Tag Archives: ABC

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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David Cassidy Daydreamer 500th Top of the Pops Clip Discovered

A CLIP of David Cassidy performing hit single Daydreamer on the missing 500th edition of Top of the Pops has come to light in Australia.

The specially-filmed promo was spotted on YouTube by missing episode hunter Ray Langstone, who arranged for its return to the UK.

Classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope and Andrew Martin of BBC Archives both now have copies of the clip, which is in non-broadcast quality.

Former teen idol and The Partridge Family star Cassidy flew in to the UK especially for TotP‘s 500th edition (tx 04/10/73). He performed the song live on the tarmac at Heathrow Airport.

The clip only survives because 16mm B&W telerecording was made and featured on Australian show GTK (Get To Know) in 1974.

The GTK programme was itself retained in the ABC (Australian Broadcast Corporation) archives as a B&W 16mm kinescope, hence the less-than-perfect quality of the clip.

This “copy of a copy” was aired in January this year as part of a retro season on popular all-night Australian music video program Rage, broadcast on ABC1, and subsequently uploaded to YouTube.

Daydreamer went on to top the UK charts, holding the number one spot for three weeks from October 27, 1973. It was also a top 20 hit in Australia the following year.

Though a full recording of the 500th TotP is claimed to exist as part of the Private Video Library – yours for £20k – officially little remains.

Aside from the newly-recovered David Cassidy promo (2’47”), there is a colour clip of The Who performing 5:15 (4’40”) introduced by Noel Edmunds and a 31-second B&W clip from the show’s opening.

Wiped News has restored the David Cassidy clip, which you can find below. To view the original YouTube upload, click here. It is poor quality, but retains the original audio track.

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Filed under Clips, Finds, Music, Television, Top of the Pops

New Feature: Hunting The Lost Episodes of ABC TV’s Countdown

AUSTRALIAN TV programme Countdown remains the most popular music show in the nation’s history, but the majority of early episodes from the 1970s are missing from the ABC archives.

Chart-topping acts such as AC/DC, INXS, Skyhooks and Split Enz got their big breaks on the show, which ran from 1974 – 87, while world-famous bands and artists including Wings and Elton John also made appearances.

It was repeats of surviving episodes of this legendary show that got Troy Walters involved in the hunt for missing editions.

In new Wiped News feature Turning Back Time: The Hunt For ABC’s Countdown, Troy speaks about why the show can be compared with the UK’s Top of the Pops in terms of musical and social importance, and how his search for lost material is going.

You can also read about the hunt for missing Countdowns and other Australian music shows over at Troy’s website, here.

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A Lost Scene From The Lost Tribe

THE TWENTY Tens are off to a good start with the discovery of a missing sketch from The Goodies, only months after footage from another episode emerged from Down Under.

The newly recovered 30-second clip is a parody of an advert for Shredded Wheat shown at the time. Entitled “Dreaded Wheat”, the skit features a young mother seeing off her husband and son as they leave for work and school. The commercial’s jingle refers to the “men in her life”, which suddenly grows from two to a long procession of males (beginning with the milkman) running in and out of the house in fast motion.

Still from The Lost Tribe

From Out Of The Wilderness: A still from "The Lost Tribe" showing The Goodies: (L-R) Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden.

It ends with the now slightly disheveled young mother in the front doorway, being embraced by an amorous Tim Brooke-Taylor, before the door slams shut.

The partnership of Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden as The Goodies, resulted in one of the BBC’s most fondly remembered sitcoms of the Seventies. Running from 1970 – 82, it saw the cash-strapped trio offering themselves for hire and getting into some hilariously ridiculous situations.

Back in October ABC researcher John Williams located a censor clip from season two’s “The Commonwealth Games“. Now he’s done it again, even finding the material at the same location – the National Archives Of Australia.

“Dreaded Wheat” comes from another season two episode, “The Lost Tribe” (tx 22/10/71), and is representative of the early years of The Goodies, which featured cutaways parodying popular adverts of the day.

John revealed more on the find to Australian-based website The Goodies Rule – OK!, writing:

“The item was compiled along with other Goodies material (including the “Commonwealth Games” cuts) and was listed by the National Archives Of Australia as being from the episode “Pollution”.

“I did not recall this piece of footage from various episodes that I had seen, including the episode “Pollution”. I sent a copy of the DVD to Andrew Pixley (BBC Archives) to review just in case there was anything on it that might not be accounted for.

“Thankfully, Andrew’s expertise has helped identify yet another missing piece of Goodies footage by checking BBC paperwork to identify the “Dreaded Wheat” clip. The episode of origin for the clip was positively identified as being “The Lost Tribe”.”

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Real Goodies Discovered In Australia

THE MISSING “rude bits” from an early episode of 70s BBC comedy classic The Goodies have been discovered filed away in an Australian archive

Goodie Gumdrops: A still from The Goodies episode "Commonwealth Games". L-R Reginald Marsh, Tim Brooke-Taylor

GOODIE GUMDROPS: A still from The Goodies episode "Commonwealth Games". L-R Reginald Marsh, Tim Brooke-Taylor

The near-legendary ‘Sex Test’ scene from season two’s “Commonwealth Games” (aka “Sporting Goodies”), tx 8/10/71, features a group of geriatric, bowler-hatted politicians lining up in front of a sexy young woman’s bedroom for one-to-one examinations of a very personal kind!

It forms part of a greater storyline where The Goodies – Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden – are asked to train the British Commonwealth athletic team for the next Commonwealth games. Being wholly comprise of superannuated MPs , the team fails its training tests and is replaced by the super chaps three.

The black and white 1″ VT, which lasts for approximately 40 seconds, was located in the National Archives Of Australia by ABC researcher John Williams.

John, who has previously uncovered missing footage from such shows as At Last! The 1948 Show, says he first became aware there was missing material from the archived episode of “Commonwealth Games” after visiting the Goodies Rule OK website.

He explained: “I am indebted to the Goodies Rule OK site for alerting me to the fact that the only surviving copy of this episode (the BBC had wiped the original tapes) had been returned to the BBC by the ABC some years later, and that there was a segment cut from this story.

“This episode was cut for the family afternoon/early evening viewing time-slot that the Goodies occupied in Australia for many years on ABC TV.

“The physical cut material was sent to the Censorship Board, much akin to the Doctor Who censor clips recovered in Australia by Damian Shanahan  that eventually made its way to the NAA (a repository for Government records, military records, photographs, and ex-censor’s material). It was a legal requirement to deposit cut material (from movies/TV) with the Censorship Board.

He continued: “This surviving copy of “Commonwealth Games” has a pretty drastic looking cut. It got me thinking about the possibility of the missing ‘rude bits’ from this episode being held at the National Archives!

“After some searching for any material relating to The Goodies at the NAA, I narrowed the search down to a few compilations and amazingly the cut footage was on the first compile that I looked at!

The 'Sex Test': The British athletics team, surrounding Graeme Garden, prepare for the 'Sex Test'.

PHYSICAL SEXERCISE: The British athletics team, surrounding Graeme Garden, prepare for the 'Sex Test'.

“The material shows a queue of bowler-hatted, elderly politicians lined up outside a bedroom (curiously situated in part of the British Minister For Sport’s office – the minister being played by Reginald Marsh). The minister’s secretary (dressed in a revealing negligee) invites the politicians into a chroma-key/CSO bedroom; sometime later, the secretary gives a whispered report to the minister about the ‘performance’ of the geriatric pollies, then infers that she had also tested the performance of the Goodies.. an indignant Minister then mutters “And I didn’t even get a cup of tea this morning!”

“It’s a great thrill to find this footage, let’s hope it sparks some further DVD releases.”

According to Goodies Rule OK, Tim and Graeme spoke about the discovery during an interview on 702 ABC radio. The footage was given its first public screening in over 30 years during Sydney’s World’s Funniest Island festival, held last weekend.

The website has temporarily uploaded a copy of the radio interview, which can be found here.

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Wiped Helps With Recovery Of Missing Material

THIS website has proven instrumental in helping previously missing TV material find its way back to the archives for all to enjoy.

Back in April, Wiped ran a feature – John Williams On Finding Flashez – looking at the recovery of footage from influential Australian music show Flashez, which ran from 1976-7 on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Despite running five days a week, Flashez was shockingly represented in the archives, with no whole episodes being known to exist until researcher John took up the cause in 2006.

Two months after the publication of the feature, in June, Wiped was contacted by former Flashez producer Ralph Montague, who explained that he had in his possession an old tape with a copy of his last show on it, which he was happy to donate in return for a DVD copy.

Wiped promptly notified ABC’s John Williams and put him in touch with Mr Montague, who agreed to send an excited John the tape.

John takes up the story: “Ralph Montague sent me a Betamax tape, the box marked ‘Flashez segs’,  that had not been viewed in decades.

“I managed to finally track down an antique Betamax player within the ABC TV offices. I put the tape into the player and hoped for the best; after all, there was no guarantee that the tape would even play, let alone have any Flashez material on it.

“Thankfully, the iconic opening titles for Flashez appeared and amazingly the picture quality had held up quite well, despite the passing of time, with little tape damage or picture/audio deterioration (drop-outs and tracking problems are infrequent). All of this material was missing from the ABC’s collection.

“I checked some ‘ready for transmission’ documents in ABC Document Archives and have traced episode information for what has survived on Mr Montague’s tape. Here is what was on the tape:

Flashez episode number 110837E (tx 23/03/1977) near complete episode

Music clip: “Telephone Line” by E.L.O; [segment] “Saturday Night” by Skyhooks

Live studio interview with Red Symons. Symons is currently a television personality in Australia (Australia’s Got Talent), as well as a former member of one of Australia’s most popular and influential bands of the 1970s, Skyhooks. This is a rare 1970s post-Skyhooks interview for Symons.

Feature story: “Magical Mystery Tour” – a feature re: travel options in Australia for younger travellers (part two of an ongoing series re: travel)

Lengthy retrospective piece re: musical career of Elton John. This segment (8 mins, 16 seconds) features interview and live performance material (filmed in Australia) from ABC TV program GTK as well as a sequence covering Elton John’s (Reginald Dwight’s) childhood.

We have about 90% of this episode in its entirety barring some crash recording over a music revue segment.

Segnents from Flashez ep 110835E (tx 19/03/1977)

Live Studio interview with drag racer John Fleming, conducted by Kate Fitzpatrick. Rare, as this is the only surviving in studio/live material of Kate Fitzpatrick (an acclaimed and prominent Australian actor) that we have. The ever-versatile Kate had a stint as a reporter on Flashez.

Feature story, re: travel options for younger travellers in the USA (part of the “Magical Mystery Tour” travel series). The piece features lots of stock footage of New York City street scenes filmed by an ABC TV crew.

A number of story and segment introductions for this episode by Flashez host Ray Burgess are also on this recording.

Segments from Flashez episode 110832E (tx 25/02/1977)

This material features Flashez co-host Mike Meade interviewing rally driver Barry Ferguson, live in the studio and features a story re: rally driving (features Meade being driven in rally car on rally circuit).

John continued: “We are indebted to Mr Montague for donating the material to the ABC and also grateful to this site for bringing the existence of this material to our attention. The power of the Internet in being a tool to help recover lost television material cannot be underestimated.

“Thanks to Wiped for helping recover some of our television history.”

  • To read Wiped’s original news story on Flashez, from April 1, click here.

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