Shows you thought were from different countries

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George White
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Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

Any TV shows you thought were British but were American or Aussie or shows you thought were Aussie but were British or British shows you thought were American?

Father Ted is the obvious "I thought it was Irish" one but if it was Irish, it would have had a stilted atmosphere, as RTE don't really have comedy directors (ironic considering Ted director Dermot Lowney began directing shows such as the 88 Eurovision for Telly Eireann). And it certainly in my eyes, being Irish, is an unofficial coproduction, Irish cast, crew, exteriors.

Other shows
A lot of dubbed anime can cause problems. I thought the Cardiff-based dub of the Moomins from the 90s was North American because of Garrick Hagon and an American accent-using Susan Sheridan as main voices.
The Thorn Birds - one of those shows you actually think is Aussie until you watch it and see that only two characters have Aussie accents.
I used to be confused whether Daktari was British or American having bought a Corgi tie-in at a toy fair. Its safari setting for some reason made me think the former. Because I never saw it, I assumed it was British.

There is the phenomenon of Canada Does Not Exist" which is different from US network shows made in Canada, eg X Files as those are set in the US quite blatantly. Canada Does Not Exist is when Canadian shows try deliberately not to mention where they are set, ie fictional towns, "the city", try to use generic legal terms such as "prosecutor" rather than attorney, no shots of money. A lot of Canadian films are the same, e.g. the original My Bloody Valentine with its generic "police officer", yet clearly Canadian, with Moosehead beer and the atmosphere of an episode of the Beachcombers or the irony of the Fly 1986, which Canadian-made seems to be set in Canada, until we see US dollars, ironic that the original The Fly was set in Montreal but shot in Hollywood.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...daDoesNotExist
It began in the 80s with a series called Night Heat, which was a CTV cop show that was picked up by CBS, who wanted it to have a US setting, so duly they complied, then a loophole emerged that because it was a Canadian network show, it had to have Canadian cultural content, and yet CBS wanted a gritty US crime show, so as TV Tropes detailed,they created this weird "generic North Americana" culture.
Similar was the generic Pacific Northwestern city of Seacouver in the Highlander series.
Now, the Next Step and orphan Black have it.
And then you have the Canadian-German Huckleberry Finn adaptations, with dubbed German actress as aunt Polly.

And things like the Canadian-English, shot-in-UK-on-NTSC Spatz, It'd be a few years until the likes of Worst Witch, Magician's House, I Was A Rat would fake, at least partly, England in Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto, bringing casts over from the UK and getting funding from both BBC and Canada.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Mark »

There were some viewers (possibly still are) who thought some of the Anderson shows were American, I suppose the most obvious was "Space Precinct", as it was meant to be a Sci-fi version of "Hill Street Blues".
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Brock »

Well loads of people thought The Muppet Show was American... mostly Americans!

ican
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by ican »

Brock wrote:Well loads of people thought The Muppet Show was American... mostly Americans!
Along with those NTSC recorded shows with Julie Andrews, Tom Jones etc

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Ross »

Very obscure this: there was a Sinbad animation on in the Seventies with Paul Jones from Manfred Mann narrating over the original foreign soundtrack. As a young kid I made the natural assumption that the programme came from an Arabic country. It wasn't until quite recently that I discovered that it was a Czechoslovakian production.

I also assumed - again, not unreasonably - that Battle of the Planets, Inspector Gadget, Mr Rossi and The Littlest Hobo were all American. Ditto Thunderbirds and Space 1999.

But for some bizarre reason, I presumed that the Roger Moore film Crossplot was set in Los Angele despite all the English accents and Swinging London settings. I think I made the same aaumption about Digby the Biggest Dog in the World, too. No idea why.

George White
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

As a kid, I think I kind of thought the Muppets and Thunderbirds were American, but Lady Penelope, Parker and the sort of


As a kid, I thin you assume anything Disneyish is set in a sort of Mid-Atlantic primary coloured milieu, think Willy Wonka.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Brock »

George White wrote:As a kid, I think I kind of thought the Muppets and Thunderbirds were American
Of course, The Muppet Show was a special case - Jim Henson couldn't sell it to any of the American networks, so he sold it to Lew Grade for production as an ITV show on the understanding that it would then be syndicated in the US. It was never intended primarily for British audiences, although they did start featuring British guest stars a little way into the run. I remember sitting down to watch the first episode and wondering who the hell Rita Moreno was.

One thing I've learned relatively recently is that there used to be a short sketch shown exclusively in Britain each week, because of the different length of commercial breaks in the two countries.

One show I used to get very confused about as a child was Here Come the Double Deckers. It had an American "look and feel" to it, filmed in the American format and with an American style of humour, yet it was set in London and the cast were nearly all British. It was definitely made for American TV though. (I note that Wikipedia describes it as a "British" children's series, which is surely an error.)

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Focus II
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Focus II »

Funny to think now, but as a youngster not only did I treat "Batman" seriously (!) I thought it was British. Perhaps Alfred was the reason.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

Also, perhaps the likes of Joan Collins and Glynis Johns and George Sanders popping up, the stage shows/appearances West did in character with Nicholas Young as Robin...

George White
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

http://web.archive.org/web/201603290...any/co0063285/ World International Network, a cartel of international broadcasters including Central TV coproduced various TV movies, LA Takedown, Canadian attempts at "Brittery", The Women of Windsor and the partly Manchester-set Daydream Believers - the Monkees Story, and genre stuff like Thrill Seekers, Legion of Fire: Killer Ants, Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare, Reaper, etc. Do these count as British with backing from Central?
Any more?

I always thought the ABC Family series WILDFIRE was Canadian. It was shot in New Mexico, set in Northern California. Confused it with similarly horsey Canadian series Heartland.

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Post by brigham »

I thought 'Whirlybirds' was Australian, along with Skippy and Magic Boomerang, despite it being Desilu, and a Lucy spinoff.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

I can see what you mean - see also the semi-colonial flavour of many Ivan Tors series and the Brazil/Mexico-shot Ron Ely Tarzan.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Ian Wegg »

brigham wrote:I thought 'Whirlybirds' was Australian ...
Until this moment, so did I.

George White
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

Also, the title - it has the quirky sound more suited to Aussie shows.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Brian F »

I was surprised to see on the credits that Mrs Brown's Boys is actually a BBC Scotland production.

George White
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

Brian F wrote:I was surprised to see on the credits that Mrs Brown's Boys is actually a BBC Scotland production.
Yes, RTE do bring bit to the production, usually money for Irish-based people, usually RTE personalities over, and a plum slot.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by fatcat »

Rather sad that ATV/ITC's involvement in The Muppet Show appears to have been all but completely removed from subsequent showings after the Henson Co bought it back..considering it gave it the break in the first place, it's a sort of rewrite of history. Viacom may now own The Twilight Zone but at least they kept it fully intact with the original CBS credits.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

fatcat wrote:Rather sad that ATV/ITC's involvement in The Muppet Show appears to have been all but completely removed from subsequent showings after the Henson Co bought it back..considering it gave it the break in the first place, it's a sort of rewrite of history. Viacom may now own The Twilight Zone but at least they kept it fully intact with the original CBS credits.
Have the buried the Chris Langham episode?
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George White
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

They never released S4 or 5 on dvd.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

The Cay (1974) - US TV movie with James Earl Jones doing a disturbingly Chalky-esque Caribbean accent, feels like an Australian film along the lines of Storm Boy. Actually all-American.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Focus II »

On first watching, "The Rutles in All You Need is Cash" in I think was in 1978 I thought it was a BBCtv production. I was surprised to find it wasn't on viewing the mid '80s repeat.

Related perhaps, being too young to remember the earlier ITV contractors I always thought, "The Avengers" was an ITC production. I remember watching the colour Rigg episodes on Yorkshire in 1976. Any trace of ABC was of course concealed by, "Yorkshire Television in Colour" captions.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

I know people who thought that the 1982 Witness for the Prosecution was a BBC production.

A lot of people mistake Avengers as ITC. Interestingly, the later US distributor was American International Pictures' TV arm AIP-TV, who also distributed another non-ITC UK film series, StarMaidens.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by TonyCurrie »

George White wrote:
A lot of people mistake Avengers as ITC. Interestingly, the later US distributor was American International Pictures' TV arm AIP-TV, who also distributed another non-ITC UK film series, StarMaidens.
Star Maidens was one of television's great oddballs - it was made by Portman Productions, but there was certainly some involvement from Scottish Television, although I'm not sure to what extent. STV also had involvement with some other series - it re-edited and networked the German James Last series "Star Parade".

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

Portman also were involved in quite a few trans-continental oddballs - Outsiders - a German series with Scottish money set in Australia with a Scottish and German lead, and the Sri Lankan-shot Elephant Boy with Scottish and German money and a mostly Australian cast.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

George White wrote:As a kid, I think I kind of thought the Muppets and Thunderbirds were American, but Lady Penelope, Parker and the sort of Bondian atmosphere did jar.


As a kid, I thin you assume anything Disneyish is set in a sort of Mid-Atlantic primary coloured milieu, think Willy Wonka.
EDIT
CBC's Dieppe from 1993 about the Canadians who helped the British Army during WW2 tries its best to convince as British. Set mostly in London, filmed entirely in Toronto, with a cast of Canadians and Canadian-based Brits e.g. John Neville, Nigel Bennett, the accents from Robert Joy and Victor Garber as Mountbatten are more accurate than an American production but while Garber is convincing, Joy is still quite over-mannered, but a lot of the accents are passable, especially from Dublin-born Gerald Parkes, Doc in the US/Canadian/Irish-shown Fraggle Rock. However, Gabrielle Rose, the Canadian-born actress known to us from her role in Rising Damp as Brenda during her post-drama school stay in Britain's accent as a British woman is nowhere near as convincing as her accent as Brenda (which although seemed to go from region to region, no more than any other British actress of the period). Certainly, there's more knowledge of British life and culture (pub songs, a scene set during the making of In Which We Serve), and Toronto is shot in such a way to mask the locations, lots of tight closeups, and a lot of Canadian-British actors in small parts. It almost works. But perhaps a few non-Canadian based actors may have helped.

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by D M K »

The Littlest Hobo - I could have sworn this was Australian, but turns out it's Canadian. "There's a voice, that keeps on calling me.."

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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by Ant »

George White wrote:And things like the Canadian-English, shot-in-UK-on-NTSC Spatz,
I seem to remember Spatz looking pretty ropey on its original UK transmission. I suspect a fresh NTSC conversion with modern equipment would make it look like a whole new show.

George White
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Re: Shows you thought were from different countries

Post by George White »

James Bond Jr. - a US cartoon based on a British character set in UK, animated by Irish and EasternEuropean studios.

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