Eclectic, exciting or excruciating? Robert Feust’s 1973 movie adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s novel The Final Programme gets an airing on British television this Wednesday. Jon Finch portrays Moorcock’s psychedelic anti-hero Jerry Cornelius in a mix of Sixties surrealism, comedy and spy-fi thriller. Jenny Runacre plays the avaricious Miss Brunner.  

The Final Programme is on cinematic archive channel Talking Pictures TV at 22:00 on Wednesday night. (Freesat 306, Sky 343, Freeview 81, Virgin 445, YouView 81) it seems to be in regular rotation now.     

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Distributed in the States as The Last Days of Man on Earth, this is the only one of Moorcock’s novels to have been adapted for the silver screen. The UK release runs 94 minutes while the US cut was brought down to 76 minutes.   

Like the novel, it includes the storming of the castle sequence that Moorcock recycled in Elric (or was it the other way round?). The author has a cameo in the movie but apparently disagreed with the director on a variety of aspects, including the use of music by prog rock heavy metal band Hawkwind. 

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It’s a mixed bag for sure, but you can make up your own mind if you tune in Wednesday or for any future airing.