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Steven Berkoff television

2000s later



 


Das Jüngste Gericht with Steven Berkoff

Das Jüngste Gericht (The Last Judgment), a double episode Austrian tv thriller.  The film stars Christoph Waltz, Silke Bodenbender and Tobias Moretti- whose next film would be the promisingly titled 1½ Knights - In Search of the Ravishing Princess Herzelinde.  Directed by Urs Egger in 2008.

Steven Berkoff - Das Jüngste Gericht

Thomas Dom (Tobias Moretti) investigating a case of a serial murderer, here with his son Oliver (Thomas Rupp).

Steven Berkoff - Das Jüngste Gericht

The first victim.

Steven Berkoff - Das Jüngste Gericht

The hooded killer.

Steven Berkoff - Das Jüngste Gericht - victim

It becomes personal when Don's son Oliver becomes a victim.

Steven Berkoff - Das Jüngste Gericht - Ten Commandments

In the graveyard grieving for his son, Thomas sees an inscription with the tem commandments, and realises the killer is choosing victims who have broken one of the commandments, a copy of the film Seven with the seven deadly sins.  The films borrows a lot from Seven and also Silence of the Lambs and has little originality.

Das Jüngste Gericht with Steven Berkoff

Das Jüngste Gericht with Steven Berkoff

Berkoff plays Rudolf Conrad, a famous cartoonist but he is dubbed into German, so what is the point of using him?

Das Jüngste Gericht with Steven Berkoff

All images from the film.





Steven Berkoff - The 10th Man

The 10th Man, not Graham Greene's late novel about France under the occupation but a short ten minute Jewish comedy in the East End of London.  A pleasant light comedy.

"The 10th Man. The short, currently enjoying a revival on YouTube, is about elderly East End Jews and an 11th-hour search for a Kol Nidre minyan, and stars Andrew Sachs and Stephen Berkoff " (The Jewish Chronicle, 4 Nov 2010. click here).  Note Steven's name is misspelled.  Kol Nidre is recited on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.  Minyan is the minimum number of males (10) required to constitute a representative “community of Israel” for liturgical purposes (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Steven Berkoff - The 10th Man

Steven Berkoff - The 10th Man  Steven Berkoff - The 10th Man

Steven Berkoff - The 10th Man

There have to be 10 in the congregation but there are only nine present.  The members search for a tenth man, even trying communist Red Jack Weinbaum (Steven Berkoff) who is not interested.

Gerard Kearns - The 10th Man

They almost give up when they have a delivery and they discover the youth is Jewish.  They have their minyan.

Filming was in Sandys Row Synagogue in Spitalfields in London. "By the 1970s the synagogue was in decline. Most of the Jewish population had moved out of the East End and membership dwindled. By the 1990s the synagogue nearly closed down, it struggled to achieve a minyan..." (Rochelle Cole from the synagogue website click here).  Happily the website states "membership is slowly increasing with a new Jewish generation moving back into the East End" and "On ‘fast’ days there can be well in excess of one hundred congregants".

"Kidnapping and dirty tricks are the way of the street among the ageing Jewish community of London's East End" (Rise Films, click here).

Directed by newcomer Sam Leifer in 2006.  Cinematography is by Nina Kellgren and Film Editing by Victoria Boydell.

Steven Berkoff - The 10th Man - credit

All images from the film.





 

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery  - title

New Tricks is a British BBC police series based on a team looking at cold cases- crimes that were previously dropped for lack of evidence. The team is made up mainly of retired police detectives, hence the title “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  The old dog detectives are played by Alun Armstrong, James Bolam and Dennis Waterman and they are led by Detective Superintendent Amanda Redman.  Bolam is know for his role in the series The Likely Lads in the 1960s and the reboot Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads in the 1960s.  Waterman is known for series The Sweeny in the 1970s and the series Minder in the 1970s and 1980s.

Reviewer Sam Wollaston says the series"...which is not just past its sell-by date, you can actually see the mould growing on it. It's not interesting as comedy- the jokes are either about the characters getting on a bit, or they're puns. Nor is it interesting as a cop show. There's no psychological profiling here, or crime-scene investigation- it's about hunches and leads, plodding along, working it out with a pencil... Maybe the odd chase, until they run out of breath.  But it's undemanding, and safe. You don't have to think too much... (Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 31 Jul 2013, click here).

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery

Steven Berkoff appears in the episode Bank Robbery in 2006.  A police informant comes back to town after 18 years, and an old case is reopened- a robbery where someone was murdered.

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery

Evidence is reviewed and suspects interviewed.

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery

Steven Berkoff plays Ray Cook, a long time criminal who has become a celebrity with his autobiography titled Hardest Geezer in Town.  Is he the actual criminal, though he has an alibi as he was at the hospital beside his dying mother?  Berkoff does his standard working-class-henchman-made-good-through-crime role.

Berkoff during rehearsals.  As part of the publicity he says Ray Cook is "a bit of a kind of London cockney gangster comedian, which we seem to produce a lot in this country.  There's a kind of British sense of irony and humour combined with a feisty cockney kind of irascibility... It's an amalgam of many kind of East End gangsters we read about, who do good works on the side which is a bit of a front... it's quite well written and therefore it has been easy for  me to enter into the spirit of it... I thought it was based on me at one time, oh yes very, very similar... there are parallels only in the sense that I have been a Londoner taking a few risks, challenging yourself in whatever area you go into, so a slender connection between myself as an actor and Ray Cook as a villain".

The director was Roberto Bangura, the Director of Photography was Peter Middleton (he mainly directs television series, but also worked on Sebastiane by Derek Jarman)and the Editor was Belinda Cottrell.

Steven Berkoff - New Tricks - Bank Robbery - credit 

All images from the film and DVD extras.





Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon - title 

Hotel Babylon, the BBC series from 2006 about the staff and clients in a five star hotel.  Predictable but fun.  Series 1 episode 8.

"Hotel Babylon is a highbrow soap about the underbelly of luxury. It is shiny and fast and neither stands up to, nor expects, close scrutiny. In short, it conforms to the 'grammar' of postmodern, high-concept TV… it is densely plotted with slick opening titles, jump-cut editing and features pretty people doing louche things... I could add that Hotel Babylon tackles 'issues' including depression, addiction and borderline Asperger's (a wonderful performance from The League of Gentlemen's Steve Pemberton as a businessman). In the best tradition of trash TV, Hotel Babylon 'rescues' Thursday nights" (Liz Hoggard, 29 Jan 200, The Observer, click here).

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon

Steven Berkoff plays a gangster ready to testify against fellow gangsters so until the trial he is kept in the hotel under protective custody by the police with the alias Mr. Wiltshire.

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon - gunman

 A hit-man comes after Wiltshire.

The director is Keith Boak, the writer is Tony Basgallop, the Director of Photography is Sean van Hales and the Editor is Mike Jones.

Steven Berkoff- Hotel Babylon

All images from the film.





Alive - Back to the Andes

Alive - Back to the Andes

Alive: Back to the Andes, a Channel 5 documentary with Berkoff the voice narrator from 2006.  The four part documentary recreates the journey of survivors after the Andes plane crash.

Alive Back in the Andes

The Executive Producer/ Director is given in the credits as Southan Morris (and confirmed on his Linkedin account) but imdb.com list the director as Matthew Cox.

Alive - Back to the Andes

All images from the film.  Apologies for the blurred image.





Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb - title 

By The Pricking of My Thumbs, part of an Agatha Christie Miss Marple series. The title comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth, by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes, and there are a number of Macbeth references in the film.

"An old woman in a nursing home speaks of a child buried behind the fireplace… When Tommy and Tuppence visited an elderly aunt in her gothic nursing home, they thought nothing of her mistrust of the doctors; after all, Ada was a very difficult old lady. But when Mrs Lockett mentioned a poisoned mushroom stew and Mrs Lancaster talked about ‘something behind the fireplace’, Tommy and Tuppence found themselves caught up in an unexpected adventure" (Agatha Christie official website, click here).

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb - Tommy (Anthony Andrews) and Tuppence (Greta Scacchi)

Marple teams up with Agatha Christie regulars husband and wife team .

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb

Geraldine McEwan plays Miss Marple.

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb

And in Agatha Christie style there is a murder to investigate. and a host of characters some genial and some nasty- not difficult to work out which category the surprise murderer comes from.

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb

And the only clue seems to be a house in a panting

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb

Steven Berkoff plays Freddie Eccles, a solicitor, who of course is one of the suspects.

The script is by Stewart Harcourt and the director is Peter Medak.  Berkoff worked with Medak on The Krays previously.  Geraldine McEwan plays Miss Marple and the cast also includes Claire Bloom and Charles Dance.

Steven Berkoff - Miss Marples - By The Pricking of my Thumb - credit

All images from the film.





Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy - Title

It's a Boy from 2005.  A cartoon film made by a Christian charity to tell the story of Jesus to schoolchildren.  It was sent free to 26,000 schools in the UK.  The director is Julian Tewkesbury and screenplay is by Alexa Tewkesbury.  The film is 30 minutes long and cost £200,000.  The bible story is told by three birds (quails).


"When three quails overhear an angel telling Mary she is going to give birth to the Son of God, they are surprised and bewildered. Soon afterwards, they are captured by King Herod’s bird-catcher and thrown into a cage in the palace for fattening up. As three strangers arrive looking for a new king, the quails realise it is Mary’s baby they are talking about. To their horror, the birds then learn that Herod wants Him dead. The race is on to find Mary and the baby before Herod can carry out his dreadful plan. But first, the quails have to escape from the evil King... The quarrelsome threesome – who are usually only bothered about finding a decent breakfast – find that life is never the same again as they embark on their daring mission".

Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy - Mary

Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy - Quail

Mary feeds the three quails every day.

Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy - Angel

Then the angel Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her she is with a child, the son of God.

Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy

Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy - Three Wise Men

The three wise men looking for the child.

Steven Berkoff - It's a Boy - Herod

However King Herod, with Steven Berkoff providing the voice, plots to kill the child.  Can the quails thwart his plan?.

Inevitably the title song is performed by Cliff Richard.  The advert says "Some quails only dream... others dare to believe".

Steven Berkoff - Its a Boy  Steven Berkoff - Its a Boy

The original DVD cover misspells Berkoff's name, it is corrected on the re-release.

Steven Berkoff - Its a Boy 

All images from the film.





Happy the Man 2003

Berkoff provides the voice-over.  Any other information is welcome.

 

 

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge  Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

A series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World with Steven Berkoff appearing in the episode about the Brooklyn Bridge from 2003.  The series combines original film and photographs with dramatic episodes.

"The building of [the bridge] came to represent a landmark in technological achievement for a generation. Its strength and grace inspired poets, notably Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, and Marianne Moore, and a legion of photographers and painters, including Joseph Stella, John Marin, Berenice Abbott, and Alfred Eisenstaedt" (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

Berkoff plays John A. Roeblinh, the architect and man behind the bridge to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

But just as building was about to start, he dies and his son Washington (George Anton) continued the work.

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

 When he in turn becomes injured his wife Emily (Debora Weston) ensures the work continues.

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge   Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge


Berkoff used the knowledge he gained from acting in the documentary to update his play Sit and Shiver, having one character talking of the building of the bridge, to appeal more to American audiences (Steven Berkoff to Iain Fisher at UK production of Sit and Shiver).

The other episodes in the series cover the SS Great Eastern, the Transcontinental Railway, the London Sewers, the Bell Rock Lighthouse, the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam.

Steven Berkoff - Seven Wonders - The Brooklyn Bridge

All images from the film.





Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune - title

Frank Herbert's Children of Dune from 2003.  A television mini-series based on Frank Herbert's Dune novels Dune Messiah and Children of Dune.  The mini-series is in  three parts, each just under 90 minutes: Messiah, The Children and The Golden Path.  Filming was in Prague.  Directed by Greg Yaitanes.

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune- ambassador

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune - city

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune - riding worm

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune - giant worm

The special effects are at times poor, in patticular the giant worms.

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune

Steven Berkoff plays Stilgar.

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune

The Director of Photography was Arthur Reinhart and the Editor was Harry Miller.  Miller says on the DVD extras there were 625 visual effects.

Steven Berkoff - Children of Dune

All images from the film.





Broken Morning 2003

A South Bank Show dramatised documentary with Ciarán Hinds as Albert Camus.  Catherine McCormack,  Freddie Jones and Struan Rodger appear alongside Berkoff playing the mayor.  Directed by Jack Bond.


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