Sunday, 3 July 2011
Novak Djokovic crowned his rise to number one in the world in perfect fashion with a dramatic 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final.
The Spaniard was looking to make it three titles in four years at the All England Club and win back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles for the third time, but it was the player in his first final in SW19 who held his nerve the best.
Having been sublime in the opening two sets, Djokovic, the Australian Open champion in January, dipped in the third but he was not to be denied.
The Serbian began to come out on top in the long, brutal rallies Nadal so loves, and two stunning forehand winners took him to 30-30 with his opponent serving to stay in the first set.
Rarely does Nadal crack, but this time he did, dumping a tame shot into the net to hand Djokovic the set point and then missing with his favourite forehand down the line.
Djokovic promptly created two more break points in the second game of the second set and he took the first with a beautiful dinked backhand off a Nadal drop-volley, celebrating as if he had won the match. Murray had let the Spaniard off the hook but Djokovic simply got better, breaking again in the sixth game and clinching the set with ease.
The question was whether the 24-year-old would be able to keep up his almost superhuman level, and the answer arrived in the second game of the third set when a forehand error was followed by a backhand one and Nadal had his first break from his first opening.
Djokovic saved two break points in game six but a third brought the first double fault of the match, and Nadal served out another emphatic set to love.
They traded breaks early in the fourth set and the crucial break then came in the eighth game. Nadal started ominously with a double fault, and two more errors made it 0-40.
He saved one break point with a stunning forehand but on the second the coolest man in sport showed his nerves and blasted a forehand long and a brave serve and volley gave Djokovic a first match point and this time Nadal had no answer, drilling a backhand long.
To defend against the aliens, a secret organisation called SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation) is established. Operating behind the cover of the Harlington-Straker Studios in England, SHADO is headed by Commander Edward Straker (played by Ed Bishop), a former United States Air Force Colonel and Astronaut who poses as the studio's chief executive.
In reality, this was a clever cost-saving move by the producers – the studio was the actual studio where the series was being filmed, originally the MGM British Studios, later Pinewood Srudios, although the Harlington-Straker studio office block seen throughout the series was actually Neptune House – a building at the former British National Studios, in Borehamwood, that were owned by ATV. Pinewood's studio buildings and streetscapes were used extensively in later episodes, particularly "Timelash" and "Mindbender," the latter featuring scenes that actually showed the behind-the-scenes workings of the UFO sets when Straker briefly finds himself hallucinating that he is an actor on a TV series and all his SHADO colleagues are likewise actors.
Typical of Anderson productions, the studio-as-cover idea was both practical and cost-effective for the production and provided a ready-made vehicle for the viewer's suspension of disbelief It removed the need to build an expensive exterior set for the SHADO base and combined the all-important "secret" cover (concealment and secrecy are always central themes in Anderson dramas) with the trademark ring of at least nominal plausibility. A studio was a business where unusual events and routines would not be remarkable or even noticed. Comings and goings at odd times, the movement of vehicles, equipment, people and material would not excite undue interest and could easily be explained away as "sets," "props," or "extras."
The show's concept was unusually dark for its time: the basic premise was that alien invaders were abducting humans to use as involuntary organ transplant donors. A later episode, "The Cat With Ten Lives," contains a sinister plot point which suggests that the UFO pilots are not humanoid aliens at all, but are in fact human abductees under the control of the alien intelligences, suggesting that, as in Captain Scarlet,the aliens, in the dialog of Dr. Jackson, "may have no physical being at all and therefore need a container, a vehicle, our bodies."
The show also featured realistic, believable relationships between the human characters to a far greater extent than usual in a typical science fiction series, showing the clear influence of American programmes like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek and British action series such as Danger Man. One early episode, "Computer Affair," strongly hinted at an interracial romance between two continuing characters--something that was uncommon on British TV in those days, while others showed the heroes making mistakes with sometimes fatal consequences. Furthermore, relatively few episodes of the series actually had happy or (for the characters) satisfying endings.
The episode "Confetti Check A-OK" is almost entirely devoted to the breakdown of Straker's marriage under the strain of maintaining the secrecy of the classified nature of his duties. Another, "A Question Of Priorities," takes this exploration further, and hinges on Straker having to make an agonising life-or-death choice: divert an aircraft to deliver life-saving medical supplies to his critically injured son, or allow the aircraft to continue on its mission to attempt a last-chance intercept against an incoming UFO. Two key images from "A Question Of Priorities" – Straker's son being struck down and his ex-wife declaring she never wants to see him again – are repeated in flashback in two subsequent episodes, "Sub Smash" and "Mindbender," suggesting that Straker remains haunted by these unresolved emotional issues.
Another episode, "The Square Triangle," centres on a woman and her lover who plan to murder her husband. When they accidentally kill an alien from a downed UFO instead, SHADO intervenes and doses the guilty pair with amnesia drugs (decades ahead of a similar story device in Men In Black, and one deployed for similar reasons). Straker realises, however, that the drugs will not affect their basic motivation and, worse, he cannot reveal the truth to local legal authorities. The end credits of this episode are run over a scene set in the near future, showing the woman visiting her husband's grave and then walking to meet her lover.
Some critics complained that the emphasis on down-to-earth relationships weakened the show's science fiction premise and were also a means of saving money on special effects. The money-saving argument might have been true to a limited extent, but the Andersons made a virtue of necessity. They had always hoped to direct live action TV drama, and although the marionette shows helped them develop impressive skills in effects and scripting, they had always considered them as essentially being a way of keeping in work and earning money while they tried to break into "real" TV drama. Others countered that the characters were more well rounded than in other science fiction shows and that science fiction concepts and special effects in themselves did not preclude realistic action and interaction and believable, emotionally engaging plots. Ultimately, the mix of dark human drama with traditional science fiction adventure is probably the reason for UFO's enduring cult popularity and what sets it apart from the rest of TV SF series. For example, the time-freeze plot of the episode "Timelash" is similar to The Outer Limits episode "The Premonition." But UFO adds a drama twist: Straker repeatedly injects a drug (X 50 stimulant) to remain awake during the time freeze, which results in Straker being hospitalised in SHADO's medical centre. The ending not only shows him lying in bed recovering from the harmful effects of drug use, but has a subtext that the plot of the episode may, in fact, have been a drug-induced delusion. This SF and dark drama mix is why UFO cuts deeper than most similar series.
The Mechanic was released in 1972 and was an American action thriller film directed by Michael Winner. The film starred starred Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent.The film is noted for its opening. There is no dialogue for the first 16 minutes of the film, as the hit man played by Bronson prepares to kill his current target.
As part of this training program, Bishop teaches Steve that "every person has a weakness, and that once this weakness is found, the target is easy to kill." But Bishop fails to get his superiors' consent for the arrangement. Following a messy contract assassination mission conducted by Bishop and Steve, the organization Bishop works with warns him that his irresponsible choice to involve Steve was without permission, and that such selfish behavior cannot be tolerated "because the organization relies on 'democratic principles' that put the survival of the group above personal ambitions". The Organization then gives Bishop an urgent assassination mission, this time in Italy. Once again, Bishop involves Steve in the new assassination plan, but just before they leave the United States, Bishop accidentally notices that among the belongings of Steve, is a file containing a lot of information about him. This file is very similar to the files Bishop used to prepare about his victims he was told to assassinate. Bishop realizes that his apprentice Steve is turning against him, but he pretends to ignore this, and he starts his own investigation about Steve's background, preparing his own file about Steve without telling him. Nevertheless, Bishop allows Steve go to Italy with him to conduct the assassination assigned by the organization.
In Italy, Bishop and Steve approach a boat where their intended victim is located, but it becomes apparent that this was a trap prepared by the organization and that they are the real target. Bishop and Steve are ambushed by the assassins of the organization, but after violent events they manage to kill all their opponents, leaving no witnesses, and they return to the hotel in Naples, preparing their suitcases to go back to the United States.
His apprenticeship apparently complete, Steve shares a celebratory bottle of wine with Bishop, having coated the latter's glass with brucine, a colorless and deadly alkaloid. When Bishop realizes that he has been poisoned and that he is becoming paralyzed, he asks Steve if it was because Bishop had killed Steve's father. Steve responds that he had not realized his father was murdered, instead believing that he had simply died of the heart attack. Steve is full of himself, and taunts Bishop, saying "you told me that everyone has a jelly spot--yours was that you couldn't cut it alone." Steve goes on to reveal that he wasn't acting on orders to kill Bishop, stating that he is going to continue picking his own targets, with the suggestion that killing Bishop was an something akin to an artistic choice on Steve's part that establishes him (at least in his own mind) as superior and a more refined killer even than Bishop, who needed the "license" provided by the secret organization he worked for.
The premise was simple: the humorous scenarios caused when Bill Reynolds (Rudolph Walker), a black West Indian conservative, and his family move next door to the family home of Eddie Booth (Jack Smethurst), a white English socialist bigot.
Like 'Till Death Do Us Part', the racism shown by both characters was meant to make people laugh at such prejudices, but the show ended up being labelled racist itself, due to its politically incorrect handling of such issues.
The series was created and largely written by Vince Powell and Harry Driver, and was based around a suburban white working class couple who unwittingly found themselves living next door to a black couple, and the white couple's attempts to come to terms with this. Love Thy Neighbour was hugely popular in the 1970s. During that era, Britain struggled to come to terms with its recently-arrived population of black immigrants, and Love Thy Neighbour exemplified this struggle. It aroused great controversy for many of the same reasons as the earlier Till death us do part.The views of the white male character (Eddie Booth, played by Smethurst) were presented in such a way as to make him appear stupid and bigoted, and were contrasted with the more tolerant attitude of his wife. His use of terms such as nig-nog to refer to his black neighbour attracted considerable criticism from viewers.
Joan Booth (Kate Williams) is Eddie's wife. She does not share her bigoted husband's opinion of their black neighbours, and is good friends with Barbie. Her catchphrases include "Don't be ridiculous!" and "Don't talk rubbish!". Played by Gwendolyn Watts in the Pilot Episode.
- Series One
- "New Neighbours" (Broadcast: 13 April 1972)
- "Limbo Dancing" (Broadcast: 20 April 1972)
- "The Petition" (Broadcast: 27 April 1972)
- "Factory Dispute" (Broadcast: 4 May 1972)
- "The Seven Year Itch" (Broadcast: 11 May 1972)
- "Refused A Drink" (Broadcast: 18 May 1972)
- "Sex Appeal" (Broadcast: 25 May 1972)
- Series Two
- "The Housewarming Party" (Broadcast: 11 September 1972)
- "Voodoo" (Broadcast: 18 September 1972)
- "Clarky Leaves" (Broadcast: 25 September 1972)
- "The Bedroom Suite" (Broadcast: 2 October 1972)
- "The TUC Conference" (Broadcast: 9 October 1972)
- "Religious Fervour" (Broadcast: 16 October 1972)
- Series Three
- "The G.P.O" (Broadcast: 19 March 1973)
- "The Car" (Broadcast: 26 March 1973)
- "Eddie Returns From Holiday" (Broadcast: 2 April 1973)
- "Lion And The Lamb" (Broadcast: 9 April 1973)
- "The Lift" (Broadcast: 16 April 1973)
- "Barbie Becomes Pregnant" (Broadcast: 30 April 1973)
- Series Four
- "Hines' Sight" (Broadcast: 12 December 1973)
- "Friendly" (Broadcast: 19 December 1973)
- "Working On New Year's Eve" (Broadcast: 31 December 1973)
- "Eddie's Mother In Law" (Broadcast: 7 January 1974)
- "The Ante-Natal Clinic" (Broadcast: 14 January 1974)
- "Two Weeks To Babies" (Broadcast: 21 January 1974)
- "To The Hospital" (Broadcast: 28 January 1974)
- Series Five
- "The Big Day" (Broadcast: 4 February 1974)
- "The Mediterranean" (Broadcast: 11 February 1974)
- "Bananas" (Broadcast: 18 February 1974)
- "Teething Problems" (Broadcast: 25 February 1974)
- "Cat's Away" (Broadcast: 4 March 1974)
- "Ghosts" (Broadcast: 11 March 1974)
- "Eddie's Birthday" (Broadcast: 18 March 1974)
- "April Fools" (Broadcast: 25 March 1974)
- Series Six
- 1. "Reggie" (Broadcast: 2 January 1975)
- 2. "Jacko's Wedding" (Broadcast: 9 January 1975)
- 3. "Duel At Dawn" (Broadcast: 16 January 1975)
- 4. "The Darts' Final" (Broadcast: 23 January 1975)
- 5. "Royal Blood" (Broadcast: 30 January 1975)
- 6. "Club Concert" (Broadcast: 6 February 1975)
- 7. "The Nannies" (Broadcast: 13 February 1975)
- Series Seven
- "Famous Crimes" (Broadcast: 17 April 1975)
- "The Lady And The Tramp" (Broadcast: 24 April 1975)
- "Protection Of The Law" (Broadcast: 1 May 1975)
- "The Opinion Poll" (Broadcast: 8 May 1975)
- "Manchester... United" (Broadcast: 15 May 1975)
- "The T.U.C Conference" (Broadcast: 22 May 1975)
- "Coach Trip" (Broadcast: 29 May 1975)
- Series Eight
- "The Local By-Election" (Broadcast: 11 December 1975)
- "Eddie Becomes A Father Again" (Broadcast: 18 December 1975)
- "Christmas Spirit" (Broadcast: 25 December 1975)
- "The Coach Outing To Bournemouth" (Broadcast: 1 January 1976)
- "For Sale" (Broadcast: 8 January 1976)
- "Power Cut" (Broadcast: 15 January 1976)
- "The Lodger" (Broadcast: 22 January 1976)