Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Gloucester Road, Wanchai

In a previously unused bit of footage for this final episode, The Runaway, we see Lloyd Bochner driving his police car along the Wanchai waterfront. You can just make out a white blur amongst the water facing buildings along Gloucester Road which is the still standing Wanchai Police Station (on the left side of the first two images) which means the curved building marks the junction with Fleming Road.

In a wonderfully prescient nod to current events in Hong Kong, Bochner stops outside a dive bar on the Wanchai waterfront called "Carrie" as he continues his search for a missing female. This is not the first time that the words "missing female" and "Carrie" have been used in Hong Kong since the anti-Govt protests started in June 2019. Just sayin'...

I'm just guessing but the bar's location in 1960 seems to tally with the current Dah Sing Financial Centre in the block between Fleming and O'Brien Roads.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong

It seems that the producers were quite keen to use up as much of their Hong Kong location footage as possible because the final episode has quite a few never-seen-before clips including this one of Rod Taylor driving his little white sports car along the waterfront at Shau Kei Wan. You can see Devil's Peak poking up in the background of the second image which means this is pretty much the same location as can be seen here.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Central Police Compound, Central

It seems only fitting that for the very last episode of this show (Ep:26), The Runaway, we are taking one last look at the Central Police Station Compound off Hollywood Road. There is a little bit of reuse of some images (for instance, this sequence from the episode was originally seen in Blind Bargain) but there are a few new angles that hadn't been used before. don't forget that this whole complex is now open to the public and now goes by the name of Tai Kwun.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

Episode 25, The Innocent Exile, is another of those single location episodes where most of the program was set within studio sets or if outside locations were required then some remote looking part of Los Angeles (this was a Fox TV show so it was highly likely to have been filmed at the Fox Ranch - now Malibu Creek State Park).

Anyway, the single Hong Kong location is a shot looking towards Repulse Bay from the vicinity of Deepwater Bay. It was an establishing shot for a beach scene. There is a similar view seen in Love is a Many-Splendored Thing taken from Middle Island which makes me think this shot for Hong Kong was filmed slightly closer to HK Island given the angle on the hills in the background.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Harbour View Towards Hong Kong Island

The final location from Love, Honor and Perish is this view towards the western end of HK Island from the harbour. Sadly the definition isn't really good enough to make out much of what is on the shorefront.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Jordan Road Vehicular Ferry, Kowloon

Here's one from Love, Honor and Perish that had me scratching my head for a while because I couldn't figure out where it could be. In the show this is supposed to be a ferry from Hong Kong to Macau but in reality is just one of the old vehicular ferries that ran between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in pre-Cross Harbour Tunnel days. However, there is a problem because the ridge line at the back doesn't really match up with anywhere in Hong Kong...

...until you reverse the images and then the familiar Kowloon ridges of Beacon Hill and Lion Rock are suddenly revealed. So we are obviously looking at a boat just departing the Jordan Road ferry pier. This was filmed in the days before the Ferry Point Estate was constructed and there was a clear view to the mountains.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

In episode 24, Love, Honor and Perish, we get given a pilot's eye view of a landing at Kai Tak, very similar to this sequence from The Night My Number Came Up. In this sequence from Hong Kong though the plane lands on runway 07. If you are unsure of the old runway designations, Gwulo.com has a handy map/diagram.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Lai Chi Kok Prison, Lai Chi Kok

My stalwart followers will perhaps remember that I have posted once before about the old prison at Lai Chi Kok. The exterior was used in one of the scenes in the 1965 French film Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine and involved a gunfight from several trucks carrying Coca-Cola bottles. It took some tracking down because the old prison was replaced (at some unknown date) by the newer, euphemistically named, Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre. It sounds very inviting doesn't it?

Anyway, in The Woman in Gray (Ep: 23) it is the location of a jailed female Japanese prisoner who was wrongly accused and convicted of murder and the episode is another one of those 99% studio based ones where Glenn Evans must investigate and find a key witness to the crime - the so-called "Woman in Gray". This is the only location from the episode.

The opening shot of the episode, as well as a later establishing shot shows the old prison so I finally get to see what the rest of it looked like. Note the buildings in the background of the first image. This is the old Lai Chi Kok hospital that has since been turned into the Jao Tsung-I Academy, a sort of cultural experience centre founded by (or dedicated to) local Chinese Cultural Historian Mr Yiu Chung-yee (aka Jao Tsung-I).

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Central Police Compound, Central

I've put up so many different angles of the Central Police Station compound for this show that I have sort of lost track of all the different views. This one, or at least a version of it, also appeared in episode 1, Clear for Action, but for some reason I managed to capture an extra screencap of the car turning into the front of the station for Murder by Proxy.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

Episode 22, Murder by Proxy, gives us yet another view of the same part of Queen's Road Central that can be seen on this post. It gives a better view of the side of Edinburgh House but this is also helped by the better quality of image that this episode seems to have.

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Garden Road, Central

There's a very brief scene in With Deadly Sorrow that is very similar (exactly the same angle and exactly the same time of day) to one from Blind Bargain where we see a car driving up Garden Road and turning into Magazine Gap Road. Although, in this image a couple of pedestrians can be seen, I believe it was probably a different take from the same footage shot for the older episode mentioned above. The position of the tree shadows is too similar for it to have been coincidental.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

This shot from With Deadly Sorrow shows us a view looking west along Queen's Road Central. If the view looks familiar it might be because the P.G sign on the left, for a restaurant called the Parisian Grill, can also be seen in this older post of Edinburgh House from the Nine Lives episode. You can see the double grooved ground floor canopy of Edinburgh House on the right in the image below. I didn't list it back when doing The Turncoat (Ep: 9) but it also appears in that episode as well as  To Catch a Star (Ep:10).

Friday, 27 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Hong Kong Island view

One of the most frequently occurring establishing shots for this series is a nighttime view across the harbour towards the business centre of Hong Kong Island with Victoria Peak in the background. In fact the following shot was used in the first official episode Clear for Action but I have left it out all the way until episode 20, The Hunted, simply because this episode has no other proper Hong Kong locations, it was almost 99.99% shot on studio sets. As well as Clear for Action, this shot can also be seen in The Turncoat (Ep: 9), The Dragon Cup (Ep: 12), Murder by Proxy (Ep: 22) and Love Honor and Perish (Ep: 24)

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Queen's Building, Central

In Double Jeopardy the other sister is staying at a hotel in the city and Queen's Building is the building used as the establishing shot for the hotel. Although Queen's Building and Prince's Building were of a very similar, almost identical, design, Queen's Building is identifiable by the top storey arched windows whereas Prince's Building has rectangular windows on that floor.

Anyway, it's nice to see such a great looking building that was demolished not long after this was filmed and replaced by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in 1962.

Interestingly, in the background the top floors of the new Union/Swire House can be seen. I know a portion of the later Hong Kong episodes were shot and shown in 1961 but I was under the impression that the Hong Kong on-location footage would have been filmed in one big chunk sometime at the start of the show in 1960. Even if this is a later shot filmed in 1961 it still pushes the build date of Swire House back to 1961 (there was some discussion about the date over on Gwulo.com).

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong

In Double Jeopardy, the "double" in question are twin sisters, one of whom has committed a murder in order to steal a large sum of money. The money is then stashed in a safety deposit box at a local bank and the establishing shot for these scenes is an image of what I believe is the old United Chinese Bank (中國聯合銀行) building that used to stand (until around 2010) on the corner of Des Voeux Road Central and Douglas Street. Unfortunately, it has been quite difficult to track down a similar vintage street shot to confirm 100%.

Anyway, the bank was taken over by the Bank of East Asia in the 90's and this building became part of the BEA network until it was demolished and replaced by the current building, opened just a few years ago, inspiringly named "33 Des Voeux Road Central".

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon

For episode 18, Double Jeopardy, I'm re-posting a clip that was used way back in episode 2, Murder Royal, because in this later episode we see a bit more of the Cheung Sha Wan area as the camera pans from right to left. Recall from the original post that this clip was initially shown reversed but for this later episode it is shown in the correct orientation.

As I mentioned on the old post, the large white block on the right is about the only recognisable structure that is still around today but what is interesting is that this image captures some of the old So Uk estate still under construction (lower left of bottom image). The estate, quite famous in Hong Kong, has also undergone a complete demolition and rebuild over the last few years or so and, like all new Govt housing, the lower height blocks are now all replaced by new high rises. The footage looks like it was taken from Tai Po Road in the vicinity of the former Carlton Hotel.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - 10 Bluff Path, The Peak

Like many of the later episodes of this series, it seems that the producers were struggling to find stories that could be suitable for using the footage they had already shot in Hong Kong and so filmed mainly studio based episodes. Night Cry (episode 17) is one that was adapted from a novel written by William L Stuart (wrongly credited as William A Stuart in the episode's end credits).

This episode was one written mainly for Lloyd Bochner, Taylor's main character features only briefly at the beginning and end. The plot follows a detective with violent tendencies (ooh, bit of current politics for you there peeps) given a second chance by Bochner's Chief Inspector Campbell. Low and behold he goes and loses it again and this time kills his interviewee before spending the rest of the episode trying to incriminate an innocent party.

The sole proper Hong Kong location for this whole episode is an opening establishing shot of a property that is supposed to be a casino. A little investigation has revealed that this property was once located at 10 Bluff Path on the Peak. The current development on the same site is called Sherwood's Bluff and was completed in 1981. Looking at aerial photos, the property was still there in 1978 but had been demolished by 1980.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

There's a landing sequence in The Survivor that appears to have not been used before.  It shows a plane flying in from the west with HK Island in the background. If you look carefully you can see the row of tenement buildings that still sit between Mok Cheung Street and Ma Tau Kok Road. Interestingly, in the second image below you can see a pointed hill behind where the aforementioned tenement buildings start and I believe this may be the rocky pinnacle that was part of the Whampoa dry dock until the are was redeveloped. Can anyone confirm?

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Hong Kong (series) - Rod Taylor (1960) - KCR Terminus, Kowloon

I'm jumping forward to Ep 16: The Survivor, in this next post because unfortunately the next episode in line for examination, Ep 14: Suitable for Framing, has disappeared from the ether meaning I haven't been able to even view it let alone see what locations were featured (please feel free to point me in the direction of any copies should they appear). And Ep 15: Lesson in Fear, actually just rehashed a couple of clips already used in previous episodes. So here we are at the platform in the old KCR terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui for this episode. The story is that Glenn is involved in a helicopter crash that kills his two friends. Left behind is their young son who has a infamous grandfather in Communist China who wants him there. Cue a nefarious plot to kidnap the child by sending in fake aunts from America to secretly take him to China instead of the U.S.