An interesting time was spent today delving in to a strange English comedy, one of the last in the Cracker series, and getting lost in La Mancha with Terry Gilliam.

League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special

This being Christmas and it being our first experience with them, the The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special (2000) was a most interesting way to visit some of the residents of Royston Vasey.

The League of Gentlemen is a gothic black comedy, with roots that draw deep from a classical foundation. It was strange, engrossing, English and wonderful, and I look forward to more craziness from this troupe.

Cracker – White Ghost

Cracker: White Ghost is a strange off-shoot from the main Cracker series. Fitz is in Hong Kong doing a lecture circuit. A British businessman with an inferiority complex facing bankruptcy, and with a pregnant wife that’s not willing to have it, turns to murder to solve his problems. The Hong Kong police find that they are out of their depth when dealing with non-business motives and reluctantly agree to have Fitz help them out with the case.

This is a cut-down version of Cracker. It only has Fitz and Commander Gordon Ellison DCI Wise [thanks Greg] from the Cracker series, and too much time is spent away from them. Cracker does Hong Kong does keep most of the original cast out, and the fish out-of-water Hong Kong police situation is just too far fetched. Sadly for the series, this episode seems to be a cynical cash-grab that may be best avoided in preference for the first couple of seasons of the show instead.

Lost in La Mancha

What started off as a making-of documentary of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Lost in a Mancha (2002) instead details the attempt to make Don Quixote and the rapid failure to do so, due to a lack of funding, poor preparation, and most fundamentally the illness of its main lead Bernard Chaumeil.

It certainly has been interesting to gain an insight into what is wanting to be attempted with the movie, but trying to achieve what they’re wanting to do with all practical effects, is where imagination comes face to face with reality, and finds itself lacking. Maybe with additional funding or a better technical department they’ll find their way to success, but not this time around.

More than a decade later now, Terry Gilliam is going to try again at the Don Quixote film, but until success occurs there we can read for free the original – Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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