British manned space flights; an insidious threat from outer space; a man mutating into an evil alien, his human consciousness being eaten away; and a scientist - utterly anti-Establishment, courageous and cerebral - the only man who can fight it. No, not Doctor Who, but his highly distinguished predecessor, Prof Bernard Quatermass
. A decade before Doctor Who first aired, the The Quartermass Experiment was the first science-fiction TV serial produced for adults
, and a live-to-viewers BBC production
, to boot. The show ran for six episodes in 1953, of which only the first two episodes are known survive
. The short sci-fi series spun off three original sequels
and a radio drama-documentary
, along with movie re-makes of the first three series
by Hammer Films
. BBC brought back live TV with a 2005 adaptation of the original 1953 series
. You can watch the various series on online (in parts on Daily Motion), thanks to fans of The British Rocket Group
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 23, 2011 -
Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four was one of the most controversial television programmes of its time
. Broadcast live, it made "unusually extensive and imaginative use of filmed inserts (14 in total). These sequences bought time for the more elaborate costume changes or scene set-ups, but also served to 'open out' the action.
" And now you can watch it too! The full version is currently on Youtube
. Short of the John Hurt film released in 1984 being posted online, the 1954 BBC TV adaptation is about as doubleplusgood as it gets for now. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000
on Dec 12, 2010 -
Blatantly jumping on the opportunity to create yet another thread on The Wire
, I'd like to remind you that starting tonight
, BBC 2 will air the entire series start to finish, an episode every weekday. First episode starts in a moment, at 11:20 PM UK time. Watch! [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Mar 30, 2009 -
The Doctor is set to regenerate once again as David Tennant calls time on Doctor Who. "When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me
" Tennant, widely acknowledged as one of the most popular actors ever to play the Doctor, said. "Now don’t make me cry. The 2009 shows will be my last playing the doctor.” [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000
on Oct 29, 2008 -
In a single 1931 document
, electrical engineer Alan Blumlein
patented stereo records, stereo movie sountracks and surround sound. His equipment was used to make some of the first stereo recordings
at EMI's Abbey Road studios - several decades before the technology came into popular use. Blumlein went on to pioneer 405 line TV
(the first wholly electronic format which won out over John Logie Baird's rival system) and to produce the equipment that made the first outside TV broadcast
possible. At the outbreak of World War 2 he was a key architect of the secret H2S
radar project. Unfortunately he was killed in a plane crash while testing the technology and the whole incident was kept secret. Hence he remains an obscure figure despite his achievements. A recent BBC Radio 4 program
contains a lot of the archive stereo footage and tells his story.
posted by rongorongo
on Aug 7, 2008 -
The new Doctor Who series has been airing on BBC Television for three weeks now. And it is "good TV"
Most all of the reviews are startlingly positive, far more than I've seen for a television series in a long, long time. What is most striking is that many of the commentaries about the "New Who" state that it is just plain ole' good television that combines something intelligent, something scary, something mysterious and something balls-out fun. In our world of reality television, what other series would you classify as being "good tv"? What makes for "good TV"? (Link goes to a fan site that has re-printed and linked to numerous reviews)
posted by tgrundke
on Apr 14, 2005 -
Ah, now that's lurid-sounding. What it is, however, is a comedy from BBC that's way, way funnier than The Office
. Reviewers chatter about the Herman's Head
-like gimmick -- you hear the characters' thoughts -- but the better gimmick? Excellent writing.
posted by mimi
on Nov 22, 2004 -
Twenty Years Ago, The BBC produced a topical drama called Threads
- little did they know the furore it would go on to create. [more inside]
posted by metaxa
on Sep 6, 2004 -
Tv Licenses do not infringe people's human rights.
Journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Miller refused to pay his license because it seemed as though the BBC had license to charge what they like raise the charge when they like; and that it didn't take into account the gulf between someone only receiving an Analogue service as opposed to digital. He lost the case. Serious implications.
posted by feelinglistless
on Jul 17, 2003 -
One-in, one-out: the nominations.
"Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell
on Dec 18, 2002 -
David wins Fame Academy!
Mix Big Brother with Pop/American Idol and you get the Fame Academy
, where 12 gorgeous
under-30s are thrown into a glorified stage school
for a few months, and only one emerges an idol. The prize? Supposedly the 'biggest TV prize ever.' A £1 million recording contract, a fancy apartment in London, a personal shopper, chauffeur, and more. All is not lost for the 'losers' though, as they've all gained professional management and Mercury Records
is considering them all for solo careers.
In contrast to the 'Idol' shows, being couped up for weeks on end has caused even the wackiest
contestants to grow in their singing and songwriting abilities. So will this show reach the US? Probably, given these other crossover shows.
posted by wackybrit
on Dec 13, 2002 -
Great 'The Prisoner' site -
I just recently got into this BBC sci-fi/paranoia classic on my local PBS affiliate
, so I was glad to find this lovingly done fan site. Anyone else have a pet obsessive fan site for a favorite TV show? SNPP.com comes to mind, of course, but I'm interested in the less famous and less frequented places.
posted by GriffX
on Dec 5, 2001 -
Is TV dumbed down so much these days that even educational or documentary material needs to appeal on a broader audience? It seems that TLC and Discovery are going overboard in their need to draw viewers, though, then their motto 'a place for learning minds' becomes just another example of false advertising. If you were to tune in at prime time, chances are the stuff that's on would be about a)aliens
, or c)aliens and Christianity
. Tune in for TLC you'll always get 'worst drivers 3: road rage'
or 'plastic surgery gone BAD'. Their good productions, such as the Great Books Series
have been shut down over 2 years ago, and these days the most interesting stuff that's on is shown in reruns over at the discovery civilization or science channel. BBC and PBS creates interesting programs, but not all that often.
Sometimes people complain at how Survivor and the rest of the reality show stuff is dragging down TV to the very bottom, but is it really effecting everything?
posted by tiaka
on May 7, 2001 -