A website about UK Science Fiction, digging through the past to uncover the future.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

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The British Film Institute is a wondrously arcane institution. Living inside the National Film Theatre on London's Southbank, it fights to save the last remnants of UK moving visual culture from disappearance. Sittings in the shadows, studiously taking notes and archiving things, the BFI only occasionally sharing the fruits of its labour with the rest of us.

A case in point is this site, www.screenonline.org.uk. It's a big database of important film and television, all stuck online for us, the people. Just check out this section on British science fiction television: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/445256/index.html.

You go in and wow! There's clips and complete episodes from such treasures as Doomwatch, Day of the Triffids, Quatermass and The Pit and the masterful Survivors. You click the link, for example, on the complete first episode of Survivors, salivating at the thought of seeing Peter Bowles cough himself to death in the seventies, and then you find that you can only watch these clips if you are in an educational establishment or public library.

So near and yet so far...

If there's anyone out there who can get Archeology of the Future into their college, library or other educational establishment out of hours to watch this stuff, we'd be over the moon.

Today's photo comes from www.ilike.org.uk, a wonderful blog of lovely ephemera, of which Archeology of the Future are huge fans. The picture's linked to the site. Please go and check it out, there's much to be seen and cherished. If Archeology of the Future could chose its family, www.ilike.org.uk would be the cousin that we thought was so cool we got too embarrassed to talk to them every time we saw them at weddings and birthdays.


Blogger Wyndham said...

I once worked with Peter Bowles - pompous guy, but what a body of work - The Prisoner, The Avengers, in fact he popped up in all those wonderful sci-fi/action ATV shows.

11:08 am, March 23, 2006

Blogger Archeology of the Future said...

Squa Fon! You're correct. Peter Bowles certainly did get about a bit didn't he?

Consulting IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0101248/

Peter Bowles was in Department S, four episodes of The Avengers, one episode of The Prisoner, one of the Protectors and, most exclamatory 'P'of all, The Persuaders! He was also in one episode of Adam Adamant Lives! (another exclamation mark, you certainly don't get that anymore).

He is also the proud possessor of the most rubbish trivia page on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0101248/bio

"He has performed at the Bristol Old Vic" - Yeah, who hasn't?

How did you come to be working with Peter Bowles, Wyndham? We like to think that you were developing, in a secret research establishment somewhere on Exmoor, the return of Science Fiction to UK television, but we bet we're wrong.

12:12 pm, March 23, 2006

Blogger Wyndham said...

I worked with him on a radio documentary about the history of gossip columnists. When I was young he was more known for all those cheesy 70s sitcoms as a dreadful smoothie. But I went to see him in the title Gangster No 1 at the Almeida Theatre and I was totally gobsmacked, as an actor he was a total revelation. I have, rather embarassingly, tried to catch him on stage rather often.

He also appears in one of my favourite movies, Blow Up, wearing a tragically 60s beard.

11:02 pm, March 23, 2006


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