It’s Not Just Dr Who!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s been a while since I last wrote here, and hopefully many of you will have heard about some of the finds that have been made in the previous year by the many people looking for the hidden treasures of lost TV.
I am delighted to see publicity for the cause, and I was naturally very pleased to see the discovery and return of two Doctor Who episodes, along with the publicity generated by these exciting finds.
There are many people who look for the missing Doctor Who episodes, some as a vocation, and congratulations are most definitely in order to all those concerned in retrieving these historic films.
However. it’s not just Doctor Who that’s a missing show . . . or the only one that’s been discovered during the course of 2011. Doctor Who, as popular as it is, is one TV show, and there are thousands out there that are thought not to exist, but as we know, some of them do, hidden in lofts, basements, libraries and private collections around the world.
So, while congratulating those involved, let’s also take time to reflect on the other finds of 2011.
At the same time the Doctor Who footage finds were being announced and shown at the BFI, a thought-to-be-wiped clip of David Bowie performing “The Jean Genie” on Top of the Pops from 1973 was also shown. This comes from the collection of John Henshall, an ex-BBC cameraman, who worked for the Corporation from 1961 until 1976, and thereafter worked on many projects including many rock and pop videos for well-known artists, and also set up his own company, Electronic Photo Imaging, based in Oxfordshire.
I was involved in this discovery, contacting John in the first place, and I am delighted that what for many Bowie fans is the holy grail of lost footage is now preserved. Although – technically – it’s going to be on the 2012 discoveries/recoveries list!
But again, there are many other great finds. Here are a few of my favourites . . .
There are a stunning number of audio finds to start with. For the TV fan, they are still good finds, despite the lack of pictures, and the Graham Webb and Frankie Howerd audio archives have many a great find within.
Kaleidoscope have recovered some interesting pilot shows, and some ITC/ATV promotional material, all of which may throw new light on some of our knowledge of broadcasting history. The drama and comedy finds for this year that stood out to me were No Hiding Place, Emergency – Ward 9, Z-Cars, Fabian of the Yard and an edition of Comedy Playhouse.
Tim Disney has also made a major contribution as usual with involvement in a number of finds, including some Douglas Fairbanks Presents, some ATV Schools shows, some Star Soccer and the ‘Lesley Judd’ edition of TOTP.
There have also been a stunning amount of BSB finds!
The BFI have an Oh Boy! from 1959, and also found within their library a missing TOTP from 1973, as well as a very important Pete’n’Dud find from the late 70’s (all Pete’n’Dud finds are important!).
The list of 2011 finds also includes the ‘Ray Langstone’ finds. To correct this, they are not all my discoveries; many were found by other members of the Missing Episodes Forum.
I will have to include many of these on my favourites list, not just because I was involved in a few of the finds, but mainly because of what was found.
I’d have to include Around the World with Orson Welles (the only remaining lost episode), the 1959 Double Your Money, the excerpt of Stepping Out With Formby from the same year, the 20/4/79 edition of Magpie (in stunning domestic quality), the penultimate TV appearance of Marc Bolan, along with the Stealer’s Wheel “Stuck in the Middle with You” Top of the Pops clip (misfiled at the BBC, and which I managed to help get transmitted this year) to be my other favourite finds, along with many other TOTP and music gems thought to be gone forever. And I can reveal, already, that the Missing Episode Forum finds for 2012 already exceed 500 minutes’ of material! If you can find any more thought to be lost TV footage, please contact me here.
Seasonal greetings to you!
Until next time….