Tag Archives: Andrew Pixley

Pathfinders in Space finally comes to DVD

The Pathfinders in Space Omnibus DVDINFLUENTIAL early sixties TV sci-fi series Pathfinders is to be released on DVD for the first time after the one missing episode was discovered – in the ITV archives.

Until recently it was long thought that episode 1 of Pathfinders to Venus, “SOS From Venus”, was lost save for the soundtrack.

But earlier this year the entire eight-part 1961 serial was found complete within the archives and will be released this December by Network DVD along with earlier series Pathfinders in Space and Pathfinders to Mars.

One of ITV’s earliest dramas written specifically for children, Sydney Newman’s Pathfinders series has been described as the “missing link” between seminal BBC radio show Journey Into Space and Doctor Who, the latter of which Newman also created.

Over three series broadcast during 1960 and 1961 the Pathfinders journeyed to the moon and other worlds, facing drama at every turn – from space hazards to Venusian dinosaurs.

With intelligent and engaging scripts by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice, and a strong cast including actors Gerald Flood (Conway Henderson) and George Coulouris (Harcourt Brown), the series proved tremendously successful with the viewing public and even got into the regional top ten – unheard of for a children’s programme.

In addition to all 21 episodes, The Pathfinders in Space Omnibus DVD also features an image gallery and production booklet by noted archive television historian Andrew Pixley. It is released on December 31, 2011.

READ ON: PATHFINDERS ON TELEVISON by Andrew Pixley.

 

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Filed under Finds, ITV, Releases, Science Fiction, Television

Clip Find Broadens Our Minds

A BRIEF sketch from one of the precursors to classic comedy show The Goodies has been discovered, restoring valuable seconds’ worth of footage to an almost completely erased series.

Broaden Your Mind titles

MIND EXPANDING: A still from the title sequence of BBC sketch show Broaden Your Mind.

The 10-second colour excerpt shows Tim Brooke-Taylor seated inside a house while a voice-over provided by Graeme Garden asks, “Do you know where wasps go in the winter-time?”. Brooke-Taylor suddenly jumps up, face contorted with pain scratching at (unseen) wasps under his clothes.

The clip then concludes with a graphic featuring question marks.

The filmed clip hails from the start of series one, episode four of Broaden Your Mind (tx 11.11.68), a surreal BBC sketch show that ran to 13 episodes over two seasons between 1968 and ’69.

Sadly, almost the entirety of the series – subtitled “An Encyclopedia Of The Air” – is missing from the archives, wiped after its first broadcast. Only a few filmed inserts remain, included as an extra on Network DVD’s 2003 release The Goodies At Last, though audio copies of all episodes exist, recorded off-air by a fan at the time of original transmission.

Brooke-Taylor and Garden would go on to make fondly remembered 1970s sitcom The Goodies with Bill Oddie, who joined them for the second series of Broaden Your Mind. Guest stars for the series included Monty Python‘s Terry Jones and Michael Palin, and The Burkiss Way‘s  Jo Kendall.

The find is thanks to Australian Broadcasting Corporation researcher John Williams and comes just weeks after John revealed that he had found a missing scene from an early episode of The Goodies.

John said: “The ABC bought and ran the series between 1971 & 1973 (thanks to Andrew Pixley, Lisa Manekofsky and Alison Bean for confirming that with me). I traced the clip to a staff goof reel/Xmas reel for the year 1972, that I managed to secure by donation to the ABC archives in 2008.

“Given that the goof reels had clips from various sources on them, I thought to check the goof reels that fell into the 1971 & 1973 date range. I had a hunch that something from BYM, being a comedy, might have been included on one of the Xmas tapes seeing as they featured various spoofs and skits, as well as clips from various television comedies.

“Andrew Pixley (the noted Doctor Who historian) confirms that the b&w clip is the ‘opening filmed gag from Broaden Your Mind show 1/4, which is in fact a piece missing from the existing soundtrack’. As ever, TBT makes physical humour look deceptively easy.”

The BBC has been notified of the clip’s existence and plans are under way to return the footage to the UK, hopefully in time for the British Film Institute’s forthcoming Missing Believed Wiped event, to be held in January 2010.

Here are some rare clips from Broaden Your Mind:

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