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Peter Hammond question
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Boswell
Thingumajig


Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Norwich, England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Peter Hammond question Reply with quote

Peter Hammond is often held up to be the greatest director of pre film episodes of The Avengers, with his innovative camera angles, shooting through a rolled up bit of paper or some of the visual trickery he employs.
You can always tell an episode he's done!

Yet I've never seen any hint of an interview any where. Has anybody tried? I hope he hasn't got one of those 'I'm beyond that now' type attitudes. He really showed what you can do in the confines of a small TV studio.

By the time he directed episodes of Grandad's Sherlock Holmes series, he pushed his visual style so far it became almost painful to watch! Reflections of action in a glass case containing stuffed animals etc. You were left wondering precisely what you were supposed to be watching. I imagine the actors weren't too keen waiting for all these shots to be lined up and lit.
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Little Wonder


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Peter Hammond question Reply with quote

Boswell wrote:
Peter Hammond is often held up to be the greatest director of pre film episodes of The Avengers, with his innovative camera angles, shooting through a rolled up bit of paper or some of the visual trickery he employs.
You can always tell an episode he's done!

Yet I've never seen any hint of an interview any where. Has anybody tried? I hope he hasn't got one of those 'I'm beyond that now' type attitudes. He really showed what you can do in the confines of a small TV studio.

By the time he directed episodes of Grandad's Sherlock Holmes series, he pushed his visual style so far it became almost painful to watch! Reflections of action in a glass case containing stuffed animals etc. You were left wondering precisely what you were supposed to be watching. I imagine the actors weren't too keen waiting for all these shots to be lined up and lit.


Believe me, I've looked all over for any interviews he may have done. As he told me in a phone conversation, "We never socialized." meaning he pretty much did his job and went home to kith and kinder. He apparently didn't do "makings of" or any retrospectives. He said he is still asked to do interviews on the conversation shows but he won't because his memory is not clear enough anymore. He will be 84 in November.

He did get carried away there by the last SH episodes. Reflections of reflections. But the episodes were visually beautiful.
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Frankymole
A Touch of Brimstone


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think his work speaks for itself.

Despite The Avengers having some very distinguished directors, like Charles Crichton and Barry Norman's dad Leslie, nearly all the subsequent directors tried to emulate Peter Hammond's style, which set the "house style" back in the videotaped era - he said he had to do those innovative "shots through furniture/objects" because there wasn't enough money to build a set!


Last edited by Frankymole on Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Darren
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Macnee is always very complimentary of Peter Hammond, saying how he helped shape a lot of Steed's quality - like the quote of Macnee saying to Hammond, "Shouldn't Steed wear protective clothing in a coal mine" and Hammond replying, "That Steed was his own man" or something along those lines.

I watched the Wogan interview with Pat and Honor and Pat brings up Hammond to Honor as an example of people who went on to bigger and better things.

When I started getting into the Avengers, it was Robert Fuest that took my eye (himself designing sets for practically all of Hammond's season 1 episodes). Then I noticed Peter Hammond's name in the programme guide and recognised it from Sherlock Holmes. Watching one of his Holmes episodes (Westeria Lodge), I was immediately taken by his atmospheric style and incredible visuals. I wasn't disappointed when I eventually saw his Avengers episodes.

There were loads of top quality directors on the series but no one can replace Hammond in my affections. I love how the limitations forced him and the others to be more creative.

Re. His final Sherlock Holmes episodes. I think he probably did go too far (he was given free reign by the producer) but the images are so enjoyable. Sometimes you need a break from them as they're so rich.

Below is a few examples from his last ever piece of direction.Smile

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - The Mazarin Stone










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Little Wonder


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:15 am    Post subject: Peter Hammond Reply with quote

The mot anecdotes I've found re Hammond are in Patrick's books. And Patrick's intro to his 6 favorite Avenger episodes. He just gushes over Hammond's directing style.

I've picked up a few things Peter directed. His version of the 3 Musketeers 1966 (with Jeremy Brett as D'artangnon) has some giddy visuals. Especially one scene with the Cardinal and M'Lady pacing forward and back - to the screen and back, rather than back and forth. And Rochefort going between them twice in a terrific weaving maneuver - wonderful presentation of "tangled web we weave"

He's the only director to ever get me to watch all of any version of "Wuthering Heights", a tale I loathe.

Or the confrontation scene in "Master Blackmailer" done as an opera, even to overlapping dialogue a la' a duet.

Lush, lush visuals. Like paintings.

It's interesting Hammond appears to have retired after doing the last of the Brett Holmes', then again, he was 70 in 1993.
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Boswell
Thingumajig


Joined: 10 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a lovely set of replies.

I appreciated the grabs from The Mazarin Stone!
When that final series of Holmes was first aired in the UK, I remember that Stone was my favourite of the season. At first I thought Hammond was calming it down on the visuals front but it wasn't long before each frame became an amazing collage of images. Remember the diamonds being dropped in front of the diamond cutter's face after he had been brutally attacked? The best moment for me was the finale - Mycroft taunting the villain with his sleight of hand.

Hammond is a brilliant organiser of shots and images. Look at Warlock, the closest early Avengers ever came to fantasy. See how he overcame the limitations of the sets needed for Dressed to Kill. And as far as directing actors are concerned, performances are always just that little bit heightened in one of his episodes.

Its a shame we can't hear his recollections of how he shaped the style of the series, the performances.
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Little Wonder


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: peter Hammond redux Reply with quote

it's fascinating to read about this directing genius who only 4 years earlier caught my 9 year old heart as the delightful bumbler Lt Beamish in THE BUCCANEERS tv show with Robert Shaw. I still adore that character

I got as far as asking him about the "old Avengers" and he corrected me very sharply - "It's not the old Avengers It's the black and white Avengers!". Ouch

He's a delightful curmudgeon
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Little Wonder


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: sometimes Hammond wasn't just merely cute.... Reply with quote

[url][/url]


sometimes he looked like someone's puppy

[url][/url]
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Little Wonder


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:55 pm    Post subject: Sign of four Reply with quote

pity Hammond didn't direct Graneda's HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. With his talent for gothic moodiness and visuals it could have been a barometer film. Instead Ive read that it was particularly lackluster while SIGN OF FOUR, which he did direct, received accolades.

Now I gotta go watch it again

However I will add that someone should have been flogged for allowing that dreadful splashed at the kerb scene to even be shot in THE ELIGIBLE BACHELOR let alone not cutting it out.
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Boswell
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sign of Four was a brilliant production! I remember when it first went out Christmas time either 87 or 88. I didn't know he directed that one.

Yes, Hound of the Baskervilles did not go down as well as SOF but it still had merit.
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Little Wonder


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:10 pm    Post subject: peter hammond Reply with quote

Boswell wrote:
Sign of Four was a brilliant production! I remember when it first went out Christmas time either 87 or 88. I didn't know he directed that one.

Yes, Hound of the Baskervilles did not go down as well as SOF but it still had merit.


I believe he directed 8 episodes, starting with SOF (gotta look them up now)

HOTB is always a good tale - but just imagine Hammond's interpretation of it.
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thesaintlyone
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just the other day, I was spending five minutes channel surfing when Inspector Morse started, usually I don't watch it but i was captivated and about a minute later it was clear that Peter Hammond had directed it, a minute later it was confirmed (the credits). Needless to say the sky plus box was activated immediately and I sat down to watch a treat in visual style and complicated set-ups. Lots of shots were through glass, shot through mirrors, low angles etc. I resolved to seek out more of Hammond's direction.

The Inspector Morse story was from 1990 and was called "Sins Of The Fathers" A quick check reveals that Hammond directed 3-4 other episodes, which I would really like to see.

Brilliant Director, similar style Shaun O'Riordan, who was responsible for a lot of Sapphire and Steel. Writen by Peter Hammond, weird to have two amazing creators called Peter Hammond!
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Little Wonder


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thestaintlyone - this is his credit list on imdb.com In addition to directing, there's 15 years worth of acting credits.

I'd maime to get a copy of Uncle Silas, Spring and Port Wine and Cold Comfort Farm. But, of course, many have never even shown in the states, so seeing any repeats is out of ken for me. I think Uncle Silas is available on VHS but it's a fortune.

If any of you come across any of them and can make a DVD (I have a region 2 player) I'd pay all costs.


1990s
1980s
1970s
1960s
"The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" (3 episodes, 1994)
- The Mazarin Stone (1994) TV episode
- The Golden Pince-Nez (1994) TV episode
- The Three Gables (1994) TV episode
"The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" (2 episodes, 1992-1993)
- The Eligible Bachelor (1993) TV episode
- The Master Blackmailer (1992) TV episode
"Inspector Morse" (3 episodes, 1987-1990)
- The Sins of the Fathers (1990) TV episode
- The Settling of the Sun (1988) TV episode
- Service of All the Dead (1987) TV episode

"Saracen" (1989) TV series (unknown episodes)
"The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (2 episodes, 1986-1988)
- Wisteria Lodge (1988) TV episode
- The Abbey Grange (1986) TV episode
The Dark Angel (1987) (TV)
... aka Uncle Silas (USA)
The Sign of Four (1987) (TV)
The Demon Lover (1986) (TV)
The Death of a Heart (1985) (TV)
... aka Masterpiece Theatre: The Death of the Heart (USA: series title)
The Maze (1985) (TV)
"Tales of the Unexpected" (5 episodes, 1982-1984)
... aka Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected
- The Mugger (1984) TV episode
- The Last of the Midnight Gardeners (1984) TV episode
- Hit and Run (1983) TV episode
- Who's Got the Lady? (1982) TV episode
- The Moles (1982) TV episode
"Round and Round" (1984) TV series
"The Hard Word" (1983) TV series (unknown episodes)
"ITV Playhouse" (1 episode, 1982)
- The Glory Hole (1982) TV episode
"BBC2 Playhouse" (3 episodes, 1980-1982)
- Aubrey (1982) TV episode
- The Happy Autumn Fields (1980) TV episode
- Hallelujah, Mary Plum (1980) TV episode
"The Little World of Don Camillo" (1981) TV series

"Rumpole of the Bailey" (1 episode, 1979)
- Rumpole and the Show Folk (1979) TV episode
"Wuthering Heights" (1978) TV mini-series
"BBC2 Play of the Week" (1 episode, 1978)
- Liza (1978) TV episode
"Kilvert's Diary" (3 episodes, 1977-1978)
- Ten Miles for a Kiss (1978) TV episode
- Villaging (1977) TV episode
- An Angel Satyr Walks These Hills (1977) TV episode
"Romance" (1 episode, 1977)
- The Black Knight (1977) TV episode
The Phantom Kid (1977)
"King of the Castle" (1977) TV series (unknown episodes)
"Luke's Kingdom" (1976) TV mini-series
"Shades of Greene" (5 episodes, 1976)
- Dream of a Strange Land (1976) TV episode
- The Overnight Bag (1976) TV episode
- A Chance for Mr. Lever (1976) TV episode
- Chagrin in Three Parts (1976) TV episode
- The Case for the Defence (1976) TV episode
"Our Mutual Friend" (1976) TV mini-series
"Churchill's People" (1 episode, 1975)
- March On, Boys! (1975) TV episode
"Armchair Cinema" (1 episode, 1974)
- Sea Song (1974) TV episode
"Follyfoot" (3 episodes, 1972-1973)
- Uncle Joe (1973) TV episode
- Miss Him When He's Gone (1973) TV episode
- Out-of-the-Blue Horse (1972) TV episode
"Armchair Theatre" (4 episodes, 1963-1972)
- Franklin's Farm (1972) TV episode
- I Took My Little World Away (1965) TV episode
- Brother Ambrose (1964) TV episode
- The Push Over (1963) TV episode
Spring and Port Wine (1970)

"The Wednesday Play" (2 episodes, 1968-1969)
- The Fabulous Frump (1969) TV episode
- Nothing Will Be the Same (1968) TV episode
"Treasure Island" (1968) TV series (unknown episodes)
"Cold Comfort Farm" (1968) TV mini-series
"Theatre 625" (2 episodes, 1967)
- The Magicians: Edmund Gurney and the Brighton Mesmerist (1967) TV episode
- The Fantasist (1967) TV episode
"The White Rabbit" (1967) TV mini-series
"The Three Musketeers" (1966) TV mini-series
Lord Raingo (1966) (TV)
"Out of the Unknown" (1965) TV series (unknown episodes)
"Hereward the Wake" (1965) TV series
"Contract to Kill" (1965) TV mini-series
Count of Monte Cristo (1964) (TV)
"Armchair Mystery Theatre" (1 episode, 1964)
- Admirer at Number Eight (1964) TV episode
"The Protectors" (1964) TV series (unknown episodes)
"The Avengers" (19 episodes, 1961-1964)
- Build a Better Mousetrap (1964) TV episode
- Don't Look Behind You (1963) TV episode
- The Golden Fleece (1963) TV episode
- Second Sight (1963) TV episode
- Brief for Murder (1963) TV episode
(14 more)
"Out of This World" (1962) TV series (unknown episodes)
"A Chance of Thunder" (1961) TV series (unknown episodes)
Actor:
1960s
1950s
1940s
"The Wednesday Play" .... Father Cyprian (1 episode, 1967)
- The Devil a Monk Would Be (1967) TV episode .... Father Cyprian
"The World of Tim Frazer" .... Lester (2 episodes, 1960)
- Episode #1.5 (1960) TV episode .... Lester
- Episode #1.4 (1960) TV episode .... Lester

"Something in the City" (1959) TV series .... Joe Miller
Model for Murder (1959) .... George
"The Last Chronicle of Barset" .... Lord Lufton (1 episode, 1959)
- How Did He Get It? (1959) TV episode .... Lord Lufton
"William Tell" .... Hofmanstahl / ... (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
... aka The Adventures of William Tell
- The Young Widow (1959) TV episode .... Hofmanstahl
- The Magic Powder (1958) TV episode .... Hofmanstahl
- The Bear (1958) TV episode .... Hofmanstahl
- The Cuckoo (1958) TV episode .... Hofmanstahl
- The Secret Death (1958) TV episode .... Captain Hofmanstahl
(1 more)
"The Buccaneers" .... Lt. Edward Beamish (26 episodes, 1956-1957)
- Cutlass Wedding (1957) TV episode .... Lt. Edward Beamish
- Hurricane (1957) TV episode .... Lt. Edward Beamish
- Conquest of New Providence (1957) TV episode .... Lt. Edward Beamish
- Mother Doughty's Crew (1957) TV episode .... Lt. Edward Beamish
- Conquistador (1957) TV episode .... Lt. Edward Beamish
(21 more)
"Do It Yourself" (1957) TV series (unknown episodes)
"Sword of Freedom" .... The Ambassador (1 episode, 1957)
- The Ambassador (1957) TV episode .... The Ambassador
X: The Unknown (1956) .... Lt. Bannerman
It's Never Too Late (1956) .... Tony
Soho Incident (1956) .... Bill Walker
... aka Spin a Dark Web (USA)
The Secret Tent (1956) .... Smith
"The Adventures of Robin Hood" .... Bartholomew (1 episode, 1956)
... aka Robin Hood
- The Jongleur (1956) TV episode .... Bartholomew
Confession (1955) .... Alan
... aka The Deadliest Sin (USA)
Alf's Baby (1953) .... Tim Barton
... aka Her Three Bachelors (USA)
Come Back Peter (1952) .... George Harris
Father's Doing Fine (1952) .... Roly
The Adventurers (1951) .... Hendrik van Thaal
... aka Fortune in Diamonds (USA)
... aka South African Story
... aka The Great Adventure (USA)
The Reluctant Widow (1950) .... Eustace Cheviot
... aka The Inheritance (USA)
Morning Departure (1950) .... Sub-Lt. Oakley
... aka Operation Disaster (USA)

Helter Skelter (1949) .... Spencer Stone
The Huggetts Abroad (1949) .... Peter Hawtrey
Fools Rush In (1949) .... Tommy
Vote for Huggett (1949) .... Peter Hawtrey
Here Come the Huggetts (1948) .... Peter Hawtrey
Fly Away Peter (1948) .... George Harris
Holiday Camp (1947) .... Harry Huggett
They Knew Mr. Knight (1946) .... Douglas Blake
Waterloo Road (1945) (uncredited) .... Arthur, Man in Fight in Arcade
Producer:
1970s
1960s
"Armchair Cinema" (producer) (1 episode, 1974)
- Sea Song (1974) TV episode (producer)

"A Chance of Thunder" (1961) TV series (producer) (unknown episodes)
Writer:
Jack the Ripper (1959) (story)
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thesaintlyone
Nutshell


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heres a list of what i know to be available:


""Inspector Morse" (3 episodes, 1987-1990)


The Sign of Four (1987) (TV)
"Tales of the Unexpected" (5 episodes, 1982-1984) >>Network DVD



"ITV Playhouse" (1 episode, 1982)
- The Glory Hole (1982) TV episode
"BBC2 Playhouse" (3 episodes, 1980-1982)

"Rumpole of the Bailey" (1 episode, 1979)
- Rumpole and the Show Folk (1979) TV episode

"Out of the Unknown" (1965) TV series (unknown episodes)

Count of Monte Cristo (1964) (TV)
"The Protectors" (1964) TV series (unknown episodes) Deleted Carlton DVD
"The Avengers" (19 episodes, 1961-1964)

"The Buccaneers" .... Lt. Edward Beamish (26 episodes, 1956-1957) The Entire Series >> Network DVD

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" .... Bartholomew (1 episode, 1956)
... aka Robin Hood >>Network DVD, Entire Series

Cold Comfort Farm" (1968) Available on American DVD.

Spring and Port Wine (1970) Lots have people have seen it most be available somewhere.

Follyfoot" (1971) > Network DVD 15.99 the whole series.

"Our Mutual Friend" (1976) avaliable on dvd acording to a source on imdb
The Phantom Kid (1977) DVD

"Wuthering Heights" (1978) DVD http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Jktctey7zcY An excerpt here!

The Maze (1985)

A great adaptation of C. H. B. Kitchin's little-known 1953 short story of the same name. "The Maze" was shown originally on PBS' Mystery! series in 1984, under the Shades of Darkness series name (which is still owned by Granada Television), this neglected gem and the 6 other shows in the series have not been shown since, which is truly a shame. They are excellent adaptations of high quality ghost stories and deserve to be shown again. Update May 2007: This is now available on DVD under the Shades of Darkness title.

The Demon Lover (1986) (TV) DVD Under Shades oF Darkness

Uncle Silas/The Dark Angel (1987) DVD

"Saracen" (1989) The pilot The Zero Option exists on tape i shall be looking for this one, a user describes it as "a poor ladies professionals!"

That is all for tonight
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thesaintlyone
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Joined: 02 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.media-gems.com/01filmtv/saracen_engl.html

Just found a link to some Saracen info, want to see it!
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was only thanks to Hammond and Don Leaver - another fine director - that the first series was saved from disaster, as the writing was very poor. Look at Leaver's direction in Dial A Deadly Number and The House that Jack Built. Hammond and Leaver were sorely missed in the (colour) Rigg era.
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Little Wonder


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thesaintlyone - maybe available to you but I can't find many of them.

But I do have The Buccaneers, Robin Hood, and 6 episodes of William Tell. And a couple of movies Hammond was in.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It remains a mystery as to why Hammond was never asked to direct The Avengers when it went on to film. And Leaver only directed three more. The House that Jack Built mainly works so well thanks to the latter's brilliant direction.
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Darren
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
It remains a mystery as to why Hammond was never asked to direct The Avengers when it went on to film. And Leaver only directed three more. The House that Jack Built mainly works so well thanks to the latter's brilliant direction.


Yeah, even Bill Bain got one episode (What the Butler Saw). It's a great tragedy that he didn't get the opportunity. It's not as if Brian Clemens didn't know about him as Hammond directed all but one of his videotape episodes. Clemens was very complimentary of Hammond on the 90's channel 4 documentary Avenging the Avengers (sic?). I always think that "Too Many Christmas Trees" was an episode crying out to be directed by Hammond.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, although the scene in the mirror room is still well done.
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