Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2022

Orphaned Episodes: Part 1 (The Danedyke Mystery)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . One of the things which is now driving my trek through these orphaned episodes is the (probably vain) hope that I may contribute to awareness of these shows and this awareness may result in some of them being restored and commercially released. This is especially the case for this show which must still exist - I say that because this episode is both loose on the internet at the time of writing and is also available without the rest of its series on  this  compilation disc. This might be the only one which is actually available! The reason I would love this one to be released is although I don't remember seeing it when broadcast in the seventies it is something I would dearly love to watch. It's about Rev Septimus Treloar who was a CID officer and gave it up to become a vicar (or actually rector, since this show gets the address right). It is a dramatisation of the first in a series of children's books by Stephen

Orphaned Episodes: The Murder on the Bluebell Line (QED)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . QED was a long running series of popular science documentaries made by the BBC (as so often on this blog the majority of shows in this series of posts have been made by independent television). Murder on the Bluebell Line is a dramatisation of the  Piltdown Man  hoax, so although it looks and sounds confusingly like a murder mystery it is well within QED's remit of popular scientific documentary. It takes the form of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson doing a live investigation of the evidence: the reason they are used is that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was suspected to have been involved in the deception; as Watson rightly says, if Doyle would make that up even Holmes and Watson could be fictional! As a documentary it proves remarkably revealing: not least because of the clever juxtaposition of fiction and reality, but in its revelations of human attitude. Having read round a bit for this and having watched the show a couple of

Orphaned Episodes: A.D.A.M. (Saturday Night Theatre)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . Another Saturday (or possibly Sunday) Night Theatre, but then I didn't give myself a condition of only dealing with one orphan from each children's home. Actually even if I had I would still do ADAM because it's excellent and has the hallmark of all good drama, that it has layers of meaning and is thought provoking. On one level it is about the subject which comes up so often in the TV I watch, the fear of technology. It is particularly interesting to compare this show to the most recent technology based show I have written about here, the X-Files episode  rm9sbg93zxjz . It is an interesting contrast because the technology referred to in ADAM is now available to anyone with the cash to buy an Amazon dot or similar, and in fact exceeded, as seen in The X-Files.  There is a striking similarity between the two shows. A virtual assistant technology takes over and becomes violent - obviously much simpler in the 1973 t

Orphaned Episodes: The Handyman (Comedy Playhouse)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . Comedy Playhouse was a comedy anthology series which ran from 1961 to 1975 and which showed many episodes which became pilots for later series (per Wikipedia)  including Steptoe and Son, Meet the Wife, Till Death Us Do Part, All Gas and Gaiters, Up Pompeii!, Not in Front of the Children, Me Mammy, That's Your Funeral, The Liver Birds, Are You Being Served? and Last of the Summer Wine. Pretty televisually and comedically seminal, then. It also had a revival for three episodes in 2017. There are a number of episodes online but this one is a second series episode written by Galton and Simpson which already shows we are in quality light entertainment territory. The Handyman has a very simple plot. Basically an unemployed man gets a job as a handyman at a so-called health farm where the customers are on tiny diets, winds up feeding them against the rules and eventually comes to an understanding with the owner of how they will

Orphaned Episodes: Diary of a Nobody (Six) and A Recommendation

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . I am honestly delighted to have discovered this show was available on YouTube and also that it was TV, because it means I can share it here! I had seen pictures of this and thought it was a silent film of Diary of a Nobody (which I love) and am equally delighted that although you will read that this is a silent film, although the characters don't speak it is narrated throughout. I think silent films are at best difficult to watch - call me superficial but I like to be able to take my eyes off the screen now and then. Anyway, Diary doesn't look as if filmed in the sixties. It was the first of a series of short films, lasting 30 to 60 minutes, made in the first year of BBC2, 1964. They were intended to be largely exercises in directors trying out their ideas, so they are not traditional dramas, not documentaries, and in fact are all incredibly oddball and high brow. They were also hemmed in at various points by differe

Orphaned Episodes: Interference (ITV Schools Middle English)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . I will not be posting about much children's TV in this series of posts. Not for lack of material - there is a shedload of 1980s children's TV which has survived because of VHS and much of it isn't of the quality that I like to grace this blog. There is also a lot of TV for schools, and while I favour quality, I have always gone for entertainment on this blog rather than too much history or commentary, or anything too didactic. Interference was made by the ITV schools TV series. There are a number of reasons Interference is appearing here, predominantly that it is a great story, which while obviously intended for kids can also be appreciated by different audiences in different ways. This is of course always the sign of quality, complex plotted, drama. You could for example watch it for its countrified setting without mains electricity. Personally I'm a city person and the idea horrifies me (I used to stay in a

Orphaned Episodes: Facts of Life (Our Man at St Mark's) and Two Appeals

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here .  Our Man at St Mark's was a sitcom which ran from 1963 to 1966 about the Vicar of Felgate, initially played by Leslie Phillips and then by Donald Sinden. Only four episodes are known to survive and Facts of Life is the only one I have been able to track down online. In a change to my normal policy, I should make clear that the two acting greats who play the key characters are much of the reason to see this and they're both great. In fact I think to say watch this show starring Leslie Phillips as a vicar and Joan Hickson as his housekeeper, is enough recommendation. Actually the best bit is seeing Leslie Phillips in a role far removed from his normal rather louche roles. Sitcoms as such don't tend to do much for me but this is worth watching simply for the scene where the vicar talks to a little girl who has gone to see him because she thinks she is pregnant. This scene is so sweet!  He also has a man to man chat

Orphaned Episodes: Take Off Your Clothes and Live (Man Alive)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . I commented before that I wasn't expecting writing these posts to become an emotional rollercoaster but it has. In addition to the sense of loss I mentioned before, I am finding this bringing out some very strange reactions, particularly when you find yourself on the missing episodes forums. My main constant thought is that despite television having been a medium of several decades, its record keeping is oddly all over the place. You would think that commercial TV would keep records of what it broadcasts, but in reality the records are a nightmare. On the missing episodes forums you find contradictory accounts of what is broadcast when and what remains in archives. I wonder whether this simply reflects the early approach to television as a disposable medium and also possibly different contemporary approaches to record keeping? I really don't know!  Then I find I am reacting strangely to the preservation status of som

Orphaned Episodes: Killing Time (Menace)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . Menace was a series of plays intended to keep the viewer on the edge of his seat, which ran between 1970 and 1973. It is currently missing believed wiped except for this episode and another called Man With a Mission, both of which are available on YouTube. The only commentary online is by people who saw it the first time round or on its only repeat and who are gagging to see it again if they could. There is however an episode guide  here. I'm surprised to find writing this series of posts about odd available episodes is an emotional rollercoaster. Although I am very happy to find that shows I have never heard of keep popping out there is a genuine sense of sadness at how much no longer exists. After my last post about a show set in a boarding house, this is about Douglas Willett, a middle aged lodger with a family of two parents and grown up son. I'm going to be very frank as I always am and say that my sympathies a

Orphaned Episodes: The Policeman and the Cook (ITV Saturday Night Theatre)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . I have added a tag of 'Orphaned Episodes' to a number of past posts about shows which fit my definition for being orphaned. I have done this rather arbitrarily because I have been surprised to find that The Avengers actually meets my definition of orphaned episodes, however it is very much an orphan which is loved and not shivering in the cold! Very much out of my comfort zone with this one as it's several of the things I normally run from. It's much more high brow than I usually watch, being based on a story by Wilkie Collins. It's a period drama, which I tend to avoid and it's cast is chock full of stars. I may therefore be a bit jittery. ITV Saturday Night Theatre (which is elsewhere called just Saturday Night Theatre and then became called Sunday Night Theatre for obvious reasons) was a very prestigious anthology series, showing plays by the greats performed by big name actors. The two shows ran b

Orphaned Episodes: Calculated Nightmare (Tales of Unease)

The introduction to this series of posts can be found  here . When I started this series I rounded up odd episodes of shows that I had come across and saved over a number of years. Many got ruled out but I'm delighted to say that unexpectedly, random episodes are leaping out at me and I have discovered a number of new shows while barely trying at all. This is one of them.  Tales of Unease was a  seven episode anthology series whose stories were adapted from a number of previously published anthologies and broadcast in 1970. Like most of these shows there isn't much on the internet but this one has the luxury of a  summary of all its episodes which makes me want to see the whole thing, despite only having found two episodes actually available to view. There is a fascinating account of another episode  here . Calculated Nightmare is about what happens when a disgruntled employee turns a firm's technology against the directors who have decided to make him redundant. It starts