Archive for the ‘British Broadcasting Corporation’ Category

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.

Yet.

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

BBC America (Canada) at iTunes Store

It has come to my attention that BBC America material is available on demand from the Apple iTunes Store.  I am assuming the same is true for Canada as well.

It’s nice to see a lot of this available on demand, such as Mongrels and Horrible Histories.

Not sure if any ITV or Channel 4 material is available (Time Team).

Savile Row

I was warned that the BBC Director General’s job was hellacious, but I didn’t expect the revelation about Jimmy Savile’s paedophilia would come up. And neither did George Entwistle, the person who did get the job. Entwhistle was grilled in front of the House of Common’s culture committee about this topic. I have to admit that this is a serious bombshell to have to deal with.

The real question to me is how much of this was known and when?  After all, it has been alleged that Savile paedophilia went on for 30-40 years without anyone saying anything about it.  Although, there are stories about reports being made to the BBC hierarchy, but ignored.

The other thing which bothers me is Esther Rantzen did nothing about it.  She admits to having heard rumours about Savile’s alleged paedophila.  Rantzen told told ITV1’s This Morning: “As Ian Hislop said so brilliantly last week, knowledge means that you hear from the person it happened to or a witness and that’s what the ITV documentary showed me…Up until then, I’ve heard rumours about the royal family, politicians, about TV presenters and my view about rumours is the vast majority of the rumours are untrue.”

Rantzen also said she had “no memory” of being contacted by campaigner Shy Keenan who said she told her about Savile  saying: “Now the lady who says that she told me 18 years ago – I’ve gone back through the records of that year to see if we ever did an item about child abuse in that series of That’s Life…she says she met me then…I have no memory of her at all…And we did one item about child abuse in that series and it was about criminal compensation… the other members of That’s Life staff have no memory of her.”

Furthermore, Rantzen said no one complained to her Childline charity about Savile.

But the real bothersome thing about all this is that Savile died a year ago.  There are a couple of legal issues I have with that: first off, justice was delayed in this matter.  Secondly, there is no confrontation of the accused by the accuser.  can justice really occur in such a situation?

I feel for the victims of paedophila, but I have several problems with having a posthumous investigation of events which happened so long ago.  Other than airing their complaints, what else will this help if the perpetrator is dead?

Yes, there is the culture which allowed for Savile to get away with this sort of thing for as long as he did.  One person opined that the children were silenced by his wealth and celebrity. Despite that, every one of them had the power to bring him down if only they’d known it. The trouble was that none realised it, or none thought they’d be listened to. At least one had her complaint dismissed by the headmistress at the School where Savile found many of his victims.

But if a child can make their voice heard and they are telling the truth, their accusation will not stand alone for long. When accusations emerge against people who are serial offenders, such as Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky, they turn into an avalanche.

The lesson is that adults must listen with respect. They must finally understand that no-one is above suspicion; that no-one should avoid scrutiny because of who they are.  There are too many cases where there are accusations and suspicions which are not properly investigated due to people’s position and the institution they work for.

On the other hand, I worry that the fall out will effect people and institutions who weren’t involved due to the lateness of any action being taken in this case.  Perhaps the real lesson of Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky is that there should be a proper investigation of these matters since ignoring them hurts not only the victims, but the institution.

Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journey DVDs reduced in price!

Series 1 is now £12.39 and Series 2 is £16.67 at Amazon from being in the mid 20 quid range !

Naturally, any hesitation at buying series 2  disappeared with the reduction in price and I ponied up for a copy.

I should add that the BBC now provides for commercial availability of programmes from online suppliers.  Eventually, they will offer links to services which officially stream the material.

I have to add this vid for BBC America because it’s just silly.

YES! LiveStation!

BBC Televised World News is available through LiveStation’s Premium Service!

I’m in heaven!