Lining up cameras

This video demonstrates how the line-up for studio and outside broadcast cameras worked. It was produced as part of Royal Holloway, University of London’s, ADAPT project, using the restored outside broadcast truck CMCR9, Pebble Mill’s original CM1. The ADAPT project recreates how now defunct television production processes worked, and is run by Professor John Ellis. The video is protected under a creative commons licence.

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The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

John Greening: ‘Still have a line up before every studio day on EastEnders’

Carolyn Davies: ‘Still done in many studios…certainly not a ‘was’ process!’

Martin Chuzzlewit script front page

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

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This is the script front page for the 1994, BBC2, drama serial: Martin Chuzzlewit, adapted by David Lodge from Dickens’ original. Chris Parr was the producer, and Pedr James the director. This must be an early version of the script, because not all the crew are named. The rehearsal period was about ten days, in Acton, with filming taking four months.

Thanks to Ann Chancellor-Davies, the widow of production designer, Gavin Davies, for making the page available.

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Fighting Back – Radio Times

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

fighting-back-radio-times-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting Back, was a 5 part drama on BBC1, transmitted in 1986, starring Hazel O’Connor, as Viv. It featured on the front of the Radio Times, as well as a feature inside.

Here is the entry from the Radio Times, from the BBC Genome project:

“Fighting Back by GARETH JONES
The first of a five-part serial based on an idea by VICTORIA HINE
Viv Sharpe hurtles down the motorway, kids in tow, towards the Bristol she used to call home. Not only has
Bristol changed, but Viv finds no one wants to know her and there’s nowhere to go. Is this the start of Viv the vagrant? Or can she keep fighting back?
Incidental music PAUL JONES, Script editor BETH PORTER, Lighting DICK BENTLEY, Designer ROB HINDS, Producer CHRIS PARR, Director PAUL SEED. BBC Pebble Mill”

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/d3665caef0db4a94a441b93945661e10

Thanks to Beth Porter, who was the script editor, for sharing the stills.

Beth Porter’s (long and amusing) autobiography Walking on my Hands, is available for a couple of pounds on Kindle, on the link below. Chapter 12 includes Beth’s adventures with the BBC.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-My-Hands-responsibility-Streisand-ebook/dp/B01DUWNSRQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1460027101&sr=8-3&keywords=kindle+Beth+Porter

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill  Facebook page:

Jane Green: ‘This was the first thing I ever worked on – as a work experience floor assistant with Gareth Williams I think. I had to look after Hazel. Can’t print what she did here !!! But goodness me. What memories. Feb 1986.’

John Greening: ‘I was assistant floor manager…’

Susan Astle: ‘I was the make up designer on it, goodness so long ago! And before Derek Thompson became so famous!’

Les Podraza: ‘I think the filming was in Bristol for a month. I was on the crew. Fab times!!!’

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Cruel Train

Cruel Train 1 cropped Cruel Train 2 cropped Cruel Train 3 cropped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Cruel Train was a drama transmitted in 1996. Chris Parr was the producer, with Malcolm McKay as the director, and script adaptor, from the novel by Emile Zola. Sean Van Hales was the director of photography, and Michael Pickwoad was the production designer.

The drama featured: Adrian Dunbar, Saskia Reeves, Alec McCowen, David Suchet, Jonathan Moore, and Minnie Driver.

The BFI database includes the following synopsis:

‘Drama set in wartime Britain. Rueben Roberts a deputy railway station master, discovers that he owes his job, marriage and home to the sexual favours that his wife Selena has been forced to grant to Arthur Grandrige, her godfather and the railway chairman. Rueben vows revenge and kills Arthur on the Brighton express train. The murder is witnessed by a railway worker, Jack Dando. When the police investigate, Rueben pursuades Selena to seduce Jack to buy his silence. However things soon spiral out of control.’ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/516788

The budget is listed in the BFI database as £1.25 million, and apparently it was also known as Beast in Man. The shoot lasted from 25th November to 22nd December 1994.

Thanks to the BBC Drama Village for giving me the photos for sharing and safe keeping.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

John Greening: ‘The station was a built set at an old Electric works ( which had some rail lines) by the Aston Expressway -Bill Hartley was the First AD.’

Gary Jordan: ‘Part of Screen two: SCREEN TWO – CRUEL TRAIN A dark & stylish drama set in wartime Britain, based on ‘La Bete Humaine’ by Emile ZOLA. Ruben ROBERTS discovers his wife has been sexually abused by her godfather since her early teens & coerces Selina to help him kill GRANDRIDGE. Sp s film
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BBC Cprd Name: WORLDWIDE
BBC Item Type: Programme
BBC SubCatalogue: LONPROG TX DATE 22 Dec 1996′

Ian Barber: ‘And I was the AFM. Peter Lloyd was the 2nd Ad. Probably one of the best projects we ever worked on. The set was amazing. Built from scratch in a disused warehouse. We all had to wear masks because the air was black with soot from the steam engines. Alec McGowen was also in it, along with Sheila Reid and Brian Pringle.’

Mark Smithers: ‘Filmed at the GEC turbine and transformer works. The factory was pulled down shortly afterwards.’

Bev Dartnall

Photo by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission

Photo by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bev Dartnall, who worked in the Afro Caribbean Unit, and in Television Drama, sadly died yesterday, 17th February, after a battle with cancer. She was only 55 years old. Bev was a producer on Dangerfield, and series producer of Doctors for a number of years, before leaving the BBC and moving to Majorca.

Bev’s funeral is going to be held in Majorca, but it is thought that there will be a memorial service in Birmingham.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

John Greening: ‘Bev was the first person I met at Pebble Mill on my first day in TV, on the 3rd March 1984 and we worked together at Pebble Mill for nearly 20 years in all sorts of rolls – finally she was a series producer and me a grateful director. I’ll miss you Bev, and thanks for many happy memories -it was a privilege to work with you in the golden days of English Regions Drama.’

Janice Rider: ‘Beverley lit up any set she worked on. She had the ability to keep every member of her crew happy whilst being firm and in control – qualities not many producers manage to achieve. She was a wonderful colleague and friend and Vote for Them was made all the more special for her being in Egypt with us. Khaled and I will never forget her lovely generous soul.’

Dominic Keavey: ‘Was honoured to be a snib. A kinder, more supportive boss we’ll never find. God bless Bev.’

Herbie Donnelly: ‘You meet many friends and you meet many colleagues but Bev was rare she became both.’

Martha Howe-Douglas: ‘I can’t believe it. Bev gave me my job on Doctors, and was always such a support. I’ll miss our yearly birthday wishes to each other, as we shared the same day. A truly lovely lady.’

Roulla Xenides: ‘Beverley got Nigel Havers to attend a Breakthrough Breast Cancer lunch that I organised a few years ago when she was producing Dangerfield. She was lovely, very supportive of the cause and helped raise a lot of money that day.’

Indra Bhose: ‘Fond memories of a lovely, kind woman. Mid 90’s. Very low budget Pebble Mill drama. No catering budget. Night shoot. Crew grumpy to the point of rebellion. Bev in the kitchen , surrounded by jars of Nescafe, single handedly making and bringing drinks round to all the crew. Sad day but happy memories.’

Sharon Pemberton: ‘Bev was a great gal. Many’s the evening she calmed me down and reassured me in ‘Boris’ the portakabin, whilst I tore my hair out trying to be a producer. Always calm, efficient and a genuine pleasure to be around.’

Zoe Goodwin: ‘The first producer I remember meeting at Doctors. And what a first impression. What a memorable, lovely, kind and supportive woman she was.’

Chris Richards: ‘This is very sad news. Bev was one of the very, very best people I have been lucky enough to work with. A terrific Producer, loved and respected by her colleagues, and a wonderful warm and funny person. Like many, I owe her a great deal.’

Tyrone Huggins: ‘Bev played clarinet for many shows we did at Duddeston Manor. I was a year above her. Later we connected up with productions at Pebble Mill and cups of tea at her parents old house in Bordesley Green which I’d once walked her home to after a school disco. A lovely girl, friendly and supportive woman and friend I’ve missed and will miss.’