Hello.  Welcome to my blog about British archive television.  This will highlight programmes I’ve been watching whilst my Twitter feed – embedded in the blog and also directly accessable via @archivetvmus71 – contains many more archive treats.

The posts are broken up into categories (by decade and type – comedy, drama, etc).  You can also explore via the tags lower down the page.  Many of the programmes which have multiple posts can also be accessed via the top of the main menu (BBC/ITV/Christmas TV/Doctor Who/Grange Hill).

These top menu options have the posts re-arranged from oldest to newest (WordPress blogs display the newest posts by default).  So if you’re looking to read about, say, The Day of the Triffids episode by episode, then selecting it via the BBC button next to the Home button is the best option – since the posts will be in the correct order!

If you notice any broken links or have any comments or suggestions then please leave a message on the relevant post or drop me an email at archivetvmusings@gmail.com

I also have a theatre related blog at Theatre Musings.

436 thoughts on “About

  1. Cult tv hero Spike Milligan was born 105 years ago today. Most of the pictures come from the Q series, including a cut-price Patrick Moore.

    I know a song about Bob Todd.


  2. Apparenty Pauline Collins was considered for the role of Zoe Heriot. Previously she played the air hostess Samantha Briggs in The Faceless Ones, and Samantha was considered as a replacement for Polly, but Pauline Collins declined, and a year later she turned down to role of Zoe.

    Zoe made her debut in The Moonbase, a story which I can’t comment on as only two of the four episodes exist. One of the surviving episodes is the last one which segues into a repeat of Evil of the Daleks, the first Doctor Who aserial to be repeated on BBC television in its entirety. Contrary to popular belief Doctor Who wasn’t on tv every Saturday in 1968. The gap between the last two Patrick Troughton series was longer than seven weeks, and there was a two week gap between The Mind Robber and the Invasion because of the Olympics.

    Wendy Padbury remained in Doctor Who until the end of the Patrick Troughton era. I went to a Doctor Who convention and asked Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury if they were happy about the way they wwere written out of Doctor Who. They said that it was a natural ending, but I always found it unsatisfactory that Jamie and Zoe had no memories of their adventures with the Doctor, Jamie in particular. In fact in The Five Doctors you can hear the second Doctor saying to the Brigadier that it was sad.

    Wendy Padbury reprised the role of Zoe brieflyu in The Five Doctors. Deborah Watling was also supposed to have made a cameo as an apparition of Victoria, but had to drop out because of previous commitments on the Dave Allen show. And then the Dave Allen show got cancelled which was annoying.

    She was one of the few people to have played two Doctor Who assistanys. She also played Jenny in the stage play Doctor Who and the Scen Keys to Doomsday with Trevor Martin as the Doctor.

    After Doctor Who she was in an ITV series called The Freewheelers. She appeared on a BBC children’s programme Score With the Scaffold which was shown on Fridays, and started the week after the first run of The Banana Splits.

    The Pigeon story was interesting as well.


  3. Death to the Daleks was, until 2005, the last Dalek story not to feature Davros. (And the only story from Patrick Troughton to Sylvester McCoy not to becalle something of the Daleks.)

    I have an old video of that story, so it was edited into a single episode so you don’t see the cliffhangers. (it even has the original BBC Video ident.)

    Invasion of the Dinosaur ends with Sarah trying not to get talked into going to Floiana with the Doctor. Death to the Daleks begins with the Doctor and Sarah getting diverted from their trip to Floriana when they land on Exillon. What has Death to the Daleks got in common with The Leisure Hive?

    That wasn’t the best cliffhanger. The best cliffhanger in Doctor Who was the end of Army of Ghosts.

    I wonder if the creators of The Adventure Game or Crystal Maze saw this story. I do remember the distinctive incidental music.

    Two of the worst cliffhangers I saw on Doctor Who weree when the BBC repeated The Five Doctors in serial form. Sarah Jane falling down a hill that didn’t look as steep as it was supposed to look, and the Master sneaking up on the first Doctor and Tegan as the entered the Tomb of Rassilon. But these weakk cliffhangers were by accident rather than by design.

    I was going to write a review of Death to the Daleks for my own Doctor Who fanzine, but it was a mediocre review for a below average story, and anyway I had enough material from other contributors.


  4. 44 years ago I saw Sykes, the episode with the hypnotist, and the George Bernard Shaw play The Village Wooing with Richard Briers on the colour tv set in the holiday chalet.

    I mentioned before that this was the only holiday we went on where the place we stayed had a colour tv. It was the best played we stayed all round.

    There was also a party political broadcast by the Conservative Party, which David Steele said reminded him of an advert for cat food.

    I think that was the evening we had a Chinese takeaway. Another holiday first. We also had a Chinese takeaway when were on holiday on the Isle of Wight later that year. They were both very good except one of them the prawns were plasticy.


  5. Two Romanas for the price of one.

    Androids of Tara was Mary Tamm’s favourite serial. It was shot at Leeds Castle which was also used for Chalfont Castle in Kind Hearts and Coronets, and has a dog collar museum.

    Count Grendel is one of the few Doctor Who villains who doesn’t get his comeuppance at the end of the story. (Another is Tlotoxl in The Aztecs.) Peter Jeffrey played the police detective in the Doctor Phibes films.

    The story is a parody of The Prisoner of Zenda. Doctor Who Magazine’s Fact of Fiction pinted out that the main difference between The Androids of Tara and The Prisoner of Zenda is that in the book Rudolph fell in love with Princess Flavia, whereas Romana doesn’t fall in love with Prince Reynart.

    If Androids of Tara was being made now the Doctor’s assistant would fall in love with the prince. And the author of The History of Doctor Who in One Hundred Objects would write an article suggesting that there’s a missing scene where Romana swaps places with Princess Strella. Or the robot.

    People have said that Lalla Ward’s Romana was more relaxed with the Doctor than the original. But if Mary Tamm had stayed for the next series the original Romana would have been more relaxed.

    When they shot City of Death in Paris it was a stroke of luck the National Museum of Natural History was doing an exhibition on the origin of mankind. (The Museum of Natural History in Paris is rgarded as one of the three great natural history museums, along with the museums in New York and South Kensington.)

    Lalla Ward’s Romana never wore the same outfit twice. A good game to play at a quiz at a Doctor Who convention would be to get models to wear various outfits that Romana wore and the panel have to rearrange them in chronological order.

    Androids of Tara and City of Death were both repeated the following summer.


  6. 42 years ago today I didn’t watch anything on tv as I was away at Easter and we didn’t have a video recorder.

    It may have seen the repeat of The Ark in South Kensington (which unfortunately overlapped with The Muppet Show with Spike Milligan).

    The Natural History Museum is one of the big three I mentioned yesterday. They celebrated their centenary by opening up a new exhibition on evolution. It was their third push buttony exhibition, after the human biology and ecology exhibitions which opened in the late seventies. On one of my last visits to the museum one of the security staff said that there are few fewer specimens on display in the museum now because of all the push buttony exhibits, and you don’t see the variety of life that you used to. There used to be a whole room of stuffed fish, and a whole room of stuffed reptiles, and now it’s a few cases in a corridor.

    You downloaded the milk tray advert. How about the fag advert with Spike Milligan falling through a boat.

    I remember Weekend chocolates and candies. It came in a box with two layers. You were supposed to eat one layer on Saturday and the other on Sunday. I got a box of weekend for my birthday in 1978, but because 1978 was an even numbered common year my birthday didn’t fall on a Saturday again until eleven years later, by which time it was the eighties and they’d stopped doing Weekend.

    How come in the opening titles of Hill Street Blues they only give the names of the characters played by Charles Haid and Victoria Hemmel?


  7. You’ve printed a lot of pictures of Doctor Who assistants this week.

    You have a lot of pictures of Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen from The Time Warrior.

    The picture of the Blue Peter team was from Peter Purves’ last series. I could tell because you can see the statuette of Petra on the shelf in the background. During his last few months on Blue Peter they did a couple of items about William Timym making the bust of Petra that went in the Blue Peter garden, which was unveiled on the Thursday before Easter.

    I watched the school holiday children’s programmes on Mandy Thursday and the announcer had a look at what was on children’s tv later that day, and he said that Blue Peter would be unveiling Petra’s statue, and it would be Peter Purves last programme. And that was the first that I’d heard he was leaving Blue Peter.

    After Easter Blue Peter carried on with just John Noakes and Lesley Judd, but some weeks later the announcer said that on that day’s edition of Blue Peter they would be introducing the new dog, and then the programme started and there were three presenters# names on the credits. The announcer didn’t mention that they were also getting a new presenter.

    In his first interview in Doctor Who Magazine Peter Purves admitted he was on the show for too long, and a should have left a couple of years earlier. In his next interview for DWM he said he should have left after seven years, and later he said he should have done just five. He used to have long hair when he was on Blue Peter during the early to mid seventies. There was one programme where Lesley Judd opened up the show and then introduced the first item by saying “And now over to Peter with a new haircit.”. So perhaps he should have gone when the hair went.

    And yesterday was Louise Jameson’s birthday. I’m glad you printed a picture of her from Tenko because that was her favourite show that she worked on. She only appeared in the first two series because she was pregnant when they shot the third. The first episode began with some shots of the prison camp, including a shot of the graveyard, and one of the graves had Blanche’s name on it.

    In the 2010s the second series of Musketeers, Atlantis, and the revival of Upstairs Downstairs began with funerals because Peter Capaldi, Alexander Siddig and Eileen Atkins were unable to reprise their roles for the new series. In Peter Capaldi’s case he was unable to continue playing Cardinal Richelieu because he had just taken on the role of Doctor Who. Which is where I came in.


  8. BBC2 is 59 years old today. It was probably my favourite tv channel, especially in the nineties when it was the channel that showed Doctor Who.

    Contrary to what your correspondent said the doll that was cut out of the photo of the Play School toys was Poppy, not Hamble. This is a photograph of the toys on display at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.

    I went there a few times when it was under its original name the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, and I saw the Play School toys. I also saw the very first edition of Play School in their TV Heaven room. Do they still have that?

    I would be interested to hear from anyone else on this website who did visit the Bradford museum.

    Twenty-Five Minutes Peace was a fascinating programme.


  9. The review of Warriors of the Deep came from the period when DWB was written by genuine Doctor Who fans with a genuine enthusiasm for the series.

    Warriors of the Deep is not usually regarded as one of the best Doctor Who serials. Having the Silurians and Sea Devils together wasn’t a bade idea, but it wasn’t that well executed. For a start the creatures called themselves the Sea Devils and Silurians, which were names given to them by humans and the latter was a misnomer.

    I preferred the design of the Warriors of the Deep Silurians to the original, but didn’t like the new look Sea Devils with the Samauri helmets and much preferred the original string vested version. I didn’t like the new design of the Silurans as used in the Matt Smith era.

    When Tegan asked if the Silurians were hostile, the Doctor replied that they are honourable, and I thought the story would end with the Silurians and humans finally making peace.

    Two stories that I would like to have seen with Paul McGann would have been a story were the Great Intelligence invades North America and this time the Yeti is Bigfoot, and the Sand Demons where the Doctor meets the desert dwelling relations of the Silurians.

    In The Awakening we get to meet Tegan’s grandfather. Monsters meeting with a frothy death was one of this series’ trademarks. Will Chandler would have made a good regular companion, and Peter Davison and Keith Jayne got on well, but at that stage they were in the process of going down to just one companion.

    Barbara Clegg’s story sounds similar to The Shakespeare Code. Terrance Dicks never did write for Doctor Who on tv again after The Five Doctors. I would liked it if he’d written for the twenty-first century series, but he didn’t like the single episode format. (He also wasn’t keen on the idea of the Doctor regenerating into a woman.)


  10. Was that Sherlock Holmes cutting from the Manchester Evening News taken from a newspaper library microfilm?

    Did anyone else notice something about the page numbers on the Doctor Who comic strip. Before it changed its name to TV Action the pages in Countdown were numbered backwards.

    About thirty years ago the Doctor Who comic strips from Countdown/TV Action were reprinted in Marvel’s Doctor Who Classic Comics. They also reprinted Doctor Who strips from TV Comic, and the Dalek strips from TV 21. They printed some strips from Doctor Who Magazine, but I’d already read those. They printed some Marvel Doctor Who strips which I hadn’t seen before, the ones that originally appeared in Incredible Hulk Presents. But they weren’t very good, and were badly drawn, so I hadn’t missed much in the first place. There was even one issue where they reprinted the comic strip adaptation of the film version of Doctor Who and the Daleks which was originally published in the USA in the sixties. (The main difference between the film and the comic strip was that in the comic strip Ian encountered a caveman at the end instead of the Roman soldiers.) But Doctor Who Classic Comics mainly focussed on the Jon Pertwee strips from Countdown and TV Action, because they were regarded as the best Doctor Who comic strips before the Doctor got his own comic.


  11. Why were the two clips from Seaside Special shown? It wasn’t shown on the 25th of April, and it wasn’t Windsor Davies or Don Estelle’s birthday. (If it was I would have wanted a clip from Terrahawks.)

    I do remember the go kart race. I saw it when we were on holiday. The contestants were Noel Edmonds, Tony Blackburn and his then wife Tessa Wyatt (the only female driver), Ian Lavender and Bill Pertwee in their Dad’s Aermy costumes, Windsor Davies and Don Estelle in their It Ain’t Half Hot Mum costumes, Mike Read (the comedian, not the DJ) and Richard Whitmore,.

    36 years ago today the Saturday morning programme It’s Wicked started. The previous week Saturday Superstore ended. The last edition of Superstore I watched was the one two weeks earlier with Prince Edward as the guest. As with the edition with Margaret Thatcher it was on the news that evening. But I didn’t see the last one because it was on at Easter when I was away. And I didn’t know it had finished until the autumn when Going Live started.


  12. Graeme Wood’s Radio Times clippings from 1985 were more interesting than the Daily Mirror tv guide from three years later.

    It’s a shame he didn’t include the Radio Times cover which was a reprint of a 1960 Radio Times cover with the cover peeling off to reveal the current Radio Times logo beneath.

    I only saw part of the Hancock documentary. We had a video recorder but the recording went wrong. It featured contributions from actors like Bill Kerr, Hugh Lloyd, Patricia Hayes, and Patrick Cargill who were all still alive. (Kenneth Williams was also still alive at the time, but he didn’t take part.)

    Where were they then? Adam Woodyatt was in the repeat of Baker Street Boys. He made that around the same time he The Witches and the Grinnygog with Anna Wing and Patricia Hayes. By April 1985 he’d started doing EastEnders and hasn’t acted in anything else since.

    Pebble Mill showed some films that Donnie MacLeod made before he died. Friday People was awful. (It was nearly as bad as ITV’s Six O’Clock Show.) BBC2 offered yet another chance to see Tarzan and the Amazons.

    It’s a shame the Hancock documentary overlapped with the programme on wildlife artist John James Audubon. There was a film in the 2010s called American Animals which was based on the true story of an attempt to steal a rare first edition of Audubon’s Bird of America.


  13. What hasn’t already been said about The Daemons? I first saw The Daemons when it was shown on BBC2 in late 1992. Earlier that year BBC2 did a season of vintage Doctor Who, which eventually included episodes with all the Doctors. The first run finished with The Sea Devils, and in the autumn they did an extra Jon Pertwee story when they showed the newly recolourised version of The Daemons.

    In The Five Faces of Doctor Who they showed two consecutive Jon Pertwee stories. the one where the Doctor gets released from his exile by the Time Lords, and his first journey after regaining his freedom, but they showed them the other way round. In the spring of 1992 they showed The Sea Devils where the Doctor visits the Master in prison, and in the autumn they showed the story which shows how the Master ended up in prison.

    I once asked Barry Letts if Reverend Smallwood, the vicar who mysteriously disappeared and got replaced by Mr Magister, was named after Peter Sellers’ character from Heavens Above, but he said he wasn’t.


  14. You printed a couple of clips about William Hartnell. The Daily Mirror article ‘The Agony of Playing Doctor Who’ was mentioned in Pater Haining’s The Key to Time.

    William Hartnell was quoted as saying it was his idea to do a western on Doctor Who. I don’t know if he actually did say that.

    In one of the Short Trips anthologies there’s a storty called The Thief of Sherwood. It begins with a quote from William Hartnell, again I don’t know if he ever did say this, but hew was quoted as saying that he’d like to do a story where the Doctor meets Robin Hood. The author then goes on to imagine that they did do a serial where the Doctor and his companions met Robin Hood, who looks just like Ian, and was a villain. It would have been no Robot of Sherwood.

    In 1970 he appeared in Crime of Passion. This would have been his first appearance on colour television. And his last tv role before The Three Doctors.


  15. ps You showed a clip of Stéphane Grappelli on The Wheeltappers and Shuunters Social Club. Is there any chance of a clip of the Bowles Brothers Band performing Charlie’s Nuts on So It Goes on 28th of August 1976.


  16. In the early days of Doctor Who Weekly they used to have a crazy caption competition. In today’s good morning picture the Doctor is saying to the Sea Devil “I’ll teach you to nail my pet tortoise to the wall.”.

    56 years ago today it was a Saturday of course. I saw the two surviving episodes of The Faceless Ones at a Doctor Who convention. I thought it was an intriguing story and wish the whole serial exists.

    Some sources say that The Faceless Ones was the first Doctor Who serial to feature the title sequence with the Doctors face, which was ironic in the same way that Fran Beard was the only member of ZZ Top who didn’t have a beard. But apparently that distinction belongs to The Macra Terror. The last surviving episode of Doctor Who with the original title sequence is the last part of The Moonbase, the earliest surviving episode with the second version is the first part of The Faceless Ones, The Macra Terror is completely missing.

    While the Doctor, Ben and Polly were tackling the Chameleons in Sussex the Doctor, Ben and Polly were fighting the War Machines in London. Having got back to Earth on the same day that they joined the Doctor, Ben and Polly decide to go back home. Anneke Wills thought it was a good natural end to Ben and Polly’s travels with the Doctor, Michael Craze thought it was a soppy ending.

    Malcolm Hulke also co-wrote The Making of Doctor Who, which ironically was inspired by Pan Books’ The Making of Star Trek.


  17. Target Books’ Doctor Who range was launched fifty years ago today. They started with reprints of the three Doctor Who novels published during the William Hartnell era, plus some adaptations of Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee stories. For a long time The Crusades was the only purely historical to be novelised. The only other Hartnell stories to novelised in the seventies were Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Tenth Planet.

    Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure With the Daleks was very much written as Ian and Barbara’s first adventure with the Doctor. They obviously had no intention of doing a novel based on An Unearthly Child. Ian Chesterton smokes.

    When Target did do An Unearthly Child it was a turning point. This was when Target got serious about adapting all the tv adventures. The only stories that didn’t get novelised during the original Target run were The Pirate Planet, City of Death, Resurrection of the Daleks, and Revelation of the Daleks. The two Douglas Adams stories were novelised much later, along with Shada and Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen.

    Recently BBC Books have published some novelisations of Doctor Who stories from the Christopher Eccleston era onwards, with cover designs done in the style of Chris Achilléos’ Target covers.


  18. Yesterday you skipped a year by mistake. Otherwise you would have printed the tv listing for 2nd of May 1970 which included the final part of The Ambassadors of Death.

    John Abineri was also in Fury From the Deep, Death to the Daleks and The Power of Kroll. Other tv roles included Herne the Hunter in Robin of Sherwood, and Rimmer’s father in Red Dwarf. Film roles included The Godfather Part III.

    Ambassadors of Death was also the first Jon Pertwee story to feature Sergeant Benton. He just pops up partway through the story. There were three stories where a UNIT soldier says that they’ve gone up in the world. In The Invasion the Doctor addresses Nicholas Courtney’s character as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, to which he replies “Brigadier. I’ve gone up in the world.”. In The Three Doctors the second Doctor addresses Benton as Corporal Benton, o which he replies “Sergeant. I’ve gone up in the world.”. And in Robot he announces he’s been promoted to sergeant-major, and says he’s gone up in the world.

    If Benton had appeared during the Hartnell era he would have been a private. If he’d met the fifth Doctor he would have been running a second hand car business, which is actually a front for his own private army, devoted to defending the Earth from alien invasions.


  19. Which year did Eric Sykes get his comedy award.

    When Spike Milligan got his award he later said that he got a dreadful dinner, he sat through a lot of boring speeches (and because he was getting a special award he had to wait until last), and when he got the award it was a playing card embedded in a lump of plastic. He said he didn’t bother taking it home with him and left it in the hotel.


  20. The last time I watched Planet of the Spiders was in 2019 when I watched that story and Spearhead From Space to mark Jon Pertwee’s centenary.

    This is the only episode where the Doctor wore the midnight blue velvet jacket.

    This was part three of the Mike Yates saga, which began with The Green Death, continued in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, and concluded with Planet of the Spiders. A long haired former Captain Yates has noticed odd goings on in a meditation centre.

    In episode one Professor Clegg examines the Brigadier’s watch and said it was given to him by a woman called Doris. We eventually saw Doris in the underrated Battlefield. Part one also includes a clip from Carnvival of Monsters with the Doctor annihilating Drahigs with the sonic screwdriver.

    The Doctot getting a letter from Jo Grant was a nice touch for Jon Pertwee’s last story. All it needed was a mention of Liz Shaw.


  21. Happy 80th birthday Michael Palin.

    Rather fittingly his BAFTA Fellowship Award was presented by Terry Jones. It’s a shame the clip ended mid-anercdote.

    The picture of Michael Palin sitting on a washing machine was from one of the programmes shown on Monty Python Night to mark the series’ 30th anniversary in 1999. He visited some of the locations where the programmes were filmed. One of them was the launderette where they filmed the Bicycle Repairman sketch.

    He also visited the house where they film the gas fitters sketch that segued into the Ministry od Silly Walks. The man in the house next door was still there and remembered the Monty Python team coming to film the programme over twenty years earlier.

    My favourite series any of the Monty Python team did apart from Monty Python was Ripping Yarns.


  22. 40 years ago today Top of the Pops celebrated its 1000th programme.

    The line up was:

    We Are Detective by the Thompson Twins
    Keep Feeling Fascination by the Human League
    Can’t Get Used to Losing You by the Beat
    Compilation of sixties clips
    Temptation by Heaven 17
    Compilation of seventies and eighties clips
    Candy Girl by New Edition
    Blind Vision by Blanmange
    Our Lips Are Sealed by the Fun Bot Three
    The number one True by Spandau Ballet
    Overkill by Men at Work played over the closing credits

    The sixties clips were Bits and Pieces by the Dave Clark Five, Little Children by Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Baby Love by the Supremes, I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher, Get Off My Cloud by the Rolling Stones, Massachusetts by the Bee Gees, Let’s Spend the Night Together by the Rolling Stones, All My Love by Cliff Richard, The Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann, With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker, Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo, Fire Brigade by the Move, Surround Yourself With Sorrow by Cilla Black, All You Need Is Love by the Beatles.

    Seventies and Eighties clips were Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones, Maggie May by Rod Stewart, Your Song by Elton John, Get It On by T-Rex, Starman by David Bowie, I’m the Leader of the Gang by Gary Glitter, Waterloo by Abba, Killer Queen by Queen, I’m Not In love by 10cc, Looking After Number One by the Boomtown Rats, Picture This by Blondie, Spirits in the Material World by the Police, Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant, Is There Something I Should Know?

    The sixties clips were reused three year later on the programme marking BBC Television’s fiftieth anniversary.


  23. Every good Doctor Who fanzine needs a resident artist. I was sad to hear the Stuart Glazebrook has died.


  24. As the Daily Mirror article says, when City of Death was filmed in Paris Doctor Who wasn’t shown on French television. In fact the French tv company adamantly refused to show Doctor Who until 1987.

    Likewise Doctor Who wasn’t shown on Dutch tv when they shot Arc of Infinity. (Although some Dutch viewers could pick up BBC programmes.) More people recognized Peter Davison from All Creatures Great and Small. And whe he was playing Omega, and running through Amsterdam with half of his face covered in green make-up and Rice Krispies people thought he was a drunken English tourist.

    The next two Doctor Who stories shot abroad were shot in Spain, and Doctor Who wasn’t shown on Spanish tv either. But they did have a science documentary series whose theme tune was the Doctor Who theme.

    Where were they then? Fifty years ago Gotham actor Sean Pertwee was photographed with his famous father for TV Screen Scene.

    The Prince Charles Cinema has a blackboard in the foyer where customers can write suggestions for films they would like to see at the Prince Charles. One day I suggested Two Way Stretch, and another customer suggested Optimists of Nine Elms, in which Peter Sellers plays a straight role. I would love to see that film as well.


    • When I went to Panopticon in 1996, a few months after Jon Pertwee died, as a tribute they showed a recording of hos panel from the previous year’s Panopticon.

      This was when Sean Pertwee was breaking through as an actor, and someone asked Jon if he was prpoud of his son’s acting work so far. Jon replied that he was very proud of Sean’s work, and it was good that he was able to say that, and that he did say it.


  25. The interview with Jon Pertwee was interesting. I saw his one man show which he died towards the end of his life, and that was excellent.

    It’s interesting to note that by the time Jon Pertwee took over Doctor Who was no longer thought of as a children’s programme. (Although in the early seventies William Hartnell was unhappy that Doctor Who was no longer being written for children.) In Spearhead From Space his portrayal of the Doctor is more comical. But when Barry Letts took over he played it more straight.

    The fact that Jon Pertwee’s Doctor was more like a conventional hero than the others probably explains why people who think that Jon Pertwee was the only Doctor who was any good usually like Phil Collins.

    If Jon Pertwee had played Worzel Gummidge before he played Doctor Who there would have been a hug outcry when he got cast as the Doctor.

    Is Beryl Reid in the Worzel Gummidge picture. And who is the punk scarecrow?

    Shirley Henderson played Saucey Nancy in the Mackenzie Crook version of Worzel Gummidge. In the books, and the recent tv adaptation, Worzal had a wife called Earthy Mangold, and a sister-in-law called Hannah Harrow, and Aunt Sally was a minor character.

    One of your correspondents said Geoffrey Bayldon would have been good as Doctor Who. He was offered the role in the sixties, before he was offered Catweazle, but he thought the character was too old, and it would be for too long. He was considered for the role of the first Doctor in The Five Doctors, but it was decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to have the Crowman from Worzel Gummidge playing the Doctor when Worzel Gummidge was playing one of the other Doctors.

    He did play an alternative version of the first Doctor who never left Gallifrey in one of the audio adventures. On tv he played the astrologer Oraganon in Creature From the Pit.


  26. I nearly said that the last episode of The Feathered Serpent with Patrick Troughton was broadcast on the same day as the last Whoduunit? with Jon Pertwee.

    In fact Whodunnit? ended a month later, but the last edition featured the same pair of detectives as in the one shown 45 years ago today. One of them was played by Lance Percival who co-wrote the scripts, and the joke was at the end of the episode he still din’t know who done it.

    But in the last series there was more banter between the panel and the suspects.

    On Mondays I used to watch Batman instead of Blue Peter, but by May 1978 ITV wwre showing episode from the last and least series of Batman, and a week later Blue Peter got a new presenter and got interesting again.


    • I used to watch Batman on the black and white tv while everyone else was watching BBC1 on the colour tv. And then BBC moved Blue Peter to a later slot and I watched Batman instead of Blue Peter on Mondays. (Blue Peter had got a bit stale at that point. It needed new presenters.)

      I didn’t watch The Feathered Serpent, but I did sometimes catch the end when I tuned in to Batman.


  27. Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks didn’t like the new format for Doctor Who that had been imposed on them by stop-gap producer Derrick Sherwin. But if you look at each successive series from the Pertwee era you get fewer episodes set on twentieth century Earth and more stories set on other planets.

    The only series that was set entirely on twentieth century Earth was the first Jon Pertwee series. And even that series featured an episode set partly on an alternative version of Earth.

    Drek Newark played one of the cavemen in the first Doctor Who serial. Sheila Dunn was married to Douglas Camfield. Olaf Pooley lived to be 1001. Christopher Benjamin later played Colonel Hugh Eddison in The Unicorn and the Wasp, but his best known Doctor Who role was as Henry Jago in Talons of Weng Chiang. He later got his own audio series, Jago and Litefoot, with Trevor Baxter as Litefoot.


  28. Some random comments about yesterday’s postings.

    Were those Top of the Pops pictures from the same show? The clapperboard says it was programme number 738, which was broadcast on 23rd of March 1978. The line-up was:

    I’ll Go Where Your Music Takes Me by Tina Charles played over the charts
    I Wonder Why by Showaddywaddy
    Stay With Me Baby by David Essex
    I Can’t Stand the Rain by Eruption
    More Like the Movies by Doctor Hook
    Denis by Blondie
    Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs by Brian and Michael
    Legs and Co dancing to Rumour Has It by Donna Summer
    Follow You Follow Me by Genesis
    Whenever You Want My Love by the Real Thing
    The number one Wutherering Heights by Kate Bush
    Everyone’s a Winner by Hot Chocolate played over the credits

    It doesn’t feature Thin Lizzy, Guys and Dolls or TRB.

    I noted that the tv listing from 1978 picked out Horses Galore as one of the day’s highlights, Children’s tv was taken more seriously in those days, and not marginalized like it is now.

    You pointed out that when the magician on The Good Old Days was doing his act the band anachronistically played James Bond music. You downloaded another clip with the acrobats, and one of them was anachronistically dressed as Batman.

    Speaking of which. Did they used to show Batman on Saturday Scene? At our school summer fairs the art teacher always did the second hand book stall. And one time I saw a Saturday Scene book which had some pictures from the edition where Adam West made a guest appearance and they dressed as Batman and Robin.

    I mentioned that I sometimes watched Batman instead of Blue Peter. In early 1978 ITV had stopped showing Batman, but BBC showed the cartoon series The New Adventures of Batman. It featured the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward, but it was a poor substitute for the live action series.

    Ham Salad.


  29. Graeme Wood should have an Archive TV Musings page of his own. I find his Radio Times cuttings more interesting than the Daily Mirror tv listings. The highpoint of tv viewing 40 years ago today was The Young Ones: Oil getting a repeat showing six months after its original broadcast.)

    I believe the cover star of Radio Times for 11th-17th of Apeil 1968 was Maggie Fitzgibbon in The Newcomers (the show in which Jenny Agutter made her tv debut).

    In 1968 ITV did a version of The Lion , the Witch and the Wardrobe which, like The Railway Children, was in black and white but TV Times did a feature in colour.

    I can remember seeing part of an episode of The Railway Children on tv. It was the bit where they were helping the boy in the tunnel. I did see the film version at the cinema when it came out. The support feature was A Challenge For Robin Hood, the one where Robin’s men break into the castle by swimming across the moat with plastic ducks on their heads.

    About a year ago I explained the connections between the tv and film versions of The Railway Children, The Magnificent Six and a Half, The Double Deckers, Catweazle and Staw Dogs.

    We got our first tv in 1968, but I don’t know if we had a tv then. I remember Titch and Quackers. When Jon Pertwee first got the part of Doctor Who he was photographed reading a copy of Radio Times with Titch and Quackers on the cover. In the early seventies my mum used to watch the Andy Williams show and let my brother and I stay up to see the bit with the bear.

    BBC2 was now doing a full colour service. In the daytime it was mainly cricket, but there was also The World About Us, Elgar’s Symphony No 2, Show of the Week with Count Basie and Georgie Fame. Call My Bluff was a battle of the sexes with Kenneth Horne, Hugh Paddick and Graham Hill versus Drusilla Beyfus, Gwen Watford and Candida Lycett Green.

    Does Graeme Wood’s Radio Times collection include the issue for 21st-27th of June 1980? If so is there any chance of a download of the feature on 25 Years of Rock?


    • Tich and Quackers appeared on the cover of Radio Times dated 14th-19th of June 1969. Ray Allen and Tich wore Sherlock Holmes outfits.

      It was during that week that Jon Pertwee was announced as the new Doctor Who, a few days before the last episode of The War Games, and was photographed reading the current Radio Times with a Yeti lurking behind him. (The Radio Times included the entry for the penultimate episode of The War Games.)

      Issue 4 of Doctor Who Weekly included a feature on the Yeti. They printed another publicity photograph of Jon Pertwee with a Yeti from 1969, and the caption stated that the Yeti were the first Doctor Who monsters to appear in colour. That can’t be right.


  30. Yesterday you marked the birthdays of Milton Johns and Tim Piggott-Smith.

    One of the pictures of Milton Johns was as Benik in Enemy of the Word which I have seen thanks to the unsung heroes Television International Enterprises Archives who found all the missing episodes of Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear in Nigeria ten years ago.

    Milton Johns also played Castellan Kelner in The Invasion of Time, but is best remembered as Crayford in The Android Invasion.

    You didn’t print any pictures of Tim Piggott-Smith in Doctor Who, but he was Harker in Claws of Axos, and Marco in the underrated Masque of Mandragora.


  31. Yesterday you posted a couple of vintage public information films.

    I agree with your correspondent about bringing back the litter ones. They used to show ads in cinemas telling people to put their litter in the bins when they leave the auditorium, and they should bring those back. But this is a topic for Archive Movies Musings.

    In the documentary Thirty Years in the Tardis the shop where the Autons come to life is called Magister and Splink.

    The original Green Cross Code adverts featured a parrot called Squawk, but then they did the Splink campaign with people like Jon Pertwee and Alvin Startdust. There was an animated one with Derek Griffiths which looked like something from Sesame Street.

    But then glam rock went out of fashion and Alvin Stardust regenerated into Tom Baker, so they needed a new campaign, and they came up with Green Cross Code Man. Dave Prowse got the role of Green Cross Man at around the same time as Darth Vadar, but he was more proud of the former as it saved lives.

    Has anyone seen the documentary Elstree 1976.


  32. The first episode of M*A*S*H began with the caption “Korea, 1950, a hundred years ago” when in fact it was only 22 years ago.

    I the penultimate episode they buried a time capsule to be dug up in a hundred years’ time.

    The rear view shot of Radar watching the helicopters was used in the opening titles even after Gary Burghoff had left the series. The shot of Hawkeye in the Blue shirt was used right up to the end. The title sequence was modified twice, first when Mike Farrell replaced Wayne Rogers, and then when B J grew a moustache.

    Later they introduced a new, more strident, arrangement of the theme tune, but then went back to the old version.

    Two characters in M*A*S*H were played by three actors. Elliott Gould in the film version, Wayne Rogers in the tv series, and Pernell Roberts in the spin-off Tapper John MD. Father Mulcahy was played by Rene Auberjonois in the film, George Morgan in the pilot episode, and William Christopher for the rest of the series. Gary Burghoff was of course the only actor to play the same character in the tv and film versions of M*A*S*H.

    The song Suicide is Painless from the original film was rereleased in 1980, ten years after the film first came out, just after it was shown for the first time on British television.

    Harry Morgan, William Christopher and Jamie Farr reprised their roles as Coloner Potter, Father Mulcahy and Max Klinger in After M*A*S*H which was set in an army veterans’ hospital in the USA in the fifties. I saw a couple of episodes. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t M*A*S*H, and they would have been better off doing a totally separate series set in a veterans’ hospital.


  33. Three female impersonators have died recently. First there was Paul O’Grady who played Lily Savage. Then Barry Humphries who played Dame Edna Everage. And now George Logan who played Doctor Evadne Hinge. Patrick Fyfe who played Dame Hilda Bracket died in 2002.


  34. 52 years ago The Daemons was broadcast for the first time. It’s often regarded as the highpoint of the second Jon Pertwee series, and one of the highpoints of the Jon Pertwee era. It was certainly momentous enough for the Daily Mirror cartoonist to supply a caricature of Jon Pertwee for the tv listing page.

    One of the Master’s disciples in the coven was played by Matthew Corbett of Sooty fame.

    I saw The Daemons on BBC2 in the autumn of 1992. Earlier that year the BBC started what was supposed to be a season of Doctor Who stories featuring all the Doctors, but they stopped at Jon Pertwee (The Sea Devils), but in the autumn they showed the newly recolourised Daemons, and in the new year they showed the other four Doctors.

    There was a bit of a bias towards Jon Pertwee with the vintage repeats seasons. In The Five Faces of Doctor Who they showed two Jon Pertwee stories, albeit one of them was the one with William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. They showed two Jon Pertwee stories during the 1992-93 repeats series. For Doctor Who’s thirtieth anniversary they showed Planet of the Daleks, which was an odd choice as it follows on directly from the previous serial, and one of the episodes was in black and white. (The first Dalek serial would have been a better choice.) Shortly after Planet of the Daleks BBC2 showed The Green Death, and Pyramids of Mars. In 1999 the BBC g=began what was supposed to be a complete run of the colour Doctor Who serials, but they only showed Speahead From Space and The Silurians, before skipping ahead to Genesis of the Daleks, and then stopping altogether.

    In The Five Faces of Doctor Who they showed the story where the Time Lords released the Doctor from his exile, and his first trip in the Tardis after being granted his freedom, but in reverse order. In the spring of 1992 we saw the story where the Master escapes from prison, and later that year we saw the story which shows he he ended up in prison in the first place.

    I believe Paul Weller later made a pop video in Aldbourne.

    One of you correspondents said the we don’t see Tom and Jerry on tv these days. They cartoons were used to fill out the schedules, but because of the increased competition between tv channels we get more trailers so we don’t have the gaps in the schedules to fill.


  35. Happy 90th birthday to Biddy Baxter.

    To answer your correspondent’s question. The other two people in the black and white photo are Edward Barnes and Rosemary Gill. Three tv legends. I think Rosemary Gill is in the colour picture, and Edward Barnes definitely is. If it is Rosemary Gill the picture can’t have been taken later than 2011. The other two men might be Lewis Bronze and Richard Marson.


  36. Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Peter Cushing.

    Where did the montage come from. It looks like a new obituary.

    I believe Sherlock Holmes was his favourite role. One of his notable tv appearances was as Winston Smith in 1984. The only thing missing from the montage was a clip of The Morcambe and Wise Show, so thank you for downloading a clip.

    The bit where his character was talking about his late wife reminded me of how he was afftected by the loss of his own wife Helen Cushing.

    And the montage finished with a clip of Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. In Peter Haining’s Doctor Who: A Celebration Peter Cushing is described as “The Forgotten Doctor”, but the opposite is true. Sometimes when I’ve been asked to name the actors who played Doctor Who and I name the Doctors from William Hartnell to the current Doctor, someone says that there was another actor who played the Doctor in the films. And it’s usually not the hardcore fans.

    When the the Doctor Who films were first shown on tv my parents said that the Doctor Who films were made before Jon Pertwee played the Doctor. But I didn’t realize there were two other actors who played Doctor Who on tv before Jon Pertwee, and for a long time I thought the films predated the tv series, but they were in fact remakes of two tv serials. I think more people have seen the film versions of Doctor Who and the Daleks and Dalek Invasion of Earth than the original tv serials.

    In June 1994, a couple of months before Peter Cushing died, the Screen Cinema in Walton-on-Thames put on a screening of the two Doctor Who films.


  37. Catweazle first appeared in comic strip form in TV Comic, and the strips were reprinyed in TV Comic in the eighties when Channel 4 reran the tv series. And later the Catweazle comic strips appeared in Look-In.

    I think both Carrot and Cedric appeared in the strips. But in TV Comic they ran some strips after the tv series finished where Catweazle was befriended by a boy called Joe who lives with a travelling circus.

    I usually supported Frank Muir’s team on Call My Bluff, but 46 years ago today I would have supported Patrick Campbell’s team because Tom Baker was on it.


  38. You posted some clips of Doctor Who actors in other roles. Peter Davison in A Very Peculiar Practice, and Paul McGann in The Importance of Being Earnest. I believe the latter was the four act version of Oscar Wilde’s play. Rupert Frazer was older than Paul McGann, but Algie is younger than John.

    That was a good scene from The Aztecs. I recently read the novelization of Fires of Pompeii and the Doctor has a very similar conversation with Donna about not being changing history. The Aztecs is the only surviving story of the three written by John Lucarotti, and he would return to the Aztec theme when he wrote a script for Joe 90. John Ringham would later play Bracewell in the first episode of Dad’s Army, and would play Captain Bailey in some of the colour episodes.

    Someone pointed out that there’s a scene in The Aztecs where Susan doesn’t understand why the Aztrecs is a reincarnation of one of their gods when the last time the god appeared he was a man. And they said that if Time Lords can change sex when they regenerate Susan would have had no difficulty understanding this. So Time Lords changing sex contradicts The Aztecs.


  39. I remember Beryl Reid’s series. That clip was very poignant. She did another poignant sketch with Patricia Hayes where they played a couple of bag ladies in a late night cafe.


  40. What is the source of the cartoon version of the Peter Cushing Doctor Who movie featured in one of your recent Twitter posts? Thanks!


  41. You should print more pictures from Doctor Who comic strips.

    In The Silurians the Doctor realistically changed out of his velvet suit to go potholing.

    Noel Edmonds once said that he’s loved to have had Morcambe and Wise on Swap Shop, but sadly he ever did. They weren’t averse to doing children’s tv as you can see from their appearance in the first edition of Val Meets the VIPs. (The series is best remembered for the programme where she spoke to the then education secretary Margaret Thatcher who when asked if she thought there would be a female prime minister in her lifetime said she didn’t think there would be.)

    I haven’t talked about the Daily Mirror cutting for a while. Moonfleet was broadcast for the first time in 1984 and was very highly acclaimed.

    One of your correspondents noticed how the BBC didn’t let the World Cup interfere with Wogan. But then the matches were shown live later on. The previous evening it was England versus Portugal, that night it was Scotland against Denmark.

    In later World Cups they did show EastEnders at a later (and more suitable) time than usual to make way for the football, but they did show it. Whereas it was very frustrating watching the last series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on BBC2 because it kept getting taken off for two weeks to make way for sports events.

    BBC2 we repeating the first series of M*A*S*H. According to BBC Genome it was the episode Dear Dad… Again, whereas the Mirror says it was the first episode to feature Kinger, which was the much earlier Chief Surgeon Who? So I think the Mirror was wrong.


    • ps And going back to Doctor Who, one of your correspondents posted a picture of Peter Davsion, Janet Fielding and Mark Strickson in front of a castle. Was it from King’s Demons.? I thought King’s Demons was shot entirely in the studioo. (King’s Demons and Time Flight are the only Peter Davsion stories, and only complete Doctor Who serials prior to Jodie Wjitaker, that I don’t have on DVD or video.)


  42. Ah yes, the Yeti on the toilet quote. Jon Pertwee preferred the Doctor Who stories set on present day Earth, but the production team didn’t. He was photographed with a Yeti, but I don’t know where the story about the Yeti being the first monsters to appear in colour came from.

    As mentioned he was mostly a comedy actor. Yet his Doctor was the one who was the most straight rendition. (Which probably explains why people who think he was the only Doctor who was any good also usually like Phil Collins.) Can you imagine the outcry if he’d played Worzel Gummidge before he was cast as Doctor Who?

    I saw his one man show in the nineties. The first part began and ended with the Navy Lark theme tune. For the second half there was a Tardis on stage which he came out of while the Doctor Who theme played, and at the end they played the Worzel Gummidge theme.

    The road safety films with the Dad’s Army team might have been made after Dad’s Army finished.


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