Friday, August 26, 2011

EastEnders - 4 August 1997

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!

Here's a little clip from it for you to enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Marc – 1977

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.

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Hostages - 1975

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.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hide and Seek – 1972

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!!!

I have just found out that “Hide and Seek” at least is available for purchase here in the U.S.! Check it out!