Tag Archives: The Flight of the Red Shadow

Heads Up For Hancock Release!

The first of two CD releases featuring the soundtracks to missing TV episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour comes out at the start of July.

The season four episodes – “The Flight of the Red Shadow” (tx 23/01/1959) and “The Wrong Man” (tx 06/03/1959) – are released by BBC Audiobooks as a two-CD set on July 2, 2009,and are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

In “The Flight of the Red Shadow” (aka “Desert Song”), Hancock is on the run from disgruntled members of the East Cheam Repertory Company. In order to escape, Hancock is forced to masquerade as the Maharaja of Renjipur, with disastrous consequences.

“The Wrong Man” sees Hancock and Sid called in to take part in a police identity parade. However, when a witness picks Hancock out for the burglary of a high street tobacconist, he has only days to clear his name.

In addition to series regulars Tony Hancock and Sid James, “The Flight of the Red Shadow” features Rolf Harris and small walk-ons for series creators/writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Simpson also appears briefly in “The Wrong Man”.

In total, 26 episodes of the TV version of Hancock’s Half Hour (1956 – 61) are missing, all from the first four seasons.

Before season five, HHH went out live and, sadly, the majority were never telerecorded.

Thankfully, some forward-thinking fans made off-air home recordings at the time.

Those soundtracks were returned by the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society to the BBC in late 2008 and consisted of the recordings featured on the forthcoming CD alongside further season four episodes: “Underpaid! Or, Grandad’s SOS” (tx 02/01/59); “The Horror Serial” (tx 30/01/59); “Matrimony Almost” (tx 13/02/59); and “The Beauty Contest” (tx 20/02/59).

A follow-up CD, featuring “The Horror Serial” and “The Beauty Contest”, is scheduled for November, and is also available for pre-order from Amazon here.

Both CDs will include explained sleeve notes explaining how the episodes came to be released.

Unfortunately though, according to comedy website Chortle the remaining two soundtracks may be too poor quality to ever get issued commercially.

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Hancock’s Half Hour Article/CD Releases Update

I have written an article about the recent discovery of soundtracks to six missing TV episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour for comedy website Chortle. You can read it by clicking here.

In addition to the forthcoming release of ‘The Flight of the Red Shadow’/’The Wrong Man’ in July – available for pre-order from the BBC Shop here – a second CD set containing the soundtracks to missing episodes ‘The Horror Serial’/’The Beauty Contest’ is scheduled to be released by BBC Audiobooks in November 2009.

Both CDs will feature restored versions of the soundtracks and especially-written sleeve notes.

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Lost TV Hancock Half Hours Get Audiobook Release

Soundtracks to two missing episodes of superlative 1950s sit-com Hancock’s Half Hour are set to be released on CD this summer.

The season four episodes – The Flight of the Red Shadow (tx 23/01/1959) and The Wrong Man (tx 06/03/1959) – are due to be released by BBC Audiobooks as a two-CD set on July 2, 2009,according to Amazon.

Like with many shows of the time, the master tapes to both episodes (written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson) were wiped by the BBC long ago, but fortunately fans recorded off-air audio copies.

These copies have been restored to make them as listenable as possible.

The recordings were recovered in December 2008 by the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society along with further season four episodes: Underpaid! Or, Grandad’s SOS; The Horror Serial; Matrimony Almost and The Beauty Contest.

In addition to series regulars Tony Hancock and Sid James, The Flight of the Red Shadow features Rolf Harris and small roles for series’ creators Galton and Simpson themselves. Alan Simpson also appears in The Wrong Man.

The forthcoming CD will include an explanded sleeve note explaining how the episodes came to be released.

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