The House of Eliott (1991) - News Poster

(1991–1994)

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Doomwatch: revisiting a UK 'sci-fact' classic

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Ground-breaking, intelligent, prescient 1970s drama Doomwatch, now out on DVD, is a British television classic...

Playing on the public's fear that 'this could actually happen', Doomwatch had a veneer of credibility unusual in the escapist television drama landscape of the late 60s/early 70s. This spring sees the most comprehensive haul of Doomwatch episodes released on DVD for the first time. The nickname for the "Department for the Observation and Measurement of Scientific Work", the series first appeared on BBC1 on Monday 9th February 1970 at 9.40pm. It followed half an hour of comedy from Kenneth Williams, which must have surely heightened its dramatic impact.

The series would run in tandem with the early Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who; the first episode made its debut two days after part two of Doctor Who And The Silurians. The two shows undoubtedly shared a synergy of ideas - not to mention cast and crew.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Top TV spoofs: 'Don't I know you from Lark Pies To Cranchesterford?'

From the House of Idiot to Uptown Downstairs Abbey to Hunderby there are a host of pitch-perfect pastiches. But what makes a good spoof? And is it just period dramas that are ripe for imitation?

It was "The House of Idiot" wot dun it. Ever since French and Saunders' pitch-perfect 1993 pastiche of The House of Eliott, the Beeb's hit Sunday-night drama about a haute couture fashion house during the roaring 20s, I've been unable to watch a period drama without subconsciously looking out for historical anachronisms, budget-saving trickery – just two vintage cars and a penny farthing, then? – and clunky attempts to establish context. ("Don't forget we're between the wars here, Evie!").

This is a particular problem during Downton Abbey, a show that teeters on the edge of soapy self-parody anyway. A highlight of last year's Red Nose Day was "Uptown Downstairs Abbey", from "the Oscar-winning writer of something similar" and starring Victoria Wood,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Caroline John obituary

Actor best known for her role as the scientist Elizabeth Shaw in Doctor Who

The actor Caroline John, who has died aged 71, was best known for defending Earth from alien invasion alongside Jon Pertwee's Doctor in the first colour series of Doctor Who, broadcast in 1970. As Dr Elizabeth Shaw, she provided brains, cool-headed intelligence and maturity where once the Doctor's female companions had screamed and asked questions.

John was born in York, one of eight children. Her father was an actor who was instrumental in the creation of Coventry's Belgrade theatre, and her mother had been a dancer. She originally wanted to dance herself, but eventually trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama, in London. After graduating, she landed a job with the Royal Court theatre before doing rep in Ipswich, Oxford and Sheffield. In the late 1960s, during a four-year stint with Laurence Olivier
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BBC Television centre sell-off Q&A

The whys, whats, wheres and hows of the BBC's sell-off of Television Centre

Why is the BBC selling Television Centre?

To raise money – and save money. The BBC is hoping the sale of the 14 acre Television Centre site on Wood Lane in west London to a commercial property developer will generate significant income – £300m has been touted. This cash will come in handy as the BBC makes cost savings required by a six-year licence-fee freeze, which will see its income cut by 16% in real terms. The BBC owns a number of large premises around the UK and aims to find some of these savings by reducing the size of its property portfolio by 30%. It is estimated that vacating TV Centre will save £20m a year.

Also, times have changed. When TV Centre opened in 1960, programme-making was more studio-based, requiring purpose-built facilities to house cameras and other bulky equipment necessary for the process.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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