First official Sherlock event to be held in MelbourneBookmark and Share

Friday, 4 September 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) have announced the first ever official Sherlock event to be held in Australia. Sherlock: From Script to Screen will take place at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne on Monday, 23rd November and will give fans the chance to hear from series co-creators and Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (who also stars as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes) as well as Series Producer Sue Vertue of Hartswood Films.

Sue Vertue, says:
We’re very excited to be bringing the magic of the show to Australia and meeting Sherlock fans over there. The game is most certainly on!
Sherlock: From Script to Screen (Credit: BBC Worldwide) Sherlock: From Script to Screen
Regent Theatre, Melbourne
Monday, 23rd November, 7.00-9.00pm

This is a must-attend for Sherlock fans, with the chance to hear from series co-creators and Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (who also stars as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes) as well as Series Producer Sue Vertue of Hartswood Films.

Sherlock: From Script to Screen will take fans on a journey behind the scenes of the award-winning BBC drama, exploring the making of the show and how the stories and characters are created and developed.

The event comes ahead of the Sherlock Special, which will see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reprise their roles in a one-off episode set in Victorian London in 1895. The episode has been co-written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and will premiere exclusively on Stan in Australia later this year.

A limited run of special BBC Worldwide ANZ fan screenings, in association with Stan, is planned for selected cinemas in Australia following the episode’s premiere on the streaming service.
Tickets will go on sale on Monday, 14th September from Ticketmaster.




Supermarionation documentary on its wayBookmark and Share

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
A major new feature film about the life and work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson has been made by video publishing company Network.

Filmed in Supermarionation - billed as "the definitive documentary about the unique puppetry and animation technique developed by Gerry and Sylvia and their team and utilised in all their programmes throughout the 1960s" - has been directed and co-produced by Stephen La Riviere from his book of the same name.

It is hosted by Thunderbirds characters Lady Penelope and Parker, and features previously unseen archive footage, new interviews with surviving cast and crew, and clips from the shows. In addition, pioneering techniques used in the productions have been accurately re-created for the film, which will be premièred at the BFI later this year ahead of a general release.

Before then, though, a preview of selected scenes together with a question-and-answer session with the film's creative team will be held at Andercon on Saturday 19th April.

In the meantime, Network, which specialises in classic British TV programmes, has released two clips from it:

With Thanks To Tony Clark




BBC Radio to celebrate Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
BBC Radio 4 Extra is bringing listeners the brand-new 30th anniversary edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Game online and broadcasting the first two series from tomorrow - 36 years to the day since the first radio broadcast of Hitchhiker's and 30 years since the invention of the award-winning game.

Hitchhiker's started life as a BBC Radio 4 series in March 1978. The original scripts by the late Douglas Adams spawned novels, a feature film, at least three stage shows, a TV series and a collection of comic books - as well as various towels.

The game was devised in 1984 by Adams and Steve Meretzky from Infocom. Notoriously difficult and full of oddities, it was one of the best-selling games of its era.

The 20th-anniversary edition of the game launched on Radio 4's website in 2004, and more than three million moves were made in the game in its first three days of launch and more than 50 million moves had been played within six months. It went on to win a BAFTA for Best Online Entertainment.

The 30th-anniversary specially-updated version of the game will allow users to share their achievements with friends over social media via the official Twitter feed @h2g2game.

The game will now be in high definition, thanks to refreshed illustrations and graphics. It is web-based and will be accessible via Radio 4 Extra's website. Players will also be able to take the game on the move, as it will be compatible with tablets and other internet enabled devices.

Radio 4 Extra will also be broadcasting series one and two of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. It has been more than 10 years since these programmes were last heard on BBC Radio and they perfectly accompany the game. Actions within the game follow the plot of the radio series and some puzzles are only solvable by players with knowledge of the programmes and story.

The single-player game starts with lead character Arthur Dent working his way through a series of different challenges and zones. Players use a specially-designed keyboard to enter their commands and there are achievements to be won throughout the game by completing a series of tasks. This interactive work of fiction sees players visiting other planets, meeting aliens and robots, and creating (or losing) the plot, based on their decisions and choices as they progress through the game. It is renowned for its difficulty and it never misses a chance to kill players off in hilarious and infuriating ways.

Caroline Raphael, commissioning editor for Radio 4 Extra, said:
Douglas was a true visionary and in his own glorious way foresaw all the technology we now take for granted. Radio 4 Extra is delighted to host this game alongside the first two series. Hitchhiker's fans will be rewarded for their loyalty over the years and newer fans have a real, but fiendish, treat in store. March 8th is a special day for the galaxy, so help us celebrate it in the unique way that only BBC Radio 4 Extra can.
The first episode of the first series will be broadcast at 6pm, with further episodes following weekly in the same slot on Saturdays.

And later this month, the original Hitchhiker's cast will continue to shake up the Radio 4 schedule when they reunite for a special performance, broadcast live from the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. Led by Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, they will be bringing to life the characters created for them by Adams in highlights from the entire Hitchhiker's saga. The actors will be joined on stage by a Special Guest Voice Of The Book - Adams's long-time collaborator and sometime flatmate John Lloyd, who co-wrote the fifth and sixth episodes of the first series and was associate producer of the TV version.

It takes place on Saturday 29th March at 10am as part of the Character Invasion event that will see some of the nation's best-loved characters invade Radio 4 and take over the airwaves. Tickets for the show can be applied for via this link. Please note that they will be allocated via a random draw. People can register for up to four tickets per household at any time until Thursday 13th March at 4pm. Other broadcasts that same day can also be applied for, but should you be successful in the draw you will only receive tickets for one session. It should also be noted that allocation of the free tickets does not guarantee entry.




Cool Gothic at the BFIBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 October 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The BFI Southbank will be looking closely at the emergence of Cool Gothic And The New Vampire next week with a host of special guests plus illustrative clips from TV series such as Being Human, In The Flesh, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Fades, and True Blood.

Taking place on Monday 4th November at 6.30pm, it will feature a panel discussion hosted by film critic Danny Leigh, who will be joined by actors Anthony Head (Buffy), Damien Molony (Being Human) and Lily Loveless (The Fades), creators/writers Toby Whithouse (Being Human) and Dominic Mitchell (In The Flesh), and director Farren Blackburn (The Fades).
Ever since Anne Rice gave the vampire a conscience in Interview with the Vampire, the Gothic myth has been reinterpreted for a new generation. Here, the creative teams behind such "new Gothic" works as Being Human, In the Flesh, The Fades, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are assembled to discuss the resurrection of Gothic myths on our TV screen and their vast appeal to today's generation. Illustrated with clips of these vastly successful shows and others, our panel will examine the whole "Cool Gothic" phenomenon.
Tickets can be bought via this link.

The event is part of the BFI's blockbuster project Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film.

UPDATE: THURSDAY 28th NOVEMBER: A clip of Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon talking about vampires - taken from the BFI's Joss Whedon In Conversation event of 12th June 2013 - was uploaded to the BFI's YouTube channel two days ago:


The full conversation can be seen here.




Patrick McGoohan To Be Celebrated By BFIBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The acting talent of cult star Patrick McGoohan is to be celebrated by the BFI with a season of his TV and film work.

Taking place throughout August this year, Patrick McGoohan: A Genuine Original will see screenings ranging from the Armchair Theatre episode The Man Out There – which originally aired on 12th March 1961 and saw McGoohan playing a cosmonaut, Nicholai Soloviov, who is trapped while in orbit – to rare footage relating to probably his most famous and iconic role: that of The Prisoner, which was first broadcast between September 1967 and February 1968.

Other gems will include two episodes from the 1960s series Danger Man, in which he played secret agent John Drake, plus his stage appearance in the Ibsen play Brand, filmed by the BBC and shown on 11th August 1959.

The BFI said:
Patrick McGoohan's most famous role was undoubtedly as Number Six in The Prisoner but his career was more than just this one iconic role. This season will offer audiences the opportunity to reappraise an actor who famously turned down the roles of James Bond and The Saint.

Born in America but brought up in Ireland and Britain, McGoohan started his career backstage at the Sheffield Playhouse Theatre, and before long he was making on-stage appearances, proving to be a natural. During the 1950s, he appeared in several productions in London's West End, where he was spotted by Orson Welles, who then cast him as Starbuck in his production of his self-penned drama Moby Dick-Rehearsed at the Duke of York's Theatre in the summer of 1955.

McGoohan's first film appearance was as an uncredited RAF guard outside the briefing room in the 1955 feature The Dam Busters, and he went on to appear in many movies, including the critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated Ice Station Zebra (also being shown during this season) in 1968, the 1981 sci-fi/horror Scanners, and 1995's Oscar-winning Braveheart.

Aside from Danger Man and The Prisoner, he starred in the TV series Rafferty, in which he played a retired army doctor who had moved into private practice, and he had a lengthy association with the detective series Columbo, for which he received two Emmys. McGoohan also received a BAFTA for an earlier appearance in the Armchair Theatre anthology series. He died in January 2009, aged 80.

Tickets to all the screenings go on public sale on Tuesday 9th July.




A Spectacular Missing Believed WipedBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 June 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The second in the special Missing Believed Wiped events at the BFI this year will feature hitherto-unseen recoveries from ITV.

Taking place on Friday 2nd August at 6.20pm, the main presentation is an instalment of ATV's variety show Saturday Spectacular. Originally broadcast on 11th July 1959, it showcased the American singer Jo Stafford, who was the first woman to top the UK singles chart, reaching number one in January 1953 with You Belong To Me.

Stafford had an eponymous TV show in the USA in 1954 and would go on to have a similarly-titled UK series, again on ATV, in 1961 – and whose first edition included a poetry-reading Claire Bloom among its guests.

The 1959 edition of The Jo Stafford Show being shown by the BFI also features entertainer Teddy Johnson and was directed by Bill Ward. It came to the organisation's attention early this year via a private collector.

The BFI says:
The programme combines the usual variety show ingredients of the time with a fascinating – and now historically valuable – look at the behind-the-scenes activities in the making of such a show. Although the background material is obviously staged, it nonetheless offers a telling view of how TV was made.
Among the other light-entertainment treats being shown from the same collection will be the closing 20 minutes of a 1950s Diana Dors Show.

Stafford died in July 2008, aged 90, while Dors - who was married to the actor Alan Lake - died in May 1984 at the age of 52.

The BFI is celebrating 20 years of its initiative to locate and screen lost items of British TV with a series of Missing Believed Wiped events this year. The first one, held last month, showed gems from the collection of TV cameraman and director of photography John Henshall.