It’s been an exciting few days over at Kaleidoscope, based in Birmingham, as a seemingly endless run of archive television goodies have been announced which were previously missing, believed wiped.
Mostly from one individual collector (!), here’s a quick highlights run down of what episodes and items have been returned to the rights holders:
Z-Cars. Two episodes of the gritty police series; Affray and Family Feud, both from 1962. This brings the survival rate of the first series to nineteen episodes out of thirty-one made. The early episodes I have seen have been very watchable – although only colour episodes from the later years have so far been made available on DVD, by Acorn.
The Avengers. Another episode from the underrated Ian Hendry years, series 1’s Tunnel of Fear, from 1961. One of my number one ‘wants’ so, yes, delighted! This increases the survival rate of the first series to three and a half episodes from the twenty-six made. Before Steed became the lead character with a feisty female sidekick, he was the companion to the decent Dr Keel, and the early extant episodes have quite a different feel to the classic series we know today.
Dr Finlay’s Casebook. A Questionable Practice, from 1963. Many of the surviving early episodes have made it on to DVD, from Simply, and I hope this joins them soon. A very enjoyable series, which benefits from the excellent casting of Bill Simpson, Andrew Cruickshank and Barbara Mullen. .This recovery means there are now seventy episodes available from a hundred and ninety-one made.
Softly, Softly. Talk to Me, from 1966. The pilot episode of the much-loved sequel to Z-Cars, and a very interesting survival.
The World of Wooster. Jeeves and the Great Sermon Handicap, from 1965. This means there are now two surviving episodes from the five seasons which featured Dennis Price and Ian Carmichael as the silly ass and his superior butler. I have heard very positive things about this series and can’t wait to see this episode.
Hugh and I. Beau Jesters, from 1966. A series probably best known as ‘that dreadful series’ David Croft was involved with prior to Dad’s Army, featuring Hugh Lloyd and Terry Scott. Still, it has its fans, and it is always nice to welcome archive comedy back to the fold. This means twenty-five episodes now exist from an estimated sixty-nine made.
Here’s Harry. The Musician, from 1963. The surviving edition from series six of Harry Worth’s show, and notorious in its way for being one of the few programmes not pulled from the schedule on the occasion of President Kennedy’s assassination.
This is very much a time for celebration!
Tunnel of Fear is being shown at the next Kaleidoscope event in Birmingham on the 12th November (sadly now sold out).
Family Feud and Jeeves are being shown at the BFI Southbank’s Missing Believed Wiped event in December (exact date to be confirmed).
Welcome back, all.