Just William (1976) - News Poster

(1976– )


Doctor Who: the 1988 report that sounded its death knell

This BBC audience reaction report was one of the first nails in Doctor Who's coffin in the late eighties…

“Not for publication” is printed at the top of the 1988 audience reaction report for Doctor Who’s 24th season. It’s there for the purposes of BBC confidentiality, but could equally be a pain-saving instruction to save Sylvester McCoy fans the distress of reading the show’s three-page death sentence.

Because this report is painful stuff. Compiled in February 1988 after the broadcast of McCoy’s first four serials as the Doctor (from Time And The Rani to Dragonfire), it doesn’t mince its words in describing audience apathy and antipathy towards late-eighties Doctor Who. Looking back with the knowledge that the wilderness years were around the corner, each unimpressed audience response and scathing comment feels like another nail being hammered into classic Who’s coffin.

To begin with, the numbers weren’t good.
See full article at Den of Geek »

The BBC is producing great drama – but not enough of it

Short series and a long wait for returns shows corporation is already struggling to provide quality and quantity

When I was felled by flu over Christmas there was one thing that proved a pick-me-up – a brilliant new version of Just William, which made me laugh out loud. Yet the BBC treated it with a strange carelessness.

Just William was scheduled around midday but the start time was not fixed. And then it came to an abrupt end, after just four half-hour episodes. Nonetheless, more than a million people switched to it, and several TV professionals say it was the best thing they watched over Christmas.

The reasons for its success include the casting of 10-year-old Daniel Roche, one of the stars of Outnumbered, as William Brown, and of Warren Clarke and Caroline Quentin as the nouveau riche Bott family.

Richmal Crompton's stories were turned into delicious scripts by Simon Nye
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV review: Just William; Giles and Sue Live the Good Life; The Miracle Baby of Haiti

The Outlaws, woodland trespass and eventual triumph over the adults: this Just William has it all

Sometimes the planets just align. One day a man looks at a pile of sand and thinks: "Do you know, I think if I heated that with a little potash, I think I could make a window." Another day, a man looks at a dairy maid's peachy complexion during a smallpox epidemic and thinks: "I bet that's because she's been in contact with cowpox blisters. Bring me a syringeful of pus and a bepoxed eight-year-old boy. I wanna try something." And sometimes the leap is smaller, but no less rewarding. A man watches an episode of Outnumbered, sees Daniel Roche as the ruthlessly logical, constitutionally yet unmaliciously troublesome middle child Ben and thinks: "You know, there hasn't been a decent adaptation of the Just William stories for over 30 years. Bring me that eight-year-old boy and his agent.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV review: Just William | Mark Lawson

Time moves on, and Violet Elizabeth's lack of a lisp will infuriate the purists, but this William is just so

Although he has become the epitome of an 11-year-old boy, William Brown is now almost 89: Richmal Crompton's first book about the scruffy scourge of girls was published in 1922. But, following a fortnight of school holidays and heavy snow, this story of the alpha naughty brat may have felt urgently topical in many households, making Christmas week a perfect time for the release of the latest BBC adaptation.

Unusually with a juvenile role, the show has been revived as a vehicle for a star actor. The 11-year-old Daniel Roche won award nominations and hero status among the pre-teen audience for his performance as the factually unreliable and relentlessly inquisitorial Ben in the BBC1 domestic comedy Outnumbered.

In many ways, Ben is a latterday William, although with readier access to violent images on the internet,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Behind the box: TV's unsung heroes

From the man who pretends to be a caterpillar eating a leaf for nature documentaries to the woman who sets the questions for Mastermind, we salute the stars behind the camera

Ben Jones, foley artist on Life

Before I had a go at being a foley artist, I didn't know the job existed. I always thought the sound on natural history programmes was recorded in the field. Then, 15 years ago, when I was training to be a sound editor, a foley artist had to disappear one lunchtime and I was pushed into the sound booth and told to be a snake.

The foley booth is a soundproof room with trapdoors covering various surfaces such as earth, rubble, concrete, grass and floorboards. There is usually a cupboard full of rubbish that make different sounds – teapots, kids' toys, bamboo, broken glass, balloons, anything. That first time, I think I used some gardening gloves,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BBC announces 'Just William' cast

BBC announces 'Just William' cast
The BBC has announced the cast for its new adaptation of Just William. The channel confirmed reports that Outnumbered star Daniel Roche has landed the lead role in the series, which is based on Richmal Crompton's novels. The Thick Of It's Rebecca Front and Linda Green star Daniel Ryan will appear as William's parents, while Warren Clarke and Caroline Quentin will feature as new neighbours the Botts. Denis Lawson, John Sessions and Bruce Mackinnon have signed up to play William's teachers, while Martin Jarvis, who worked on the classic Just William recordings, will narrate the series. Isabella Blake-Thomas will play William's nemesis Violet. Other cast members include Judy Parfitt, Roy Hudd, Harry Melling and Bertie Carvel. Cbbc (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

'Outnumbered' star for 'Just William'

'Outnumbered' star for 'Just William'
Daniel Roche will play the title role in a new BBC production of Just William, it has been revealed. The 10-year-old, who stars as Ben Brockman in the sitcom Outnumbered, has been cast as William Brown in the television adaptation of the Richmal Crompton story, reports the Daily Mail. Just William producer John Chapman said: "It's not an accident that Daniel Roche's Ben is regarded as the Just William of today." Brown's (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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