Monday, June 11, 2018

Spearhead in Hong Kong - Stafford Gordon (1981) - Stanley Fort, Hong Kong

Roughly ten years before Soldier Soldier was filmed in Hong Kong there was another British Army based show that was filming at Stanley Barracks. Shown in 1981 (I imagine filmed either that year or the year before) it was the third (and last) series portraying the fictitious 1st Battalion Royal Wessex Rangers on their Hong Kong tour involving mainly operations against illegal immigrants near the border. The drama is slightly more serious than Soldier Soldier and there isn't the same comic relief as that show but I'm quite impressed with the fact that the geography is true and the places mentioned are the ones where the filming took place. Also there are a few familiar faces that showed up (familiar to me as someone who grew up in the UK watching UK television, that is) including a pre-Only Fools and Horses Nicholas Lyndhurst, Roy Holder, Ric Young (Lord Jim, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) and not forgetting Burt Kwouk who turns up as a Triad.

Anyway, as mentioned, the Battalion is based out of Stanley Fort so a large selection of locations seen are around there with a few places out in a still very undeveloped New Territories. Here is a few scenes from Stanley in the first episode called Night Games. You will of course remember that as well as Soldier Soldier, Bloodsport was also filmed in and around here. These days it is P.L.A controlled and goes by Stanley's Chinese name: Chek Chue Barracks.

These first two shots show a helicopter landing at the barracks, in the frame you can see Lo Chau (small stony islet at the bottom of the first image) and the prison (bottom of second image).

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