Its ratings may be a bit disappointing this year (although it's soundly thrashing BBC1's third series of 'Robin Hood') but ITV's Saturday night monster romp 'Primeval' has certainly found a new energy in its currntly-screening third series, especially since dour and evidently-disinterested Douglas Henshell bit the big one as Nick Cutter in episode three to be replaced by the far more likeable and enthusiastic Jason Flemyng as adventurous Danny Quinn who does all the action hero stuff Cutter looked too bored to get involved with.
More on 'Primeval' season three here on Stuff soon, but look out for the three disc boxset of all ten episodes of the series, due to hit the shops (and other such places where DVDs are still sold) on 1st June 2009. No word yet on extras but the set is bound to be worth picking up (even if you wait a few months until it's discounted online!) because 'Primeval' is one of the shows you can always imagine wanting to sit and watch again on a rainy Sunday afternoon when all else is soap opera ominibuses.
Also available on DVD (released at the end of April) is a classic kid's TV show from the 1970s, from a time when ITV actually made children's TV and cared about the programmes it was making and the audiences it was making them for and wasn't just a plaything for the likes of the sinister S*m*n C*w*ll and his parade of Pavolvian wannabee freaks. That's better. Anyway, 'Freewheelers' was a kid's action/adventure series which ran for several years from the late 1960s onwards. Made by Southern TV (long defunct) 'Freewheelers' was a lively, fast-paced espionage series in which a bunch of smart kids (played by the likes of Dr Who's Wendy Padbury, Adrian Wright, Leonard Gregory and Christopher Chittell, now sadly better known as Eric Pollard in 'Emmerdale') found themselves involved in the machinations of various insane super-villains plotting to take over the world or at least the British bit of it. Quality British thesps like Ronald Leigh-Hunt and Eric Flynn played their 'boss', MI5 types who enlisted the help of these kids to find out the sort of information more typical secret agents couldn't get access to. All right, I can't actually remember much about the individual stories because I'm rather old but the show was required viewing at the time - along with other ITV clasics like Ace of Wands, Timeslip, The Tomorrow People, The Flaxton Boys, Catweazle, Bright's Boffins,Pardon My Genie....Good grief, how much we've lost by the dumbing-down and cheapening of the ITV network! 'Freewheelers' episodes were never repeated and most have long since been wiped from the TV archives. Some remain, however, and Network DVD have just released the entire series six - the first colour series - on a chunky boxet which you can probably track down now (although I'd lay odds you won't find it on your High Street). It's on my 'to buy' list as they really don't make 'em like that any more and even though I haven't seen it yet I know I can recommend it to discerning lovers of quality classic TV. Nuff said.