Friday, 23 October 2015

ANYONE REMEMBER CALLAN...?



Me and my bruv used to watch CALLAN back in
the late '60s and early '70s.  In fact, my older sibling
once wrote to THAMES TELEVISION to enquire
whether there was going to be a new series, the then-
current one having just ended.  He was ecstatic to
receive a reply saying that there would be.

I loved the opening credits and theme tune, so
here they are for your potential enjoyment also.

14 comments:

TC said...

I've seen a lot of British spy and detective shows when they were shown on American TV. The Saint, The Champions, The Avengers, Danger Man (US: Secret Agent), and The Persuaders were all shown on nation-wide networks, and The Protectors, The Baron, and The Adventurer were run in syndication. But I never saw Callan, and I don't know offhand if it was ever broadcast here.

Edward Woodward did star in a 1980's American series, The Equalizer, as a former secret agent turned private detective. The premise may have been conceived as sort of, "What if Callan got fed up and resigned?" But, as I understand it, there were enough differences between Callan and McCall to disprove any theories that they were the same person. (Fans still speculate that "Number Six" in The Prisoner was John Drake. McGoohan always denied it, but he would have to, since he didn't own the rights to Danger Man.)

Woodward was also in the last episode of La Femme Nikita, another series about a reluctant spy/assassin. I also remember him as he ghost of Christmas Present in a TV movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and as a police chief in Who Dares Wins (US: The Final Option).

After I clicked on the video here, a list of "Callan" episodes popped up among the suggestions on my YouTube home page. So maybe I will take a look at it.

Kid said...

As you say, TC, PM had to deny any connection, but there was at least one character who'd been in Danger Man who turned up in The Prisoner. And I believe that the file photo used at the beginning of the programme had also been used in Danger Man. Callan was a brilliant series and you should definitely take a look at it on YouTube. There was also a film version, called either simply just 'Callan' or 'Red File For Callan' - I forget which.

Colin Jones said...

Don't forget Edward Woodward's role as PC Howie in The Wicker Man - an excellent film, the whole atmosphere of paganism is really creepy.

Kid said...

I used to call him Edward Wigward because of his toupee. Heard that the remake was Pish.

Philip Crawley said...

Brilliant series Kid! and one of my favourites - just watching that title sequence takes me right back to the 70s when I used to watch it, on late night here in Aus. A good title sequence (of which there are precious few these days - gotta make more room for those ads!) should put you into the world of the programm to follow and Callan's did it superbly. You were transported into the noirish low-key fatalistic espionage world of Callan in the time it took that light bulb to swing often enough to annoy him into putting a bullet through it. There was a Callan movie, basically an expanded version of the very first TV ep, which came out in 1974 and a TV movie set years later called The Wet Job with Callan being brought out of retirement for one last case. This was one of the far too many series to lose episodes from the 60s thanks to some suit's idea of an economy measure!! Bloody tragic I say and where's my time machine to remedy the situation? Fortunatley all existing episodes and the 1974 movie are available on DVD (have 'em all). This one along with The Sweeney, Special Branch, The Champions, The Professionals, Danger Man and The Avengers filled a big part of my TV viewing back in the day.

Kid said...

I remember seeing the TV film around the mid-'80s and thinking it was new because of the write-up it got in the TV listings. I later learned it had first been shown in 1981, so was already a few years old. I also recall reading the book on which the 1974 movie was based. I think I've got the pilot for the show on VHS, but I'll have to get myself that DVD you mention. I last saw the surviving episodes when they were repeated in the mid-'80s - on Channel 4, I think.

John Pitt said...

Used to love it, Kid, - the swinging light bulb, smelly old Lonely, " Don't hit me, Mr. Callan! David.... PLEASE!"
Some more I used to like were Budgie, "Cor, stone me, Charlie, mate, I've bin grarftin' all day for her!"
And do you remember Big Breadwinner Hog?

Kid said...

Like Callan, Budgie was repeated in the mid-'80s - watched them all again. Do you remember Charlie Endell's own series?

SCOOP said...

Loved Callan (and the excellent Russell Hunter as Lonely).Very much the seedier side of espionage. I've got most of what's available on DVD.

Don't know whether it's already been mentioned but Edward Woodward also played Harry Malone in the forgettable, and short lived series, The New Professionals!

Kid said...

Never heard of that one, Scoop - I'll have to Google it. I remember EW appearing on Stars On Sunday and singing.

John Pitt said...

Certainly do, Kid. Watched them all, but it needed Budgie in it, it didn't quite do it for me.
Hey, who's this?
" I'll decend on you from a ruddy great height, Budgie.... " ( in a gruff, Scottish accent )

Kid said...

Oo, that's a tough one - is it one of his girlfriends?

Colin Brown said...

The film was just called "Callan" but one of the first video companies to release cassettes to buy (called Channel 5) titled it "This is Callan" on the box. Network have been good at releasing Callan on DVD with all existing episodes being available for a while. They just announced yesterday that a 3 disc DVD documentary is going to be available from November. Bizarrely there's a Definitive Callan boxset on Amazon for the last 5 years with a release date of 2020. But with the release of this documentary and a book that came out earlier this year, you can have all the components of the definitive set separately. Also, Callan creator James Mitchell wrote dozens of short stories for a newspaper when the series was on. They've been collected into two books Callan Uncovered and Callan Uncovered 2. Great year for Callan fans.

Kid said...

Yes, it was the book by James Mitchell that the film was based on which was called Red File For Callan. Thanks for the info, CB.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...