Friday, 30 November 2012

YouTube Launches 'Anime Bancho' Channel for Original Anime Content

YouTube launched the original YouTube channel "Anime Bancho" on Tuesday for new anime content. The anime studio CoMix Wave Films (5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Kono Danshi series) is providing the content for the channel. CoMix Wave Films told ANN that the channel is not restricted to Japanese viewers, and noted that Anime Bancho plans to release English-subtitled versions of its videos, although the English-subtitled versions may not be uploaded at the same time. CoMix Wave Films also noted that it will decide later if it will add subtitles in other languages.

 CoMix Wave Films added that it plans to update the channel with new content twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. Anime Bancho will also stream other related content, such as interviews with directors and collaborative projects with users. Anime Bancho's content will consist of mostly anime shorts, and it will depend on the project whether the content will be a one-shot episode or a series. CoMix Wave Films also told ANN that Anime Bancho is considering producing content that reflects the reactions and feedback of the viewers.

The channel's description notes that it also plans to stream original works from directors Hiroyuki Imaishi (Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt), Riichiro Mashima (Ski Jumping Pairs: Road to Torino, 2006), and Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy, Mind Game, Kaiba). The channel will have its formal opening on December 19. Anime Bancho's first video is a promotional video for a new season of Ryōichi Mori's Peeping Life series titled Peeping Life -World History-.

TVShack Founder Escapes Extradition to U.S.

On Wednesday November 28, Britain's High Court announced that Richard O'Dwyer, a 24 year-old university student, would not be extradited to America to face copyright infringement charges over his TVShack site. O'Dwyer from Sheffield had been facing up to ten years in prison for launching the British-based site, which did not host content itself but let users share links to other film and TV sites.

 According to the Guardian newspaper, "The high court was told O'Dwyer's legal team and the American prosecutors had agreed a draft "deferred prosecution" in the past two days, which requires him to travel to the US and pay a small sum in compensation...

Under the terms of the agreement, O'Dwyer will not only avoid a trial and criminal record, but will also then be free to travel internationally." Reuters adds that O'Dwyer's lawyers "argued he would effectively become a test case for copyright law in the United States." When O'Dwyer travels to the U.S., he will pledge not to break copyright law again.

 O'Dwyer had set up the TVShack site in 2007, which generated about £140,000 in advertsising over the next few years. O'Dwyer was arrested in November 2010; following bail, he was served with a U.S. extradition warrant in May 2011.

People Round up

David Tennant has been talking to STV's Moviejuice about his starring roles in the new seasonal film Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger! in which he plays twins Donald and Roderick Peterson. Not only was the film improvised in its entirety, it was also shot in sequence, and Tennant said of the improvisational nature of the film:"It was terrifying. But that's why you do certain things, isn't it? 'I've never done that before, that'll be utterly terrifying – so I'll have a go.'" The film also stars Jessica Hynesas Angel Matthews, Ian McNeice as Mr Peterson senior, and Jason Watkins as Mr Shakespeare. [STV Entertainment, 26 Nov 2012]

Katy Manning will be on tour in the Agatha Christie murder-mystery A Murder Is Announced early next year. Performances are as follows: Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th January: Capitol Theatre, Horsham; Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th January: Buxton Opera House; Tuesday 29th January to Saturday 2nd February: The Derby Theatre; Monday 4th to Saturday 9th February: Lincoln Theatre Royal; Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th February: The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage; Wednesday 27th February to Saturday 2nd March: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke; Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th March: Lyceum Theatre, Crewe.

Meanwhile, Colin Baker will be in the touring production of the Wilkie Collins thriller The Woman In White, starting at The Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th January. From Monday 28th to Thursday 31st January it will be at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool; Thursday 14th to Saturday 23rd February,Lincoln Theatre Royal; Tuesday 26th February to Saturday 2nd March, Garrick Theatre, Lichfield, finishing its run at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th March. 

Baker was voted off I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! earlier this week. He was the fourth contestant to go. As previously reported, he joined the ITV1 reality show, based in a jungle in Australia, earlier this month.

Bernard Cribbins narrates the CBeebies panto Jack And The Beanstalk, which airs as a simulcast on the CBeebies channel and BBC One on Friday 21st Decemberat 4.30pm. Featuring all the CBeebies presenters, it was performed at The Palace Theatre in Manchester. [BBC Media Centre, 27 Nov 2012]

Sheila Hancock will be among the new celebrity contestants on this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Day special on BBC One, with previous contestant Ann Widdecombe making a guest appearance. [BBC Media Centre, 28 Nov 2012]

David Morrissey has begun filming the second series of BBC Scotland's crime drama Field Of Blood in Glasgow. He plays editor Murray Devlin. Filming will continue until late December, with the thriller to be shown next year. [BBC Media Centre, 29 Nov 2012]

Director Farren Blackburn has his first feature film released in the UK and USA next spring. Hammer Of The Gods, which stars Charlie Bewley and James Cosmo, is set in Britain of 871AD and tells the story of a young Viking warrior sent by his father, the king, on a quest to find his estranged brother, who was banished from the kingdom years earlier. [Bleeding Cool, 27 Nov 2012]

A six-part spy thriller by Toby Whithouse has been commissioned by BBC Cymru Wales for BBC One. Set in the world of 1970s espionage, The Game will tell the story of the invisible war fought by MI5 to protect the nation from the threats of the Cold War. The drama is to be executive-produced by Whithouse, Brian Minchin, and Faith Penhale (head of drama at BBC Cymru Wales). [BBC Media Centre, 30 Nov 2012]

Adam Simmonds, the newly-elected police and crime commissioner for Northamptonshire, wants to see police boxes back on the county's streets. He said: "I would like to bring a focal point back into villages. It's all about putting the police back on to the streets and I would love to be able to put Tardises back in every community."He added that he hoped to work with Northampton-born Matt Smith to launch his Blue Box Initiative. [Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 25 Nov 2012] 

In Memoriam

The actor Roger Hammond has died at the age of 76. A contemporary of Waris Hussein, Derek Jacobi, and Clive Swift at Cambridge University, he trained at RADA and had a varied and accomplished career on the stage and TV as well as in film and on radio. Hammond appeared in three episodes of Doctor Who, firstly as the Elizabethan philosopher, statesman, scientist, author, and jurist Francis Bacon in The Executioners (episode 1 of The Chase) in 1965 and then as Doctor Runciman- the resident physician at Brendon School - in the first and final parts of Mawdryn Undead in 1983. [The Stage obituary by Martin Jarvis, 23 Nov 2012]

Thursday, 29 November 2012

TVShack Founder Escapes Extradition to U.S.

On Wednesday November 28, Britain's High Court announced that Richard O'Dwyer, a 24 year-old university student, would not be extradited to America to face copyright infringement charges over his TVShack site. O'Dwyer from Sheffield had been facing up to ten years in prison for launching the British-based site, which did not host content itself but let users share links to other film and TV sites.

 According to the Guardian newspaper, "The high court was told O'Dwyer's legal team and the American prosecutors had agreed a draft "deferred prosecution" in the past two days, which requires him to travel to the US and pay a small sum in compensation...

Under the terms of the agreement, O'Dwyer will not only avoid a trial and criminal record, but will also then be free to travel internationally." Reuters adds that O'Dwyer's lawyers "argued he would effectively become a test case for copyright law in the United States." When O'Dwyer travels to the U.S., he will pledge not to break copyright law again.

 O'Dwyer had set up the TVShack site in 2007, which generated about £140,000 in advertsising over the next few years. O'Dwyer was arrested in November 2010; following bail, he was served with a U.S. extradition warrant in May 2011.

Independent Anime Screening at Newcastle December 12

Newcastle's Star and Shadow Cinema (directions) will screen two independent anime short films on Wednesday December 12 at 7.30 p.m. Encounters (2011), pictured, directed by Takashi Iitsuka, is an Adam and Joe style blockbuster spoof involving a super monster. Midori-ko (2010), directed by Keita Kurosaka, is a hand-drawn "phantasmagoria of mesmerising and disturbing imagery," about scientists trying to create the perfect super food. The double-bill was programmed in partnership with the Zipangu festival.

Radio Times Xmas feature

The latest edition of the Radio Times (1-7 Dec) features TV editor Alison Graham's 12 Treats for Christmas, the twelve programmes she recommends over the festive period. This year's selection includes Call The Midwife, Ripper Street, Downton Abbey, Restless and The Girl, but her number one is - as it should be - Doctor Who!

 People actually say that "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a Doctor Who special." So don't fret, your festivities will be complete once more with a seasonal one-off written by Steven Moffat. Richard E Grant and Tom Ward guest-star in a story that features Jenna-Louise Coleman joining the Doctor properly (after a brief appearance in the previous series) as his new companion.

 Meanwhile, the next issue (8-14 Dec) is published on Saturday 1st December, and will 'cover' Doctor Who and the best kids' shows this Christmas.

BBC Xmas Trailer 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Anime Professionals Talk in London January

The Japan Foundation on London's Russell Square (directions) has announced a talk by two anime professionals on Friday January 18 at 6.30 p.m. The speakers are Michihiko Suwa, Chief Producer at the animation department of Yomiuri TV, who has production credits on many incarnations of Detective Conan, City Hunter, InuYasha and Yawara; and Hirokatsu Kihara, who has production credits on Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro.

 According to the website, "Kihara and Suwa will be joined by Helen McCarthy, journalist, author and anime expert, to explore the different sources of anime – both manga adaptations and originally crafted stories – and discuss their position in the Japanese animation industry, suggesting what the future holds for the medium.

With Kihara's experience of the celluloid era of animation, and Suwa's experience of its transition to digital, this event will also provide a fascinating insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ of anime production, telling the real story and history around the animated images." The event is free but must be booked. Attendees should email their name and the title of the event - "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Anime" - to the following email:

BBC Christmas Line up 2012

The BBC have today announced their Christmas 2012 lineup, and this evening saw the first BBC One Christmas Trailer broadcast on the channel before Eastenders and again before Last Tango in Halifax: a number of brief clips from The Snowmen represented Doctor Who's place within the Christmas schedules. Roger Mosey, Controller, BBC Vision, said: The BBC has a rich tradition of being at the heart of British families’ Christmas celebrations and we believe this year’s line-up is one of the most exciting yet.

There’s something for everyone, with special episodes of Call The Midwife, Doctor Who, and Miranda; brand new shows such as Mr Stink and Loving Miss Hatto; a special Superstars reflecting our Olympic year; and programmes that reflect the meaning of Christmas from Goodbye To Canterbury, led by Dr Rowan Williams, to the traditional carol service from King’s College, Cambridge.

 The press release goes on to mention Doctor Who directly, with: A sombre Doctor comes out from the cold in this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Snowmen, just in time to save the world with a little help from a feisty young governess called Clara. The BBC synopsis of the episode itself has also been published as part of the BBC One line-up for the Christmas week:

Read the Synopsis: Christmas Eve 1892, and the falling snow is the stuff of fairytales. When the fairytale becomes a nightmare and a chilling menace threatens Earth, an unorthodox young governess, Clara, calls on the Doctor for help.

But the Doctor is in mourning, reclusive and determined not to engage in the problems of the universe. As old friends return, will the Doctor really abandon humankind or will he fight to save the world – and Christmas – from the icy clutches of this mysterious menace? Starring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Richard E Grant and Tom Ward. Executive producers - Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner; produced by Marcus Wilson; written by Steven Moffat. The time of transmission is yet to be confirmed, with the BBC reporting that the schedules will be finalised on the 4th December.

 Meanwhile, the BBC have also launched Facebook and Twitter identities for BBC One - both of which launched on Doctor Who's anniversary last Friday! At the time of writing the Facebook page prominently features Doctor Who, and includes the "Snowmen" publicity still with the tag line "Something's dreaming of a white Christmas".

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Kamen rider wizard ep 12

Tom Cruise Shoots All You Need is Kill in Trafalgar Square

On Sunday November 25, Tom Cruise appeared at London's Trafalgar Square to shoot a scene from the film adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka SF novel All You Need Is Kill. Cruise flew into the location by RAF helicopter. Pictures from the Trafalgar Square shoot are available at the Telegraph, Metro and Sun websites. "

A number of large army tanks were on the scene and extras could be seen wearing helmets and khaki ponchos over camouflage gear," the Telegraph reported. The original book (left) is about a soldier in a robot power suit who finds himself in a time loop, dying and re-incarnating over and over again during an alien invasion. (The image on the right is the first set photo from the film.)

 Cruise, Emily Blunt, Charlotte Riley, and Kick Gurry are slated to star, and Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) is directing.

The film is shooting in Hertfordshire's's Leavesden Studios, and its scheduled U.S. release date is March 14, 2014. Viz Media published Sakurazaka's novel in English to launch its Haikasoru imprint for Japanese science fiction and fantasy in 2009. The book's cover art was drawn by Yoshitoshi ABe (Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei).

The Snowmen Promo images

The BBC today released a special promotional image for the forthcoming Christmas episode The Snowmen. As with episodes earlier this year, it has been done in the style of a film poster to reflect what showrunner Steven Moffat has called Series 7's "blockbuster" approach of "big movie-style stories".

A similar poster was released by BBC America.

In addition, the BBC has released a screengrab featuring the subject of the episode's title.

The BBC is yet to confirm when on Christmas Day The Snowmen will air in the UK. It will be shown in the USA and Canada at 9pm ET on Christmas Day by, respectively, BBC America and SPACE, while ABC1 will be broadcasting it in Australia on Boxing Day (known as Proclamation Day in South Australia) at 7.30pm.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Ninja Scroll Comes to Blu-ray/DVD on Monday

On Manday November 26, Manga Entertainment will release the remastered 1993 action anime Ninja Scroll in Blu-ray, DVD and Steelbook editions (the Steelbook is pictured). All editions will include a newly-subtitled commentary track, featuring director Yoshiaki Kawajiri and character designer Yutaka Minowa. The Steelbook contains both the Blu-ray and DVD discs, as well as a twenty-page booklet containing articles on the film. Manga is also releasing the eleventh box-set of Naruto Shippūden.

 In addition, there are cinema screenings of the remastered Ninja Scroll at selected venues, as follows: Cinema City, Norwich - 2.45 p.m., Sunday November 25 Exeter
Picturehouse - 8.45 p.m., Monday November 26
 Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool - 9 p.m.,
Monday November 26 Cameo Picturehouse,
Edinburgh - 8.50 p.m., Monday November 26
 Greenwich Picturehouse - 9 p.m., Thursday November 29

Princess Mononoke Play Kickstarter Campaign Passes Target

According to the Kickstarter page set up to extend the stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, the campaign has now passed its target of £5,000. As of writing, 143 backers had pledged a total of £5,512, with 25 days of the campaign still left to go.

The list of backers is available here. The play is due to be performed at London's New Diorama Theatre from April 2 to April 6, 2013 (sold out). The purpose of the Kickstarter campaign, in the words of its producers, is so they can take the play further and "perform it to as many people, and in as many places, as possible."

Dinah Sheridan (1920-2012)

The actress Dinah Sheridan died today - 29 years to the day she was seen by TV viewers in the UK as the Time Lady Chancellor Flavia in the 20th-anniversary story The Five Doctors. Sheridan, who was 92, made her film debut aged just 15 but put her acting career on hold to become an ambulance driver when the Second World War broke out.

She appeared in a few films during the war but her career started to take off after the war ended, and in 1953 she achieved real success with Genevieve, a comedy about a veteran car rally and notable for Doctor Who fans for the presence of genuine police boxes in shot! Marriage and health problems subsequently saw Sheridan retire from acting for a number of years but she made a triumphant return on the big screen in 1970 with The Railway Children, co-starring Bernard Cribbins.

Among her many TV roles, she appeared with Nigel Havers in Don't Wait Up (which also featured Jane How, Simon Williams, Timothy Bateson, Milton Johns, and Wanda Ventham) as well as Keith Barron and Angus Lennie in All Night Long - both BBC TV sitcoms. Married four times, Sheridan had three children with her first husband, Jimmy Hanley. Their first child, a daughter, tragically died just three days after she was born in 1944.

Their other two children were Jeremy Hanley, who for a time was chairman of the Conservative party, and the actress and presenter Jenny Hanley. Sheridan died peacefully at home in Northwood, Middlesex, surrounded by her family, said her agent.

DW Symphony to Play in Australia for a 2nd time

More performances have been added to next month's Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular for a second time. The event at Sydney Opera House will feature music composed by Murray Gold, performed by The Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by Ben Foster.

 Originally planned to be held on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December only, two shows were added for Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th December. Now three extra performances have been slotted on for the following two days: matinee and evening concerts on Thursday 20th December and an evening one on Friday 21st December.

 The musical celebration of Doctor Who will be presented by Alex Kingston and Mark Williams, with various monsters from the series poised to overrun the concert venue too. To book, go to the Sydney Opera House website. (NB: Both of the Saturday performances are now sold out and there is currently limited availability for the Sunday matinee.)

Friday, 23 November 2012

Hyper Japan Festival Begins in London Friday

The Hyper Japan festival in London runs from Friday November 23 to Sunday November 25. The timetable is here and advance tickets are here. The festival takes place at Brompton Hall, Earls Court (directions). The opening times are as follows: Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, the co-founder and president of the Production I.G studio, will appear on the stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Ishikawa, with Takayuki Goto, founded Production I.G in 1987. He will appear in a talk with Ryusuke Hikawa, a critic of Japanese animation. British author Helen McCarthywill be the MC.
There will be several Cosplay events. Hyper Japan is hosting the U.K. rounds of two internationalcosplay competitions: the World Cosplay Summit and the European Cosplay Gathering. The World Cosplay Summit involves 22 countries. Two competitors from each country will be represented at the final, which is held annually in the Japanese city of Nagoya in Japan, broadcast by TV Aichi. The European Cosplay Gathering involves eleven countries. One group and one individual will be chosen at Hyper Japan and sent to the final at the Japan Expo convention in Paris.
The line up on the cosplay page is as follows:
Saturday 4 p.m. – COSParade 4.30 p.m. – World Cosplay Summit/ European Cosplay Gathering Group Selection
According to the cosplay page, the Cosplay Prize Giving on Saturday will be at 7 p.m. However, according to the main timetable, there will be a "Cosplay Contests Award Ceremony" at 6.20 p.m.
Sunday 2 p.m. – COSParade 2.30 p.m. – European Cosplay Gathering Solo Selection 4 p.m. – Cosplay Prize Giving
The page for the World Cosplay Summit is here and the Euro Cosplay Gathering page is here.
- There will be a screening of animation from the 15 Japanese Media Arts Festival on Friday afternoon, including Koji Yamamura's Muybridge's Strings. A full list of screenings is here (scroll down).
- A Saturday Morning Live event at 10 a.m. on Saturday will include four music acts, including singer Beckii Cruel.
Toei Animation will be represented at the event. According to the website, there will be "costume character appearances, photo shoots, goodies distribution, drawing lots with prizes to win. Visitors owning a Nintendo 3DS will receive a push announcing that exclusive One Piece content, among other content, will be available on their device at the venue."
Square Enix will be presenting figurines and other merchandise.

The Mystical Laws Film Opens in London Cinema Friday

Tickets can be booked online for the religious anime film The Mystical Laws, which will screen for a week at the Odeon Panton Street cinema near Piccadilly from Friday November November 23. The film will be shown daily at 2.30 p.m., 5.55 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. It is rated "15" on the cinema website, although it is not listed on the BBFC website.

The running time is given as 180 minutes, although press reviews from screenings in America give the length as around two hours.

 The film's story takes place in the near future, when the newly-formed "Godom Empire" is threatening to take over the world by using advanced technology offered to them by Leika Chan, the mysterious female president of a trading company. The protagonist of the film, Sho Shishimaru, is the one man who has the "mystical technology" that can stop the Godom Empire.

After being hunted down by the Empire, Sho is saved by mysterious Indians monks, who tell him about a prophecy about the rebirth of Buddha. The film is an adaptation of a book by Ryuho Okawa, the founder of the controversial religious organization Happy Science (Kōfuku no Kagaku).

The publishing arm of the organization produced the animated film alongside a live-action film adaptation of Okawa's Final Judgement.

The group has sponsored a number of animated films in the past. The movie stars Takehito Koyasu, Ayumi Fujimura, Daisuke Hirakawa, Ryoka Yuzuki, Shinichiro Miki, Hiroshi Yanaka, Hiroshi Tsuchida, Satsuki Yukino, Banjo Ginga, Ako Mayama, Miki Ito, and Kenyu Horiuchi. Yūichi Mizusawa is providing the music.

DW @50

The fifth in our occasional series marking the 50th anniversary of events leading to the creation of a true TV legend.

The story so far. In the summer of 1962, the BBC commissioned a report into identifying specific science-fiction stories suitable for adapting for television.

The report started events that would lead to the transmission of the first episode of Doctor Who on Saturday 23rd November 1963, exactly 49 years ago today. Today we examine the TV schedule of 50 years ago. 

Exactly one year before Doctor Who started, the BBC was showing Captain Pugwash, the John Ryan cartoon series following the adventures of Captain Horatio Pugwash as he sailed the high seas in The Black Pig, assisted by trusty cabin boy Tom, and pirates Willy, Barnabas and Master Mate. The character had first been seen in the comic The Eagle in 1950, before appearing as a strip in Radio Times. He came to television in 1957, with the voices provided byPeter Hawkins.

Other highlights of the day included a Sid James comedy, the latest in the American series Dr Kildare, starringRichard Chamberlain, and a look at the work of the French actress, singer, screenwriter and director Jeanne Moreau, who had recently been seen in the film Jules and Jim. 

Saturday evening saw The Lone Ranger being transmitted in what would become the Doctor Who slot. The episode shown was the final one in the fourth series of the American show. Starring Clayton Moore, it first aired in the States in 1957. 

Home-grown entertainment came in the form of Mr Pastry's Pet Shop. Mr Pastry was a bumbling old man man with a walrus moustache, who had adventures, partly slapstick, partly comic-dance, with two young friends. He was played byRichard Hearne, who would later be considered for the role of the Fourth Doctor. 

Later in the evening, viewers could see the police drama Dixon of Dock Green and highlights from Bertram Mills Circus. Another American series, the Western Laramie, provided the main drama of the evening, with the 1946 psychological thriller The Spiral Staircase taking viewers up to the late news. 

The late evening saw the debut of a new satirical series, That Was The Week That Was. Devised, produced and directed by Ned Sherrin and presented by David Frost, the programme - whose theme music was composed by Ron Grainer - would go on to be one of the most influential BBC series of the early Sixties, redefining the relationship between television and the political world. It was also a show that had a particular date with television history ahead of it a year later, when possibly its most famous edition - a shortened, non-satirical tribute to the assassinated US President John F Kennedy - was broadcast on the night of Saturday 23rd November 1963.

On consecutive Thursdays between 8th November and 29th November 1962, the sci-fi serial The Monsters was broadcast by the BBC. Based on a Panoramadocumentary concerning the Loch Ness Monster, the drama - written by Evelyn Frazer and Vincent Tilsley - centred on a zoologist on honeymoon searching for a similar creature and stumbling upon a bigger mystery to do with humanity's survival. The four 45-to-50-minute episodes were directed by Mervyn Pinfield and the cast included Philip Madoc, Clifford Cox, George Pravda, Clive Morton, Clifford Earl, and Norman Mitchell. The music was by Humphrey Searle, and Bernard Wilkiewas one half of the team behind the special effects.

BBC TV's schedule for 23rd and 24th November 1962:

BBC: FRIDAY 23rd November 1962

  • 9.40am - 11.55am: Schools Programming
  • 1pm (Welsh transmitters): Newyddion (Welsh-language news programme)
  • 1.05pm - Heddiw
  • 1.25pm - News
  • 1.30pm - Let's Imagine: Living Under the Sea
  • 2.05pm - Pioneers of Social Change: Number 9 - Lloyd George
  • 2.25pm - Interval
  • 2.30pm - Watch With Mother
  • Closedown...
  • 5pm - Tales of the Riverbank
  • 5.10pm - Captain Pugwash
  • 5.25pm - What's New?
  • 5.50pm - News
  • 6pm - View
  • 6.50pm - Tonight
  • Trevor Philpott reports from Belgium on the problem of language. Part of the country speaks Flemish, the other French, leading to deep divisions, culminating in riots. The Government's solution is a language frontier. Plus, if you're looking for a change of menu this weekend, then maybe Louise Davies has an idea for you. Paella.
  • 7.29pm - Headline News
  • 7.30pm - Adventure: First Look at Africa
  • Series of films taken by world travellers & explorers. The story of an expedition into the regions of Uganda, virtually unknown to man, by a party of English & African students. Narrated by David Parry.
  • 8pm - Dr Kildare
  • 8.50pm - Citizen James: The Jury
  • Comedy series starring Sid James, featuring Sydney Tafler, Walter Hudd and Derek Nimmo.
  • 9.15pm - News
  • Including reports on four British engineers killed in the Hungarian airliner crash in Paris and the murder of George Brinham, a member of the Labour National Executive who was killed in his flat by a 16-year-old boy.
  • 9.25pm - Wednesday's Child, play
  • 10.30pm - Film Profile: Jeanne Moreau
  • Derek Prouse talks to French actress Jeanne Moreau about her career.
  • 11pm - News
  • 11.10pm - Weather: Road Works Report

BBC: SATURDAY 24th November 1962

  • 12.10pm (Welsh transmitters) - Telewele
  • 12.35pm - Newyddion
  • 12.40pm - Public Service announcements
  • 12.45pm - Grandstand
  • including racing from Newbury, Ice skating, Championship Snooker from Birmingham, Rugby League: Hull v Wigan and Sports Results and News Service
  • 5pm - The Lone Ranger: One Nation Indivisible
  • Two brothers working their way west after they lose their farm because of the war encounter the Lone Ranger and learn about what a future can be if they can let go of the past
  • 5.25pm - Mr Pastry's Pet Shop: 2, A Very Dark Horse
  • 5.50pm - News
  • 5.53pm - Today's Sport
  • 6pm - Juke Box Jury
  • 6.30pm Dixon of Dock Green: A Home of One's Own.
    Police drama starring Jack Warner
  • 7.15pm - Bertram Mills Circus
  • 8pm - Laramie
  • 8.45pm - Film: The Spiral Staircase
  • A serial killer is targeting women with 'afflictions'; one night during a thunderstorm, mute Helen feels menaced. Starring Dorothy McGuire, George Brent and Ethel Barrymore.
  • 10.05pm - News, Weather
  • In America, enquiries have begun into the crash of the United Airlines Viscount in Maryland and seven-year-old Carl Connor, who was partially blind and deaf, was reunited with his grandmother after spending a night on Dartmoor. In Perth, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games were opened by the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • 10.15pm - Saturday Sport
  • In the FA Cup there were no shocks, with Hinckley scoring two goals against Queen's Park Rangers' seven.
  • 10.50pm - That Was The Week That Was
  • New topical satire programme presented by David Frost - with Kenneth Cope, David Kernan, Roy Kinnear, Millicent Martin, Lance Percival, and Willie Rushton.

The BBC faced competition for viewers from its commercial rival, ITV, which had been launched under the auspices of the now-defunct Independent Television Authority (created by The Television Act of 1954) to break the corporation's TV monopoly. 

The first ITV station to launch was Associated-Rediffusion on 22nd September 1955, serving the London area. By 14th September 1962, with the start of WWN (the transmission name of Teledu Cymru for Wales West and North), the UK and Channel Islands were covered by the regional ITV network, with separate franchises for weekdays and weekends. 

Each service sought to reflect its regional identity by having its own programmes in opt-out slots, as well as what it thought viewers would like to see from programmes made outside the region (eg, on Friday 23rd November between 5.25pm and 5.55pm, viewers in the Southern and Associated-Rediffusion areas were watching the antics of Yogi Bear while their counterparts in the Midlands were enjoying the exploits of Supercar on ATV, those in south Wales and the west of England were being entertained on TWW by The Adventures of Robin Hood (co-starring John Arnatt), people in the Anglia region had Mr Ed, Granada was showing The Terrific Adventures of the Terrible Ten, while Westward was airing National Velvet, etc), so to give a full picture of what was being aired when on ITV across the network on each day would result in a list far too long and - at times - irrelevant for the purposes of this feature. 

Instead, here, as far as research allows, is what would have been seen by viewers tuning into their ITV channel on both days:

ITV: FRIDAY 23rd November 1962

  • 12.45pm - 2.35pm: Very few ITV stations broadcasting, but ATV had Thought For The Day at 12.45pm, followed by Lunch Box between 12.47pm and 1.25pm, while Anglia began at 1.35pm by covering the Central Norfolk by-election, and both Granada and TWW started schools broadcasting at 1pm
  • 2.35pm - 3.41pm: For Schools
  • 4.45pm - Small Time (Willum's Tea Party) Some ITV stations only
  • 5pm - Street of Adventure, presented by Hugh Moran
  • 5.25pm - Opt-outs (see above)
  • 5.55pm - News
  • 6.05pm - Regional News
  • 6.10pm - 7pm: Opt-outs (including, at different times, Day By Day, Out Of Town, Close-Up, Top O' The Shop, Midland Profile, Arena, People And Places, The Jim Backus Show, and Westward Diary)
  • 7pm - Take Your Pick, presented by Michael Miles
  • 7.30pm - Emergency Ward 10
  • 8pm - 9pm: Opt-outs (including, at different times, I'm Dickens . . . He's Fenster, starring Marty Ingles and John Astin, Bonanza, The Dave King Show, Comedy Hour, and Police Five)
  • 9pm - News
  • 9.15pm - Television Playhouse: The Road To Anywhere, with Sam Kydd and Betty Baskcomb
  • 10.15pm - midnight: Opt-outs (including, at different times, The Verdict Is Yours: Regina vs Hoskins, The Sword In The Web - The Munition Factory, Adventures In Paradise, Now You're Talking, White Hunter, Tightrope, and The Unsleeping Sword)

Some stations had closed before midnight after the weather forecast or the epilogue, but shortly after midnight, following the weather forecast on Southern, the ITV network had closed down for the day.

ITV: SATURDAY 24th November 1962

  • 1.15pm - News
  • 1.20pm - 5pm: Sport and results
  • 5pm - 5.15pm: Opt-outs (including It's A Model World, introduced by Charles Oates, Bugs Bunny, The Wizard of Oz, and Meet Foo Foo)
  • 5.15pm - City Beneath The Sea (Episode 2 - Escape To Aegiria)
  • 5.45pm - News
  • 5.50pm - Thank Your Lucky Stars, introduced by Brian Matthew (except Anglia, which had the weather followed by The Flintstones and Popeye)
  • 6.30pm - 8.25pm: Opt-outs (including Cheyenne, Bonanza, Man of the World, and Surfside)
  • 8.25pm - Bruce's Show, hosted by Bruce Forsyth, starring Frank Ifield and Bill Howes
  • 9pm - News
  • 9.10pm - 10.05pm: Opt-outs (including 87th Precinct, Ben Casey, and Hawaiian Eye)
  • 10.05pm - The Avengers, starring Patrick Macnee in The Sell-Out, withFrank Gatliff and Arthur Hewlett. (The series had been created by Sydney Newman.)
  • 11pm - 11.50pm: Opt-outs (including, at different times, On The Braden Beat, ABC At Large, Broadway Goes Latin, Hennesey, and The Sword In The Web)
  • 11.50pm: News and, on most stations, weather (all but TWW, which showed The Sword In The Web at 11.05pm, followed by the weather)
  • 11.55pm - Epilogue (only some stations; weather forecast on Southern; Faith For Life on Westward)

On Saturday 24th November 1962, The Times ran a feature in its Notes On Broadcasting section, headlined Viewers Begin To Make Themselves Felt, in which its "Special Correspondent" said that "by general consent" the current season's television had "been one of the most disastrous in terms of quality since the Independent Television Authority came into operation."

Reference was made to The Pilkington Committee report on broadcasting, published in June 1962 at a cost of £45,450. Among a number of things, the inquiry had criticised ITV's "triviality" and backed T S Eliot's evidence statement to the committee that "Those who aim to give the public what the public wants begin by underestimating the public taste; they end by debauching it".

The author of the feature bemoaned the fact that "after the summer doldrums, the unveiling of the autumn schedule with a blare of publicity trumpets brought only weaker and worse." They noted that the best of the American shows had been replaced by "feeble American derivatives or even feebler British substitutes", citing 87th Precinct, which took over from Naked City on ITV, as an example. Withering criticism was also levelled at The Saint and Ghost Squad, both of which were labelled "ineffectual". 

On the positive side, it was noted that viewers' response had been so bad that the ITV companies were being forced to rethink things, an example being Associated-Rediffusion's sitcom It's A Living, starring Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss, being deemed so bad it was unceremoniously dumped after four episodes when it should have enjoyed a 13-week run. There was also reportedly such a negative reaction to ATV's Ghost Squad "that it suddenly disappeared for a week or two and re-emerged with some bland recasting . . . and a much livelier approach to scripting and direction." 

Similarly, the Granada sitcom Bulldog Breed (starring Peter Butterworth and Geoffrey Palmer) disappeared from the schedules after six weeks, one week before it was supposed to end, while another Granada series, The Verdict Is Yours, which dramatised real trials, had started with a Monday evening peak-time slot but got ignominiously bumped by Rawhide to post-10pm on Fridays.

However, the BBC wasn't "in any position to congratulate itself", said the writer, noting that the corporation was relying on "tried and true favourites" for major audience pulling power but that these were starting to become "increasingly faded and routine", with Z-Cars and Maigret both being singled out as guilty parties.

What this all meant, believed the writer, was not necessarily that bad TV was driving out good but that TV companies were beginning to adopt "a far less cavalier attitude to viewers' wishes" than had previously been the case, since in the past unpopular programmes had been allowed to "limp along" and stay the course but now "programmes which have gone are precisely those which the higher-browed critics would agree were not worth preserving." 

Next EpisodeA Newman at the BBC

Epilogue: the television of today

The two-channel television viewers of 1962 would be overwhelmed at the multitude of ways to watch a multitude of programmes across a multitude of channels that exist half a century later; but, perhaps, they would be less surprised at mix of shows that are still broadcast on the main two channels from their time!

You can use our comparison chart to see how the schedules looked back then and today.