Great Expectations – Camera Break

Photo by Albert Sheard, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A camera break in Studio A, during the recording of the 1981 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. It was a twelve part series, hosted at Pebble Mill. It was transmitted on Sundays, early evening.

The producer was Barry Letts, the director Julian Amyes, production designer was Michael Edwards, the script editor Terrance Dicks, and the make-up designer Gwen Arthy.

Thanks to Albert Sheard for sharing the photograph.

Alexander Graham Bell 1965

Francesca Annis and Alex McCowen in Alexander Graham Bell. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to costume supervisor Joyce Hawkins for sharing the photo. The photo is from a six part series about Alexander Graham Bell, recorded at the Gosta Green  studio in 1965, and transmitted weekly on BBC 1 from 28th February 1965, at 17.35. Here is the entry from the Radio Times, c/o the BBC Genome project:

Synopsis

A serial in six parts by LYON TODD adapted by ALISTAIR BELL
PART 2: A Note In Music
Costumes supervised by Joyce Hawkins
Make-up supervised by Gwen Arthy Designer, Michael Edwards
Script editor, Betty Willingale Producer. CAMPBELL LOGAN Directed by JULIA SMITH
From the Midlands

Contributors

Adapted By: Alistair Bell
Unknown: Joyce Hawkins
Unknown: Gwen Arthy
Designer: Michael Edwards
Editor: Betty Willingale
Producer: Campbell Logan
Directed By: Julia Smith
Alexander Graham Bell: Alec McCowen
Jeannie MacEwan: Jean Anderson
Dr Ferguson: Larry Cross
Professor Bell: John Phillips
Mrs Bell: Barbara Cavan
Matthews: Jameson Clark
Ballachey: Hal Galili
MacDonald: Bruce Boa
George Brown: Robert James
Sarah Fuller: Susan Crawford
Mr Sanders: Peter Carlisle
George Sanders: Michael Crockett
Mr Richards: George Woolley
Mrs Connor: Elizabeth Begley
Mr Hubbard: John Wooonutt
Mabel Hubbard: Francesca Annis

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Dreams of Leaving

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

This publicity photograph, of Kate Nelligan and Bill Nighy is from the Play for Today: Dreams of Leaving, transmitted on 17th January 1980.

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

‘A film by DAVID HARE
William came to work in Fleet Street in 1971. London meant girls, as many girls as he could find. Then he met Caroline and so it began, that very strange summer … Caroline said the best of her life.
Music NICK BICAT
Film cameraman MICHAEL Williams. Film editor MIKE HALL
Designer MICHAEL EDWARDS. Script editor ROGER GREGORY. Producer DAVID ROSE. Written and directed by DAVID HARE
BBC Birmingham

Contributors:
William: Bill Nighy
Caroline: Kate Nelligan
Andrew: Andrew Seear
Xan: Mel Smith
Stievel: Johnny Shannon
Mrs Alexander: Helen Lindsay
Aaron: Julian Littman
Colin: Charles Dance
Robert: Hilton McRae
Gallery owner: Tony Mathews
Keith: Gary Holton
Keith’s lawyer: Raymond Brody
Drunken journalist: David Ryall
Miss Collins: Annie Hayes
Doctor: George Raistrick
Laura: Maria Harper’

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Steve Saunderson: ‘I was Focus-Puller on this and did a bit of Operating too. DOP was Mike Williams ( RIP ) and John Kenway was the main Operator. Mainly all night shoots in Soho. I think it was Bill Chesneau on Sound from Ealing Studios. Remember playing “air-guitar” with Bill Nighy to “My Sharona”, he never could get the right chords.’

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

You and Me and Him

Screen grab from ‘You and Me and Him’. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the months before David Rose died, I was approached by a friend and former colleague of his, asking if I could get hold of a copy of David Mercer’s 1973, Thirty Minute Theatre drama, You, and Me and Him, for him. Through friends at the BBC Drama Village, I managed to get a copy of the drama dubbed off, and sent to David. Fortunately, despite being very frail David was able to watch it in the weeks before he died, it apparently meant a lot to him. I decided to take the opportunity of watching the drama myself, and below are a few observations about it.

The only character in the play is Coster, played brilliantly by Peter Vaughan. It is a studio piece, which sounds simple, there being only one character. It is anything but! Coster is in conversation with himself, in three different guises throughout the drama, in quite a schizophrenic manner. There are different settings, an office, and a bedroom. When in the office, Coster wears glasses and is smartly dressed, in the bedroom he is dishevelled and wearing pyjamas. He is in the care of a psychiatrist and realises that he needs to pull himself together. We hear Coster taped on a ¼” tape, and on the phone to himself.

It is a psychological drama and quite philosophical, and considers some of the darker issues in life, there is talk of army rape, of pornography and lusting after little girls. The tone gets increasing violent during the drama, as one version of Coster wants to get rid of his alter-egos. He even talks of suicide. The drama ends with the conclusion that ‘You and me, are him’, and that in fact they each love the other.

Technically the drama is very complex, with hundreds of edits in a half hour piece, including a lot of split screens. John Lannin was the VT editor, and did a wonderful job. It was presumably recorded on 2” videotape, and so the editing process must have been tortuous and extremely time consuming. There are some really creative shots especially in transitions between settings, for example the feet of one of Coster’s personalities from one setting, appear in the foreground of the other setting. I’m not sure how this would have been done at that time, unless it was a locked-off shot. There is also a shot showing the empty office chair spinning, and then Coster appears sat in the chair, which was presumably a locked-off shot.

The director was Barry Hanson, with David Rose the producer, and Michael Edwards the production designer. This was a really innovative piece of drama, which stands up pretty well to contemporary viewing. Apparently the master tape was supposed to be wiped, but it was kept by the VT boys, who changed the tape number. It was then found in the basement by Paul Vanezis in 1990, and placed in the BBC Archive.

Save

Save

Nanny – Goats and Tigers

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Save

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the cast and crew list, and scene breakdown for one of the episodes (Goats and Tigers) of the drama series, Nanny, starring Wendy Craig. The episode was transmitted in February 1981 on BBC1. It was a London production, hosted at Pebble Mill, and recorded in Studio A.

The pages  have been shared by costume assistant, Rachel Selby. It is interesting to see her hand written notes on the sheets, and the crossing through, when the scene had been completed.

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

Lesley Weaver: ‘Wonderful time for me as a Make up lady and I was lucky enough to work on all three series.’

Susan Astle: ‘Wendy was such a great person, all us make up ladies loved working with her.’

Chris Rogers: ‘I loved this series it has never been repeated on other channels? Wendy Craig is fabulous.’

Raymond Lee: ‘Never worked directly on the series but remember vividly showing Wendy Craig how to use the canteen coffee/tea machine!!’

Keith Brook: ‘Oh, that brings back memories. What a wonderful series to work on.’

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save