Tag Archives: Jon Pertwee

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE 2011 & LOST SHOWS APPEAL FINDS

CLASSIC TV organisation Kaleidoscope has unveiled its latest list of finds made as part of its annual Raiders of the Lost Archives campaign, detailing all the missing British TV and radio material located in the last 12 months by the group along with the BBC, ITV, BFI and determined enthusiasts.

In addition, there are the fruits of the “Lost Shows Appeal” to reveal. Launched by missing episode hunter Charles Norton back in June of this year to tie in Kaleidoscope’s http://www.lostshows.com website, the appeal has proved a big success in tracking down recordings of otherwise lost TV and radio shows that until recently only resided in the lofts, sheds and cupboards of the general public.

Thanks to the two initiatives a wealth of long-lost shows, interviews and excerpts have been located both as audio and visual recordings.

Highlights of the Kaleidoscope Raiders’ list (spanning October 2010 to November 2011) include the Frankie Howerd Audio Archive, finds held by the Tim Disney Archive (including Sir Ian McKellen’s first TV appearance in BBC series Kipling), the latest BSB recoveries made by Ian Greaves, and comedy gems from the Graham Webb Audio Archive including the soundtracks to wiped editions of World of Beachcomber; Peter Cook’s ill-fated chat show, Where Do I Sit?; sitcom No, That’s Me Over Here, starring Ronnie Corbett; Broaden Your Mind; Monty Python precursor At last the 1948 Show; The Frost Report and many, many others.

Mention should also go to Wiped News’s columnist Ray Langstone, who, incredibly, has been responsible for over 100 finds during the last 12 months. Well done, Ray!

Meanwhile, the Lost Shows Appeal has also delivered a bumper crop of archive material to get excited about, including a massive haul of material that has been donated courtesy of the estate of late radio producer John Fawcett Wilson, and a  large quantity of unedited
(audio-only) television studio recordings and production tapes including editions of The Old Grey Whistle Test, Lulu, The Rolf Harris Show, International Cabaret, and The Morcambe and Wise Show.

Other finds include rare episodes of Radio Luxembourg’s 1950s’ Dan Dare serial and interviews with figures such as Benny Hill, Peter Sellers, film director Lindsay Anderson and Doctor Who star Jon Pertwee.

Already some more of this year’s rediscovered material is on its way to find new audiences. Episodes from the BBC’s 1967 Sexton Blake radio series are due to be released by BBC Audiobooks early next year.

So without further ado, here are the full lists for the Raiders of the Lost Archives 2010 – 11 and the Lost Shows Appeal 2011.

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Filed under Appeals, Finds, Kaleidoscope, Missing Episodes Hunting, Radio, Television

Doctor Who Story The Ambassadors Of Death Restored Back To Colour

CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO adventure The Ambassadors of Death is set to be seen in colour for the first time in 40 years.

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.

Now that Ambassadors has been restored, only seven episodes from the Pertwee era remain in black and white (The Mind of Evil 1 -6 and Invasion of the Dinosaurs 1).

READ ON: Read the original Wired story – Time-travel TV: The mission to regenerate Doctor Who in colour. The Doctor Who News Page has also covered the announcement – The Ambassadors of Death DVD developments. Learn more about the colour restoration process on Wikipedia.

You can see an example of the rainbow interference present on the domestic colour copies of The Ambassadors of Death below:

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Filed under Doctor Who, Restoration, Science Fiction, Television

Classic Episode Of Radio Comedy No Longer Lost At Sea

An early episode of classic BBC radio comedy The Navy Lark has been discovered along with better copies of a number of other episodes.

The long-running show, about the exploits of the hopeless crew of HMS Troutbridge, ran to over 200 episodes between 1959 and 1977. Well-remembered for its catch-phrases and innuendo, The Navy Lark featured the likes of Leslie Phillips, Jon Pertwee, Ronnie Barker, and Stephen Murray among its crew.

Oh lumme! A previously missing episode of radio sit-com The Navy Lark has surfaced.

Oh lumme! A previously missing episode of radio sit-com The Navy Lark has surfaced.

According to The Navy Lark Appreciation Society, 40 episodes are officially missing from the archives, either completely or in broadcast quality, but that number is now set to be reduced following the discovery of a number of early shows recorded off-air on reel-to-reel.

The website, part of The British Comedy & Drama Website,  has published the following statement about the find:

“It is always gratifying to hear from fans of the show, but even more so when the email contains the line – ‘I have these reels of tape that may have missing shows on.’

“Arrangements were quickly made for the tapes to be sent to our tape engineer and restorer, who spent a profitable weekend working on the four reels and the results were quite amazing. Not only is there a previously lost show, Series 3, Episode 20, but many of the other shows are improvements on those recordings that are known to exist and have been issued on CD.

“It is all the more satisfying because they cover the third and fourth series, so are relatively early in terms of home recording.”

Posting on The Mausoleum Club, The Navy Lark Appreciation Society’s Steve Arnold gave some more details about the quality of the new recording compared to the currently held copies, most of which have been issued on CD as part of the BBC Radio Collection:

Series 3/ episode 7 – BBC CD perfect, so no improvement.

3/12 – Improvement on BBC CD, which was an off air. 3/14 – ditto

3/17 – BBC CD was the archive copy, so no improvement.

3/19 – Slightly better than CD, but hardly any difference.

3/20 – This was missing from the CDs, so a genuine find.

4/3 – Much better than the CD copy

4/5 – Bit better than the CD

4/12 – Much better than the CD

4/19 – Huge improvement. Poor AM copy used with all sorts of problems, this new one is FM and only slightly hissy

4/23 – Both copies off air, and about the same really, prefer the new one though.

4/24 – About the same as CD copy

The previously missing episode – “The Surprise Wedding” (tx 15/03/60) – means that all episodes of series three are now accounted for in one form or other.

All the episodes found on the reels have been offered to the BBC.

  • If you have any recordings of The Navy Lark APART from mp3 files downloaded off the Internet, the The Navy Lark Appreciation Society would like to hear from you. You can get in touch via its website.

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