Monday, November 16, 2009

Death of a spy

Edward Woodward, who has died aged 79, made his name in the brilliant dark spy series Callan in the late 60s. Along with The Prisoner, this was the absolutely must-see TV programme of the era. Woodward's cynical, brooding character was the opposite of Bond and much more believable. A first rate cast including Russell Hunter as the pathetic Lonely, Anthony Valentine as the sinister Toby Meres and a young Patrick Mower as Cross, helped make Callan one of the most engrossing British TV series of all time. But it was Woodward himself who made this so watchable. Later he starred as the straight laced Christian police sergeant who investigates pagan practices on a remote Scottish island and who meets his fate as The Wicker Man - a film that looks rather wooden today - and eventually he became an international star as The Equalizer.


At 8:48 am , Blogger Private Beach said...

I can't agree that The Wicker Man "looks rather wooden today". I watched it again recently, and though some aspects of it betray its age and low budget, the lead performances by Woodward and Christopher Lee, as well as Lindsay Kemp's smaller role, still stand up well. Britt Ekland was rather miscast, but does her best. I've read that Lee still considers it samong his best work.


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