Missing Believed Wiped - Dec 2004

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Anne-Marie pops down to the NFT to enjoy some newly re-discovered TV classics.

My first visit to the NFT proved to be an entertaining affair full of televisual delights.  The appeal of the event was the promise of the first two episodes of The Complete And Utter History Of Britain. 

Terry Jones attended the first part of the programme - in fact he was sat in the row in front of me - to introduce the first items of the day.  We were treated to a Palin and Jones penned film insert from The Late Show followed by what turned out to be the original first two shows of The Complete And Utter History of Britain which ended up edited together to create the first broadcast episode of the show.  My day was complete at this point as this was what I came to see, the Stone-Age Patents Office sketch being the absolute highlight.

Following this, came a few extracts from shows.  A ten minute compilation from the William Franklyn game show The Masterspy, produced by ATV in 1979 offered titles that stirred in the memory but I don't recall watching the show at all.  An extract from a 1965 programe about The Barrow Poets was interesting from my point of view as a fan of all things 1960s, and a ten minute sequence from Not Only But Also provided a musical treat from guest star T-Bone Walker.

Perhaps the most talked about show of the whole event was Tingha and Tucker.  This 1960s children's show defies adequate description beyond it having to be seen to be believed.  Our jaws were still on the floor, particular over the whole rubbing of the magic boomerang bit, as we exited the auditorium and headed for the bar during the twenty minute break before the next part of the event commenced.

The second part centred more around drama.  A 1966 Out Of The Unknown episode entitled Tunnel Under The World starred Ronald Hines and Petra Davies, and told the story of a town that relived the same day over and over again with only the incessant advertising changing. Sinister things were obviously afoot!

A short extract from a television play called The Man Without Papers piqued my curiousity as there was a Bob Dylan connection. Starring Benito Carruthers in the title role, Dylan had penned some special lyrics for this character.  On top of this, the rest of the music was provided by 60s Garage Band legends The Seeds.

Rounding off the day's viewing was a 1965 episode of Z-Cars, written by Alan Plater and featuring Francis Matthews and Carmel McSharry in guest roles.  Every episode I see of this show confirms my love of the series, combing the humour and drama of life in the fictional town of Newtown most excellently.

Getting to see these shows was a great experience and I look forward to hearing what treats are in store next time.

You can visit the BFI website at www.bfi.org.uk

Anne-Marie Trace


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