Archive for the ‘BBC Archival Policies’ Category

Could the BBC please rerun The Last Duel?

I’m talking about The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France (PID b0074sh3).

With all the reruns of Medieval themed programmes, this one never gets repeated.  Toss in that it is the version which isn’t all over the internet. No, that one is about something different.

Not to reinvent the wheel:

The story comes from a book by Eric Jager concerning the last officially recognized judicial duel fought in France. It tells the story of the December 29, 1386 trial by combat between Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and the squire Jacques Le Gris. Carrouges had accused Le Gris of raping his wife Marguerite de Carrouges, née de Thibouville, that previous January, and had gone to King Charles VI seeking an appeal to the decision handed down by Count Pierre d’Alençon, whom Carrouges believed favored Le Gris. Whichever combatant still alive at the end of the duel would be declared the winner as a sign of God’s will. If Jean de Carrouges lost the duel, Marguerite de Carrouges would be burned at the stake as punishment for her false accusation. Le Gris died.

Anyway,  This was first broadcast on 23 Apr 2008 and last broadcast on 30 Sep 2010.

So, if the programming gods are wondering what to rerun: I vote for this.

BBC and its rerun policy

Not sure why the BBC isn’t rerunning Banksy’s Alternativity this year. Also annoyed that it is not available to watch online. I am tempted to post it on Youtube just to get it back out there since it needs to be SEEN.

On the other hand, if the BBC programming folk are interested in a suggestion for a rerun: The Last Duel has my vote. It was first broadcast in 2008. The last broadcast was in 2010. They have been rerunning a lot of things, but this one has been missed. It’s based on Eric Jager’s book, The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

BBC’s description of the programme is:

Drama-documentary telling the story of one of the last trials by battle to be fought in Europe, a tale of sex, brutality and political machination set in 14th century medieval France.

A knight, Sir Jean de Carrouges, accuses his former best friend, Jacques Le Gris, of raping his wife Marguerite. Unable to obtain justice from his feudal overlord, Carrouges appeals to the king for the ancient right to fight a duel to the death to find out God’s truth. There is much at stake. If Carrouges dies in the battle, Marguerite will also be burned to death as a liar.

This tense story, told from records of the day, is set against the backdrop of the 100 years war between England and France, 14th century attitudes towards women, crime and punishment and the political intrigues of the feudal system.

While I wouldn’t mind either being rerun, the Last Duel definitely has my vote.

As for Banksy’s Alternativity: I’m surprised he hasn’t posted it on Youtube. If Banksy or any of his minions see this and tell me it’s OK to post it, I will.

The Being Human Pilot and Idiotic BBC policies

I think I mentioned before that the BBC has never officially rereleased the Being Human pilot, despite the show’s gaining enough of a cult status enough to have a US remake and lasting five seasons.  This gets into their rerun policies which can also be fickle.  And as someone who seriously pondered applying for the BBC DG position, I know there is a fuck of a lot of politics at the place, but somehow there must be a way to cut through it.

Especially given their tendency for whining about how broke they are whilst sitting on a treasure trove of material.  well, what they didn’t trash prior to the 1970s and didn’t get saved by someone else.

In this case, they never put the series pilot on the DVDs, which is a shame.  Not that I’ve seen the pilot.


As with most BBC material, you can find a copy of it if you dig around.  In this case, there are a few copies floating about online and I hope to watch a high definition one tonight.  Of course, the Beeb could have done this.  for all I know, there might be some political reason for it not doing so.

After all, the person who DID get the DG’s position lasted about 4 months grace a le Jimmy Saville Scandal.  I understand that the job is a shark pool of politics.  On the other hand, I’ve had years of dealing with the Greater North American Gun Loon.

More on BBC repeats

I was a little rushed after WordPress trashed my last post on this topic: As if we didn’t know this already….  I should have made it clear that I am a little less bothered by this policy;  especially, if the the scheduling deities repeat things which are worth repeating.  I would love to see the Last Duel again (hint! hint!).

Seriously, there are some serious treasures in the BBC archives which could do with being rerun besides Dad’s Army and the Good Life.  And they can always dredge up things like Bergerac if they want to waste broadcasting.  I could also go off and the stuff which was lost due to the idiotic policy of wiping the tapes, but have done that more than enough.

As if we didn’t know this already…

Or the licence fee dodgers are correct when they complain about repeats on the Beeb.

According to the Radio Times, a Freedom of Information request has revealed that almost two thirds of BBC programmes aired last year were repeats. an average of 63% of programmes broadcast across the BBC channels (BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4) during 2012 had already been aired. BBC3 was arguably the worst offender with 3,196 (85%) of its programmes coming from repeats. BBC1 transmitted 2,793 repeat programmes in the period, around a third of its output. 4,423 BBC2 shows were repeats. BBC4 had already shown 2,604 hours, or 78% of its output.

The BBC’s statement regarding reruns said: “Repeats on the BBC are carefully scheduled to reach different audiences. On BBC2, many of its repeats are of classic shows. For example, we have recently shown Dad’s Army and The Good Life, chosen to offer viewers an alternative to what the other channels are showing.”

I noticed they recently reran I, Claudius, which gets to my gripe that there are a lot of classic programmes in their archives which they don’t use: e.g., Take Three Girls and The Borderers. I should add that I’ve also been watching classics such as The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Shadow of the Tower which are both contemporary to the Borderers, yet they are complete and available on DVD.  Not sure how some series can exist fairly completely, yet others do not.  I know that sometimes this is due to the tapes being broadcast in other countries.

Anyway, it seems that some good new material is in the pipeline with Professor Mary Beard presenting a documentary on Caligula.   I’ve got to admit that I find Prof. Beard kind of hot in a sapiosexual way which means that this sounds seriously promising.  I need to rewatch the Pompeii documentary, but I remember another of her documentaries on the Romans which she truly demonstrated a love of the topic.  Although she joked to the audience at the Telegraph Hay Festival that “no one, but no one can tweet this, otherwise I will get into such trouble”.

Really now…

Anyway, it’s far too late for regrets now–I’m prepped for some serious intellectual porn!

See also: Hay Festival 2013: Mary Beard making Caligula documentary

Yes, the BBC can produce some real rubbish.

I can’t really say that Bluestone 42 was a disappointment since I was prepared for the worst when I heard that the people who wrote Miranda also came up with this show.  And, like Miranda, Bluestone 42 really wants you to like it.  Unlike Miranda, it’s not really likeable.  In fact, it probably has the worst clichés of British Television and maybe even military service.

Let’s start with a woman soldier named “Bird”.  I think that sums up the humour of the show.  The show got old–FAST.  I couldn’t make it through the entire second episode and skipped through it on iPlayer.

I’m not sure how long this will last since Being Human managed to make it to five series.  I fear the worst.

So, British TV can come up with some really good material, but it can also make some serious crap.

Sort of changing the topic, I found a book called A Concise History of British Television 1930–2000 by Tony Currie (Kelly Publications, ISBN 1-903053-17-X). I can’t imagine it being very thick given the Beeb’s archival policies. Yes, I am upset that shows such as  The Borderers were trashed by the old archival policies amongst other things (lots of repeats of nothing I really want to see).

Wherever you are: you’re with the BBC (Part IV)

At this point, I’m going to try to tie together the thoughts I’ve mentioned in the previous three posts to try and come up with a coherent whole.

1) The BBC is a public broadcasting service

The major problem with this one is who exactly is the public and who exactly funds it. The BBC has a split personality between the internal services and the World Service. Not to mention that Britons can be found throughout the world (ex-Pats)

2) How does one fund such a being?

Is it truly fair for the British people to be the only ones expected to pay for this service? Why can’t external users contribute as well? Do you need need to use TV Detector Vans?

3) Can the BBC management deal with reality?
I know one of the higher ups has also suggested charging for iPlayer use, but I can’t find the citation in my posts. On the other hand, it is mentioned quite a bit as a possibility

There are major  problems with requiring people to either have licences and use iPlayer–the main one being that most people have already paid the licence fee.  There is a small subset of people are able to get away without having a licence yet still sble to use the iPlayer service.

I could reinvent the wheel, but this is a very good post by Paul Sawers  on why people should pay the licence fee:

In fact, that is pretty much my position on why the fee should be paid.  I use the service and I want to contribute.

Paul did neglect that the licence fee is also supposed to be fair.  There are methods by which one can be exempted from paying the fee.  Not to mention, there are reduced fees and exemptions (e.g., a 50% reduction on the TV Licence fee if you’re blind/severely sight impaired and Second homes).  And you can’t just pay money to the BBC because you really like their programmes since that money is supposed to come from the licence fee. So, that rules out somebody paying MORE for the service than they have to–that drives the Beeb even nuttier than trying to get a licence for a non-existent address!

Ultimately,  The BBC is a British institution, paid for by the British Public.  It is responsive to its public (well, to some extent).  The British Public should respect it as much as it does government.

To quote Paul Sawers:

But unlike Virgin, Sky, Netflix and such like, nobody has a choice of whether they pay for a TV licence or not. You may never actively watch a BBC programme or visit its website, but you’re sure as hell paying for it if you want to stay on the right side of the law. Even for those that do enjoy BBC content, the ‘lack of choice’ element to the licence fee still gets some people riled.

But here’s the thing. If you were to give people a choice, many would choose not to pay for it and the BBC as we know it would crumble. However, it’s a public service, just as the NHS, police force and fire brigade are, and it should be preserved.

Nothing grates me more than when someone complains about having to pay taxes for services they never use. Speaking to Q magazine last year, superstar singer Adele said:

“I’m mortified to have to pay 50%! [While] I use the NHS, I can’t use public transport any more. Trains are always late, most state schools are shit, and I’ve gotta give you, like, four million quid – are you having a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from [the album] 19, I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire.”

There are way too many ‘I’ and ‘my’ references in there. So Adele is rich and doesn’t want to pay for things she doesn’t use? My heart bleeds. The scourge of individualism is growing, and this ‘pull the ladder up and screw the rest’ culture is such a bad omen for society. It’s indicative of a much deeper problem, where people care more about themselves than the success of ‘society’.

Just because the BBC deals in news, entertainment, information and education doesn’t make it any less vital for UK society than a health service. And just because YOU don’t see the value in it doesn’t mean we should scrap it.

And Paul is correct when he points out how little the licence costs in relation to other things.  If one considers that one can see a play, opera, ballet, film, and so on–especially a Covent Garden one as part of this service, it is a bargain.  Paul and I are in complete agreement when he says:

But the underlying philosophy (at the BBC) is a sound one – an ad-free public service broadcaster that EVERYONE pays for. That must be preserved, and the UK would be much worse off without it.

Now, my proposal is to stop with the threats and get down to what the BBC is supposed to do: educate. Educate the public as to what an important institution the BBC is to British Culture. Point out that cooperation is what makes Britain work.

Even better yet, show what it’s like in other countries where Public Broadcasting is whining about the lack of support. And the rampant commercialism which one sees in US broadcasting (even the public sector).

As Paul says, But over and above all this, the BBC offers everyone a little respite from the commercially-driven media that permeates every nook and cranny around the world. In the UK, the BBC is an ad-free zone, and it must remain so.

I couldn’t agree more.

Wherever you are: you’re with the BBC (Part III)

Once again, to recap, Three of the BBC’s public purposes as set out in its Royal Charter are:

In the first of these two posts, we discuss how the BBC is truly public broadcasting on a global scale supported by public funding. In the Second, we deal with the official attitude of BBC management to this reality, which is to try and deny it.  In this one, we are going to talk about a more positive method to try to get public support.

So, while the BBC says it is cash strapped, they have a far larger budget than US Public Broadcasting.  In fact, I believe that the percentage of people who support the BBC through licence fees is far better than support US Public Broadcasting through the extort-a-thon pledge drives.  Despite this, the BBC believes it makes sense to have the TV licence system brow beat the British Public into paying for the service.

Maybe she would get more respect if we just started calling her "Auntie"!

I could get into the TV detector vans, but I will leave that to Peter.  In fact, Peter’s blog does a pretty good job of getting into the excesses and silliness of the TV licensing system.

BUT, I support the licensing system, not the method by which it tries to get people to support it.

The BBC is a British institution.  I would say it is probably more important than the monarchy, which–given that I am a Royalist–is saying a lot about how important the BBC is to British Culture.  As I said in another post, the fact that “Captain UKIP” is not an ardent supporter of the Beeb makes me truly question how much he supports the UK and its culture.  But, I have my opinions about the UKIP as well and they are not good, but that’s not germane to this post.

The BBC should emphasise how much of a British Institution it is and was intended to be.  It is the public face of Britain, which is one of the many problems it has when it tries to block its material from anyone, or seem authoritiarian in getting people to pay their licence fees..

Of course, I think the BBC should be willing to follow one point in the US Public Broadcasting paradigm, which is to accept the support of its public.  And since that public is worldwide, they should accept it from the world–Not just Britain.  But, they also shouldn’t have to resort to extort-a-thons either.

Of course, there are other ways that the BBC could get more funds besides solely relying upon licence fees.  One of the categories of these posts is the BBC archives.  This is for good reason, how much material isn’t released on DVD for various reasons?  For example, the BBC has this institutional hate for the Goodies and have been pretty bad about releasing their material on DVD.  That’s a topic I’ve covered before.

Of course, BBC archival policies have led to the loss of some classic TV.  I’ve mentioned how the BBC destroyed some classic programmes, which can be researched at these sites:

Fortunately, not everyone was as short sited about this material, but it didn’t survive through the efforts of the BBC.  Can the BBC release things such as “Take Three Girls”, “The Reivers”, and so on, or are they lost forever? Is that a lost revenue stream for them?

The licence resister's nightmare, after a few visits from the TV Detector van, these chappies blow their door down and arrest them for not having a TV licence!

If the major problem to this is that there are right’s holders in other countries which would block the iPlayer downloads, then these other rights holders should start trying to make the material more widely available.  Direct TV in the US has “ethnic” packages, why not ptovide British TV to US audiences (other than some of the other digital rights issues involved)?  Isn’t it the remit of the BBC to make sure this material is as widely seen as is possible? I know that the BBC has satellite coverage for most of the world.

The problem with making people pay for iPlayer material is that some of them have already paid the licence fee, but what about paying for accessing some of the archival material (e.g., the BBC 4 Talk Collection)?  Also, why not try to get the material (such as the Goodies) out officially, rather than the bootleg versions one can find on the internet?

Also, what about the people who use iPlayer material, but don’t jhave a licence?  I know that BBC management would like to get them to pay their fair share, which is the topic of the next post.

Does the BBC need the money or not?  What is the best way to try and collect it?

See also:

Wherever you are: you’re with the BBC (Part II)

I want to reiterate some things I mentioned in Part I of this:

Two of the BBC’s public purposes as set out in its Royal Charter are:

In Ye Olden Dayes, the BBC Motto was “Nation shall speak peace unto Nation”.  I don’t think it has changed.

In this post, we deal with the topic of funding the BBC, in particular the licence fee. The BBC’s Website says that one does not need a licence if “you watch or record TV as it’s being broadcast”:

That’s also reiterated on Peter’s blog, and confirmed by someone at the BBC. Who said:

“I’m afraid you can’t pay a TV licence if you live outside the UK, but you shouldn’t be able to access the iPlayer either so I am intrigued!

Unfortunately, due to the miracle of the Internet, you can get this material from anywhere in the world. So, not only does  one who access the BBC material from outside they UK not have to pay a licence fee, they won’t take your money.

Additionally, blocking movement in the modern world, especially via internet is pretty hard.  Government can track it to some extent, but it is hard to block.  Which should fit into the BBC’s mission if you ask me, but some at the Beeb officially disagree (some unofficially admit that I am correct–more about that in a later post) as the comment above points out.

I pointed out to my contact at the Beeb that it depends on which iPlayer material one is talking about–radio is open to non-UK residents. In fact, my internet radio is mostly BBC, with the exception of Classic FM.  Classic FM is less tetchy about who listens as well, only requiring one to input a British Post Code to access it!

If even that!

But, Televised material. Well, that is another topic. It is indeed available to users outside the UK. I’d prefer not to say  of accessing it since the BBC would upset quite a few people in the UK if they tried shutting it down.  In fact, the boffins have tried shutting down the method that one can access BBC material when outside the UK, which was an experiment that lasted less than a day!  Or even a few hours at that matter.

In old fashioned broadcasting terms, the way someone is able to access this material roughly the equivalent of not being able to block TV/radio signals from going where they will. It can be done, but you also risk blocking the signal of your internal audience (i.e., those who are paying their licence fees).  Although, there ia another BBC purpose which they run afoul of if they try to keep people from outside the UK accessing the iPlayer material:  Delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services.

So,  trying to block access violates three public purposes as set out in the BBC’s Royal Charter mentioned above.  It is totally counterproductive for the BBC’s mission statement to block access to its material.

Nope, no one living here--I guess I can't get a Television Licence!

Not to mention, they end up with egg on their faces when it comes out that they tried something as silly as that.  That’s what China does, not Britain!

The reason I contacted the BBC is because I blog about UK TV licensing. One of my pro-licensing posts was commented upon by Peter who runs the blogspot blog on TV licensing. It seems there are those within the UK who don’t want to pay their fair share.

Unlike our TV license resisting crowd,There are people who are willing to pony up since I am using the service. I mentioned that I was thinking of using the address to apply for a licence to see what would happen:

21 Framley Road
Effing Sodbury TL3 8RZ

TL3 8RZ being the Post Code used in a BBC Weather advert, which is one of my high ranking blog posts.  Of course, I could use the street in the weather advert

Of course, an alternative address is

1 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1A 1AA

It would be amusing to see the licensing folks face when they need to contact that one!

I do have a couple of Scottish and UK Addresses given I have property there, but  the Scottish ones are undeveloped land (oops, property is not occupied).  I’d love to see the face on the TV Detector van crew if they decided to bust that property!  The problem with using a IK address is that you need to have someone who is willing to field any mail.

In fact, the BBC website. linked to my Anna Nicole The Opera post  since I say:

I’m not sure I would want to pay Covent Garden prices to see this, but it will definitely be worth the TV Licence fees on the BBC!

Thank you, Auntie! yer darn tootin’ I added it to my iPlayer playlist!

If one considers, that the cost of a licence is only 149.50, that is less than a good ticket to see a Covent Garden production.  And you don’t feel too bad if you walk out after 15 minutes!

Unlike US Public Broadcasting, who are willing to take the money since they know they need it–The BBC are turning people away!  Maybe they have too large a budget that they can avoid all the ways to make money that they do.

Of course, as Peter who runs the blogspot site, will happily tell me, as long as one is not watching the material when it’s being broadcast (sort of difficult), one doesn’t need a licence–even within the UK.  He probably thinks that this post is a bit mad as well–why support the BBC if you don’t absolutely HAVE to (which is the topic of Part III).

Like it or not, the BBC is not just a UK broadcasting service, its mission is to broadcast to the world.  In a way, it is part of the heritage of Empire that people from outside the UK will feel an affinity for it, The BBC should be thankful when the world is willing to give back to them.

Of course, there is a schizophrenia in the BBC institution between the World Service and Internal BBC.  I believe at one time, the World Service was under the auspices of the Foreign Office (now, it’s the World Service Trust, as opposed to the BBC Trust).  And while Nations may speak unto Nation, I don’t think that Internal and Externals Services talk unto each other.  Additionally, I don’t think that the internal services realise that they also serve the ex-pat community and Brits abroad on holiday–whether they like it or not.

Perhaps, the internal services should do a bit more market research on their audience–and accept comments from ALL their users, not just UK residents.

See also:

P.S. I also advocate the use of region free DVD and Blu-ray players.

Wherever you are: you’re with the BBC (Part I)

The title from this post comes from the World Services int signal, but it seems quite appropriate.  Two of the BBC’s public purposes as set out in its Royal Charter are:

In Ye Olden Dayes, the BBC Motto was “Nation shall speak peace unto Nation”.  I don’t think it has changed.

NPR’s John Hackenbberry was a guest announcer on the BBC World Service recently and also pointed out that the BBC is indeed public broadcasting in its most pure sense.

In other words, the BBC is truly public radio, which is supported by the British Public through Television licences.

While I understand this, I want to say that I’ve added Peter’s blog,, to my blogroll.  While I disagree with him about paying licence fees and the system of licence fees, I do agree with him about how the BBC tries to raise its funds.  I am of the impression that Peter would say their methods are coercive.  I think we are in agreement that they are misguided.

As regular readers will know, I frequently browse the internet looking for TV Licensing related articles and trivia. Every day someone has a new take on what the TV licence fee is, what it’s for and how it’s enforced.

Peter and I are in agreement that the TV detector van is one of the more idiotic things going…

The question is would people such as Peter prefer to have the BBC follow US public broadcasting’s model and start having “extort-a-thons”? That’s where they take a week or two from regularly scheduled programming to try and shame their viewers into coughing up the cash to run their show. They might show a few minutes of a programme to come on and say “we need x amount of pledges to make our goal”.

One PBS station actually harangued the people who weren’t supporting public broadcasting as a bunch of leeches.

But as the US public broadcasting model points out: “if you have our station on your preset, you are a user. That means you should be a member as well”.

Member being a more polite term than licence holder.

Or you can have commercials.

I would add that US cable not only makes you pay, but they add more commercials to an already over commercially saturated programme. Cable in the US also costs as much, if not far more, than a  Colour Television Licence with, in the words of Bruce Springsteen, “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”.

The ultimate point is that people who use the service should pay for it.  And while US public Broadcasting has a poor ratio of members to listeners, the BBC does not.

There is, of course, another aspect to all this, which is the BBC would like its material to be viewed within the UK due to licensing agreements with its partners (E.g., Discovery Channel and US Public Broadcasting). That is going to be the topic of Part II.

See also:

BBCs repeat broadcast policies

There are a few posts stewing around in my mind (like prunes?) about the BBC’s rerun policies, The Goodies-Monty Python connection, and so on.  I’ve been wanting to run the News in Welsh from I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again, but I only have an audio recording of that. But, while searching, this came up.

So, for all of you who complain about the BBC’s rerun policy–

Of course, the programming gods are fickle beings and never seem to run what you want when you want it, which is probably the root of the grumbling. But, one should be thankful it’s not like US Cable-Satellite Stations where they tend to run the same show about 3-4 times a day for every time zone.

In the mean time, I have to bitch that the BBC, whilst whining about never having enough money, has this really bad habit of never releasing programmes on DVD, which also includes blu-ray.  Case in point, the Goodies, which the BBC would rather forget exists, while there are millions of fans out there buying bootlegs and the few collections out there.

For those not in the know, The Pythons and Goodies shared quite a bit of common background, which this show (amazingly happened to have been produced by BBC Scotland) gets into:

Charging for BBC iPlayer downloads

This is a longer version of the comment I left at the BBC website. Unfortunately, they only allow 350 characters, which is almost two whole tweets! That is not enough to leave a proper comment on this subject.

OK, I’ve said that the Beeb should begin charging for BBC iPlayer, not totally in jest. The major problem is that people are already paying for this service by their Television Licence fees–in theory. Perhaps, the BBC should require that one’s iPlayer profile also include the TV licence information.

Although, I have also pointed out that a loophole exists if one time shifts BBC programming via iPlayer downloads, as the licence fee only covers live broadcast reception. We come into curious other policy problems with this. The major one is that the BBC tries to have as large an audience for its programmes as it can. That said, charging for this material begins to run against this policy. Additionally, this is a regressive charge which will hit the poor. The BBC could charge a lower fee for an “iPlayer” specific licence.

Also, if the BBC is going to start charging for this material, then they need to make more of it accessible. The big case in point to me is News (e.e., News at Six and News at Ten). I would be willing to pay for access to news programmes if they are downloadable via iPlayer.

Another problem, many of the iPlayer downloaders can access this material from outside the UK. I’m not going to get into this, but this also has some ramifications for the debate. If the BBC is going to start charging for this material, are they going to turn a blind eye to where the view is accessing the material? One can buy the DVDs and watch them in another region using a region free DVD player. I know that the BBC’s response is that there are other digital rights holders, but if someone is waving money at them.

Of course, I have this vision of people applying for TV licences from Effing Sodbury and Chipping Wedgewood if the only criteria is a TV licence!  How many people would get TV licences with the address  10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA?  Some addresses could have more TV licences leading one to conclude that more people lived there than a Calcutta tenement!

Then, this gets to another issue I have with the BBC. They have a revenue stream which they do not exploit, which is some of their unissued material. The big case in point would be issuing DVDs of the Goodies TV show. That is a tremendously popular series, yet the BBC has not issued any of the shows in a serious manner. I think we can blame a couple of things here, which is the old archival policy which has trashed as significant amount of British Television history (e.g., Take Three Girls, The Borderers, etcetera).

The final problem is that popular British TV programmes end up in the download community, which I doubt will be something that will stop if the BBC begins to charge for iPlayer material. In fact, I think that would become more of a problem for the BBC if iPlayer material is subject to a fee. So, unless the BBC is going to begin to put more of its material out on DVD, I don’t think they will come up with a fool proof way of making money from the iPlayer downloads.

As I said, I think the best way would be to introduce a reduced iPlayer fee and not loot at where the person is accessing the material from which would allow for better access to the BBC material. But, I don’t think the BBC chiefs are going jump at this. That means they are left with people using iPlayer on the honour system.

See also:

Who and How to complain to the BBC about the Goodies?

I’ve been wanting to do a post about the Goodies and their connection to Monty Python. For those not  in the know, the Goodies are also classic British Humour, although it was more visual than Monty Python. The show was sort of like the US’s Rocky and Bullwinkle in that it played to all ages. There is a belief that the controller of the BBC during the 1980s did not personally like the series. John Howard Davies has stated, on the ‘Return of The Goodies‘ reunion programme that he did not want to broadcast any Goodies repeats.

The BBC has issued DVDs of select episodes, but the BBC was never enthusiastic about promoting them when it released two videos of the series in the 1990s. The cast finally took matters into their own hands and arranged with Network Video for the release of digitally-remastered “best of” selections.

I know a similar effort of public appeals to the Beeb’s powers that be produced a set of the Colditz Series.

I should add that there is a bootleg issue out there as well of the Complete Goodies:

While the bootleg may be for “a good cause”, these are bootlegs with the poor quality associated with such disks. Not to mention the artists (and the Beeb) don’t see any royalties from these disks.

Maybe, we can get the Beeb to see sense even if they dislike the series!  After all, they need to get some revenue for these programmes.

So, if we can get the name(s) of the powers that be who make these decisions, maybe they can be persuaded to get their act together.

See also:

Apologies to the BBC–Colditz is available on DVD!

I have been bitching about the BBC’s archival policies from the 1970s and moaning that the Series Colditz was unavailable on DVD. This was a classic BBC series from the 1970s that was available in bootleg versions. I had to admit that I was afraid this was one of the series that was wiped and would never make it to DVD. Although, the bootleg I saw of it was from a Classic British TV Channel and the quality was standard broadcast quality.

It is very well written and has a fair amount of historical accuracy and was made from the same crew that made the series Secret Army. The main characters were played by David McCallum, Edward Hardwicke, Jack Hedley, Richard Heffer, Bernard Hepton, Christopher Neame, Peter Penry-Jones (the father of Spooks’ Rupert Penry-Jones), and Robert Wagner. Watch out for a young Dennis Waterman as a German Propaganda Ministry man in episode 6. Other familiar faces include Geoffrey Palmer, Michael Gough, Patrick Troughton, Peter Barkworth, Kenneth Griffith, Ronald Lacey, Ray Smith, Willie Rushton et al. The list is almost endless. A veritable Who’s Who of acting talent of the time.

Anyway, it seems that the series has been on DVD since November 2010. The show has an average of 5 stars on amazon and is well worth watching.

So, I have been incorrect in saying this classic wasn’t available, but I wish I had known about its reissue a while back.

And I just placed my order with amazon before writing this post.

See also:

Posted 13/10/2011 by lacithedog in BBC, BBC Archival Policies, BBC Archives

How fickle are the programming deities at the BBC?

Yes, Deities.

I find the people who do the programming respond well to flattery.

And loads of public requests.

In this case, I was lazy about watching Frost on Nixon and setting iPlayer up to download it.

And, I’m kicking myself for failing to do that.

Frost’s 1977 interviews that totalled 28 hours and 45 minutes with ex-President Nixon were history making. They gained record audiences and the events that surrounded them later became the subject of both a West End play and an Oscar-nominated film, Frost Nixon. The most important part of these interviews is that it is believed that Nixon admitted and apologised to the American people for the Watergate Scandal.

I remember these events, which was probably why I neglected to “tape” this interview. Still, it would be interesting to see this two hour rehash.

I hope this will be rebroadcast soon.