December 2011 at the BFI

Lost Hearts

It’s a marvellous smorgasbord of TV in December at the BFI. Hoorah! The preview of Sherlock that was supposed to be on last month is showing on the 6th. There are previous of BBC2’s adaptation of Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood as well as an Arena documentary about Dickens adaptations. There are two more archive recoveries from the Library of Congress, as well as the yearly ‘Missing Believed Wiped’ featuring a ‘treat for sci-fi fans’. There’s also a Peter Kosminsky season, including Britz and The Project (although unfortunately no Shoot To Kill), as well as two episodes of A Ghost Story for Christmas, including the marvellous The Signalman.

But best of all, there’s a reshowing of 80s children’s drama Moondial (tagline: ‘What happens when the moon shines on a sundial?’)

I should also point out that in December, the BFI Mediatheque will have (free to view) 10 episodes of A Ghost Story For Christmas: The Stalls of Barchester, A Warning to the Curious, Lost Hearts, The Treasure of Abbot Thomas, The Ash Tree, The Signalman, Stigma, The Ice House, A View From A Hill and Number 13. Go watch them – they’re blinking marvellous.

  • 2nd: First Tuesday Special: The Falklands War – The Untold Story
    A Peter Kosminksy documentary about the Falklands War.
  • 3rd: Moondial
    Chidren’s TV drama in which Siri Neal discovers a sundial that sends her into the past..
  • 5th: MR James’ A View From A Hill + The Signalman
    Two ghost stories for Christmas.
  • 6th: Preview: SherlockA Scandal in Belgravia + Q&A
    Postponed from last month, the first episode of the new series of Sherlock, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with cast and crew. Check BFI website for updates.
  • 7th: Preview: The Mystery of Edwin Drood + Q&A
    Episode 1 of the BBC2 adaptation of Dickens’ unfinished novel starring Matthew Rhys and Rory Kinnear, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the cast and writer Gwyneth Hughes.
  • 8th: 15 The Life & Death of Philip Knight
    Peter Kosminsky drama-documentary about a 15-year-old held in an adult prison who killed himself. Stars Holly Aird and Angus Macfadyen.
  • 10th: Absolute Hell + Q&A
    Adaptation of Rodney Ackland’s play starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Francesca Annis and Charles Gray. Followed by a Q&A with director Anthony Page.
  • 11th: Missing Believed Wiped: Miscellany + Music and More
    Recently recovered TV recordings, formerly believed missing or lost. The first session will be a miscellany, including a treat for sci-fi fans and Dennis Potter’s Thirty Minute Theatre: Emergency Ward 9; the second is music footage from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • 13th: No Child of Man
    Based on a true story, this Peter Kosminsky drama features a ten-year-old girl suffering from systematical physical and sexual abuse by her parents. Stars Colin Salmon.
  • 13th: First Tuesday: New York – The Quiet Catastrophe + Peter Kosminsky in conversation with Francine Stock
    Peter Kosminsky’s name-making documentary about New York’s homeless during the Reagan presidency. Followed by Kosminsky talking to Francine Stock about his career.
  • 15th: Preview: ArenaDickens on Film + Q&A
    A documentary on film and TV adaptations of Dickens. Followed by a Q&A with Adrian Wootton of the BFI.
  • 18th: The Project
    Starring Matthew Macfadyen and Naomi Harris, this Peter Kosminsky drama covers the nine-year period during which the Labour Party became New Labour.
  • 19th: Britz
    Peter Kosminsky’s drama about a Muslim brother and his sister, one of whom becomes radicalised, the other working with the British establishment to fight terrorism.
  • 20th: The Ribardier System and Fashion for Ladies
    Two 1964 Granada TV adaptations of Georges Feydeau farces.

Champions’ priority booking: 11.30am July 4
Members’ priority booking opens: 11.30am July 5
Public booking opens: July 12

£8.00 (members)
£5.25 (member concs)
£9.50 (non-members)
£6.75 (non-members concs)
Under 16s £5.

All shows are £5 on Tuesdays. Conc prices are available to senior citizens, students, unwaged and disability visitors. Proof of eligibility may be required.

As always, visit the BFI web site for more details.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.