Tag Archives: kaleidoscope

Music Believed Wiped (BFI Southbank)

The news reports have largely been about the rediscovery of The Beatles’ only live appearance on Top of the Pops but it is really just a squint at a few seconds of “Paperback Writer”.

Title card with musician Ashleigh Hennessey

Title card with musician Ashleigh Hennessey

Far more interesting were clips from Ready Steady Go including a snippet of Nina Simone, a couple of high energy and vibrantly filmed numbers from The Who, and some close-up filming of lovely Paul Jones from Manfred Mann playing his harmonica in a couple of blues numbers.

Two compilations suffered a bit from not identifying the acts, although of course we knew Sweet, T-Rex, Elton John, plus Lieutenant Pigeon, Peters and Lee, and even Geordie (pre-AC/DC Brian Johnson) and a knockout performance from Jethro Tull.

Pete Murray with host David Hamilton

Pete Murray with host David Hamilton

Guests were the veteran broadcaster Pete Murray and Sweet leader Andy Scott, and David Hamilton hosted the afternoon, before the last edition of Top of the Pops to be filmed in black and white. This included the original promo of The Beatles with “Something”, oddly eschewing shots of Linda McCartney for Paul skipping about alone. A side-by-side comparison with the final version rectified this and was weirdly touching.

David Hamilton and Andy Scott of Sweet

David Hamilton and Andy Scott of Sweet

An excellent show, especially the pieces retrieved from 1960s and 1970s computer tape recordings. Kaleidoscope, now in their 31st year , of finding, restoring and curating archive TV clips, programmes and continuity, are to be applauded for their continued efforts in this sphere.

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Archive TV rediscoveries

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:

zcars

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.

avengers

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.

drfinlay

Dr Finlay’s CasebookA 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, SoftlyTalk to Me, from 1966.  The pilot episode of the much-loved sequel to Z-Cars, and a very interesting survival.

wooster

The World of WoosterJeeves 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

Hugh and IBeau 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.

harry

Here’s HarryThe 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.

celebrate

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.

 


Book review: Inside Updown (new edition)

This sumptuous revised edition of Richard Marson’s book, ‘Inside Updown’, published by Kaleidoscope, covers the original series of London Weekend Television’s ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’, with appendices on its official sequel, ‘Thomas and Sarah’, and, new to this edition, the complete script of the proposed film (which would have featured Richard Chamberlain alongside key members of the television series cast).

A large hardback back running at over 300 pages, filled with photographs, episode synopses, and interviews with cast and crew, this is an essential tribute to one of ITV’s greatest period dramas.  Originally broadcast in 68 episodes from 1971-1975, it has become a popular ratings winner during repeat showings, and has also become successful in other countries, notably the United States, where selected episodes ran in the Masterpiece season.

One chapter which was considered too large to include in this edition – on the BBC reboot of the series in 2010 – can be downloaded via the official website for the series at http://www.updown.org.uk/.


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