Monday, August 06, 2007

Danger UXB

Danger UXB . DVD; 13 Episodes. Copy from library.

The Plot:

It's World War II; setting, Great Britain.
The good news? Brian Ash, you are now an officer!
The bad news? Brian Ash, you've been assigned to the bomb disposal unit!

The Good:

I remember watching this on TV in the early 80s. Sigh... Anthony Andrews. I was totally in love with him in Brideshead Revisited. And yes, was inspired to read the book & loved it (yeah, I was that annoying girl in high school. No wonder I didn't date much.) And remember him in Ivanhoe? And when he dated Julie?

Brideshead has one of my favorite quotes, ever:

"But, my dear Sebastian, you can't seriously believe it all."
"Can't I?"
"I mean about Christmas and the star and the three kings and the ox and the ass."
"Oh yes, I believe that. It's a lovely idea."
"But you can't believe things because they're a lovely idea."
"But I do. That's how I believe."

Right, Danger UXB. Topic.

Danger UXB follows Ash's journey, from being scared of the bombs to realizing this is the thing he does best. OK, let me explain: WWII, Germans are dropping bombs, including bombs that don't go off on impact. So Ash & his crew go around finding and defusing the unexploded bombs (hence the "UXB"). Except, of course, defusing requires trial and error (BOOM) and sometimes there are booby traps (BOOM) and not much is left of a person after that. So Ash's job has a short life expectancy.

Danger UXB follows Ash, and the members of his squad; it also provides a glimpse of life in Britain during World War II.

This show was originally produced in Britain in 1979; and is a great example of why a true mini series is often the best way to tell a story. It's 13 episodes, set over a few years. I adore that it didn't go on needlessly, just to create more episodes. I love that it's tightly plotted, with months passing between episodes.

Also good: that a story must be told in more than two or four hours -- hence a series -- but without it being looked at as a cash cow (it must be 100 hours!) I truly believe that some stories are best told when the writers, and actors, know how and when it will end. I would LOVE to see more real mini series. And no, a four hour show broadcast over 2 nights doesn't count.

Anyway. Topic.

Danger UXB: watch it. You'll like it. We'll be arguing over Anthony Andrews as our TV boyfriend. And did I mention Judy Geeson is in it? Don't even get me started on the awesomeness that is Poldark!


tanita✿davis said...

Gasp! Brideshead Revisited. Man, my sister wouldn't let us anywhere near the TV when that was on!! Anthony Andrews... that takes me back.

Saints and Spinners said...

Hey hey, Anthony Andrews was also in the last 1/2 of the 5th season of "Upstairs, Downstairs." Well, now you may as well watch the whole season...:)

Paige Y. said...

I too loved Danger UXB but my favorite thing with Anthony Andrews was The Scarlet Pimpernell. We show it to our sixth graders each year as part of a unit on the French Revolution.

Upstairs/Downstairs is also wonderful -- I get the complete set for my birthday and am slowly watching them so we havent' gotten to the Anthony Andrews sections yet.

I've been enjoying your blog for several months -- am planning to start my own book blog before the school year starts. Any Advice?

Andrew Karre said...

This is such a fantastic show on so many levels. It's a perfect dramatic bookend to Fawlty Towers as an example of well done British television. What was going on at the BBC in the late 70s that they were able to make the best TV ever?

Anonymous said...

At the risk of getting too far off-topic... I just watched Brideshead, which one was Anthony Andrews?

I didn't realize people were watching it for the hunks, I thought it only appealed to lovers of drunken misery and misanthropy.

Camille said... ARE a soul sister. Love Anthony Andrews. I loved Danger UXB!
Loved him as the Scarlet Pimpernel, "Sink me!"

I was surprised and pleased to see him as Tommy Beresford in a Miss Marple (the new ones with Geraldine McEwan) I think it was in season 2. He is obviously older but oh, that voice!