Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

"I was just tellin' yer pommie cobbie here that I was afraid there might be too many steak and kidneys about, but er, not the case, aye?"

As far as canonicity goes, Sabrina The Teenage Witch has a lot of explaining to do.

Having started out as an Archie comicbook, the 90s saw a TV movie version starring Melissa Joan Hart, which necessarily started everything again from scratch.

However when that got comissioned as a series, still starring Melissa Joan Hart, the very first episode ignored the recent movie and darn well started all over again again.

Then came further TV movies, also staring Melissa Joan Hart, which non-committally avoided mentioning whether they followed-on from the first TV movie, or the weekly series. They even avoided featuring the characters who were cast differently in each.

Then finally came a cartoon version, which still retained Melissa Joan Hart… but infuriatingly now playing a different character.


Which reminds me - I recently received a tape in the post from Herschel, on which he had kindly taped the last TV movie for me in England. The irony that this one was entitled Sabrina Down Under was not lost on me.

Sabrina Down Under
Sadly, this turned out to be a very slow, almost melodramatic piece, lacking the enthusiasm and energy that had made the series so popular.

The sequence with Sabrina as a fish was nice, Salem's comedy sub-plot was amusing, and the pace does get going towards the end, but on the whole I found myself wishing that Herschel had just sent me 3 back-to-back episodes of the vibrant, and much lower-budget, TV series instead. This production team seemed to have very little passion for their subject.

Inspector Gadget's Last CaseConversely, afterwards on the tape, there was the first half an hour of Inspector Gadget’s Last Case. Right from the off it was clear that this had the benefit of a lot more love. This writer was working hard to pack the gags in, and stay true to the appeal of the original series. And how lovely to hear the late Don Adams again.

"Go, go Gadget"? With writing like this, I rather wish he'd stayed.

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