Saturday, June 18, 2022

Madness Is The Glory Of This Life

To paraphrase a trio of stinking, lice-ridden hippies (get yer hair cut, you three), welcome back Keith Telly Topping's dear blog reading fiends to the blog that - despite this blogger thinking recently that it had, perhaps, runs it's course - never ends. Infuriating to all jackbooted scum-thug bullyboys and Middle Class hippy Communist Gruniad Morning Star readers in equal measure. Controversial, opinionated, come and have a go if you think you're hard enough ... but never-less-than colourful. From The North, dear blog readers. It puts the 'blog' into bloggerisationisms. Usually.
Earlier this week this blogger, jokingly, posted the following photo onto his Facebook page with the accompanying caption: 'Today's general mood (with Donald Pleasance voice-over).' This being an example of 'humour.' Which, for the infotainment of our overseas dear blog readers, is an English invention in which one says something one does not, necessarily, mean. For the purposes of merriment and japery. At least, that's this blogger's story and he's - thoroughly - sticking to it.
Of course, the image used led to a brief but, this blogger believes worthwhile, discussion on the source of this photo. The Spirit Of Dark & Lonely Water was a Public Information Film made for the Central Office of Information in 1973. The film aimed to warn children of the dangers of careless or foolhardy behaviour in the vicinity of water and was shown regularly on British TV for several years during breaks in children's programming, especially on Saturday mornings. If you've never seen it before, dear blog reader, it is utterly effing terrifying. And, it almost certainly succeeded in its aim of not only discouraging foolish foolishness on the riverbanks of the nation but, also, in moulding a generation of younglings many of whom never wanted to venture even close to a pond. Or, the bath for that matter. According to the Gruniad Morning Star it was created 'in response to an increase in child drowning accidents: written and produced by the COI official Christine Harmon and directed by Jeff Grant,' who blogged about his experience making the film. 'To give the thing some heightened atmosphere I wanted to drift smoke like swirling mist around this ominous, hooded figure who appeared to be walking on water,' Jeff noted. 'With tools designed for the purpose it's easy enough for the technicians to blast smoke all over the place. What you have no control over however is the wind. A gentle breeze is enough to ruin the effect. Which it did many times. Everything would be set just right, I'd give the order to start filming. Then suddenly little more than a zephyr would spring up and the smoke was away across the fields. But - as happens most times - we got it in the end and I think the result is pretty convincing.' There are also a couple of very good down-memory-lane type pieces on the ninety second chiller here and here. Check them out, dear blog reader. 
In the event, this memory-jogger led this blogger to reflect on a few of the other things from, approximately, the same vintage which also terrified the living bejesus out of him when he was naught but a youngling. Like, for instance, The Cybermen.
The bowel-shatteringly tense and brooding 1973 play Boys & Girls Come About To Play, part of the BBC's Menace strand and starring a young (and bloody scary) Sarah Sutton.
From a similar period, Susan Pleat's disturbing 1972 Thirty Minute Theatre drama I Wouldn't Tell On You, Miss.
The opening pre-title sequence of the Department S episode The Man Who Got A New Face.
The Ace Of Wands story Seven Serpents, Sulphur & Salt. Which so shitted this blogger right up on first transmission, in 1971, that he was effectively banned from watching the popular Thames TV series again for some time afterwards.
A 1972 episode of the American anthology series Ghost Story, At The Cradle Foot, broadcast in the UK late one Saturday night in 1975.
Alice Cooper waving his sword around in an untoward manner on Top Of The Pops. Careful, bonny lad, you could have someone's eye out with that thing.
And, of course, The Blue Meanies.
Is it, dear blog reader, really any wonder that - with all of that going on in his life - this blogger grew up all warped and discombobulated and will, in all likelihood, come to a bad end? Thought not.
Speaking of movies featuring The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them), a rumour recently surfaced in one or two of the darker corners of the actual Interweb that two of the ultimate Holy Grails for fans of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) had been located. This concerned two scene filmed for, respectively, A Hard Day's Night and Help! which were deleted from the final cut and have, subsequently been listed as 'missing, presumed extremely junked.' The rumour, which briefly flitted across this blogger's consciousness last week, stated that both of these had now been rediscovered. Sadly, as with the majority of rumours about the alleged recovery of missing-presumed-wiped film and TV footage, this appears to have been either wishful thinking. Or, more likely, a deliberate bit of shit-stirring by someone with more time of their hands than is good for them. Or, indeed, for anyone else.
The first of these scenes featured Paul McCartney (before he was either a Sir or an MBE) and a very young Isla Blair and was dropped from A Hard Day's Night because Dick Lester thought it lacked pace and that it was inappropriate for one of The Be-atles (a popular beat comb of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) to have a one-on-one scene with a ladygirl. As a result, Macca was the only member of the group without a solo scene in the film.
Even more sought-after is a lengthy deleted scene from Help!, featuring Frankie Howerd, Wendy Richards and, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Cut because, apparently, it was awful.
In June 1970, Dick Lester reportedly went to the film library at Twickenham Studios to look at the out-takes from his two movies with The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them), but discovered that all of the unreleased footage had been destroyed. The studio had a policy of retaining such footage only for five years after the completion of a film. Now, where have we heard a similar story before in relation to television?
In the last From The North bloggerisationism update, this blogger mentioned The Horror Channel's current - very welcome - early morning repeat run of Gerry Anderson's UFO. Again, on Facebook this led to lots of, frankly long-overdue, appreciation of the marvellously fantastic Gabrielle Drake. Which caused this blogger to publicly confess that Gabrielle was, quite simply, only the third woman - after this blogger's mother - that a seven year old Keith Telly Topping fell helplessly in (completely unrequited) love with. The two ahead of her in the queue being Diana Rigg and Alexandra Bastedo (from The Champions). It's worth noting, here and now, that Keith Telly Topping, even at that age, was precociously a chap with very discerning tastes.
And, when two of them got together - as in what remains this blogger's favourite The Avengers episode, The Hidden Tiger - dear blog reader, it really was murder.
Of course, it wasn't just Di, Alex and Gabby that used to keep this blogger awake on a school-night. Oh no, that would be a massive disserve to (in no particular order), Wendy Padbury (in Doctor Who), Anneke Wills (in The Strange Report), Annette Andre (in Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and that episode of The Prisoner she appeared in), Barbara Shelley, Valerie Leon, Caroline Munro, Carol Cleveland, Angela Douglas, Jenny Agutter, Sheila Fearn, Rosemary Nichols (in Department S) and Cheryl Burfield (in Timeslip). Et cetera, et cetera
And, least it be thought the young Keith Telly Topping had purely British tastes, from over the pond, Elizabeth Montgomery, Barbara Anderson, Lesley Ann Warren, Teri Garr, Suzi Quatro, Yvonne Craig, Wonder Girl and Nancy from Shazzan. See what this blogger means about him always having been a chap with impeccable taste. As well as a warped personality due to constant childhood trauma from watching too much television. So, no change there, then.
National heart-throb David Tennant and Neil Patrick Harris have been seen filming in Bristol for the Doctor Who sixtieth anniversary episode. It was the first time that Harris has been spotted on-set since his involvement in the episode was announced two days previously.
During filming, Tennant could be seen in his blue trench coat protecting the occupants of a car, while crowds of people were running away. Eager fans reportedly crowded into Baldwin Street and Clare Street in the centre of Bristol to watch the production. During filming, some cars were set on fire and vehicles bearing the logo of UNIT were also spotted.
Over forty years ago, one of this blogger's favourite comic writers, the Godlike genius Grant Morrison, wrote a few strips for Doctor Who Magazine. Very good they were, too. Grant then went on to write the likes of Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Arkham Asylum, The Invisibles, The Filth, Sebastian O, JLA, Batman & Robin and New X-Men among others. More recently Grant started writing and producing TV shows, such as Brave New World and Happy! On the Substack newsletter Xanaduum Grant alluded to a possible return to Doctor Who at some stage in the future. A couple of years ago, Grant told TechRadar: 'It kind of did happen. I pitch[ed] a couple, but it didn't work out. One of these days, I've got a whole season worked out, so I'm sure it'll happen eventually.' This week, Grant posted further details to Substack, including thoughts on Jodie Whitaker, Peter Calapdi, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and Big Rusty and also clarified what happened to the pitch he made just as Peter Capaldi was about to be unveiled as the new Doctor. 'At the start of 2013, I went down to London to pitch a bunch of ideas to Steven Moffat and his team. I'd correctly guessed the new Doctor would be an older man (I speculated on some kind of cross between Pertwee and Peter Cushing oddly enough) and suggested he'd be chalking his racing thoughts on blackboards all the time. I think there were two potentially great stories out of the five or so I pitched - one was a "timey-wimey" story designed to work as a high concept Doctor Who feature film and the other a heart-wrenchingly emotive Railway Children episode set in World War II - nevertheless, even after a few attempts at refining the first idea, I didn't make the grade. Having now worked at all stages of TV production, I know exactly where I went wrong in emphasising certain aspects of the story over the ones the BBC were keener to have in foreground. One of my stories involved meeting The Doctor as a child, which then happened in a very different way in the episode Listen. I'd also created some new monsters they really liked so while unwilling to commission any scripts from me, the BBC did offer to buy out my baddies! As an offer, it left a lot to be desired and I'd have got more busking Oasis songs for an hour, so I declined and kept the characters in the event I ever got another shot. A few years ago, I befriended my personal favourite UK auteur, who also did a few Doctor Who episodes. Following many chats, we ended up with a whole fantasy season of Doctor Who adventures which can only be described as revolutionary! We have big, mad ideas for The Doctor, the Companions, the Daleks, the season arc, the TARDIS and everything else, that not only fit with canon and are blindingly obvious but have never been done before! So there does exist what I can only describe as an ultimate Doctor Who pitch, poised to materialise, awaiting the day Russell Davies tires of the Time Lord!'
On a somewhat-related note, dear blog reader, here's a recent tweet from another of this blogger's favourite comic writers with a Doctor Who connection, Neil Gaiman.
Here's this week's reviews, dear blog reader, starting with Strange New Worlds: The Serene Squall. 'I have been doing research on human sex!' After last week's minor disappointment, Strange New Worlds was back on song with a mini-action movie in space and a, highly entertaining potential new recurring villainess. Some great performances in the episode and loads of excellent dialogue. 'I'm only going to tell you this once. Get the Hell out of my chair!'
Followed by The Man Who Fell To Earth: Cracked Actor. 'They found me because of you. I was a spectre, a myth. You arrive, suddenly a pack of Spaniards are at my door, weapons blazing!' Seven crackers out of seven, so far, dear blog reader. Utterly, superbly magnificent. This blogger loved the Apocalypse Now, Zero Dark Thirty and Scanners riffs and the whole 'aliens-versus-dinosaurs' discussion. 'What have you learned from them?' 'Road rage and porn!' 'Beside that!' Friction is nice says Thomas Newton at one point which is this episode in a nutshell. Love the politics, the back-stage scheming and the reflections on the nature of relationships. And the ending, whilst not entirely unexpected, had enough surprise in it to make it work. Sooner or later The Man Who Fell To Earth has, by the law of averages, to have a substandard episode but this blogger hopes they can put it off for a long as possible because he thinks the disappointment may kill him!
The writer of a new TV drama has responded after being 'inundated' with whinges about a character referring to Nottingham Forest as 'Notts Forest.' The scene in Nottinghamshire-based BBC crime thriller Sherwood reportedly angered 'many' Forest supporters who despise the term. And, by 'many', those reporting this story mean, as usual in these types of situations, half-a-dozen mouthy glakes wshinging on Twitter because they've got nothing better to do with their time. Some of those whinging about this trivia allegedly assumed its inclusion in the script must have been a mistake. But the author, James Graham, who is from Nottinghamshire himself, claimed that the wording had been chosen deliberately for several reasons. The six-part series, which stars From The North favourites Joanne Froggatt, David Morrissey, Roibert Glenister, Lesley Manville and Alun Armstrong, is about a murder investigation in a former mining community in the county. The scene which angered Forest fans saw Armstrong's character, Gary, chiding a boy who said that he had never heard of Trevor Francis. 'First million-pound player, Notts Forest, centre forward, fifty two caps for England,' he replied. All of which is factually accurate, to be fair.
Supporters - who dislike the term as it wrongly abbreviates the county rather than the city - quickly took to social media to 'voice their disgruntlement' after it was broadcast on Monday evening. Graham himself responded with a tweet: 'On the hundreds of messages about "Notts Forest", you are of course absolutely right. A true fan would never. I can (sort of) explain. The reasons were mainly character and accent. Because of Gary's (Alun Armstrong's) history and politics, we thought no way he'd be a fan, supporting a Northern team (inspired by real characters, this was loosely the case). And he's talking to a child. But the less satisfying reason is, by wanting local accents on screen - I worried "Nottnm" wouldn't register for wider viewers and for non-footy fans Forest is just a forest. My bad. Know it frustrates fans. I'll make amends. Please let me back into the city. Proud of your pride for your team.' And, dear blog reader, let us once again stand up and salute the utter shite that some people chose to care about.
An increasing number of people are turning away from the news because it lowers their mood, new research suggests. To which the obvious response is, no shit? The Reuters Institute's digital news report suggests that almost four in ten (thirty eight per cent) say they 'often or sometimes' avoid the news - up from twenty nine per cent in 2017. It found the number of people avoiding news over the past five years doubled in the UK and Brazil. Where, to be fair, they get a lot more bad news than we do. Except regarding their national football team. Thirty six per cent - particularly those under thirty five - said the news affected their mood. And, again, this is surprising how, exactly?
Issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic are thought to have contributed to the increase in people avoiding news bulletins, programmes and articles. Less than half of the sample (forty seven per cent) said they were 'very or extremely interested' in news compared with sixty seven per cent in 2015. Nearly half of those who took part in the global survey said they were 'put off' by the 'repetitiveness' of the news agenda, specifically too much politics and Covid-19 coverage. Trust was a factor, too - twenty nine per cent of those surveyed said the news was untrustworthy or biased, while trust fell fell in half the countries surveyed and rose in just seven, compared with last year. But, trust in news is still higher than it was before the pandemic, which reinforced the importance of reliable media for many people. On average, forty two per cent of those who expressed an opinion said they trusted most news most of the time. Some said they avoided the news because it led to arguments they would rather avoid (seventeen per cent) or made them feel powerless (sixteen per cent), while five per cent said they avoid news altogether. More than ninety three thousand people in forty six countries took part in the survey. And, someone got paid to write this rubbish up as 'news'.
Rare items from the late veteran BBC DJ and From The North favourite John Peel's home collection - including a signed record from John Lennon and Yoko Ono - have gone under the hammer. Although, not under an actual hammer, of course, as that may have smashed them and rendered the potential value somewhat diminished. Peelie, who lived in Suffolk, was BBC Radio 1's longest-serving original DJ until he died in 2004 aged sixty five. His widow, Sheila Ravenscroft, said 'people ought to be able to look at, own and enjoy' the items. The signed Lennon/Ono LP, 1968's virtually unlistenable Two Virgins, went for fifteen thousand knicker to someone with more money than sense, while the highest bid was for The Sex Pistols test pressings at over twenty grand. Peel's radio shows helped many music careers, including those of David Bowie, T-Rex, The Fall, The Smiths and The White Stripes. The two hundred lots sold for a total of four hundred and sixty five thousand smackers at the auction held by Bonhams in Knightsbridge. The lot which fetched the highest amount was two test pressings of The Sex Pistols' debut single 'Anarchy In The UK'/'I Wanna Be Me' from 1976 that had been estimated to sell for up to eight grand but fetched nearly triple that figure. Peel's, real name John Ravenscroft, was born in Heswall, Cheshire and went to Shrewsbury School as a boarder. He moved to a village near Stowmarket in the 1970s and The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts that opened in the town in 2010 and is due to be expanded. 'It's eighteen years since John died and the house is still full of all of his things that he collected, that he hoarded and the house shouldn't be a museum, things shouldn't be packed away in boxes, they are interesting items and valuable items that people ought to be able to look at, own and enjoy,' Sheila said. Other high-selling items included an original demo cassette from The Smiths with a letter from the band, dated 4 February 1983, that had been expected to sell for between five and seven hundred quid, but fetched over seventeen grand. A Queen II LP that came with a letter from Freddie Mercury sold for over sixteen thousand. Ironic really given that, although Peelie did give The Queen Group their first radio coverage, he soon realised that they were, in fact, turgid, pompous, overblown risible rubbish. Now, that one should have gone under an actual hammer. The mono pressing of Lennon and Ono's Two Virgins, which infamously had the pair pictured stark bollock-naked on the cover, went for fifteen thousand three hundred notes. Some people, dear blog readers, are just weird.
This blogger's old mucker Nick Cooper took issue with this blogger's use of only two eggs in the omelette which was mentioned in the last From The North bloggerisationism update, insisting that all omelettes - without exception - should contain 'at least three eggs.' This blogger responded that Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House hasn't seen a three-egg omelette in bastard years, what with the cost of living and all that. And anyway, this blogger continued, for some people even a two-egg omelette is an indulgence since, many feel, one egg is an oeuf. Thank you, dear blog reader, thank you, this blogger is here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress and remember, you can't make an omelette without cracking some appalling joke. In French.
On Sunday evening, dear blog reader, for Us Supper at The Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House, this blogger whipped up garlic and chilli breaded King Prawns with spring onion, mushrooms, basmati rice and Thai curry. Needless to say it filled a spot.
We come, now, to the inexcusable part of From The North dedicated to this blogger's on-going medical shenanigans. For those dear blog readers who haven't been following this on-going saga which seems to have been on-going longer than The Great Wall of China: This blogger spent several weeks feeling pure-dead horrible; had a week in hospital; was discharged; received B12 injections; then more injections; recovered his appetite somewhat; got a diagnosis; had a consultants meeting; continued to suffer from fatigue and insomnia; endured another endoscopy; had another consultation; got toothache; had an extraction; which took ages to heal; had yet another conversation with his consultant and had yet more injections.
On Thursday of this week two further appointments had been arranged for this blogger at his second home, the gloriously lovely RVI. Unfortunately, the two people making these appointments hadn't liaised with each other. So the first one (for an echocardiogram in the cardiology department) was at 10am and the second (for a simple blood test in out-patients) was scheduled for 2.45pm. Meaning, of course, that this blogger would have had about four hours in-between to kick his heels, do lunch and some shopping and feel dog-tired and shagged-out. As usual.
This blogger arrived promptly for the first appointment and mentioned to a very nice young lady on the reception desk and then, later, to the equally nice Doctor Alex who was doing this blogger's ECG about the whole 'having to come back this afternoon' malarkey. They both advised the same thing; after they'd done with this blogger, he should pop along to out-patients (on the same floor) and ask if there was any chance of them seeing me early. So this blogger did just that (the ECG appeared fine, by the way). Out-patients were, also, very helpful and, within about twenty minutes, this blogger was thoroughly bled and was out of there. Which meant there was no need for him to hang around town for as long as expected. He did, however, grab some excellent lunch at the Little Asia.
And then, after a quick bit of grocery shopping he was back at The Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House, in theory, an hour before he should have been getting his blood drawn. God bless the NHS dear blog reader, because, frankly, this blogger was pure-dead knackered by that stage and needed an hour's lie down to recover some (though, by no means all) of his strength. So, goodness only knows what he would have been like if he'd needed to stick to the original schedule.
Jonny Bairstow's astonishing century led England to a stunning win in the second test against New Zealand on Tuesday which sealed a series victory. On a breathless final day at Trent Bridge, Bairstow made the second-fastest century by an Englishman in test cricket as the hosts strolled to what should have been a challenging target of two hundred and ninety nine from seventy two overs. Bairstow's outrageous hitting in a spell after tea took him to three figures from seventy seven balls, only just missing the England record of seventy six - set by Gilbert Jessop at The Oval in 1902. Bairstow was eventually out for one hundred and thirty six from ninety two balls, having hit fourteen fours and seven sixes in front of a delirious full house in Nottingham. It was left to captain Ben Stokes, who ended on seventy five not out, to complete the win with twenty two overs to spare. England had scored at almost a run a ball. It sealed a remarkable turnaround from New Zealand posting five hundred and fifty three in their first innings after being sent in to bat. It is the highest total England have conceded in a test which they have then gone on to win since 1894. They take an unassailable two-nil lead in the series, vindicating the freewheeling approach of new captain Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. The home side can complete a clean sweep in the third and final test at Headingley next week. The seventeen thousand punters who grabbed free tickets on offer for the final day knew that England had a chance of pulling off a special win, but no-one could have predicted the way New Zealand would be steamrollered in such spectacular fashion. From two hundred and twenty four for seven overnight, leading by two hundred and thirty eight, The Black Caps ended on two hundred and eighty four all out, leaving England the jolly stiff task of scoring at more than four an over to claim another win. The home side had the benefit of a flat pitch and New Zealand being without their injured fast bowler Kyle Jamieson. Even so, the run-chase was truly staggering. England had been adamant about their intent to pursue any target and this was an awesome demonstration of what they can be capable of under Stokes and McCullum. It resulted in victory in one of the most entertaining test matches in living memory. The two hundred and twenty five fours and twenty four sixes is a new record for the most boundaries hit in a single test. At the centre of it all was Bairstow, who played one of the great innings by an England batter. Though he could not be there at the end, he was given a spine-tingling standing ovation after he was out. In terms of England's early progress in the Stokes-McCullum era, Bairstow has been one of the last to taste success. When he did, he produced arguably his finest moment in an England shirt. He was joined by Stokes at ninety three for four, with two hundred and six runs still required from less than forty seven overs and New Zealand were, at that stage, clear favourites. England took tea at one hundred and thirty nine for four with Bairstow forty three from forty eight balls. What followed, after tea, bordered on the ridiculous. Bairstow began by hitting Trent Boult over his head for six, then hooked Matt Henry into the stands. Wherever New Zealand bowled, he smashed the ball to the boundary. At one stage, Bairstow had taken fifty nine runs from twenty nine balls and was on course to beat Jessop's seventy six-ball record for England's fastest ton which had stood for one hundred and twenty years. Three figures eventually came, one ball too late, punching a Tim Southee half-volley through the off-side. The carnage did not end there. Off-spinner Michael Bracewell was carted into the leg-side, all while Stokes, struggling after jarring his knee, played second fiddle. When Stokes' mobility returned, he smashed the biggest six of the lot, sending Bracewell into the top-tier of the Main Stand. A partnership of one hundred and seventy nine in a mere twenty overs ended when Bairstow edged a ball from Boult and was caught by the wicket-keeper. Ben Foakes joined Stokes, who then crashed the winning boundary. Given what was to unfold, it seems ludicrous to think New Zealand had the better of the first part of the day. Daryl Mitchell trusted the tail, moving from his overnight thirty two to sixty two not out. His last-wicket stand of thirty five with Boult looked vital at the time. England, typically, began with positivity. Alex Lees hit the first two balls of the innings for four, only for Zak Crawley to edge Boult into the slips. Every time England built some momentum, they were pegged back. The two first innings centurions - Ollie Pope and Joe Root were both dismissed cheaply and Lees eventually fell to Southee for an attractive forty four. Realistically, Bairstow and Stokes were England's last chance. Congratulations should also go to both Sky Sports and BBC2 for including two songs that mean a lot to this blogger, james's 'Born of Frustration' and The Jam's 'That's Entertainment' in their respective highlights packages.
Just a few days after that, on Friday, England's ODI side were also on record-breaking form. Jos Buttler's incredible one hundred and sixty two saw England smash their highest score in a one-day international with a mammoth four hundred and ninety eight for four from fifty overs as they thrashed The Netherlands by two hundred and thirty two runs in the first of a three match ODI series. In a particularly eye-catching start to Matthew Mott's tenure as England's new white-ball coach, Buttler pummelled fourteen sixes and seven fours as the feelgood factor from England's test side spilled over to continental Europe on a day of team and individual milestones and rock 'em, sock 'em action. Indeed, at one point, not only were members of the crowd in serious danger from flying balls but so, also, were the many planes that few over the ground on their way to Schiphol Airport. Dawid Malan (one hundred and twenty five) and Phil Salt (one hundred and twenty two) also both made maiden ODI centuries, off ninety and eighty two balls respectively, as The Netherlands bowlers were smashed to all parts before England subsequently dismissed the Dutchies on de left hand side for two hundred and sixty six. England's total eclipses the four hundred and eighty one for six they made against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2018 and also breaks the List A record of four hundred and ninety six for four, scored by Surrey against Gloucestershire in 2007. A total of twenty six sixes rained down on the uncovered stands in Amstelveen and fans assisted the Dutch players in searching for the ball every time it disappeared into overgrowth which surrounds the ground. Not all of them were found with nine balls, at a cost to the Dutch federation of one hundred and thirty Euros a pop, left unaccounted for during Buttler's brutal assault. Fittingly, Buttler hit the runs for England to reach the record ODI total, with a six launched over deep mid-wicket off Shane Snater on a miserable day for the Dutch bowlers, with leg-spinner Philippe Boissevain's ten wicketless overs costing one hundred and eight runs. Liam Livingstone's cameo at the end of the innings was just two balls short of the fastest ever ODI half-century as he blasted fifty off just seventeen balls, finishing with sixty six off twenty two balls. 'Boring boring England' sang the travelling Barmy Army in jest as Livingstone managed only a four off the penultimate ball of their innings which meant the tourists narrowly missed out on scoring five hundred, but they were soon cheering again when he dispatched the final ball for yet another six. Netherlands' response was decidedly more low-key as wicketkeeper Scott Edwards made a defiant unbeaten seventy two while Moeen Ali finished the pick of the attack with three for fifty seven. This was the first occasion an ODI between the two sides had been played on Dutch soil and it was an altogether different experience than the very first time an England XI took the field there. A side featuring Alec Stewart, Nasser Hussain and Derek Pringle suffered a humiliating loss to The Netherlands at the same ground in 1989 - struggling to bowl in the drizzle on a slippery matting wicket. The straw-coloured grass pitch carefully prepared by Benno van Nierop at the VRA Cricket Ground over three decades later was hard, true and perfect for run-scoring on a day when the mercury touched thirty degrees Celsius. It made Dutch skipper Pieter Seelar's decision to bowl first baffling to all but the accountants tallying up the beer sales from the raucous six thousand visiting fans as England recovered from the loss of Jason Roy - bowled by his cousin, Snater - off the ninth ball of the innings. The Netherlands had chances, though. Snater spilled Salt at deep point off Bas de Leede on forty, then three balls later Malan overturned a marginal LBW decision on review after he was struck on the pad by Seelaar reverse sweeping. Seelaar, at least, was able to account for opposite number Eoin Morgan who, perhaps smelling some easy runs to ease himself back into form, promoted himself up the order only to fall LBW for a first-ball duck. Even by his own dizzying standards this was quite breathtaking hitting from Buttler, as he struck the ball so cleanly he seemed to be playing a different game to everyone else. Fresh from a productive stint in the Indian Premier League the thirty one-year-old is currently the best white-ball batsman in world cricket, operating at the peak of his powers. A caveat to this knock must be placed in the context of the strength of bowling, given England were playing an Associate nation. Indeed, the Dutch did not even have a frontline attack for arguably their blue riband series of the summer. Fred Klaassen and Roelof van der Merwe were among those who remained with their county sides to play in the T20 Blast on Friday evening. The Dutch federation could have demanded their mandatory release, but with a small pool of players there is a little appetite from either side to rattle cages. Nevertheless, Buttler's knock was stunning. His century came off forty seven balls, one hundred and fifty off sixty five, as his fast hands and strong wrists proved destructive. The Dutch bowlers simply did not know where to bowl to him, as their brains became scrambled in the carnage. He offered two chances on seventeen and thirty seven as Vikramjit Singh got fingertips on a powerful cover drive while Musa Nadeem Ahmad shelled a far more straightforward opportunity twenty runs later. It would prove costly. Without multi-format players Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes this was a chance for some of England's other white-ball players to shine and reflected the depth of options new coach Mott has in the batting department. Malan became the second England batter, after Buttler, to make a century in all three international formats as he and Salt played with great tempo mixing finesse with aggressive strokeplay to lay the platform for such a monumental total. Equally so, Livingstone's stand-and-deliver style - his fifty featuring five fours and sixes - will doubtless have impressed Mott, albeit with the realisation sterner opponents than the team ranked fourteenth in the ICC ODI rankings lie ahead. To paraphrase the legend that was Bjørge Lillelien, 'Abel Tasman, Hendrick de Keyser, Wim Kok, Max Verstappen, Sylvia Kristel, Jan Akkerman, Johan Cruyff, Hendrik Willem van Loon, Hieronymus Bosch, Anton Corbijn, MC Escher, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Jacob de Wit, Piet de Jong, Geert Groote, François Thijssen, Johnny Rep, Gisèle d'Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht, Fanny Blankers-Koen, Jaap Stam, Piet Van Der Valk (and his frequently regenerating wife), Eddie Van Halen, Ruud Krol, Cornelius van Bynkershoek, Johannes Jacobus Poortman, Maurice Prince of Orange, Toon Hermans, Marco van Basten, all of Shocking Blue, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Cornelis Tromp, Joke Smit, Rutger Hauer, Ellen van Dijk, Rinus Michels, William I, William II, William III, Beatrix, Juliana, Wilhamina and all the other Dutch Queens, Zacharias Janssen, Nicolaes Tulp, Wim van Hanegem, Johannes Vermeer, Wubbo Ockels, Ada Kok, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Willem Drees, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter, Christiaan Huygens, Anton and Gerard Phillips, Freddy Heineken, Jan Sloot, some tulips, a mouse in a windmill in old Amsterdam (where? there on the stair? where on the stair? right there!), Jools Holland (probably) ... can you hear me? Your bowlers took a Hell of a beating.' Almost inevitably, England's bowlers were left in the shade but they largely kept their discipline - Sam Curran's two for forty six relatively encouraging on his return to the side. Mott has been dubbed a legacy coach charged with turning England's limited-overs team from a good side to a great one. On a frenzied, dizzying day of batting in a sleepy town on the outskirts of Amsterdam, this was not a bad start.