'Now today I am delighted to announce that Kaleidoscope has acquired the long-lost print of “Tunnel of Fear”. We will be screening this rediscovered edition at our November event Missing Believed Wiped Central. We hope to have a guest connected with the show to introduce it aswell. We have also acquired a large film collection simultaneously which contains more lost archive gems and I will be announcing each of those new finds all week at 9.30pm. None of this couldn’t have happened without Steve Birt who has proven once again to be a very worthy friend and financial backer to Kaleidoscope. We look forward to you joining us to enter the “Tunnel of Fear” on November 12th 2016 at Birmingham City University. To accommodate the expected rush for tickets we have extended tickets to 250. That is our maximum maximum though. The event time has been extended by an hour and will now finish at 6pm.'
Apparently they've recovered the vast majority of the Fulton Mackay Fraggle Rocks!
DISCOVERY 61: Fraggle Rock
Fraggle Rock debuted in 1983 as one of the first shows involving Jim Henson Productions on ITV. The co-production brought together British regional ITV franchise-holder TVS, CBC, United States pay-television service HBO and Henson.
The producers had the intention of airing it in various forms internationally. That concept grew out of Jim Henson's experience adapting Sesame Street to the requirements of foreign markets. The human "wraparound" segments were produced separately in several countries, so the viewer could always relate to the world of the programme. In the UK, Fulton Mackay played The Captain who was the subject of these UK segments. The British inserts were filmed at TVS and presented Fraggle Rock as a rocky sea-island with a lighthouse, run by The Captain, a retired sailor who lived with his faithful dog Sprocket. In the third season following the death of Fulton Mackay, the role was filled by John Gordon Sinclair as P.K. (the Captain's nephew) and in the fourth Simon O'Brien as B.J. BJ was the son of the owner of the lighthouse, Mr Birtwhistle ('BJ' stands for 'Birtwhistle Junior'!). Of the 96 shows produced, only 12 appear to have been retained by Henson; the other 84 were presumed lost, at least in broadcast-quality.
Worldwide repeats and DVD sales always show the Canadian versions.
Kaleidoscope joined the hunt for these lost editions some years ago and Simon Coward returned one episode from his Betamax off-air: The Bells of Fraggle Rock.
Over the past few years we've found 46 episodes (not including those already held by the BFI, or the shows released on VHS/DVD).
Last week complete VHS versions of four more season one episodes have been donated to us, plus upgraded copies of others, by Victor Pemberton amongst others. He worked on the series. The first episode Beginnings is one of them.
The top priority is now to find the nine episodes still missing:
Gobo's School for Explorers (tx 9 Oct 88) Manny's Land of Carpets (tx 5 Feb 89) The Trial of Cotterpin Doozer (tx 12 Feb 89) The Voice Inside (tx 19 Feb 89) A Tune for Two (tx 26 Feb 89) Wembley's Flight (tx 5 Mar 89) Mirror, Mirror (tx 19 Mar 89) Ring Around the Rock (tx 11 Jul 90) The River of Life (tx 8 Aug 90)
We also need complete recordings of others (these tapes have been found, but are missing titles and/or credits):
Catch the Tail by the Tiger (tx 17 Mar 84) New Trash Heap in Town (tx 3 Apr 85) Uncle Matt Comes Home (tx 5 Jun 85) Boober and the Glob (tx 17 Jan 88) Wembley's Wonderful Whoopie Water (3 Apr 88) The Grapes of Generosity (tx 16 Oct 88) The Cavern of Lost Dreams (tx 23 Oct 88) Playing 'til it Hurts (tx 6 Nov 88) Gunge the Great and Glorious (tx 20 Nov 88) Wembley and the Mean Genie (tx 18 Dec 88) Gone but not Forgotten (tx 8 Jan 89) Mokey Then and Now (tx 15 Jan 89)
It's bizarre to think that something that was broadcast firmly in the era of home video recording can be completely lost. I was going through packs and packs of blank VHS tapes recording stuff at that point. I've still got hundreds of tapes in my parents' loft. Surely someone somewhere kept Fraggle Rock.
The Fraggle Rock being missing bemused me, probably cos it was something I'd seen. Ditto Bod, The Adventure Game (though I believe copies of all the episodes now are known to exist albeit not in BBC hands) and the near miss with Rentaghost.
'DISCOVERY 71: Work – “Mining” ATV Schools tx:Jan-March 1978. Presented by Sylvester McCoy 16mm print. Here again, the episode title doesn’t match anything listed on ITV paperwork but the entire series is missing so I haven’t unspooled masses of film. It's an edition from a completely missing series and when we run the film, we'll know which one it is. Sadly TV Times is no help at all. My thanks to Steve Birt as always.'
'DISCOVERY 70: SURVIVAL – The Homecoming tx: 31.10.1967 Written by Collin Willock; directed by Stanley Joseph; music by Johnny Dankworth Introduced and sung by Eiko Nakamura Spring in a Japanese village brings a special surprise….. 16mm print. The style and tone of the early Survival series were very different to the later wildlife-concentrated series. Note the inclusion of musical numbers. Moving the Survival archive from Norwich to Leeds has revealed to ITV that many editions survive only on negatives; or are incomplete or are undubbed films that need re-cutting; or in many early cases; no longer exist at all. These early editions are welcome returns for ITV.'
DISCOVERY 73: Z Cars – Family Feud tx: 20.2.1962 Written by Troy Kennedy Martin; directed by John McGrath with Jeremy Kemp, James Ellis, Frank Williams, Stratford Johns, Terence Edmond, Leonard Williams, Rio Fanning, Howard Goorney, Dorothy White, Brian Murphy, John Junkin and Mollie Maureen.
Episode 8 in series 1! The earliest lost episode is now a survivor! Z Cars was in its infancy developing its hard, gritty style when this was aired. David Brunt in his excellent book says that no telesnaps survive, so I’m glad the film print now does!
From Genome: The call-sign is Zulu, they call them Z Cars. There are two young constables in each, ready to deal with trouble as it happens When two feuding families go to war, P.C's Lynch and Steele of Z-Victor-Two find themselves in the front line.
Steve Birt was delighted to help recover this find!
DISCOVERY 74: Z Cars – Affray tx: 19.6.1962 Written by John Hopkins, directed by Michael Leeston-Smith
With Jeremy Kemp, James Ellis, Stratford Johns, Frank Windsor, Dudley Foster, Brian Blessed, Joseph Brady, Terence Edmond, Ivor Salter, Brian Mosley, Bernard Kay, Barry Jackson, Lionel Ngakane, Earl Green, Janet Davies, Michael Beint and Ronald Leigh-Hunt.
Episode 25. Another season 1 episode… and a cracking way to finish this week of discoveries with a death of a policeman!
Genome say: “There are two young constables in each car, ready to deal with trouble as it happens. Two men claim the same prize and trouble begins. When Lynch and Steele are called there is an unexpected development and a policeman dies.
Read David Brunt’s excellent book to find out who dies…..
The last time I shall thank Steve Birt for his help curating this single collection.