One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2) by Jeaniene Frost
We grow invested in our friends on screen over the years; spending Christmas with them is a rite of passage, a chance for us to share tradition from our world with the fictional ones we see on screen. Some shows embrace the season wholeheartedly, characters in good spirits and enjoying the trappings of the season; others skew a little darker, bringing the more oppressive, burdensome side of the holidays to life.
As I set out to compile this list of the all-time greatest Christmas TV classics, it quickly became clear that a few ground rules were required, so as to prevent the project from becoming too unwieldy:. The toughest of all the restrictions - so many great, long-running TV shows have spent several Christmases with us.
But even with a hundred-item list, there are so many great episodes that just couldn't quite make the cut; this rule seemed like the fairest way to spread the love. Throughout the list, I've noted other strong festive entries from the shows featured. Individual specials A Charlie Brown Christmas , The Snowman are not - unless they are extensions of a regular series, like A Colbert Christmas , in which case they are.
The story behind One Foot In The Grave, part one: Richard Wilson was wary of playing Victor Meldrew
This didn't prove an issue with US programming, where the "Christmas Special" isn't as distinct a concept. Episodes featured must specifically be about Christmastime, or feature Christmas elements prominently. The latter is how, er, Saved By The Bell made the cut. Thanks to Robert David Sullivan, who offered several suggestions for the list. His knowledge of classic television is unparalleled and his top sitcom episodes of all-time countdown is a must-read.
It's Christmastime at Bayside High! Er, kinda.
Saved By The Bell 's only Christmas episode well, episodes, plural - it's a two-parter actually takes place entirely outside of the school; Principal Belding doesn't even make an appearance. The show celebrated Christmas during its third season, which was rather diverse in theme and setting, by Bell standards: there's the Palm Springs Weekend road trip, there's perplexing pseudo-rock-doc Rockumentary, there's the surprisingly dark Murder Mystery Weekend.
As such, we meet Zack, Kelly, Screech, Lisa, Slater and Jessie not in the school corridor, but at the Bayside Mall, where vaguely festive shenanigans are going down: Zack's found a girl he likes, there's a town production of A Christmas Carol , Kelly's got a job at Moody's Store for Men, and Screech is momentarily perplexed by a homeless man shaving in the mall bathroom.
It will come as no surprise to learn that these stories coalesce, there's some festive drama, and every character is thoroughly versed in the true reason for the season by the end of the third act. Uniquely accessible sci-fi was the order of the day for Eureka , a disarmingly likeable comedy-drama about the residents of Eureka, Oregon.
Comprised largely of research scientists collectively responsible for every major technological breakthrough in history, this was no bog-standard small-town drama. The primary inspiration for The Flintstones , it influenced generations of media creatives and was the primary reference point for American sitcom for decades to come. Retrospectively unloved thanks to cheesy scripting and a regrettably frequent penchant for Very Special Episodes, Diff'rent Strokes deserves a little more credit than most are willing to offer.
A well-cast, well-oiled machine, its workmanlike construction and strong ensemble ensured that every now and then, the show could deliver an old-fashioned sitcom gem. It's predictable stuff, but every scene is imbued with Christmas spirit - there's snow, presents, a family meal, and heartwarming evidence of the true meaning of the season - and the show's wit-drenched dialogue is on fine form.
If your tolerance for old-school sitcom is high, there's much to love here. Santas, multiple mangers, neon signs from the local bar: nothing is too kitsch. Great Aunt Joyce is mentioned as having a glass eye and has the habit of knitting bizarre items such as six-fingered gloves for Victor. Uncle Dick has a wooden arm; in the final Comic Relief episode, it transpires that a nurse had mistakenly placed a drip in the false arm for 18 hours after a trip to hospital after trying to remove a kidney stone with a wire coat hanger. Mimsy Berkovitz - Another unseen character, she is the local agony aunt , whom many of the characters turn to for advice.
In the episode "The Secret of the Seven Sorcerers", Patrick is heard talking to her on the radio, seeking her advice on how to cope when Victor and Margaret invite him and Pippa around to dinner. Mrs Birkett Gabrielle Blunt An elderly neighbour. She accidentally gets trapped in the Meldrews' loft when Victor closes the trap door whilst she is up there looking for jumble that Margaret has prepared. She continues to be mentioned throughout the rest of the series, but is not seen again. He manages to take a number of compromising photographs, involving a high-ranking politician.
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Trout compares the potential impact of the photos to the Profumo affair. On his way to sell the images, he loses the roll of film whilst arguing at a phone box with the Meldrews and subsequently pursues them across the Algarve to retrieve it. He suffers a number of disasters both related and unrelated to Victor and Margaret's own misfortunes, only to find that the film had actually fallen into the lining of his jacket and had been with him for much of his journey.
He lost it in the door of the Meldrews' car. Retrieving the roll after a brief spell in hospital, Trout attempts to leave the Algarve in a taxi but is involved in a car crash. The production of the show was in a conventional sitcom format, with episodes taped live in front of a studio audience , interposed with pre-filmed location material.
Most of the first five series of One Foot in the Grave were produced and directed by Susan Belbin , the exceptions being "Love and Death", which was partly directed by veteran sitcom director Sydney Lotterby and "Starbound", for which Gareth Gwenlan who in fact had originally commissioned the series in stepped in to direct some sequences after Belbin was taken ill. Afterward, Belbin retired owing to ill-health,  and the final series was produced by Jonathan P. Llewellyn and directed by Christine Gernon. Wilson and Renwick felt that Gernon's experience of working with Belbin on earlier series of One Foot as a production secretary and assistant, as well as other shows, meant that her style was similar to Belbin's, aiding the transition between directors.
One Foot used Bournemouth to film some exterior sequences because of its favourable climate, easy access to London and economical benefits relative to filming in the capital. After the first series was filmed, the house—near Pokesdown , Bournemouth—which had been used for the Meldrews' house in location sequences, changed hands and the new owners demanded nearly treble the usage fees that the previous owners had asked for. Rather than agree to this, the production team decided to find a new house and the first episode of the second series was rewritten to have the Meldrews' house destroyed in a fire this was filmed on waste ground in Northcote Road, Springbourne.
This also gave the opportunity for a new interior set to be designed, as Belbin had been unhappy with the original set designed for the series, which she felt was too restrictive to shoot in. Later episodes, such as "Hearts of Darkness", were filmed entirely on location. Victor's death by a hit and run driver in the final episode was filmed at Shawford railway station , Hampshire. Fans left floral tributes at the site. Over the show's history, it featured a number of notable comic actors in one-off roles. A few actors little-known at the time also appeared in one-off roles before going on to greater fame, including Lucy Davis , Joanna Scanlan , Eamonn Walker and Arabella Weir.
The show was produced with an aspect ratio of from to Three years later, the show returned to television for its final series, which was produced with an aspect ratio of All episodes are of Standard Definition i.
One Foot in the Grave
A longer version was produced for the special "One Foot in the Algarve", released as a single with five remixes and a karaoke version in November The series also made extensive use of incidental music, composed by Ed Welch , which often hinted at a particular genre to fit the mood of the scenes, frequently incorporating well-known pieces of music such as " God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen " or Intermezzo from Jean Sibelius ' Karelia Suite. In the Christmas special "Endgame" during Margaret's alleged death scene, a compilation of clips from past episodes are accompanied by the song "River Runs Deep" performed by J.
The programme received a number of prestigious awards. During its ten-year run, the series was nominated a further six times. Richard Wilson also won Best Light Entertainment Performance in and and Annette Crosbie was nominated for the same award in A number of complaints were made during the series' run for its depiction of animal deaths.
For example, in the episode "The Valley of Fear", a dead cat is found in the Meldrews' freezer; in another, a tortoise is roasted in a brazier.
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However, this was later cited as a positive feature of the programme's daring scripts in Britain's Best Sitcom by its advocate Rowland Rivron. The Broadcasting Standards Commission received complaints about this scene. ITV was accused of engineering this in order to damage the final episode's expected high ratings , but was later cleared by the Independent Television Commission. Due to the series' popularity, people who constantly complain and are irritated by minor things are often compared to Victor Meldrew by the British media.
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Renwick integrated some of the plots and dialogue from the series into a novel, which was first published by BBC Books in Wilson dislikes saying his character's catchphrase "I don't believe it! They considered how "tasteless and wrong" it would be to lean forward to him every time that an acrobat did a stunt and yell the catchphrase and then they realised that that's exactly what their fictional priests would do.
Each series was gradually released on DVD in Region 2 between and , with a complete series box set towards the end of A slimmer series box set was released in in Region 2. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the BBC sitcom. Llewellyn Main article: List of One Foot in the Grave episodes. Retrieved 2 May BFI: ScreenOnline. The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Comedy Connections. Bournemouth Echo, Wednesday 6 July Northern Echo. Retrieved 28 January BBC News. The Scotsman. The Independent. Britain's Best Sitcom?
Cat is their leader and thought she was saving Bones' life by leaving him and disappearing. I never liked the secret military storyline. All the characters there are one-dimensional. There's Juan, the cute Latino who only thinks about sex and always says "Madre de Dios! The first half is all about relationship angst. Cat is dating some guy named Noah. Who cares, seriously? This is just filler for when Bones comes back. Then, Bones does come back and Cat gets all angsty and annoying. Like we don't know they will get back together.
Cat slut-shames someone in this book, just like she did in the first one. I blame that on the author. There are a lot of romance stereotypes in this series. I felt like a lot of the first half was manufactured drama and unnecessary. The second half was better. I liked the action and story. Bones is a bad-ass.