Night And Day

I was going through weird times in 2001, but this schlocky soap, which ‘celebrates’ its tenth anniversary this year, totally passed me by. I’m guessing that not everyone missed it though – a combination, as far as I can see, between Twin PeaksBuffy, Eastenders and Grange Hill, set in Greenwich. I don’t even remember it being filmed, but if the acting on the selections Youtube has to offer is anything to go by I either missed a ghastly waste of time or a cult gem. Perhaps you can enlighten me. 

It seems to be one of those things that most people hated and a few people adored – which does rather fit the definition of ‘cult.’ The first scene’s quite classy – fully-made-up girl lying in bed in her jimjams thinking about getting up for the day and all the people she’ll have to see – neatly introducing the main characters and setting up a mystery man while she’s about it. And the credits are fun – it’s always worth listening to Kylie.

The first actual sequence I looked at was a bog-standard wedding spot-the-cliche, where the best man forgetting the rings was a highlight. I kept watching, though, for the creepy vicar who kept appearing and disappearing in the middle distance, which was quite clever given that the shots were so closely framed that I couldn’t make out any of Greenwich at all in it.  I fast-forwarded, but not much else happened, so I turned to another section, a montage, that promised much more.

Now as any fule no, all stories about Greenwich must involve underground caves at some point, so I was drawn to Is the Answer In the Catacombs? which involves creepy stuff somewhere that looks Royal Hill-ish, a cemetery that looks Nunhead-y and an underground all-purpose-cultist tomb that Spike and Angel would come to blows over. I never found out Who Am I but it was sort of fun in a post-millennial teen romance sort of way. 

I am without opinion on this one. It was, apparently, moved to a later slot when ITV realised that N&D was getting a ‘niche audience’  and they finally canned it in 2003 but I keep reading comments like ‘most underrated soap ever’ from fans who are either discerning or delusional, depending on how cult you like your cult. 

It’s never going to be released on DVD because Granada made Cheapskate Mistake Number One – using too much copyright background music to ever clear it for video but there are strange Internet Myths going around that a clause in the contract meant that it could be repeated after 5 years. 2008 has been and gone. Did ITV miss a golden opportunity? Was Night And Day Greenwich’s Firefly? Or its Dirk Gently 


9 Comments to “Night And Day”

  1. tintinhaddock says:

    The shot with the guy on the motorcycle lifting his helmet is definitely the bottom of Hyde Vale where it meets King George Street.

  2. scared of chives says:

    tintinhaddock’s correct – a lot of it was filmed in King George Street/Royal Hill and from what I remember the main house used was in King George Street.

    Their version of the Rover’s Return was, the then, Barleymow boozer – now The Hill.

  3. Warren says:

    I photographed the press launch in King George Street. All the national press turned out for it; had a quite distinguished cast. It was shot on film but I’ll try and dig it out, scan and send it to you.

  4. Thanks Warren – I’d love to see it.

    But tell me folks – was it any good. Should we be campaigning to get it reshown, or just quietly lettting it drop?

  5. miffee says:

    Well I must own up, I use to watch it even at its late night slot. It had some very weird issues from what I remember.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Weirdly i was thinking about this again the other day and wondering weather it was a figment of my imagination – i tried really hard to like it and watched it for a while for the sole reason that it was based in Greenwich but it didn’t keep me entertained.

  7. scared of chives says:

    I thought the way it was directed/filmed was quite original – but the script let it down. Having said that, it was normally viewed after a session at the Tolly….

  8. Steve says:

    Same as Stephanie – I watched it for its local interest but it was in fact a load of tosh!