Pie in the sky


RELEASED 20 MAY 1969 | 15 | Blu-ray/dvd

Director Gerry Levy

Cast Patrick Allen, George Sanders,

Maurice Evans, Hilary Dwyer

BLU-RAY DEBUT You don’t get heroes like Bob Megan any more… and it’s probably for the best. So libidinous he makes James Bond look like he’s on bromide, this “ace troublesho­oter” seems more interested in hitting on any woman he sees than investigat­ing the case. Played by Patrick Allen, original voice of The X Factor, he’s never found without a cigarette in hand, and undoubtedl­y stinks of Brut.

The case itself is like something from an episode of Department S: NATO parachutis­ts are vanishing in thin air, only their harnesses coming back down to Earth. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the cause is surely extraterre­strial. If only Bob could stop copping off for long enough to work it out. His personal best: a breathtaki­ng one minute 30 seconds with a mystery blonde who doesn’t show up in photos…

The latest in 88 Films’ range of films from British studio Tigon, The Body Stealers makes for an amusing time capsule. The main theme is irresistib­ly groovy (it’d suit an ITC spy series), and the set-up should appeal to fans of Jon Pertwee–era Doctor Who.

Sadly, after the disappeara­nces, about the only dramatic incident is a series of coshings, and it ends feebly, with an “explanatio­n” of the aliens’ plans that barely warrants the term, and an equally ”Will this do?” solution. Entertaini­ng rubbish.

Extras Film writers David Flint and Allan Bryce provide the sort of matey commentary that you’ll either find charming or annoying. A second, archival track, featuring a likeably good-humoured Patrick Allen, is rather sparse, as he doesn’t remember much. A Making Of (41 minutes) assembles an impressive nine cast and crew (including an actor who spoke one word!); this could have been half the length for the insights it affords, but we do learn that

George Sanders was “generally pissed”. There are two further talking heads: a general intro (11 minutes) which (unconvinci­ngly) argues that the film was a major influence on Jon Pertwee’s first season, and an overview of Sanders’s career (21 minutes). Plus: trailer; booklet. Ian Berriman

The model of the Dalek saucer from 1966’s Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 AD turns up briefly at the end of the film.

 ?? ?? “Do you enjoy fiddling with knobs, my dear?”
“Do you enjoy fiddling with knobs, my dear?”

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