Jim Goddard – Director of The Black Stuff

Jim Goddard, Director of The Black Stuff

Jim Goddard, Director of The Black Stuff












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

(The television and film director, Jim Goddard has died recently aged 77. He worked at Pebble Mill directing episodes of Dangerfield and also directed the Play for Today – The Black Stuff. Here is a link to his obituary in the Guardian: http://m.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/jun/27/jim-goddard-obituary. Head of the English Regions Drama Department at Pebble Mill in the 1970s, David Rose, wrote a letter to the Guardian with memories of Jim Goddard directing The Black Stuff.)

As producer of Alan Bleasdale’s The Black Stuff, I was immensely impressed by Jim Goddard’s direction. Although it was transmitted as a BBC Play for Today, it was in fact a feature-length film. I recall Jim working in west London with the team of actors led by Bernard Hill playing Yosser Hughes, walking back and forth in a rehearsal room, to measure out a long tracking shot which was to be filmed on the roads of the north-east. With the actors in mind, Jim took full advantage by combining old-style television rehearsal with the economic need to keep the film camera turning.

This valuable preparation gave the team of actors the freedom of spirit which subsequently Michael Wearing and Philip Saville inherited when producing and directing, with newly introduced lightweight cameras, Bleasdale’s compelling series The Boys from the Blackstuff.

David Rose

Signature Tunes – Midland Tonight, Juliet Bravo, The History Man

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

Thanks to Peter Poole for sharing the following Pebble Mill signature tunes.

The first sig tune is for Midlands Tonight. This was a late night regional opt out, broadcast live from Studio B. The programme covered news and current affairs.

The second sig is for the hosted drama series Juliet Bravo.

The final sig is for The History Man, and includes various versions. The History Man was a four part adaptation of the Malcolm Bradbury novel, transmitted in 1981. Michael Wearing was the producer.

Juliet Bravo 1989, no reproduction without permission

Juliet Bravo 1989, no reproduction without permission

Fair Game Costume Sketches

Copyright Janice Rider, no reproduction without permission.

These sketches were drawn by costume designer Janice Rider, for the Pebble Mill drama: ‘Fair Game’, transmitted in 1993.  The sketches are for costumes for ‘Marjorie’ played by Prunella Scales, and ‘Ellie’ played by Lena Headey.  The drama was directed by Alan Dosser, with Carol Parks and Alan Dosser the producers and Michael Wearing the executive producer.




Fair Game TX Card























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

Thanks to costume designer Janice Rider for making this TX card available.

‘Fair Game’ was a 1994 BBC 1 screenplay written by Stephen Bill, directed and co-produced by Alan Dosser along with Carol Parks.  Michael Wearing was the executive producer. Rob Hinds was the designer, the film editor was John Stothart, and Steve Saunderson the camera man.

Here is the synopsis from the BFI database:

‘It is 1970, there is World Cup and General Election fever. Marco, a wealthy Italian has come to England to discover his true identity. Carl, a student is torn between canvassing for the Labour party, watching the World Cup or going on a walking holiday with his girlfriend Ellie. Their paths cross in Preston library and the three take an epic journey across the Pennines.’


The drama starred: Lena Headey as Ellie, Julian Kerridge as Carl, Massimo Bellinzoni as Marco, Prunella Scales as Marjorie.

‘Master of the Marionettes’ – John Greening

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

These photos are from the 1989 ‘Play on One’ drama: ‘Master of the Marionettes’, produced by Michael Wearing at Pebble Mill.  It was written by Guy Hibbert, directed by Pedr James, with Hilary Salmon the script editor.

The Radio Times billing read:  “Teddy Rose’s passion is security – selling alarm systems to prosperous yet fearful suburban homes, one of which he and his family inhabit with conspicuous success. Then one Saturday morning a violent street encounter starts a chain of events which calls into question his every assumption and changes his life for good.”

The play starred Kenneth Cranham, as Teddy; Kenneth Colley as Tennyson; Carol Drinkwater as Maggy; John Duttine as Tim; and David Bradley as Harry.

The first photo includes, left to right: Pedr James (director), Terry Ford (props), John Greening (1st AD), Paul Woolston (camera).

The second photo includes, left to right: (partially hidden) Peter Potter (props), (partially hidden) Terry Ford (Props) Gareth Williams (AFM), John Greening (1st AD), Pedr James (director).

Thanks to John Greening for making the photos available.