Waris Hussein with Peter Capaldi
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in February 2018? Including Waris Hussein and Ingmar Bergman seasons

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

February’s a pretty full month by the looks of it at the BFI, with a couple of impressive seasons, as well as two TV previews. The main attraction is a season of programmes directed by Waris Hussein – best known as the first ever director of Doctor Who, but who’s built up an impressive portfolio of shows from both sides of the Atlantic over the years, including a rare acting foray by Barry Manilow in Copacabana. There are also showings of Ingmar Bergman’s original versions of Face to Face and Scenes from a Marriage from Swedish TV.

The two previews? The sequel to Kenneth Clark’s original CivilisationCivilisations, and the return to British TV of John Cleese and Alison Steadman in Hold the Sunset. All that after the jump, where we can merengue and do the cha-cha.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in February 2018? Including Waris Hussein and Ingmar Bergman seasons”

The Liberator from Blake's 7
BFI events

What the BFI is showing at Missing Believed Wiped this weekend

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

Just in case you were wondering what the BFI is going to be showing at its annual Missing Believed Wiped event this weekend, they’ve sent me through some details. I’m assuming tickets might still be available…

The BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped returns to BFI Southbank this December to present British television rediscoveries, not seen by audiences for decades, since their original transmission dates. The exciting, bespoke line-up of TV gems feature some of our most-loved television celebrities and iconic characters including Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part: Sex Before Marriage, Cilla Black in her eponymous BBC show featuring Dudley Moore, Jimmy Edwards in Whack-O!, a rare interview with Peter Davison about playing Doctor Who, an appearance by future Doctor Who Patrick Troughton from ITV’s early police drama, No Hiding Place plus a significant screen debut from a young Pete Postlethwaite.

Lost for 50 years and thought only to survive in part, Till Death Us Do: Sex Before Marriage, originally broadcast on 2 January, 1967 on BBC1, sees Warren Mitchell’s Alf Garnett rail against the permissive society, featuring guest star John Junkin alongside regular cast members Dandy Nichols, Anthony Booth and Una Stubbs. Although the existence of this missing episode from the 2nd series has been known for some years, previous attempts to screen the episode had been refused with the print in the hands of a private collector. Having recently changed hands, MBW is delighted that access has been granted for this special one off screening, for one of 1960s best known and controversial UK television characters.

Following last year’s successful screening of a previously lost episode of Jimmy Edwards’s popular 1950s BBC school-themed comedy romp Whack-O!, this year’s MBW programme includes a 1959 episode entitled The Empty Cash Box. Written by Frank Muir and Dennis Norden and starring Jimmy Edwards as the cane-happy headmaster, this episode was originally broadcast on the BBC on 1st December 1959.

A genuine national treasure and much-missed performer and presenter, Cilla Black is remembered here with a rare screening of an episode from her previously lost BBC 60s pop/variety show, Cilla. Screened in full for the first time since its original transmission on 26 March, 1968, Cilla features performances from Roy Hudd, The Dudley Moore Trio and Cilla herself, a fascinating record of 60s pop culture.

Fans of TV horror are in for a treat with the recently disinterred Late Night Horror: The Corpse Can’t Play. Originally broadcast on 3 May, 1968 on BBC2 this is the only surviving episode from the BBC’s spine-tingling anthology series of atmospheric chillers, set at a children’s birthday party where an uninvited guest delivers some unusual and horrifying variations on the usual party games. Screened here courtesy of MBW colleagues at The Kaleidoscope Archive, The Corpse Can’t Play was directed by Paddy Russell, one of the first two women directors in BBC television, whose impressive broadcast career spanned 40 years working on classic shows including Z Cars, Doctor Who and Emmerdale, and who sadly died this year.

During the 1970s, a key strength of the drama department at BBC Pebble Mill in Birmingham was its ability to unearth exciting new acting, writing and directing talent. Running from 1973 for ten series, Second City First’s half-hour original drama slot proved highly influential, launching a spectacular range of ‘regional talent’ including Willy Russell, Mike Leigh, Mike Newell, Julie Walters, Brian Glover, Alison Steadman and many others, offering a diversity of representation, comparable with the best television drama today.

Another great find, Second City Firsts: Thwum, originally broadcast in 1975, features a young Pete Postlethwaite in his earliest television appearance. This sci-fi themed short play sees UFO fanatic Bernard (Paul Moriarty), trying to convince a skeptical reporter (Pete Postlethwaite) to cover the story of an imminent alien craft landing. This almost complete copy (2 minutes missing) was recovered from a domestic video recording kept by director Pedr James (Our Friends in the North, Martin Chuzzlewit) and we are delighted that Pedr will be joining us to introduce the screening and reveal the fascinating story behind the production, Pete Postlethwaite’s debut and the tape’s survival.

As well as screening rare complete episodes MBW offers a chance to view recovered clips with a wider cultural significance. Highlights from a recently digitized video collection includes a James Bond set visit on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) for Granada TV’s children’s cinema show Clapperboard, hosted by Chris Kelly. In addition there are rare interviews with Doctor Who’s Peter Davison, here discussing his thoughts on being the 5th incarnation of the legendary Time Lord as well as influential BBC visual effects designer Mat Irvine (Blake’s 7, Doctor Who, The Tripods), who talks about Blake’s 7 iconic Liberator spacecraft.

A late addition to the programme is an extract from a recent discovery, an episode of the influential and long thought lost ITV police drama No Hiding Place which was found in Australia. Attracting over 7 million viewers at its peak in the mid-1960s, the series became ITV’s best known police drama, making household names of its principal cast. Hailed for its authentic portrayal of local law enforcement matters the show holds an important place in the history of British independent television production.

Of the 236 episodes produced by Associated Rediffusion, only 20 complete episodes were previously known to survive in Britain. The show’s success meant it was sold to other territories, including Australia where it broadcast on ABC. Detection work from The Kaleidoscope Archive lead to the positive identification of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia (NFSA)’s solitary episode as a missing part of the show. Two Blind Mice (Series 2, Episode 5) first broadcast on 2 June 1960, is notable both for being the 2nd earliest known surviving episode and for its guest appearance by future Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton.

John Hurt in The Naked Civil Servant
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in January 2018? Including a John Hurt season, Collateral and Troy: Fall of a City

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

Crikey. 2018 already. How did that happen?

Still, here we (almost) are and the BFI has already laid plans to welcome in the New Year. First among these is a season of John Hurt’s work, including episodes of I, Claudius, The Naked Civil Servant, Crime and Punishment, Whistle and I’ll Come to You and Doctor Who‘s The Day of the Doctor.

But that’s not all. There’s a couple of previews: BBC Two’s Collateral and BBC One’s Troy: Fall of a City (I can’t even). There’s also a Missing Believed Wiped featuring an old documentary about Rod Stewart – Rod the Mod.

All that after the jump.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in January 2018? Including a John Hurt season, Collateral and Troy: Fall of a City”

Sydney Newman
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2017? Including Shada, The League of Gentlemen and the Sydney Newman season

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

It’s the end of the year but it seems the BFI has saved the best for last. Following on from October-November’s bounty, we’ve got a whole host of TV events lined up for us in December. We do, of course, have the annual ‘Missing Believed Wiped’ event, which will be airing formerly missing episodes of Till Death Us Do Part and Late Night Horror.

However, the main season is dedicated to the marvellous Canadian TV producer Sydney Newman who so revolutionised British TV in the 50s and 60s. As part of that, we’ll be getting episodes of Doctor Who, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Avengers and Pathfinders, as well as two plays from the series he helped to create for ITV and the BBC: Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play.

Talking of Doctor Who, there’ll be a preview of the recently reconstructed (yet again) Douglas Adams story Shada, complete with animation replacement scenes for the bits that never got filmed. That’s among previews that include one of the new League of Gentlemen episodes, ITV’s forthcoming Hatton Garden, the Beeb’s new Agatha Christie adaptation Ordeal By Innocence and the latest David Walliams, Grandpa’s Great Escape.

Phew. Full details after the jump.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2017? Including Shada, The League of Gentlemen and the Sydney Newman season”

Callan - Suddenly At Home
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in October-November 2017? Including Hard Sun, Inside No.9, Callan at 50 and The Prisoner at 50

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

Oh, I do love October-November. All the leaves, colours. And, of course, all the lovely TV events that the BFI will be hosting. This ‘month’, in fact, there are a few doozies that I will shortly be booking, I suspect.

For most people, the appeal will be two previews with Q&As: the first of the fourth season of Inside No.9, at which Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith will be in attendance; the second of the forthcoming Hard Sun, written by Luther‘s Neil Cross and starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn.

For me, though, the big draw is Saturday 25th November’s ‘thrilling television’ day, which will include:

  • A ‘Callan at 50′ panel discussion
  • A ‘Sixties Spies and Beyond’ discussion that will include clips of The Avengers, The Man From UNCLE et al
  • ‘The Prisoner at 50′, which will include a bespoke BFI cut of Network’s documentary.

That’s me sorted for the day. How do you reckon I break it to my wife?

Or that there’s a talk on the Wednesday evening about the state of conspiracy thrillers on UK TV, comparing them to classic shows like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Edge of Darkness? Ah, waddya gonna do?

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in October-November 2017? Including Hard Sun, Inside No.9, Callan at 50 and The Prisoner at 50”