Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me dir. Jay Roach (1999) Whereas the original Austin Powers film had a mad, flamboyant charm, ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ is slow-moving and painfully inane, not unlike a collection of cut scenes. There’s not much here to love, save Seth Green and the Jerry Springer sequence.
Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Series 2
Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Series 2 (Acorn, 2021) The episodes have doubled in number since the first series but halved in length, resulting in slighter mysteries and a more light-hearted approach (litmus test: Chief Inspector Sparrow). Celebrates the 1960s but calls out Australian society for its dismissive attitude towards women.
Endeavour, Series 6
Endeavour, Series 6 by Russell Lewis (ITV, 2019) A rather despondent series as the 1960s start to give way to the 1970s (hence Morse’s moustache) and the old crew find themselves scattered to the winds. Morse in particular has to start again. Chief Superintendent Bright has the best character moments.
Endeavour, Series 5
Endeavour, Series 5 by Russell Lewis (ITV, 2018) Six feature-length episodes, each self-contained but contributing also to a melancholic series arc. (Anton Lesser has some nice moments as Chief Superintendent Bright.) Morse comes across as antsy rather than preternaturally gifted, but the mysteries are well-crafted to capture the late-60s zeitgeist.
Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries
Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries (Seven Network, 2019) Ms Fisher dances smoothly forward in time to 1960s Melbourne, reworking several aspects of the earlier Miss Fisher series and proving a worthy successor. Geraldine Hakewill (Peregrine Fisher) is mod-culture personified and every bit Essie Davis’s (Phryne’s) equal across four feature-length episodes.
Endeavour, Series 3
Endeavour, Series 3 by Russell Lewis (ITV, 2016) The crimes are more measured this series and Morse is less of a socially gasping savant. Though stepping back from the overt prefiguring of John Thaw’s portrayal, Endeavour remains both an enjoyable character drama and a noteworthy time capsule of 1960s Oxford.
Endeavour, Series 1
Endeavour, Series 1 by Russell Lewis (ITV, 2012-2013) Four feature-length mysteries (plus pilot episode) establishing the young Inspector Morse as a detective constable in 1960s Oxford. Morse is not yet especially redolent of his older self but Shaun Evans excels with a very expressive line in facially portrayed inner monologues.
George Gently, Series 6
George Gently, Series 6 (BBC, 2014) Six series have taken Inspector Gently and DS Bacchus through to 1969 (with backdrops such as urban renewal and mine closure), their dynamic becoming less edgy but given an extra dimension now by the introduction of WPC Coles across four murder investigations.
George Gently, Series 1
George Gently, Series 1 (BBC, 2007-2008) A serious police drama in three feature-length episodes, notable for its 1960s North-East English setting as much as the criminal investigations depicted. Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby strike up an immediate and singular dynamic as the eponymous Inspector and his impetuous DS.