Sunday, 15 January 2012

300th post

I have been watching a series called Fall of Eagles. Purple Cat was disappointed to find out that it's not actually about eagles or birdies at all; it's about mannys.

As a TV series it is quite a lot like I Claudius, in that it was made by the BBC in 1974 (two years before I Claudius was made) and mainly features mannys from history talking at each other. The story also has similarities to I Claudius in that it is set over a lot of years with main characters (who are Emperors) that get older and lots of minor characters that are only in one or two episodes.

Unlike in I Claudius, where Claudius starts off not being an Emperor and then becomes one even though he doesn't want to, this story has three mannys who start as Emperors but are not by the end even though they want to keep being Emperors. Two of them are the main characters - the first is Kaiser Wilhelm, who comes into the series in part 3.

Kaiser Wilhelm, played by Barry Foster, who I recognise from Smiley's People.

The other main character does not appear until part 5. He is Tsar Nicholas.

Tsar Nicholas, played by Charles Kay, who was in I Claudius and was also Pendleton in Edge of Darkness.

A character who is not in it so much but is obviously important (you can tell because he gets a superimposed caption giving his name and dates, which no other characters get) is Vladimir Ulyanov Lenin.

Lenin is played by Patrick Stewart, who was Sejanus in I Claudius and has been in loads of other things as well.

I think that giving Lenin such a prominent role would have been a bold move for the BBC in 1974, because Patrick Stewart wouldn't have been that famous then.

Other notable minor characters include a very shouty manny called Bismarck who was in two episodes.

Bismarck, played by Curt Jurgens. Like Barry Foster he was in Smiley's People, and also he was the baddy in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Kevin Stoney was in one scene. He is recognisable as always because of his scene-stealing eyebrow.

And in the last episode Colin Baker turns up, playing the Kaiser's son.

He is called "Little Willie" lol.

Cats don't have Emperors or kings. We had a prince once, according to The Book of Lost Tales, but he got chased up a tree by a dog.

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