Television preview RECOMMENDED VIEWING THIS WEEKEND
Casualty Sat 8.05pm BBC1 Odd Man Out: a Portrait of Enoch Powell Sat 8.05pm BBC2 Screen Two: Great Moments in Aviation Sat 9.50pm BBC2 Equinox Sun 7pm C4 The South Bank Show Sun 10.45pm ITV
We're talking Casualty (Sat BBC1), where Dean appears as a barmaid married to a bonehead, and the mother of a young hit-and-run victim. As it happens, Susan Tully ("'Chelle") is also to be seen breaking free from EastEnders this weekend - but that's on Jackanory (Sun BBC2), which, like Sesame Street in the States, is well-known as a good cause for the liberal wing of the acting profession.
But back to Letitia Dean. She's going to have to decide whether she wants to be an Actress or a Star - and guest parts on Casualty aren't really suitable for either, despite the presence this week of Liz Smith as an amnesiac. But then, it takes several decades of practice before you can job quite like Liz Smith.
Talking of great actresses of a certain age - Dorothy Tutin and Vanessa Redgrave play two elderly lesbians who share a kiss as lipstick-frying as anything Beth Jordache ever planted on a member of her own sex. In Screen Two: Great Moments in Aviation (Sat BBC2), Tutin and Redgrave are aboard a 1950s liner bound for Blighty from the West Indies. Fellow passengers are John Hurt, as a discredited art-forgery expert who thinks he recognises Jonathan Pryce's tricksy Scotsman (or not as the case may be) in a kilt, who, in turn, has ended up accidentally sharing a cabin with Rakie Ayola, playing a young West Indian woman on her way to join her husband in London. So much acting talent, so little substance to play with - but the 1950s are authentically enough evoked.
It's hard to say who looks closer to the obituary columns - Dame (I nearly wrote Edna) Barbara Cartland or Enoch Powell. Powell - at 10 years Cartland's junior - is the more tremulous of voice, and he's the subject of another of Michael Cockerell's familiar and excellent biographies, in Odd Man Out: a Portrait of Enoch Powell (Sat BBC2).
Powell's contribution to British politics is hard to assess. Was he the great anachronism, jumping ship from one lost cause to another (India, anti-immigration, anti-EEC, Ulster Unionism) - or, like three of the above, were his concerns simply part of a time bomb addressed to the Tory party of John Major and beyond? "Poor Enoch, driven mad by his own remorseless logic", is one of the wryer assessments.
In this week's edition of The South Bank Show (Sun ITV), Barbara Cartland, who as usual looks as if she's just fallen off the top of a Christmas tree, talks the hind legs off Melvyn Bragg, who has dressed in black tie for the occasion, the respectful young man. You've got to give this Dame her due. Don't be fooled by the slushy romances and acres of pink taffeta courtesy of Norman Hartnell - she's as tough as old boots and sharp as a pin.
The killer statistic tucked away amongst the spectacular footage of avalanches in this week's Equinox (Sun C4) is that between 40,000 and 80,000 Austrian and Italian troops were buried alive in snow during one winter's fighting in the First World War Tyrol - killed by avalanches triggered by their gunfire. Remember that on Remembrance Sunday.
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