Wonderful writing

Yesterday was a horrible day.

From early in the day the hot north westerly wind blew up dust squalls making it most uninviting to be outside. By lunch time the temperature had soared to 41 degrees C (that’s 106F for those who use that scale) so inside with the airconditioner going was the place to be.

At lunch time I switched on the television to watch a repeat episode of Rumpole of the Bailey. There were seven series spanning the years 1978 to 1992. When this series first appeared on television I was fascinated by the rich and wonderful language used by author John Mortimer. The episode we watched was called “The Summer of Discontent.”

The main character, Horace Rumpole frequently quotes from the Oxford Book of English Verse. There is an Australian connection too. Actor Leo McKern was born in Sydney. He died several years ago.

Wonderful writing in a television series or a film is noteworthy these days because it is so uncommon. Any kind of trash is dished up these days, pretending to be entertainment. Rare indeed are little gems of writing so in evidence in this series.


2 Responses to “Wonderful writing”

  1. DBA Lehane says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Rumpole is a timeless classic because of three vital, but sadly very rare, components: An excellent writer, a fantastic character and a wonderful actor. It’s a little like cricket I guess…we used to write decent TV YEARS ago! 😉

  2. Trevor says:

    Another timeless classic series on television is the BBC comedy series “As Time Goes By” starring Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, both brilliant character actors. This series dealt with the lighter moments of very ordinary lives and celebrated how complex – and funny – even mundane lives can become. I have all nine series on DVD and have watched them numerous times; we never seem to tire of them.

    As a bonus, the character played by Palmer is struggling to become an established writer and all the frustrations that brings.