TV things at the NFT next month

As usual, the NFT has a few nice TV treasures on display next month, as well as some excellent events. Here are the highlights, IMHO.

Friday 11th May: Preview: The War on Democracy + John Pilger intro

Pilger’s first feature-length film for the cinema, looking at Latin America. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gives Pilger a rare face-to-face interview.

Saturday 19th May: Bar Mitzvah Boy

Jack Rosenthal’s bittersweet comedy about a teenage Jewish boy’s coming of age. Plus 15 minutes of clips from the strand.

Saturday 19th May: Play for Today discussion

A panel of writers, directors, producers and academics debate Play for Today and its impact. How did it work and what were its achievements? No idea who the panel are though.

Wednesday 23rd May: A Night With the Bonzos

TV appearances by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, including Do Not Adjust Your Set and Son of the Exploding Sausage. May feature appearances by actual Bonzos.

Wednesday 23rd May: Coming to England

Floella Benjamin leads a discussion on the experiences of first-generation immigrants to the UK in the 50s and 60s. Includes a screening of Coming to England, the autobiographical account of her journey to the UK.

Friday 25th May: Eccentric England

One Man’s Week: Vivian Stanshall BBC 1975 30min

The Bonzos’ Viv Stanshall cycles around Muswell Hill, hunting records and attending to his terrapins.

Dave Allen in Search of the Great English Eccentric ATV 1974 52 mins

Meet a man who resides in a small iron box, plus Bonzos cohort Bruce Lacey, who has a home-made robot-lady in his shed. Meanwhile, Ivor Cutler plays the harmonium and sings at the zoo.

The Moon and the Sledgehammer UK 1971 65 mins

Words like ‘weird’ and ‘odd’ do not do justice to this remarkable, eerily beautiful folk documentary recording the exploits of a strange, mysterious family living deep in the woods – according to their own rules – along with their giant steam engines, pump organs, broken-up buses, and all manner of outlandish regalia. Once seen, never forgotten!

The Mediatheque will be crammed with Play for Today stuff that you can view for free as well. Plus there’s film stuff at the NFT as well, apparently.

Troy Kennedy Martin season at the NFT

The NFT has a season of Troy Kennedy Martin’s work running next month, with an interview with the man himself on the 6th February. In case you don’t know who he is, here’s the bumpf:

“Scriptwriter Troy Kennedy Martin has been responsible for some of the most memorable and innovative British TV. Beginning at the BBC in the late fifties, he worked on the revolutionary series Z Cars and then moved to ITV to write on the seminal seventies series, The Sweeney. Arguably his greatest work is the brilliant conspiracy thriller Edge of Darkness, and he has also written for film, including the classic caper movie The Italian Job.”

Among the season’s highlights are Diary of a Young Man, Edge of Darkness, and an episode of Fall of Eagles. Go watch Edge of Darkness if you’ve never seen it (shame on you! It’s the drama of the 80s); I’ll only be along for the interview on the 6th since everything else clashes with something else I’m already booked in for. Drat.

BFI events

New Year news

DT looking somber

The last week’s news in review.

Doctor Who


British TV

  • There’s a Green Wing special event at the NFT on the 17th January. There will be an on-stage interview with creator Victoria Pile and “(we hope) cast members Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt”.


Saturday night ITC fun at the NFT

Tickets may already have sold out, but if they haven’t and you’re not off to a fireworks display like me, there’s a couple of tele events at the NFT this Saturday that look interesting. Gerry Anderson, creator of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, et al is going to talk about his days at ITC. To get you up to speed with ITC, preceding that will be a Gallop Through the Archives, with clips from various ITC shows, as well as a full episode of The Buccaneers. Both sound fun, so book if you can.

BFI events

Jane Eyre and Charley at the NFT

Charley says: go to the NFT
A couple of tele-related things to watch out for at the NFT this month. The first is a season of Central Office of Information (COI) films starting on the 21st and running through to the 30th. COI films? You remember Charley Says, right? Think Before You Drink Before You Drive? Course you do. Basically, a week of those films, grouped by theme onto individual nights.
The other thing that might be worth catching is a preview on the 15th of the Beeb’s new adaptation of Jane Eyre. It features Toby Stephens as Rochester, Francesca Annis as Lady Ingram, and newcomer Ruth Wilson as Jane. It’ll be a four-parter when it appears on tele, but the NFT is showing the first two hour-long episodes.
If you feel the urge, get booking now!