SINCE AUGUST of last year, websufers have been able to watch gems from the archives of Scottish Televison on video sharing site YouTube. Among the classic STV programmes made viewable on demand are popular drama Take The High Road, music show Thingummyjig and selected highlights of historic Scottish football matches.
In our latest feature, Wiped News speaks to David Paton, Media co-ordinator – STVPlayer on YouTube, about the move into cyberspace and the search for lost material. Visit: STV Archives Come To YouTube.
MANUEL & THE MUSIC OF THE MOUNTAINS ‘Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto De Aranjuez (Theme From 2nd Movement)’ (Pan’s People)
‘Forever And Ever’
The recovered 1976 edition is presented by Noel Edmonds and also features performances by Billy Ocean, Marmalade, Guys ‘N’ Dolls, The Walker Brothers and Electric Light Orchestra.
A domestic Philips N1500 video recording of the show was purchased from the internet auction site by a consortium including classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope in December.
Despite being 34 years old, the tape is said to “play perfectly”.
The episode, broadcast on February 12, 1976, is particularly notable for the only appearance of then Blue Peter presenter Lesley Judd with Pan’s People.
Judd, a former dancer, performed a routine to top 10 single ‘Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto De Aranjuez (Theme From 2nd Movement)’ with the regular TOTP troupe.
A recording of the rehearsal for the song – which reached number 3 in the charts and proved to be the biggest hit for orchestra Manuel & The Music Of The Mountains – appeared on the next edition of Blue Peter, transmitted February 16, 1976.
Though the children’s show was retained in the BBC archives, the corporation wiped the TOTP episode. Prior to the recovery, all that survived were clips of ELO and Guys ‘N’ Dolls.
Chris Perry of volunteer group Kaleidoscope described the find as “one in a million”.
He said: “Nine times out of ten when old tapes turn up for sale on eBay they are just junk and a waste of money.
“But in a rare case of it actually being correctly labelled, we recovered a 1500 cassette containing the missing TOTP advertised. That’s a one in a million chance.”
The episode will now feature in a forthcoming Kaleidoscope music-themed event set to take place in June, when it will officially be handed to the BBC.
WIPED NEW’S resident columnist Ray gets the New Year off to a great start with news of a number of clips from missing shows featuring Georgie Fame, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Gerry Rafferty and… Bill Oddie – Raymond of the Lost Archive 8#.
WHEEL MEET AGAIN: A promotional photo from The Wheel in Space showing the Cybermen and new companion Zoe (Wendy Padbury).
A NEW CGI trailer for classic Doctor Who story The Wheel in Spacehas become an internet hit.
The clip imagines what the sixties adventure would have looked like if made by Alien director Ridley Scott.
Lasting two minutes, the “creepy” black and white animation features scenes of popular Who foes the Cybermen set to the soundtrack of Scott’s acclaimed 1979 horror film.
The video has had thousands of views on YouTube since being uploaded on New Year’s Day and shows how far reconstructions, or ‘recons’, of missing Doctor Who episodes have come.
Animator Iz Skinner made the trailer as a ‘taster’ for a forthcoming recon of the Patrick Troughton story and says she was trying to reinstate the “scariness” of the episodes.
She said: “When I read that Ridley Scott had actually worked for BBC Television in the 1960s, I thought it would be fun to imagine how he might have made a trailer for this great story.
“I felt that the Alien soundtrack in some way reinstated the scariness of this episode for the modern generation who might not know how terrifying and exciting these stories were when they were first broadcast.”
Originally broadcast from April 27 – June 1, 1968, only episodes three and six of this six-part story are currently held by the BBC.
Telesnaps and fan-made audio recordings of all episodes, however, do survive and have been utilized by Iz and fan-group Loose Cannon Productions to recreate as much as possible the look and feel of the show.
“The trailer is made up of a small selection of the clips I’ve been animating for the upcoming Loose Cannon release,” said Iz, who has based her work on continuity stills and the “expert advice” of fellow LC members Derek Handley, Dean Rose and Russ Port
“I do think a semi-photo realistic episode is entirely doable,” added Iz.
“I say semi-photo realistic because for the most part I’d say that you would still know it was CG, particularly with the characters.
“I now have a motion capture set-up in my living room which allows me to act out scenes and give a more natural movement to my characters.”
Restoration experts are in the final stages of converting all seven episodes back from black and white, and hope to deliver the recolourised copies to the BBC “within weeks”.
A DVD release of the 1970 story, starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, is expected to follow.
Though originally made on two-inch colour videotape, six episodes of Ambassadors were only retained in the BBC archives as inferior 16mm b&w film recordings.
New technology, however, has revealed that these and some other black-and-white telerecordings still retain information that can lead to the restoration of the missing colour.
Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, an independent group contracted by the BBC, has been overseeing the painstaking process of unpicking the colour signal and bringing one of the Time Lord’s vintage stories back to life.
Speaking to Wired magazine, Roberts, 35, said: “It seemed almost impossible. But when they made the black-and-white recordings, they didn’t filter off the colour carrier, which for the last few decades has been nothing more than an annoyance.”
The technique, developed from an idea of James Insell, a preservation specialist at the BBC’s Windmill Road archives centre in west London, has already been successfully applied to episodes of Dad’s Army, Are You Being Served? and another Doctor Who story – episode three of Planet of the Daleks.
But recolouring episodes 2 – 7 of The Ambassadors of Death (tx March 21 – May 2, 1970) has proven the Restoration Team’s biggest challenge to date.
With much dedication and skill, team member Richard Russell used the weak signal on the films, appearing as a pattern of faint ‘chroma’ dots, to reverse-engineer raw colour pictures that could then be retouched frame by frame.
“It’s very, very labour intensive – several hundred man hours’ work every episode,” said Roberts, who is the team’s supervisor and a BBC senior engineer.
He adds that a new “quadrant editor” is helping them to produce better source material upfront and that they hope to deliver the Ambassadors episodes to the BBC “within weeks”.
A DVD release is expected to follow, though it is not currently on schedule for 2011.
Prior to 1978, the BBC junked many vintage episodes of Doctor Who featuring actors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee in the lead role.
Today, 108 episodes are missing.
Episode one of Ambassadors is the oldest episode of Who surviving on its original transmission tape.
The only remaining copies of the other six episodes were b&w film recordings and poor-quality domestic colour NTSC recordings made from a US broadcast in 1977 and severely affected by a rainbow-coloured pattern of interference.
A MUSIC enthusiast on the hunt for lost episodes of Colour Me Pop is appealing for help in tracking down the show’s director.
Despite several leads, A. J. Smith says he has been unable to locate and get in touch with Steve Turner about the programme, which aired on BBC2 between 1968 and ’69 and showcased half-hour sets by contemporary pop and rock groups.
In total, five episodes out of 53 remain intact within the BBC archive – The Small Faces, The Moody Blues, The Move, Trapeze, and an unscreened programme showcasing The Chambers Brothers.
But Mr Smith, who is writing an article on Colour Me Pop, has been able to uncover soundtracks to episodes featuring Barry Nobel, The Hollies and David Ackles.
He is now keen to speak to Mr Turner in the chance that he may have recordings of otherwise-lost editions of the show.
Mr Smith said: “The CMP hunt goes slowly. The hunt really still hinges on locating Steve Turner, and I’m still none the wise on that front… I wish he didn’t have such a bloody common name!
“Other than that, there’s not many other people to speak to, as the bandmembers (Peter Giles excepted, who was really enthusiastic and even wrote a letter to a BBC interior magazine to help me!) understandably don’t remember much, and CMP was a pretty one-man show, creatively.
“I’ve tried tracing Steve Turner’s career post-CMP, but the trail runs dry at Central television on the mid-’80s. I have tried contacting people he would’ve worked with at Central, but heard nothing back.
“The Beatles writer Mark Lewishom did interview him in 1991, and gave me the address Steve lived at then, but on phoning it I got a woman claiming ‘No-one called that has ever lived here’.”
But it’s not all bad news. Since last speaking with Wiped News, Mr Smith has made a further discovery – most of the soundtrack to the David Ackles show (tx 28/09/68)
It was supplied by BBC sound engineer Michael Cotton, who worked on CMP and had also saved soundtracks to the Hollies and Barry Noble editions.
Mr Smith added: “The soundtracks of quite a few editions (as listed on Wikipedia) are known to be at large somewhere.
“I notice the Fleetwood Mac one has turned up on YouTube. The one I’m really after (as they’re my favourite group) is The Kinks audio.
“ I’ve spoken to a few people who’ve heard it but no one seems at liberty to supply a copy.”
If you can assist A. J. Smith in contacting Steve Turner or finding missing episodes of Colour Me Pop, contact him at: email@example.com.
READ ON: Wiped News speaks to pop star Barry Noble about the recovery on audio of his edition of Colour Me Pop. For more information on episode holdings for Colour Me Pop, plus links to soundtracks and clips, visit Wiped News’ Lost? page here.
A NEW documentary on Bob Monkhouse featuring a wealth of archive material the performer himself rescued from destruction is to be screened on TV.
The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse tells the “extraordinary story” of comedian Bob Monkhouse’s life and career, recounted for the first time through the “vast private archive” of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.
The 90-minute programme, which airs January 3, 2011, has been made by the BBC with assistance from classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope.
Volunteers spent over a year sifting through the huge collection of film reels, videos, scripts, photographs and audio tapes amassed by the performer during his lifetime and passed on to the group following the death of his widow in 2008.
Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope described the forthcoming BBC Four show as a “real gem”.
He said: “I’ve seen the show and it’s full of brilliant archive material from the Bob stuff we rescued.”
Bob Monkhouse was a prolific comic, writer and performer famous for his sharp one-liners, topical gags and “charming smile”.
In a career spanning over 50 years, he appeared in countless TV and radio shows including My Pal Bob, Mad Movies, The Golden Shot and Celebrity Squares.
Monkhouse died of prostate cancer in 2003, aged 75.
The performer was a keen collector of TV and radio shows throughout his life and thanks to his foresight, many hours of vintage comedy material featuring Bob, his writing partner Denis Goodwin, and stars such as Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd, Arthur Askey, Benny Hill and June Whitfield have been saved.
The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse is on BBC Four at 9pm, January 3.
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