BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in May? Including Victorian Sensations and Afternoon of a Nymph

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

As is traditional in the month following a BFI/Radio Times TV festival, there are pretty slim pickings for TV viewing at the BFI this May.

But there are a few things at least. There’s a preview of BBC Four’s forthcoming Victorian Sensations, which looks at the ‘thrilling era of the 1890s’. There’s a tribute to the rather talented Philip Saville that will include a showing of Armchair Theatre‘s Afternoon of a Nymph. And best of all, there’s a talk about Smallfilms and how it created Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, and Bagpuss.

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Then And Now
BFI events

What (more) TV’s on at the BFI in March? Including Remembering Television

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

A bit of a change from normal, in that the BFI is doing a BAFTA and releasing information about a new event with only a couple of weeks’ notice. It’s also an event that’s not actually being held at the BFI, but is to promote a Bloomsbury Publishing book, Remembering British Television: Audience, Archive and Industry:

Remembering Television: Then and Now

March 28

Bloomsbury Publishing UK
50 Bedford Square, WC1B 3DP London, United Kingdom
Timing: Doors open and complimentary drinks from 6pm. Our guests in conversation, followed by Q&A with audience members, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
Tickets: £15 for adults / £10 students and concessions

Step inside Bloomsbury Publishing as we ask how, when ‘television’ no longer means a box in the corner of the living room that we sit and watch together, do we keep safe the television of the past?

What is the past, present and future of television? We’re experiencing a golden age right now with new show-runners, streaming services and unique collaborations popping up every other week but how does this brave new world take its cue from all that came before? Join us as we host a wide-ranging discussion with three self-confessed telly-addicts actively working to preserve the past and inspire future generations of TV creators, producers and writers to come.

Join us as we take another look at television’s history by talking to the people who are making it their mission to keep the unforgettable moments alive for creators, researchers, writers and, most importantly, the fans. Authors of Remembering British Television, Kristyn Gorton and Joanne Garde-Hansen will be in conversation with Dr Elinor Groom, currently TV curator at the British Film Institute (BFI).

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Edward Woodward as Callan
Classic TV

The Weekly Play: Callan – A Magnum For Schneider (1967)

Just in case for some insane reason you don’t already have them on DVD, this is just a quick reminder that possibly the best TV programme ever made, Callan, is getting a very rare repeat, thanks (of course) to Talking Pictures. I think the last time it was repeated was on UK Gold in the early to mid 90s, so don’t expect it to come round again for another 20 years.

The action starts with the original Armchair Theatre production that launched it, A Magnum for Schneider, which coincidentally again is this week’s Weekly Play. It sees working class ex-spy David Callan (Edward Woodward) blackmailed by his former boss Colonel Hunter into returning to ‘the Section’, SIS’s dirty tricks department responsible for everything from extortion through to assassination. His task? The murder of the titular Schneider, a German businessman who may be more than he seems. But has Callan’s nerve gone? And if it has, will his former employers kill him?

It’s a brilliant, unshowy piece of work, with Woodward showing his star credentials from the outset. But Russell Hunter as his informant ‘Lonely’, Ronald Radd as Hunter and Peter Bowles as Callan’s posh fellow agent Meres are all stand-outs. In an era of spy escapism, Callan was a welcome bit of gritty, down at heel British drama.

After A Magnum for Schneider, Talking Pictures will continue airing the series proper with the show’s surviving black and white episodes (no, the BBC wasn’t the only broadcaster to wipe its archives from time to time), in which the marvellous Anthony Valentine took over from Bowles as Meres, and a legion of other great actors eventually took over, Number 2-style, from Radd as ‘Hunter’.

After that, we head into the colour Thames episodes, which thankfully still survive. If you miss it, you’ll be sorry!

UPDATE: Actually, checking Talking Pictures schedules, it looks like A Magnum For Schneider isn’t getting an airing, so it’s straight into the black and white episodes tonight with The Good Ones Are All Dead at 9pm. That means you should definitely watch this week’s Weekly Play!

The Likely Lads

What TV’s on at the Prince Charles Cinema in March? Including a celebration of the Likely Lads

The Prince Charles Cinema off Leicester Square is a nice little place for watching cult movies. TV? Not so much… until now, since as well as a showing of The Likely Lads movie, it’s showing two newly recovered episodes of the TV series and will be running a Q&A with the show’s creators, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.

Tuesday 12 March


The Likely Lads (1976)
Directed by Michael Tuchner
Starring James Bolam, Rodney Bewes
feat. Q&A with writers Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais
1976 / 1965 | 138mins | UK | rated (15)
Doors at 18:30 / Event Finishes approx 22:20

Spinning off from the BAFTA-winning 1970s sequel to the incredibly popular 1960s sitcom, James Bolam and Rodney Bewes star in this 1976 movie as Terry Collier and Bob Ferris, two life-long friends with vastly different outlooks on life. This feature presentation has been beautifully restored from original film elements.

And the night just gets better – for the very first time since they last aired over 50 years ago, we present two recently recovered episodes from the original BBC TV series:

A Star is Born: With one eye on a £25 prize and the other on Rhona the barmaid, Terry enters himself and Bob as a singing duo in a talent night at the local: but the lads can’t agree on the choice of song, or who gets first billing in the group name…

Far Away Places: The lads are contemplating their summer holiday, but lack of money is a problem: as is the choice of destination. Bob favours the continent, while Terry is all for tradition and can’t be persuaded to go abroad…

Then, to round off the evening, Likely Lads creators Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais will join us for a very special Q&A session.

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Walter Presents
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in March? Including Cheat, The Macra Terror and Walter Iuzzolino

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

If you like European plays, you’ll love March at the BFI, as there’s going to be a season of TV adaptations of European plays from down through the ages. Centrepiece of the season is a Q&A with Walter Iuzzolino of Walter Presents… fame, discussing with others including Cherie Lunghi, the British attitude to European TV.

If you dislike European plays, there’s some animated Doctor Who with assistant Anneke Wills and a preview of ITV’s Cheat that includes a Q&A with cast and crew. Full details after the jump…

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