IMDb > "Masterpiece Classic" (1971)

"Masterpiece Classic" (1971) More at IMDbPro »"Masterpiece Theatre" (original title), TV series 1971-


Overview

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Seasons:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 41 | 42 | unknown
Release Date:
10 January 1971 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
An anthology drama series featuring primarily British productions.
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(352 articles)
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User Reviews:
Rise, Decline, and Fall (?) of a Classic See more (3 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 10)
Alistair Cooke ... Himself - Host (29 episodes, 1971-2008)
(more)

Series Directed by
Hugh David (1 episode, 1971)
Alan J.W. Bell (1 episode, 1999)
Catherine Morshead (1 episode, 2000)
Graham Theakston (1 episode, 2000)
Chris Hunt (1 episode, 2001)
Trevor Nunn (1 episode, 2001)
Brian Percival (1 episode, 2006)
John Alexander (1 episode, 2008)
Jon Jones (1 episode, 2010)
Philip Martin (1 episode, 2012)
 
Series Writing credits
Samuel Richardson (3 episodes, 1992)

Series Produced by
Rebecca Eaton .... executive producer / executive producer: Masterpiece / ... (4 episodes, 2006-2012)

Stanford Calderwood .... executive producer (unknown episodes)
Joan Sullivan .... producer (unknown episodes)
Joan Wilson .... producer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Original Music by
Joel Beckerman (28 episodes, 2008-2012)
Christopher H. Knight (19 episodes, 2008-2012)
Nathan Lanier (6 episodes, 2008)

Robert W. Lowden (unknown episodes)
 
Series Cinematography by
Paul Wheeler (1 episode, 2001)
Peter Greenhalgh (1 episode, 2006)
Ian Moss (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Film Editing by
Roger Wilson (1 episode, 2001)
Kristina Hetherington (1 episode, 2006)
Ben Lester (1 episode, 2010)
Sue Wyatt (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Casting by
Jill Trevellick (1 episode, 2006)
 
Series Production Design by
Hildegard Bechtler (1 episode, 2001)
Donal Woods (1 episode, 2006)
Luana Hanson (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Art Direction by
Charmian Adams (1 episode, 2006)
Mark Kebby (1 episode, 2006)
Sophia Stapleton (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Costume Design by
Hildegard Bechtler (1 episode, 2001)
James Keast (1 episode, 2006)
Michele Clapton (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Makeup Department
Felicity Wright .... makeup artist (1 episode, 2001)
Christina Baker .... hair designer / makeup designer (1 episode, 2006)
Zoe Brown .... makeup artist (1 episode, 2006)
Ashley Johnson .... makeup artist (1 episode, 2006)
Maxine Dallas .... hair stylist / makeup artist (1 episode, 2010)
Sarah Kelly .... hair trainee / makeup trainee (1 episode, 2010)
Caroline Noble .... hair designer / makeup designer (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Production Management
Alice Greenland .... post-production supervisor (1 episode, 2006)
Crispin Hardy .... unit manager (1 episode, 2006)
Caroline McManus .... post-production supervisor (1 episode, 2006)
P.P. Everts .... production manager (1 episode, 2010)
Amy Stahl .... unit manager (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Matthew Baker .... first assistant director (1 episode, 2001)
Paul Bennett .... third assistant director (1 episode, 2006)
Deborah Bowser .... first assistant director (1 episode, 2006)
Matt Carver .... second assistant director (1 episode, 2006)
Jodie Cowman .... third assistant director (1 episode, 2010)
Judy Cronenberg .... assistant director (1 episode, 2010)
Lydia Currie .... first assistant director (1 episode, 2010)
Malcolm Davies .... second assistant director (1 episode, 2010)

Ann M. Houlihan .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
 
Series Art Department
Danny Clements .... stand-by props (1 episode, 2006)
Cathy Cosgrove .... property buyer (1 episode, 2006)
Steve Deane .... carpenter supervisor (1 episode, 2006)
Andrew Forrest .... stand-by props (1 episode, 2006)
Andy Fox .... stand-by carpenter (1 episode, 2006)
Barry Moll .... construction manager (1 episode, 2006)
Paddy Paddison .... stand-by art director (1 episode, 2006)
Mike Power .... property master (1 episode, 2006)
Mike Rawlings .... dressing props (1 episode, 2006)
Lucy Spofforth .... art department runner (1 episode, 2006)
Nick Wood .... painter supervisor (1 episode, 2006)
Vince Ball .... stand-by carpenter (1 episode, 2010)
Toby Bottorf .... design director (1 episode, 2010)
John Brown .... property master (1 episode, 2010)
Catherine Byrne .... assistant art director (1 episode, 2010)
Kyle Cooper .... graphics (1 episode, 2010)
Frederic Evard .... supervising art director (1 episode, 2010)
Neil Glynn .... prop hand (1 episode, 2010)
Jon Hayward .... designer (1 episode, 2010)
Mike Hennessey .... dressing props (1 episode, 2010)
Craig Menzies .... production buyer (1 episode, 2010)
Harry Metcalfe .... construction manager (1 episode, 2010)
Dan Nolan .... designer (1 episode, 2010)
Sonali Patel .... senior designer (1 episode, 2010)
Peter Potter .... prop hand (1 episode, 2010)
Andrew Tapper .... graphic artist (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Sound Department
Christian Joyce .... boom operator (1 episode, 2001)
John Pritchard .... sound recordist (1 episode, 2001)
David Webster .... boom operator (1 episode, 2001)
Chris Ashworth .... sound recordist (1 episode, 2006)
Colin Cooper .... adr mixer (1 episode, 2006)
Rory Farnan .... dialogue editor (1 episode, 2006)
Steve Hancock .... sound maintenance (1 episode, 2006)
Graham Headicar .... supervising sound editor (1 episode, 2006)
Stuart Hilliker .... dubbing mixer (1 episode, 2006)
Mike Reardon .... sound maintenance (1 episode, 2006)
Ted Swanscott .... adr mixer (1 episode, 2006)
Nick Gillett .... assistant sound (1 episode, 2010)
Jeremy Lishman .... sound maintenance (1 episode, 2010)
Simon Okin .... sound recordist (1 episode, 2010)
David Old .... dubbing mixer (1 episode, 2010)
Paul Sanni .... sound designer (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Special Effects by
Mark Holt .... special effects (1 episode, 2006)
 
Series Visual Effects by
James Cattell .... digital compositor (1 episode, 2006)
Joe Cork .... digital compositor (1 episode, 2006)
Kelly Lindsay .... digital compositor (1 episode, 2006)
Rus Wetherell .... digital artist (1 episode, 2006)
Max Wright .... digital compositor (1 episode, 2006)
Paul A. Davies .... visual effects editor (1 episode, 2010)
Kirsty Morgan .... visual effects producer (1 episode, 2010)
Paul Sanni .... visual effects (1 episode, 2010)
Michael Woodruff .... visual effects designer (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Stunts
Gary Connery .... stunt coordinator (1 episode, 2006)
Wayne Docksey .... stunts (1 episode, 2006)
Rowley Irlam .... stunt double (1 episode, 2006)
Charles Jarman .... stunt double: David Harewood (1 episode, 2006)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Andy Bell .... electrician (1 episode, 2006)
Alan Coates .... electrician (1 episode, 2006)
Adam Coles .... focus puller (1 episode, 2006)
Stewart Hadley .... rigging gaffer (1 episode, 2006)
Andrew Lawrence .... camera assistant (1 episode, 2006)
Alan Martin .... gaffer (1 episode, 2006)
Keith Mead .... grip (1 episode, 2006)
Dean Murray .... clapper loader (1 episode, 2006)
Steve Murray .... camera operator (1 episode, 2006)
Ricky Payne .... electrician (1 episode, 2006)
Michael Redmond .... stand-by rigger (1 episode, 2006)
Mike Rees .... second focus puller (1 episode, 2006)
Rob Walton .... electrician (1 episode, 2006)
Steve Cortie .... camera rigger (1 episode, 2010)
Terry Hunt .... gaffer (1 episode, 2010)
Nigel Jackson .... assistant camera (1 episode, 2010)
John McSweeney .... grip (1 episode, 2010)
Jay Polyzoides .... focus puller (1 episode, 2010)
Craig Porter .... camera trainee (1 episode, 2010)
Terry Robb .... electrician (1 episode, 2010)
Paul Sharp .... electrician (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Casting Department
Vanessa Baker .... adr voice casting (1 episode, 2006)
Brendan Donnison .... adr voice casting (1 episode, 2006)
Jane Anderson .... casting associate (1 episode, 2010)
Kate Rhodes James .... casting (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
David Allen .... costume stand-by (1 episode, 2006)
Lorraine Boyle .... costume assistant (1 episode, 2006)
Rob Brown .... wardrobe assistant (1 episode, 2006)
Sarah Moore .... costume supervisor (1 episode, 2006)
Sally Davis .... costume assistant (1 episode, 2010)
Rebecca McManus .... costume assistant (1 episode, 2010)
Cristy Watson .... costume assistant (1 episode, 2010)
Alice Wolfbauer .... assistant costume designer (1 episode, 2010)
 
Series Editorial Department
John Warren .... assistant editor (2 episodes, 2008)
 
Series Music Department
Steve Parr .... score recordist (1 episode, 2006)
 
Series Transportation Department
Gerry 'Haggis' Bryson .... driver: camera truck (1 episode, 2006)
Simon Jones .... driver: director (1 episode, 2006)
 
Series Other crew
Duy Nguyen .... production office coordinator (11 episodes, 2006-2008)
Katie Clifford .... production runner / production secretary (2 episodes, 2006-2010)

Johanna Baker .... publicist (unknown episodes)
Jennifer Frankel .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Jami Rogers .... office coordinator (unknown episodes)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Masterpiece Theatre" - USA (original title)
"ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre" - USA (new title)
"Masterpiece" - USA (new title)
"Mobil Masterpiece Theatre" - USA (alternative title)
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30 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Rise, Decline, and Fall (?) of a Classic, 12 October 2002
Author: Mister-UHF from Virginia, USA

During the 1960's, there existed in the United States a non-commerical television network called National Educational Television (NET). It was so rudimentary that it wasn't linked to its local affiliates by coaxial cable until 1967; before then, it sent films and videotapes to its affiliates by domestic air mail. Despite its modest resources, it had ambitions of being the USA's "fourth network." To that end, it imported and distributed dramatic programs from the BBC. These had little impact until 1969, when NET imported and aired the BBC's "The Forsyte Saga," which became NET's first nighttime hit. Weary of NET's poor relationship with its affiliates, its biased documentaries, and other issues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting relaced NET in 1969 with a new network, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Impressed with the success of "The Forsyte Saga," PBS decided to import other miniseries from the UK and broadcast them under the umbrella title of "Masterpiece Theatre." Alistair Cooke, host of the legendary 1950's series "Omnibus," was its erudite host. The first miniseries aired was "The First Churchills," but it was "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and "Elizabeth R" that made it a hit and help establish PBS in general. "Masterpiece Theatre" followed up with later imports from the BBC such as "Poldark" and "I, Claudius" and some series from Britain's commercial network, ITV, such as "Upstairs, Downstairs." It was generally considered the highest quality series on American television.

"Masterpiece Theater" went into its second decade (1980's) with solid miniseries such as "The Citadel," "The Flame Trees of Thika" (said to be its most popular series), and "A Town Like Alice" from Australia (the first non-British series it aired). But starting in the late 1980's, "Masterpiece Theatre" was often not living up to its name. For every good series such as "Piece of Cake," there were one or two clunkers like "Sleepers." One series, "Clarissa," was downright repulsive. There were various explanations. One was that rising production costs were limiting the number of quality series produced by BBC and the ITV. Another was that cable channels, particularly A&E, were scooping up many of the British shows that used to go to PBS.

This situation persisted during the show's third decade (1990's), during which the show was often absent from the schedule. A series of temporary hosts between Alistair Cooke and Russell Baker seemed to symbolize its uncertainty. A move away from its traditional Sunday night timeslot didn't help matters. On the plus side, PBS and WGBH began to take an active part in the production of its shows.

"Masterpiece Theatre" is now in its fourth decade, a rare achievement for any kind of TV show anywhere. Its 2002-2003 season is being started off with a new production of "The Forsyte Saga," which looks most promising. Still, the series faces an uncertain future in a TV landscape far changed from 1971. Viewers can find high quality programs on innumerable cable and satellite channels, videos, and DVD's and PBS recently logged the worst ratings in its history, prompting its president to openly speculate about the network's viability and even its reason for existence. My advice is to enjoy "Masterpiece Theatre" while you still can.

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