Dear Supporters of Talking Pictures TV and Renown Pictures,
What a year it’s been! We have grown to be the largest independent TV channel in the UK in just short of five years of broadcasting – quite an accomplishment for a channel run by just three people! We’ve rescued and revived many lost films and been lucky enough to have archives opened for us to license from. We have released 12 DVD titles as well as our first music CD and created two amazing annual events celebrating TV and film history, with hosts of stars happy to appear and share their memories with us. However, our work is not yet done. Next year we hope to encourage more of the major studios to license British films and series to us, the rights of which are owned in the USA, as well as persuading more libraries to allow us to release unseen titles on DVD. Long live Talking Pictures TV! We could not have achieved any of this without your support and we are happy to welcome more viewers and club members, so wear your Film Club badges with pride and spread the word; write to your local papers, ring your favourite radio stations and tell them about the revival of the golden era of film and TV. Ask everyone to tune their TVs into Freeview 81, Sky 328, Freesat 306 and Virgin 445.
This year we have our best Christmas schedule of entertainment yet and we are very proud to announce that we will be bringing Lionel Jeffries’ wonderful British film The Amazing Mr Blunden to TV screens on Christmas Day at 7pm and New Year’s Day at 3:25pm, along with a marvellous medley of films and series for you to enjoy over the festive period. Our handy Christmas TV guide with all the details is on pages 24 and 25.
It’s been wonderful to see such an enthusiastic reaction to the return of Catweazle to our TV screens. A whole generation of new fans are being introduced to Geoffrey Bayldon, the incredible actor who played the part of the wizard. He didn’t just act, he WAS Catweazle. Our new ‘elec-trickery’ sweatshirt inspired by Catweazle is on page 20. It makes a lovely gift and is ideal for keeping warm this winter, so call us on the ‘telling bone’ if you would like to order one!
We are delighted to see that we are now in The Telegraph TV listings, as well as the Radio Times, TV Times and many others. If we are not listed in your favourite magazine or newspaper, do write to them – only you can make the difference.
It’s been a joy to speak to so many of you about The Imperial War Museums season and there will be more war films from their archive to see during December. Many of you have asked if these are available on DVD; we have found a small selection which can be seen on pages 2, 3 and 4.
We will soon be announcing some of the guests appearing at our festival of film in St Albans on March 22nd. We are down to the last 100 tickets now, so do make sure you purchase yours soon if you are planning to join us.
If you don’t know what to give as a thank you for Christmas dinner, our Scrooge apron and DVD make perfect festive gifts – (see page 21). I always wear my Scrooge pinny when I’m stuffing the turkey! All that remains is for us to thank you all for your support – without you we simply wouldn’t be here. I hope you all enjoy some proper Christmas telly on the channel over the coming month!
Wishing you all the best for the New Year – and a very Merry Christmas! Sarah, Noel, and Neill
From the Imperial War Museums Collection
The British Home Front At War Box Set
5 DVD set; over 30 films
Run Time: 720 mins |5 Disc box set
A collection of 5 DVDs from the archive of the Imperial War Museums featuring rare and original wartime films focusing on the British Home Front and life during the war years. From newsreels to Government information broadcasts of the era, these historical films provide unrivalled insights into Britain at war.
Box set includes:
THE HOME GUARD AND BRITAIN’S CITIZEN ARMY
(2 Discs) Over thirty wartime films showing how Britons contributed to the defence of the nation, from joining the Home Guard – or Dad’s Army as it was known – to contributing scrap items and ‘Digging for Victory’.
Bonus Feature: Wartime Food Flashes
LONDON CAN TAKE IT!
A seven-film collection of wartime films looking at life in London from the outbreak of war through the Blitz to the V-Bomb menace. Includes the celebrated propaganda film covering London during the Battle of Britain, London Can Take It! Portrays the resistance shown by Londoners to the German bombing campaign, opening with the “greatest civilian army ever to be assembled” returning from work to prepare for the “nightly battle of London”. As civilians enter shelters the volunteer services make ready for the coming attack. During the air raid the young and old sleep, while volunteers man guns and stations. After the “all clear” at 6 am, Londoners take stock, clear up and go to work. Bonus Feature: Manchester Took It Too
WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT WAR
Fourteen films looking at the vital contribution made to Britain’s war efforts by women, and the experiences of evacuee children. From the land girls to the Women’s Institute to those who volunteered or worked in factories, women played a key role in the war effort. For children, war was an experience of separation, bravery and camaraderie.
Bonus Feature: Seven public information films
WORDS FOR BATTLE, WRITERS AT WAR
A nine-film collection featuring inspirational films urging the nation to fight on and to preserve the British heritage and way of life. Laurence Olivier, Stanley Holloway, Michael Redgrave, John Gielgud, Myra Hess, Neal Arden read war-inspired prose and poetry by Dylan Thomas, E.M. Forster, Edgar Marriott, V.S. Pritchett, Arthur Koestler, Grahame Greene, E.C. Bentley, Reg Groves, J.B. Priestley, Marriott Edgar.
Features: Laurence Olivier reading extracts from great works by the likes of Milton, Blake and Kipling, illustrated by inspirational film of both a timeless
pastoral Britain and a modern Britain poised for war. J. B. Priestley provides the commentary for a film produced immediately after the fall of France, celebrating British values and reminding us that, in the months ahead, Britain stands alone and at bay in guarding ‘the future of the civilised world’. Stanley Holloway delivers an ‘Albert’-style monologue as he persuades the nation to invest in Savings Certificates for the war effort.
From the British Film Institute:
Ghost Stories for Christmas
6 DVD Box Set
Starring: John Hurt, Robert Hardy, Peter Vaughan, Michael Hordern, Christopher Lee and many moreDirector: Various
Optional subtitles on discs 5 and 6
Year: 1968-2010 Run time: 119 min | Colour and Black/White
This superb 6 disc box set brings together all the celebrated BBC Television Christmas ghost stories. Broadcast in the dying hours of Christmas Eve, the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas series was a fixture of the seasonal schedules throughout the 1970s, spawning a long tradition of chilling tales.
This edition contains over 13 hours of content, including all 12 episodes of the A Ghost Story for Christmas series, the M. R. James episodes of Spine Chillers (presented by Michael Bryant), the entire Classic Ghost Stories series (presented by Robert Powell) and three of the Ghost Stories for Christmas instalments from 2000 with Christopher Lee.
Ghost Stories for Christmas 6 DVD Box Set Contents:
Whistle and Iíll Come to You (1968, 42 min); Whistle and Iíll Come to You (2010, 52 min)
Jonathan Miller and Christopher Frayling discuss the 1968 version (2012, 3 min)
Introduction to the 1968 version by horror writer Ramsey Campbell (2001, 16 min)
M.R. James original story read by Neil Brand (2001, 42 min) Ramsey Campbell reads his own M.R. James inspired story The Guide (2001, 27 min).
The Stalls of Barchester (1971, 45 min); A Warning to the Curious (1972, 50 min)
Filmed introductions by director Lawrence Gordon Clark (2012, 10 + 12 min)
Ghost Stories for Christmas with Christopher Lee The Stalls of Barchester by M.R. James and A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James (2000, Eleanor Yule, 2 x 30 min).
The Lost Hearts (1973, 35 min), The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1974, 37 min),
The Ash Tree (1975, 32 min). Filmed introduction by Lawrence Gordon Clark
(2012, 11 min + 11 min + 8 min).
The Signalman (1976, 39 min), Stigma (1977, 32 min); The Ice House (1978, 34 min). Filmed introductions by Lawrence Gordon Clark (2012, 11 min + 9 min).
A View from a Hill (2005, 39 min), Number 13 (2006, 40 min).
Ghost Stories for Christmas with Christopher Lee
Number 13 by M.R. James (2000, Eleanor Yule, 30 min).
Classic Ghost Stories: The Mezzotint, The Ash-Tree, Wailing Well, The Rose Garden and Oh, Whistle, and Iíll Come to You, My Lad (1986, 5 x 14 min).
Spine Chillers: “The Mezzotint”, “A School Story” and “The Diary of Mr Poynter” (1980).
Three episodes of Ghost Stories for Christmas with Christopher Lee (2000):
The Stalls of Barchester, A Warning to the Curious and Number 13
Three episodes of Spine Chillers (1980): The Mezzotint, A School Story and
The Diary of Mr Poynter
Filmed introductions with director Lawrence Gordon Clark
Extensive booklet with essays, biographies, film notes and full credits
Fully illustrated 48-page booklet with new essays by John Oliver and Dr Josephine Botting and full film credits.
The Complete Series 6 DVD Box Set
Run Time: 1100 mins approx | 6 Discs | Year: 1978-1980 | Colour
All 22 episode from both series.
Various Directors including: Brian Farnham, Jim Goddard and Baz Taylor.
Stars: Nicholas Ball, Peter Bourke, Maggie Riley, Barbara Young,
Robert Roddy McMillan and Desmond McNamara.
Created by: Gordon Williams and Terry Venables
Nicholas Ball plays Hazell, a tough, charismatic private detective in this hit Thames series. First aired in the late 1970s, it was based on the Hazell novels, co-written by journalist and novelist Gordon Williams, together with future England coach Terry Venables.
Hazell the series was influenced by classic film noir and featured rounded characterisations, witty Cockney dialogue and credible action scenes, all set in the kind of seedy London locations that would be revisited in Minder – the series created by screenwriter Leon Griffiths following his work on Hazell. Terry Venables is credited with writing two episodes, Gordon Williams wrote five and under their combined pseudonym, P.B. Yuill, the pair wrote 15 episodes.
Following the curtailment of his police career after an injury and subsequent slide into alcoholism, the newly reformed James Hazell sets himself up as a private eye. Utterly ruthless when he needs to be, Hazell is also blessed with a breezy charm, effortless style, robust sense of humour and the ability to think on his feet; vital when tackling blackmail, missing persons cases, organised crime and the drugs trade… and when faced with his dour Scottish CID adversary ‘Choc’ Minty (played to perfection by Roddy McMillan).
Desmond McNamara stars as Hazell’s cousin and assistant Tel, with Barbara Young as his landlady and sometime employer Dot – one of British TV’s first regular gay characters. A memorably raunchy theme composed by Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay, provided a Top 40 hit for blues/rock singer Maggie Bell.
Guest appearances included: Jane Asher, Steve Hodson, Freddie Jones, Gwen Taylor, Pamela Stephenson, Lalla Ward, Larry Lamb, Michael Angelis, Anna Massey, Lynda Bellingham, Brian Glover, Michael Elphick, Peter Mayhew & Liz Smith.