about Scramble. So, we'll see if anything more promising will come out of this. You can also see the first 5 minutes of "Hostages" http://youtu.be/V7cy07H67xI which Robin IS in! As well as the first 5 minutes of "Hide and Seek" http://youtu.be/mWJG1l81FW0 which he is not.
Starting to run out of Robin appearances to report on. I have a few still banked, but am going to stretch them out, ha ha. So this week I am here to let you know about a really cool shirt I stumbled across while browsing the internet looking for Robin stuff. I'm amazed this even exists! Who but the hardest core b-movie fans would even know what "Hairy Holidays" refers to...and then how many of them would even purchase it? Even me, Robin's most devoted fan :) is pondering if I should or not. 12 year old me would have in a heartbeat! 42 year old me is rationally asking myself, now, where would I wear it, and would I have to explain it to every single person here in small-town Oregon who glances at it quizzically? Hmmm. I will think about it.
But...you can get yours at Cafe Press if you want one!
Since I started this blog I’d been hoping against hope that this series would be made available on DVD by the time I’d come to the end of accessing what was already out there. Here we are, a year and a half later, and still no sign of it. I’ve seen a VHS of some episodes from season 1 on Amazon UK, but that’s it. Recently, on my latest hunt for it I did come across ONE clip that included Robin (from "Take Me to your Leader" (#2.3) 6 May 1971 ) which can be found here but I also downloaded it and uploaded it to YouTube in case the original page gets taken down. Ooooh, how I want to see this show!
Please, please, contact NETWORK DVD here and let them know you want to see it too! They are an amazing company which puts out all the interesting old British shows. I’ve already made a few requests to which they reply that they currently have “no plans” but will keep it in mind. Perhaps if you Robin fans actually living in the UK can ask for it your requests will carry more weight than mine.
Here’s a little synopsis of the show I was able to gather:
“ON THE HOUSE" depicted the classic 'them-against-us' situation rife in blue-collar trades in Britain in the post-war years. Kenneth Connor starred as Gussie Sissons, chief labourer for house builders Thomas Clackwood and Sons, who pitches his comrades into a series of 'what-about-the-workers?' skirmishes with the exasperated site foreman Charlie Cattermole (played by co-star John Junkin).
Guest stars throughout the series included Hermione Baddeley, Brian Glover, Milo O'Shea, Madeline Smith, Patrick Troughton and Paula Wilcox. In the second series, Derek Griffiths as a carpenter and Robin Askwith as a long-haired idler were added to the regular cast.
The show aired at 7:00pm and there were two series; the first in September/October 1970 (6 episodes), and the second in April/May 1971 (6 episodes).”
Amazon U.K. has this series for sale so I’d been watching the price on it for the past year to see if it’d come down. It finally did come down to an acceptable price so I bought the complete season 3.
Boon was a show that ran from the mid-80s to the early 90s. The story was about an ex-firefighter, Ken Boon (he’d gotten injured on the job and had to go into some other line of work). During the life of the series, he takes on different jobs. In season 3, he operates the “Texas Rangers” a motorbike courier firm, with young longhaired assistant “Rocky”. A few episodes in, he also joins up with friend Margaret’s detective agency. The title sequence shows Boon imagining himself as a “Lone Ranger” type, riding a horse in the Wild West.
So, in “Peacemaker” Robin plays “Bograt” an Ozzy Osbourne type middle-aged rock star who was getting ready to make a comeback…only to get cold feet and run away. His promoters hire Margaret to find him. Ken’s assistant Rocky turns out to be a huge fan and offers to help. Mainly all they do is pester the girlfriend, who also doesn’t know where he is. But, her walls are decorated with “Bograt and the Necros” posters featuring photos of Robin in heavy metal costume. Wonder where those are now??? Also other real photos of a younger Robin, which I’d seen before. Eventually the girlfriend starts coming on to Rocky, and at that moment Bograt walks in and starts a fight.
In the end, Bograt clims up to the top of a rickety platform on a building which is under construction, intending to kill himself. Rocky climbs up after him and they wind up having a heart-to-heart talk. Bograt reveals his insecurities about the comeback, but eventually Rocky talks him into going through with it for the sake of his fans. As they start to come down, Robin slips and almost falls off the building, only to be rescued by Rocky and Margaret, who has also come up.
Robin was okay in this. He over-acted in parts with the “grouchy rock star” attitude. He was better toward the end when he was talking instead of growling, ha ha. His hair was very long but maybe a wig or extensions? It wasn’t very attractive.
I like this show and don’t mind watching the whole of season 3. If it were readily available I’d probably go on to watch all the seasons! Some day when I’m old I think I’ll just spend a year in England watching all their old TV shows. It gets expensive trying to buy them and watch them here!
On Robin’s wikipedia page, this is listed as one of the ads he filmed. Now, this is so very early in his career, you might even say it is pre-career! So I’m assuming he did not have a substantial speaking part in it. I’m going to throw this youtube clip out there as the one he is in, as it seems to be the right year. It is a super-groovy mod dancing scene, so whether this is in fact him or not, it’s still pretty cool to watch. I’m thinking he is the guy dancing in the white pants and white shirt sort of at the top left of the quickly moving ad. Near the beginning.
It was a little difficult pinpointing the exact date of this appearance from the scant info available on the internet. But, thanks to a longtime Robin fan who has been personally chronicling his work, I got the correct date and was able to order the right episode from an EE fan who is selling them on an auction site!
This is a long-running popular soap opera in England and not surprisingly, the stories featured revolved around the typical drama. Robin was a breath of fresh air in the sea of depressed, moping characters. He is animated and expressive. And he happily had quite a few scenes. He plays “Jason Lafal”, a motorbike race organizer. One of the main characters, Ricky, wants to ride in the motorbike races and his manager convinces “Jason” to let him try out. Once he rides – and wins -, Jason is impressed and admits he has what it takes. An annoying side story is “Ricky”’s bossy wife who initially thinks that he is cheating on her because he’s gone so much. And when she finds out what he’s really involved in she appoints herself his manager and fires the other guy. Robin looks on in puzzled amusement at this wimp of a guy who lets himself be walked all over by a chick…especially after he showed himself to be so strong in the race!
High points: when Robin introduces himself as “Jason” – ahhhh! I just have to wonder if his mind was flashing back to a time when he introduced himself as “Jason” to a pretty girl on a train zooming toward Horror Hospital….. And then I loved it when he snaps, “This isn’t a videogame!” Ha, that just struck me as hilarious for some reason!
I’d seen this some time ago…my sister was a big T. Rex fan and had this in her collection. She knew about my Robin obsession and was pleased to show me something I hadn’t seen. Then, years later, I found bad quality copies of it on YouTube. Now, thanks to the guy who sent me all this new stuff, I have a rather decent-quality copy of it! Robin sings his (I assume) only hit single, “Confessions”. Rather catchy bubblegummy pop tune. I just looked up information about the 45” and see the flipside is called “This Space is Reserved for You.” which I’ve never heard. I will keep an eye out, perhaps it won’t be too hard to track down the actual record.
SEPT 2 UPDATE:
You can now hear "This Space is Reserved for You" here:
I have to say I like the A side better, although this one is catchy as well and is very "1977"! Very "Bay City Rollerish", which, I'm embarrassed to say, was my favorite group as an 8 year old in 1977.
The next CFF film! This one was great! Robin had a huge role in it and had his “Window Cleaner” look. Pretty hot. He played a bad guy, though. A prison escapee who, along with a friend, is looking for a place to hide out from the cops. They stumble onto a sheep farm where 3 kids are home alone while their parents are away for the day at the market. They break in and wreak havoc as they look for clothes to change into and food to eat. Robin IS pretty nasty – although I must admit when he roughs up the 9 year old girl I found myself getting a little envious….ahem. Oh, did she realize how lucky she was! As I was just a little younger than her at the time (6) in a parallel universe it could very well have been me getting shoved around by THE Robin Askwith! ;)
His character is “Terry Sladen” and takes care of a lot of the action: keeping the kids hostage, chasing the little boy that tries to run away, stealing the doctor’s car. And then, I’m not certain, but the voice on the radio that announces that prisoners have escaped and are on the loose also sounds a lot like Robin’s voice.
He gets caught in the end, of course. His partner, who he’d abandoned back at the farm, takes off with one of the kids in the family car and embarks on a very exciting chase scene (my son loved that) which ends in a literal “cliff-hanger”! But all turns out all right in the end.
In a previous entry I’d written a bit about the “Children’s Film Foundation” movies Robin was in, although I hadn’t seen any of them at the time. But now, thanks to the guy that sent me so many Robin appearances, I’ve been able to watch 2 out of the 3!
Hide and Seek was a fun film. And, one I could watch with my 8 year old son! The story: A boy (Peter Newby, who had a very interesting look, like a young Keith Richardsy type…wonder where he is now?) runs away from some kind of reform school to look for his dad in a section of London named Deptford. Really beautiful old brick buildings there! But it looked like a lot of them were abandoned and getting knocked down, so I wonder how much of the area is left today. I loved the scenes of the kids running through what seemed like interesting brick-walled passageways with mysterious doors – what fun!!!! I love old architecture. Anyway, the boy squats in an empty basement apartment and goes out to steal food. A couple of neighborhood kids find out about him and help him find out where his dad is. Now, the dad is at a nearby demolition site, and has dug a tunnel into a bank in order to steal millions of pounds. He has a gang of helpers, one of whom is Robin, dressed up as a policeman. When one of the kids come nosing around, Robin and another fake cop grab him and lock him up. My son’s favorite part was when the kid gets helped out of the hole in the roof by the other kids and they all start running away from the bad guys…very suspenseful! Hehe
This was 1972, so I had been expecting Robin to have his “Dimensions of Greta/Tower of Evil/Flesh and Blood Show” length hair but no, it appeared pretty short in this. Even my son commented: “I thought Robin Askwith has long hair! This guy doesn’t even look like someone you’d like!” Ahhhh! I assured him I like Robin no matter what he looks like.
I love these CFF films, I wish they still made these type of movies for kids! I have a few non-Robin ones I’d shown my son as well, and he aways enjoys them. I try to make sure he’s not too exposed to modern-day movies so he doesn’t get too jaded to enjoy the simpler, more innocent stuff. How wonderful it’d be if the whole CFF collection were to come out on a big boxed-set collection!!!
Can we really stand another “Sex Film retrospective”? Yep, I guess so! I found this one easily on the web (see below!).
This one focuses on the more innocent side of the genre. “Crumpet” - a word I never really noticed before – refers to the sexy-yet-innocent type of woman who was in everything from sitcoms to movies to pop music. They cover a lot of territory and near the end is when they get to the “Confessions” movies (we are again treated to a bit of the “bubbles” scene from “Window Cleaner” – can they not show us anything else??) and mention how these films were the beginning of the end for the “Crumpet” era – which focused on teasing instead of out-and-out sex. Robin is then brought out and thankfully does NOT again launch into how traumatized he was by that toxic foam. ;) This time he looks to be in a more cheerful mood, hair brushed, and tells us how everyone else turned down the role of Timmy Lea but finally he accepted it. And he also tells us how he enjoyed showing up to work every day while filming these movies.
And, alas, yes, that comedy-sex-crumpet era is long gone. I’ve been watching a more current UK show now called “Shameless” and the innocence and fun is Definitely. Long. Gone.
This may also be titled “Sex in the ‘70s – Blue Movies”?
A year after the film from last week’s entry comes yet another “Sex comedy” retrospective, covering all the same things about the “Confessions” series that was already talked about in the other one. Britain really must be proud of their Sex comedy heritage? Robin is trotted out yet again to complain about that toxic foam he was made to perform in….and it looks like they dragged him right out of bed to do it! His hair is wild and ungroomed. He looks like he wishes he didn’t have to rehash all this stuff yet again. Compare this interview to the one he gave 10 years ago where he seems enthusiastic and pleased to be giving us his overview!
So….we are again told by the announcer that “hardcore porn was illegal in 1970s Britain blah blah blah and sex-comedies were a way around that blah blah blah.” Robin tells us that millions of people saw these films, yet oddly you’ll never meet anyone who’ll admit to seeing them. A few young people I’ve never heard of: a film critic, a comedian and a ‘sex-film expert’ come on and weigh in on the series (doesn’t matter they weren’t born yet, of course) and then we get to see Sue Longhurst, the actress who did the “bubbles” scene with Robin! I fell off the couch. She looks very very old now, grandma-like, even!!! I always freak out when I see someone who used to be young and sexy as an old person. Why do some people morph into elderly people with the short grey hair? I gotta admire Robin in his attempt to keep himself looking the same.
One thing that bugged me was that the announcer referred to Robin’s hair as mullet-like. Ummm, NO you can not describe his hair that way! Mullets were that ridiculous 1980s ‘short-on-top, long in back, hesher/redneck’ style. Robin’s is more mod-60s/glam 70s! Come on, people!!!!
I do have to commend them for having the super-happy pop song “Tiger Feet” going on in the background!
Almost 10 years later comes another “look back at Britain’s sex comedies” retrospective. Robin 54 here, not looking too bad. He talks about the “Confessions” movies, about how successful they were and how, even though there was nudity they were considered acceptable because of the comedy. The whole concept of this genre of films was trying to make sex funny…more slapstick than sexy, even trying to be a continuation of the “Carry On” films, but taking them to a whole other level.
Clips from “Window Cleaner” are shown. Robin talks of that bleach-based foam they used in the bubbles scene, how it made his skin peel off. He also mentions, after we see his naked backside in the bubbles, that he now has a dolphin tattoo on his ass. Sigh. If it’s one thing I liked about 70s porn is that everyone had clean, un-marked bodies. I’m not into all this tattoo craziness of today. But, oh well. I wouldn’t say no if someone has a picture of his tattoo to show me, wink wink!
This is I guess a kind of documentary about the sex-comedy films of the 1970s. Just the parts concerning Robin were added to the discs of appearances I’ve been reviewing in recent weeks. And, oh my gosh, I cannot be more thankful to see this probably pretty rare piece!!! Robin is amazingly adorable here! He walks us through some of his feelings concerning being in the Confessions films. You don’t often get to see him just talking as himself instead of acting, so that was a treat. He seems to have a very fun personality. I’ll add a videoclip of some of it to this so you can see for yourself how hot he is.
Another freebie from the nice guy who sent me all the things I’ve been reviewing in recent weeks. And, very helpfully, he only included the Robin scenes. As I’ve mentioned before, I hate soap operas and was glad to not have to wade through a bunch of storylines that he had nothing to do in. Typical, he only had a few scenes in this episode. He plays “Aidan”, a travel guide in Gozo! What a beautiful place! So sunshiney and historic and flowery! I need a vacation!
So, here’s what I surmised without knowing the characters or the backstory. A middle-aged couple is vacationing on the island, and Robin is showing them around. Only they stress that they are not actually “together” nor do they like each other (not sure of the reason why they’re there together, then). The only hotel room available was a small one with one bed, and the woman “Eileen” is annoyed about that. Robin is his friendly, flirty self with her and she seems flattered at that. Later, the guy “Steve” warns him that she can be dangerous and violent and “Aidan” wonders aloud why Steve is even with her. To which Steve confides that he does find her intriguing and suggests Aidan get together with them for a threesome. This scares Aidan off and he leaves just as Eileen joins them. She disappointedly asks where he’d gone off to. Steve reveals he purposely scared him off because he didn’t want to be left out of his half of the hotel room had Aidan and Eileen hit it off too well!
I guess he never pops up again. Too bad, this would have been a nice spin-off role for him had they developed it further.
Here’s some more reading you can do on this episode if you’re interested:
This very last episode was a letdown. Not very interesting nor very funny. Robin’s Dave is trying to obtain at ticket to a football match. First he tries to get it when it goes on sale but after getting into a fight with a fan of the opposing team is hauled out of line by a policeman. Then he goes around town following up on leads about who may have a ticket to sell. Finally he gets one from a scalper outside the stadium but is turned away at the gate for having bought a ticket to last week’s game! Ho hum.
But overall, I enjoyed the series, and still need to see the 4 lost episodes. If they ever come out in boxed-set form, I’ll definitely be buying it!! PLEASE request it by contacting: Network DVD Thank you!
This one was so funny! One of the milkmen, Billy, (David Auker, who’d also been in “Hans Brinker” with Robin) wins a trip for two to Paris. The rest of the gang all try to talk him into choosing them to go along….but Robin’s Dave is the quickest-witted and winds up tricking Billy into asking him. Thank goodness, because how funny would the show had been if he didn’t? I laughed out loud during the airplane ride segment! Dave had little experience with airplanes and his confusion and fear were both hilarious and adorable. Then…Paris, with all its misunderstood-language mishaps and a run-in with the French police which leads to Dave having visions of being guillotined. Mmmmm, Robin in 18th century French costume!!! I swear, WHO are these people out there on the internet saying this is the worst British sitcom ever? I could watch this episode over and over I liked it so much! One more final observation. Robin wears THE most ‘80s style sweatshirt covered by a denim vest decorated with those pop music buttons so popular at the time. Just kinda funny. I’m so used to him being “Mr. Ultra 70s” I guess I forget he went through that whole awful 1980s too.
The one just before this one is missing. Here's the synopsis of that:
Season 2, episode 4: “If the Cap Fits” 3 August 1985 Dave tries to win the chicken-selling drive in order to secure promotion.
Now onto "High Noon":
Probably the least funny and most predictable one of the lot. A milkman from a rival dairy has started making deliveries to a wealthy neighborhood on Dawson’s Dairy’s route. Robin’s Dave gets annoyed and vows to go to the guy’s house and give him a piece of his mind. Of course, when he gets there the guy turns out to be big and scary and challenges Dave to meet up the next day for a fight. Dave studies up with a karate book, and we are treated to a bunch of his wacky moves. Terrified, he shows up for the fight and bravely goes up against the guy…..only just in time the guy’s wife shows up to bawl him out for making deliveries to that new neighborhood because of the high-class housewives who live there – and forbids him from ever doing so again. The guy slinks off, defeated, and Dave has saved face with his buddies!
This one started out with all the milkmen again sitting round the breakroom having their tea. The boss comes in and tells them they need to start upping the sales of eggs and he thought of a way to do it: having one of the milkman and a lovely young lady give a public egg-cooking demonstration! Dave is picked, but alas, finds out he has to wear a chicken suit to do it! (I wonder exactly how many TV shows are out there where one of the characters has to do this. I was actually not too long ago watching an episode of “That Girl” in which this happened as well….) So then I groaned about how stupid it was looking. But, no, Robin made it turn out quite fun. I’ve added a little clip from it below. After they finish the demonstration, they find they are locked out of the dairy building where they’d left their clothes! Of course. They drive to her place – I can’t remember why she didn’t drop him off at his place? – turning heads along the way. So then, they’re at her place changing out of their costumes, are in their underwear, and, naturally, her burly boyfriend shows up. “Dave” hides in the closet and throws on the girl’s wig and clothing and manages to make his escape. Finally, while waiting at the bus stop he sees two of his mates from the dairy who try to make the move on him. Yeah, lots of predictable cliches, but for some reason I was laughing out loud at all of it !
The first episode of season two is one of the missing ones so first I'll give you the synopsis of that one, according to the BFI website:
Season 2, episode 1: “Things that go bump in the night.” 13 July 1985 Stan loses the key to the depot safe so Dave Deacon offers to spend the night in the dairy to guard the cash
Now on to my viewing of episode 2:
One of the milkmen is found to have a special ability to pick winning horses….so of course the rest of the gang use his info to make some bets. They keep winning….and then the TV set blows up. Hilarity ensues as they rush around town trying to find a place where they can watch/listen to the results and also a phone where they can phone in their bets. Ah, remember those quaint days before cell phones? Anyway, they keep on winning until (bet you couldn’t’ve guessed it!) the guy’s psychic ability gets confused by two horses with the same name and, boo hoo, they lose everything. Robin’s riding a hyper high in this one!
“Dave Deacon” amusingly falls in love with the odd-looking, big-haired secretery. They quickly decide to get married…tomorrow. Crazy premise, as they barely pay attention to each other on the other episodes! She goes home to get ready, he goes out to the pub with the boys to celebrate…although he had promised her he wouldn’t drink anything harder than a seltzer water. Yeah, right! He gets plastered! Cute seeing Robin act “drunk”…it doesn’t seem to be something he plays often. So….his friends carry him out and throw him in the back of their car and guess what? It’s stolen and…let’s borrow from “Confessions of a Window Cleaner” shall we?…is driven way out of town. When he wakes up the next morning, he must find a way back to London where the ceremony is about to take place. He hops on a nearby bicycle (that Robin and his bicycles!) and finally gets there only to have her yell at him and break up. Oh well! Life goes on, so he takes her best friend down to the beach town where he had made reservations for the honeymoon!
The guys at the dairy have agreed to put on a comedy show to benefit charity. They are having a hard time selling tickets so Dave says he can get “Bernie Winters” to perform. I guess this is some famous comedian of the time but I never heard of him before so the jokes pertaining to him kinda flew over my head. Anyway, Dave calls him up, but accidentally gets a “Benny Winters”, car salesman, to come round for a meeting about the show instead! Ha ha. After that’s taken care of, they still have the problem of having promoted (and sold lots of tickets to!) a “Bernie Winters” show, so Dave tries to dress up as the guy and try out the costume at the pub. When who should walk in but the REAL Bernie Winters! Not really recognizing him, Dave tries to talk HIM into impersonating the comedian but winds up insulting the guy instead and too late finds out it had really been him. Luckily, at the show, Bernie has a change of heart and shows up just in the nick of time to save the show! Yay!
Funny stuff! I laughed at all Robin’s scrambling around trying to work things out, especially while carrying a big stuffed dog!
No work getting done in this episode – funny how this is supposed to be about milkmen on the job (I’m assuming) yet you never see them “on the job”. In this episode one of them is out sick, so Robin’s Dave is sent around to bring him some things to cheer him up. Humorous part where the woman doctor arrives and thinks Dave is the patient, but of course that’s been done before loads of times. But uniquely cute when it’s Robin! A couple of the other milkmen then arrive by then and when they all leave the guy’s building, they get stuck together in the elevator! More fun! Some funny but predictable gags, including ones about having to pee and resorting to cannibalism. At the end they get an electric shock trying to figure out what went wrong with the buttons. All I need to say is that Robin looks especially hot in this one, and my is his hair sparkly shiny!
The same wonderful person who sent me last week’s offering also sent me the 9 episodes of “Bottle Boys” he had. I’ve been looking for this show forever!!!! Although unfavorable reviews here and there on the web had me a little leary. Was it really “the worst British sitcom ever”??? Now that I’ve seen these 9 episodes I can say no. They’re actually very cute and funny. Originally I had had the notion that they’d be a continuation of the “Confessions” movies. Something about a milkman servicing every need of each housewife on his route. But, no, nothing like that. It’s all very innocent and light-hearted. Robin has said of the show that by the ‘80s comedy in the UK was getting more restrictive, and they were unable to do the kinds of humor popular in the ‘70s. Nevertheless, this was a good, solid comedy that shouldn’t be dismissed as it seems to be. It should be released on DVD. I promise to buy it, as there are a few episodes I still need to see! Who over there has something against Robin Askwith, I’d like to know!! It’s like pulling teeth to get all his series officially released!!!! And yet, our American PBS carries at least a million of truly the MOST god-awful things that have ever come out of Britian. Ugh, it frustrates me to no end. Our local PBS station, Oregon’s OPB, is a wasteland of BAD British comedy on Saturday nights. Something called “My Hero”? I think? I’m not even going to put energy into looking it up. About a woman whose boyfriend is a superhero? OOOOH is it bad. And some other thing, don’t know the name ‘cuz I don’t watch it but it stars Geofferey Palmer (who is a good actor, he’s in lots of other things) as the husband of a middle-aged woman (no not “Butterflies” I didn’t mind that one) but OOOOH is it mind-numbingly DULL! Britian must have some deal with PBS that says, “Okaaayyyy, if you want our Dr. Who you need to ALSO take these 10 OTHER shows…..!”
Whew. OK, long-winded rant over. But nothing makes me more furious than Robin’s stuff stuck somewhere on a back shelf in storage and absolute JUNK thrust at us instead!
Finally, on to the review of the first episode I have of “Bottle Boys”:
An elderly milkman is retiring, so he needs to be replaced with someone new. This is a time when things are getting more “PC” so the job placement office has renamed the position “Milkperson” and sends along a woman to fill the job. Of course, for the laugh factor, it has to be a stuffy-snooty type of woman that gets right to work fancy-ing up the breakroom with flowered sofas and a feminine tea set. Also rips down all the pornography on the walls. The guys don’t appreciate any of this and set up a plan to force her to quit. The boss doesn’t allow husbands and wives to work together so Robin’s “Dave Deacon” is nominated to ask her to marry him – much to his dismay. Some funny moments as he akwardly attempts this feat – and discovers she is desperately attracted to him!
Good glimpse of Robin’s arms in one of the scenes…wearing a skintight bright pink sleeveless top!
The first two episodes, which I still need to see are:
1. "Fools Rush In" 1 September 1984: "Dave Deacon finds an elderly customer on a sixth floor windowsill, threatening suicide."
2. "God Save Our Dairy" 8 September 1984: "Dawson Dairy is on the rocks and the staff rally to fight for their jobs."
Guess what? I finally got to see this elusive film! The nicest person I’ve ever come across on the internet was reading my blog and offered to make copies of quite a few things I needed that he had! So….first up: The Raven!
He warned me it was pretty bad. Well, yes. Not even in the “so bad it’s good” kinda way that I like. Actually, the story has potential. A group of computer-savvy 20-somethings go on a murder investigation a year, broadcasting their adventures live on the web. This year it’s off to a remote wooded area where, two years prior, a family had gone missing: writer George Carney, his wife, two kids, and his brother Vincent….Robin! One girl is psychic and through her the story of the family is shown to us in sepia-toned flashbacks. We find out Vincent had been having a long-standing affair with his brother’s wife… and George, upon the realization of this, descends into madness.
Now…that’s the part I understood. Amidst this story, there’s a lot of convoluted, dreamy, confusing sequences that I just could not decipher. Plus, a lot of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” being read. I guess you can sorta make a couple comparisons between this poem and the movie (guy descending into madness, reference to a woman named “Lenore” who had cursed this wooded area centuries ago) but otherwise, I don’t really see why this movie was called “The Raven”. Maybe if I watched it a few more times I’d get it.
When this film wasn’t being confusing, it was being boring with long, drawn out scenes of the computer kids poking around the woods and the cabin, just asking to be killed off. You know, though, these parts make it fit right in with “Flesh and Blood Show” and “Tower of Evil”!
Anyway, my fave part was the glimpse of Robin making out with the wife. Ah, the way she ran her hands through his long hair…..it’s like the ‘70s never left us…. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is the TV series from which the movie of the same name (which Robin starred in as son Mike) was spun off. It was easy to buy an official release of just season 2 from Amazon UK for not too much. It’s not that great of a show, I found the movie lots funnier. The parents are fine as actors but the “teenaged” kids are just horrible. The guy who plays son Mike is good-enough looking with his long dark hair, but I couldn’t help but being mad at him for being in a role that should have been Robin’s! hehe. The show is full of tired old jokes about “the older generation just doesn’t understand! blah blah blah” by the kids.
However, the last episode of season 2 is the one Robin is in, and it is by far the funniest episode. And not just because of him, either, his role wasn’t very big. It was just a really good one, and I laughed out loud at times. The family decide to have some fun with a Ouija board and later on think they have brought a ghost into the house because of some weird noises in the night. Those noises, though, are due to Mike’s friend Sam (Robin!) sneaking around in the house and clumsily bumping into things. The reason Sam has to sneak around is because the dad didn’t like him and didn’t want him around, but Mike was letting him stay the night. Robin was cute but you just don’t see enough of him as he dashes through the hallways!
In Robin’s book he mentions that while filming this episode he understood why the producers didn’t want to use the same Mike for the movie, as he kept showing up late for work every day and making up silly excuses. Lucky for our Robin! Who, in the movie, makes a much better Mike!!
Been holding off on watching this as….sob…I’m at the end of my “Confessions” movies! I kept this one unwatched so I could always have that last one to look forward to, but alas, the time has come.
As for quality, I’d put it down as a little better than “Pop Performer” but not as good as the other two.
Robin is again Timmy Lea, and for some reason has now found himself, along with brother-in-law Sid, working for some kind of English vacation club. It is still March, and mentioned that the weather is quite chilly…but there are still a lot of people there, not worrying about it and quite willing to lounge around in their bathing suits. Brrr! Robin, in his book, mentions that it really WAS March while they filmed it and he wound up in bed with a fever after filming the water-skiing scene!
The story is predictable. Timmy and Sid of course get into trouble with their boss. Sid comes up with an idea of having a beauty contest (um, didn’t this already happen in “Carry On, Girls”?) and then he and Timmy find themselves getting a lot of “favors” from the contestants! The sex does seem to be toned way down in this one…especially if you compare it to “Pop Performer”. But, like “Pop Performer” Timmy again doesn’t have much depth to his character. He goes through a lot of motions without the insight or thought he had in “Window Cleaner”. He also doesn’t have a love interest in this one. His real-life girlfriend at the time, Lynda Hayden, (who played the love-interest in “Window Cleaner”) is back but as a completely different character, “Brigette” with a bad French accent. Robin looks like he’s bored with the sex scenes and doesn’t seem to make too much of an effort in trying to feign enjoyment. And oh! Did I cringe when they introduced the “Black” girl along with all the very UN-pc racial jokes!
The humor is all slapstick, culminating in a huge pie-fight in the end. There are some laugh-worthy moments, but generally it’s just silly. There is a suggestion at the end that another movie may be coming along, about them going into the plumbing business, but I guess that fell through. And that’s probably a good thing.
On a side note…on Netflix I sometimes rent non-Robin early 70s British shows just for fun. Recently I watched a few early ‘70s “Til Death Do Us Part” which is what the American “All in the Family” is based on. But I noticed how the “Confessions” series may have been based on it as well. The family’s mom is played by the same Dandy Nichols. The lazy live-in son-in-law is played by Anthony Booth. There is an adult daughter (who looks familiar – she may have been in some other Robin things) and they have a baby boy. The dad is different, though, very obnoxious, and there’s no Timmy Lea type character, nor any sex in it. It’s not very good at all, really, but it’s interesting to think that this COULD have inspired “Confessions”.
Very hard to find on VHS…and it’s not on DVD. Luckily, I came across someone who had a copy and posted it in segments on YouTube! Gold mine!! I am so thankful I didn’t again have to shell out money for something Robin was in for 5 minutes. Thankful also that he was in the FIRST five minutes of this film and then gets killed off, so I know he wouldn’t pop up again somewhere later. So I only downloaded and watched the first 10-minute segment.
In 9th century England, it tells us, the country was not yet unified, but consisted of several independent kingdoms. Alfred was a young prince who dreamed of uniting the country. When the movie opens, the savage Danes are beginning to invade. Robin is a young shepherd with nothing more on his mind than making out with his girlfriend. In his biography he mentions that she was played by Phil Collins’ girlfriend at the time. So….in the midst of making out he hears the invaders come ashore and, despite her trying to hold him back, runs out to…what, defend his country? One lone boy against an army? Well, he tries. And gets speared. And they carry off his girl. And that’s the end of that.
As always, he makes the most of his role, getting in practice for what he’ll go on to do a lot more of!
Anyway, sorry I’m too lazy to watch the whole movie and offer you a decent review. I’m sure it’s very interesting and informative but I’m just not in the mood for a complex history lesson right now.
This is the third in the “If…” series. The second movie (which Robin was NOT in) was “O Lucky Man!” (1971) where Malcolm McDowall reprises his role of Mick Travis. I’d seen it before, but decided to watch it again before I went on to Britannia Hospital. When you first see Mick in it, he is an ambitious coffee salesman touring the north of England trying to make sales. He seems like a completely different person than his “angry at authority” self in “If…”. He travels around, meeting up with one unfortunate incident after another. At the end, he stumbles into an audition for some movie directed by Lindsey Anderson. He is told to hold a machine gun, as he did in “If…” You see another guy who played a schoolboy from “If…” sitting there waiting to audition. Ahhhh! So is this actually a PREQUEL? Everything that led up to “Mick Travis” playing a role as an anti-authority schoolboy? Interesting…
So…on to the third installment in this trilogy…In Britannia Hospital we catch up with Mick Travis again 10 years later. He’s some kind of reporter now. He’s been to America and has brought back a couple of guys (including Mark Hamill!) to help him uncover what’s going on with a crazy doctor at Britannia Hospital – who is harvesting body parts in order to sew together a Frankenstein monster sort of creature. I am thinking this may be the same crazy doctor he ran into in “O Lucky Man” who was trying to do similar experiments? Which would make sense for Mick to be interested in going back to pursue that as a reporter. Unfortunately, Mick gets caught by the doctor and killed. Head taken off and used as the creature’s head. Rather gruesome moments there.
Meanwhile, the rest of the staff is getting ready to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary which will be highlighted by a visit from the queen. Except, there’s social unrest outside, by the masses who are upset that the hospital gives private-paying patients preferential treatment.
Robin reprises his role of “Ben Keating” from “If…”. He’s now a union leader, head of the striking hospital kitchen staff, angry because they have to cook “special request” meals for the private-paying patients. He has quite a few good scenes of being outraged. This is now a good ten years after “Horror Hospital” but his hairstyle is right back where he had it in that, which is a good thing. My fave part is when he is wearing a suit and primping in front of a mirror in preparation to meet the queen. Definitely has an “older Brian Jones” look in this scene. I took a little videoclip of this so I’ll post it to YouTube and share it.
According to Wikipedia “Good Morning Britain was TV-am's flagship breakfast television show, which broadcast from 7am until 9am five days a week between 1983 and 1992.” Robin appeared on this during a segment called “Star Turn” where they had a celebrity jokingly read some silly made-up news. Thankfully, someone somewhere recorded this and it’s all over YouTube now! Robin’s adorable as he fakes being serious about the news he’s reading and at the end reveals he’s wearing no pants! Hehe. But why bother with my review….go head on over and watch it for yourself!
Update for today: Just after I posted this I was perusing other blogs I subscribe to and found out that Michael Gough of "Horror Hospital" has died at the age of 94. Details: BHF Blog - Here's to the best mad doctor ever!!
Some nice person who was selling bootlegs of the entire series agreed to sell me just the season I needed, season 5. So glad! I didn’t want to get trapped into watching another million episodes of some show (like with Please Sir!) again! Because, I’m just like that…if I pay money for something I feel obligated to get my money’s worth.
Father, Dear Father is a fun, silly, half-hour sitcom. Not something I’d seek out, but amusing enough to keep me entertained. The story revolves around a wealthy divorced writer and his two grown daughters who live with him. The older one is so gorgeous! Has such a unique look and mannerisms. Palest blond hair you’ll ever see on an adult. The humor is very classicly British. Lots of those kinds of “saying-one-thing-and-people-thinking-you’re-talking-about-something-completely-and-hilariously-different” situations.
In “The Life of the Party” the girls decide to throw a party because their father is going out of town. Only at the last minute he doesn’t go after all, so they switch the party location to their mother’s house across town. But the party-goers don’t get the message and all show up at the father’s house. Robin is “Monty”, the leader of the group, who takes the frantic phone call from the girls and rounds up the kids. Hilarity ensues as he herds the group back and forth from house to house as the father gets wise and starts following them around to see what the girls are up to. It’s a good-sized role for a guest appearance, and you get to enjoy seeing him in super-tight ‘70s clothing and a hippie-headband around his hair. He brings a lot of energy into the role and was the perfect choice for it! And so cute at the end when he gets talked into playing children’s party games by the father!
Aaargh, this is another one of those “Why did I bother?” films. Robin is in it for about 5 seconds, and his face is covered in cake. He plays a delivery man for a bakery. When a jogger comes alongside his truck and pushes the door aside to squeeze through, it crashes into poor Robin, who winds up with cake all over himself. His only line, a sarcastic: “Thank you very much.”
This was a pointless and ridiculous comedy. Some things were so absurd you can’t help laughing here and there but on the whole it’s not worth wasting your time on. Here’s the story: A young banker and his wife, only just married, move into an apartment above the bank where he works. Before long, they start receiving packages full of pornographic photos, books, and films due to an address error. I guess such stuff is illegal at the time in early ‘70s England? Because a big fuss is made to try and dispose of it before the law finds out. Lots of gags involving the mother-in-law coming to visit, bank officials stopping by, etc.
Now the question is, why did Robin bother taking this role? Why did they bother getting a “big name” star (this was right after Horror Hospital!”) to play a character that was unrecognizable unless you’re specifically watching for him? I might be able to see the humor of “The Confessions Star” doing a cameo in a “No Sex” movie….BUT this came out a year before the first Confessions movie! So…very odd.
So....for any hardcore Robin fan who doesn't want to waste energy tracking this one down, here is his only scene:
The last episode I have of this series. Robin’s in 8 more episodes.
His “Fred” character didn’t have too much to do in this one. A lot of glaring whenever Rosie’s boyfriend was mentioned. The subject of the show was morality. After a discussion in her college class, Beryl starts thinking about different kinds of morality in different situations. And from there, all the other characters start dealing with their own ideas on morality, from working in a betting shop to shoplifting to adultery.
Not a bad show, really. Why hasn’t it been officially released?