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Orson Wells' 1955 Podcast

The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 22, 2014 - 3 comments

Moffat listens to fans?

Beware of fans influencing the TV they love. And casual fans are being alienated by shows with devoted fans (spoilers for Sherlock).
posted by crossoverman on Jan 3, 2014 - 142 comments

EGO·TIBERIVS·CLAVDIVS·CAESAR·​AVGVSTVS·GERMANICVS

The 1976 BBC drama I, Claudius, an adaptation of Robert Graves's novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, which came out in 1934 and 1935, respectively, is on YouTube in its entirety. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 30, 2013 - 71 comments

John Oliver: "The most formative comedy of my teenage years."

There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.
John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 10, 2013 - 64 comments

R is for RORY who dies every day

The GallifreyCrumb Tinies (Contains Doctor Who Spoilers) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 26, 2012 - 16 comments

Robert Dudley is HOT

Horrible Histories, the historical sketch show on the BBC inspired by the books of the same name, has been featured previously on Metafilter. Not mentioned, however, were the real gems of the show, Historical Desktops [MLYT]: [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Dec 20, 2012 - 10 comments

Thurman Lives

Back in March I posted about the forgotten Nickelodeon show Turkey Television. Recently a full episode of the show (later era) has shown up on YouTube: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.
If that's too much video tryptophan (even at its best, Turkey Television was amazingly uneven), here's a few clips (WARNING: CONTAINS UNCLE HOGRAM, also some of Uncle Floyd's bizarre Day In The Life Of A Food) from YouTube user 2reelers. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 25, 2012 - 19 comments

NO NEWS

Breaking: There Is No News A supercut of awkward silences in news reports.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 11, 2012 - 34 comments

Corridor running

Exploring Cardiff's Roath Lock studios, home of Doctor Who, Casualty, Upstairs Downstairs and the Welsh language Pobol y Cwm. Oh yeah, and there's a trailer for Doctor Who series 7, in which Farscape fans will catch a glimpse of Ben Browder.
posted by Artw on Mar 26, 2012 - 25 comments

Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2011 - 17 comments

Before Doctor Who, there was Professor Quartermass

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 - 21 comments

Stonybridge!

Why is BBC Scotland getting all the new comedy shows?
posted by Artw on May 6, 2011 - 43 comments

Wibbly wobbley timey wimey samey wamey

Last year, BBC America noticed a spike in piracy of Doctor Who episodes as fans were either frustrated with the 2 week gap between UK and US premiere and/or spoilers and gossip everywhere. The solution, as demonstrated by shows like The Walking Dead, seems to be to broadcast world wide on the same day. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms on Apr 23, 2011 - 341 comments

Stetsons are cool!

The BBC has released the trailer for the new season of Doctor Who and revealed the title of Neil Gaiman's episode. .
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Apr 2, 2011 - 103 comments

1984 in 1954 (Watch the 1954 BBC adaptation of Nineteen Eighty Four)

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 - 12 comments

Words of Warcraft

This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special (UK only link, YouTube links here and here) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and EDGE, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
posted by Artw on Dec 8, 2010 - 20 comments

Crossed Signals at Westminster

Nick Robinson, the BBC's main political correspondent in London shows what he thinks of free speech. While taping a stand-up in the yard in front of Westminster Palace, Nick Robinson loses it with an anti-poverty protester. Robinson, an admired writer and broadcaster, was a leader of the Conservatives at university but has been largely non-partisan. His own blog about the experience in the video.
posted by parmanparman on Oct 21, 2010 - 43 comments

Why is it, if there's such a shortage of oil, it keeps appearing on my trouser bottom?

Britain's longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine came to an end on Sunday, gathering 5.4 million viewers rather than the 20 million of its heyday. Filmed in Holmfirth, Yorkshire it followed the exploits of playful, cantankerous retirees for 37 years. Though the last bathtub has rolled, Britons can watch the final episode on Iplayer. Location map, some quotes, scriptwriter Roy Clarke interview. We won't see its like again, but you can hear Ronnie Hazlehurst's theme tune set to words for Compo's funeral.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Aug 31, 2010 - 22 comments

And now, a choice of viewing

TV idents provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon on Jun 26, 2010 - 15 comments

"In 1936, the BBC was the only channel available so there isn't a channel changer on the set."

Scientists uncover UK's oldest working television! [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jun 24, 2010 - 29 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

whole lotta cat!

Kitten Kong pt. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3 - The Goodies, Montreux 1972 Edition. Previously on Mefi: Goodie goodie yum yum! (via coisas do arco da velha - some images nsfw)
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 27, 2009 - 13 comments

Goodbye Gastronaut

Keith Floyd, the original Celebrity chef and the most flamboyant of gastronauts, has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 65. Floyd was known not just for enjoying a drink while he cooked, but also for making TV real. [more inside]
posted by Elmore on Sep 15, 2009 - 41 comments

Giants and Spiders and Frogs, Oh My!

As many as 40 new species may have been discovered near the crater of a volcano in New Guinea. Not to alarm anyone but Fearless Giant Rats, Caterpillars that look like Snakes and Fanged Frogs have been spotted and are said to be at large. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Sep 6, 2009 - 49 comments

You'd never guess you're an actor, Brian.

Brian Blessed presents Have I Got News For You. [more inside]
posted by permafrost on Jun 12, 2009 - 42 comments

Stringer and McNulty are coming home!

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 - 64 comments

Trouble at' Mill

A Matter of Loaf and Death is the new BBC Christmas short from Nick Park and Aardman. In the mock murder mystery, Wallace and Gromit start a new bakery business, Top Bun. The short, Park's first since 1995, will introduce a new love interest for Wallace, Piella Bakewell, a bread enthusiast.
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 18, 2008 - 33 comments

Not suitable for children, or those of you who may have a nervous disposition

The Kneale Tapes (1, 2, 3, 4) documentary about British science fiction screenwriter Nigel Kneale. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 16, 2008 - 8 comments

David Tennant Calls Time On Dr Who

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 - 160 comments

The Who we never knew

The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
posted by Artw on Sep 18, 2008 - 30 comments

The Man Who Invented Stereo

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 - 5 comments

That's entertainment

The Black and White Minstrel Show was a (very cheesy) British variety series that ran Saturday nights on the BBC for twenty years. Hard to believe that it was still on the air as late as 1978. A live show, "Memories of the Minstrels ," toured the UK to packed houses in 2004 and 2005. The show was performed white-faced and featured the stars, medley's and costumes from the original TV series. Previously. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Jun 4, 2008 - 43 comments

Congratulations! You've Become an Exploitative Television Scumbag!

People think working in television is glamorous, but is it really? Is it, really? Is it? Really? Charlie Brooker on making TV (Youtube, NSFW). Selected bite-sized chunks: filming, watching your ideas take shape, being the talent. [more inside]
posted by tiny crocodile on Nov 1, 2007 - 27 comments

"If people do not accept our position on creationism, they do not have to watch."

Guess who's censoring references to evolution out of David Attenborough documentaries? That's right, the Dutch. See the differences; here's a detailed write-up by a Dutch biologist and documentary enthusiast comparing the two versions side-by-side (in Dutch).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 28, 2007 - 41 comments

BBC's new positioning guidelines for end credits

The BBC have published online new guidelines for programme makers as to how the end credits to television shows should be formatted in future. The instructions are geekily idiosyncratic and the diagrams offer a preview of at least BBC One's on-screen graphics in the future. Spy drama Spooks famously dumped its credits online. Are we now seeing the first stage of a process in which the same will happen for all programmes? Does it matter?
posted by feelinglistless on May 9, 2007 - 29 comments

Question Time

Question Time Iraq Special (Skip to 04:45 to begin). Question Time is a British TV institution, where five prominent politicians debate current affairs while being questioned by a studio audience. The Iraq edition, available online, features the British Secretary of State for Defence, a popular, anti-war former party leader, the aristocratic old socialist leading the Stop-the-War coalition, the first female leader of a Muslim state … and John Bolton.
posted by Aloysius Bear on Mar 22, 2007 - 34 comments

Pathetic little fat man, noones bloody laughing

"See his pug-nose face." David Bowie, from Extras second season, which premieres tomorrow in USA. Stephen Merchant (from today's RADAR) and Ricky Gervais have been mentioned here before, but I think the David Bowie clip is worth it.
posted by headless on Jan 13, 2007 - 35 comments

Toob to Beeb

"I feel guilty because I have friends that are working really hard to get into television or acting and I'm just sitting here having not done anything more than enjoy playing with gadgets."

Susi Weaser (24) makes little one-minute gadget reviews and posts them on YouTube . The BBC must have liked them - because they hired her.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 18, 2006 - 18 comments

Heaven knows it's Manchester now

Remember the announcement for the BBC's Manchester Passion? The full list of songs and lineup were recently announced, rehearsals are over, tonight the procession through the city will be broadcast live on BBC Three - for now you can watch trailers and interviews with the cast (only for UK viewers/proxy users).
posted by funambulist on Apr 14, 2006 - 13 comments

BBC Open News Archive

BBC Open News Archive Eighty iconic news reports available in a variety of formats. Here is the full directory. For another example of the cool things Auntie as been offering lately, see the downloadable mp3 commentary for the Christmas episode of Doctor Who.
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 30, 2005 - 6 comments

BBC on broadband

The BBC announces plans to make its TV channels available on the internet. As you already know, you can already listen to all BBC radio channels live and view news clips and some news programmes. Now the BBC has ambitions to expand its internet offer even further. Starting next year, on demand radio and tv content will be available through MyBBCPlayer, with the past seven days of programmes, along with live streaming of BBC tv channels (apparently to be restricted to UK viewers only) and access to the archives. Plans also include the ability to purchase music downloads.
posted by funambulist on Aug 28, 2005 - 26 comments

BBC Weather

The BBC TV weather forecasts haven't changed much over the years - until now. (RealVideo) But some people aren't too happy with the changes.
posted by Mwongozi on May 17, 2005 - 22 comments

The new Doctor Who reviews

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 - 90 comments

We owe our human condition here to the intervention of insects?

Behind the Dark Door [Google cached copy] might prove a valuable resource to science fiction aficionados, or interesting to fans of quality television drama. It provides insight into the mind of Nigel Kneale, writer of The Quatermass Experiment. Last Saturday's gripping and technically impressive update was based largely on his original scripts, and was the BBC's first live TV drama in more than twenty years. Another chance the pimp David Tennant, The Quatermass Experiment 2005 was much more satisfying than the BBC's other science fiction drama with which Tennant has been linked.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 4, 2005 - 5 comments

I am doing EXCELLENT posting.

Peep Show. 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 - 26 comments

Protect and Survive

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 - 32 comments

Let's wrap it up

Star presenter wears hijab and apparently gets "a flood of calls". But, in an odd turn for the BBC, the piece doesn't say what those calls think. Are they all praising the traditional - and controversial - head-dress, or are they up in arms. The story skirts the issue. Islam 101 explains a bit about it.
posted by bonaldi on Nov 26, 2003 - 13 comments

Tv Licenses do not infringe people's human rights.

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 - 51 comments

One-in, one-out: the nominations.

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 - 6 comments

Fame Academy comes to an end.

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 - 8 comments

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