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Weekly Newsletter

Talking Pictures TV on BBC News

Watch on Sky 328 | Freeview 81 | Freesat 306 | Virgin 445

Watch on Sky 328 | Freeview 81 | Freesat 306 | Virgin 445

Dear Friends and Supporters of Film & TV History,
What’s in this week’s newsletter?

We celebrate our 6th birthday!
Buy your copy of the film boffin MUST have book Shepperton Babylon.
The Lone Ranger is back!
All your premieres from 24th-30th May.
Exclusive Peter Cushing documentary.
Win a Flash Gordon DVD.
Important notes from Behind the Scenes: Happy birthday to us! 26th May marks the sixth birthday of Talking Pictures TV. Six years! It’s flown by. Without all of you, though, we wouldn’t be here, so thanks for being part of the family. Here’s to many more years of keeping the doors of ‘The Bijou’ firmly open! I might give Dad a day off next week😉. I think we will definitely sit down – not at our desks or on the Steinbeck but with a cup of tea and have a day off together just watching Talking Pictures TV… (Busman’s holiday I know!).

May 26th was also the birthday of the great Peter Cushing. In his honour, we are showing For the Love of Helen, a touching interview from 1990, in which he talks openly about his career and his life. It’s on Wednesday at 5.30pm.

Is that Silver we see galloping towards us? Yes, indeed, it is, as the trusty steed brings The Lone Ranger back to Saturday Morning Pictures. Tonto’s back too. See them at 11am on Saturday.

Lost Films and Episodes Found – Noel uncovered an episode of Badger's Bend this week – anyone remember that? It’s long thought lost so keep an eye on your newsletters for more updates!



Take your seats in the best cinema in the land for a great mix of films. There truly is something for everyone. (P.S. sorry about the leaky roof this week.)

For the Love of Helen on Wednesday at 5.30pm. On what would have been Peter’s Birthday – the legendary Peter Cushing talks candidly about his turbulent childhood, his long career on stage and screen, and his beloved wife, Helen.

Uncle Silas (1947) on Saturday at 2pm. Stars Jean Simmons, Katina Paxinou and Derrick de Marney. Jean Simmons’ first starring role was as the orphan sent to live with her scheming uncle in this Gothic thriller. His old, dark house is no place for a young girl and things only get worse when her terrifying governess returns. Are her inheritance and her life at risk?

The Beachcomber (1954) on Saturday at 4.05pm. Stars Robert Newton, Glynis Johns & Donald Sinden. The new Resident-in-Charge of a South Seas island group struggles to keep order. His only fellow Europeans on the islands are a drunken outcast and a brother and sister missionary pair intent on converting the islanders.

Prelude to Fame (1950) on Sunday at 3.30pm. Stars Guy Rolfe, Kathleen Byron & Jeremy Spenser. A young musical prodigy is isolated from everyone, including his parents, as he prepares to make his stage debut. This is a gripping tale of the conflict between art and life.

Upstairs, Downstairs on Sunday at 6pm. It is 1912. Lady Marjorie prepares to sail to New York to visit Elizabeth.

The Champions on Sunday at 9pm. Directed by JOHN GILLING and written by Terry Nation – so expect something special. Oh and Craig’s got a lady friend over for a BBQ in the opening scene… In this episode Sharron and Richard act as bodyguards to a visiting president. With guest star, Mike Pratt.

Bachelor of Hearts (1958) on Sunday at 10pm. Stars Hardy Kruger and Sylvia Syms. A German maths student spends a year in Cambridge on an exchange programme. He tries hard to fit in with British life and falls in love.


9.00 Superman. A bullet shaped car destroys the city police station.

9.10 The Cisco Kid. Jasper asks his friend Cisco to help stop the marriage between his niece and gangster Duke Ralston.

9.45 Mystery on Bird Island (1954). Stars Mavis Sage, Jennifer Beach & Nick Edmett. Two children on holiday on the Channel Islands, along with two local kids, catch smugglers who are supplementing their income by stealing rare birds’ eggs. Beautifully shot on the island of Alderney.

11.00 The Lone Ranger. A rancher who is embarrassed by his height receives platform shoes from Tonto and the Lone Ranger.

11.30 Radar Men from the Moon. It’s another adventure for Commando Cody.

11.45 Flip Flap (1948). In this Noveltoon animation, Flip Flap the seal runs away from the zoo and sets off for the North Pole where he meets a lovely girl-seal.


The usherette has put the kettle on and there might be biscuits too. Settle down with our choice of daily pre-lunchtime classics.

Cover Girl Killer (1959) on Monday at 10.30am. Someone is murdering cover girl models, leaving them in the same pose and place as featured in ‘Wow’ magazine. Stars Harry H. Corbett and Felicity Young.

Portrait from Life (1948) on Tuesday at 10.30am. Guy Rolfe is an Army Major searching for a concentration camp survivor after seeing her portrait in a London art gallery. With Mai Zetterling and Robert Beatty.

Miranda (1948) on Wednesday at 10.20am. A mermaid persuades a doctor to take her into his London home, from where she captures the hearts of several men. This classic comedy stars Glynis Johns, Googie Withers & Griffith Jones.

The Angel with The Trumpet (1950) on Thursday at 7.45am. Stars Eileen Herlie, Basil Sydney & Norman Wooland. A powerful, panoramic family story, from the last decades of the 19th Century through to the dark days of Nazi rule.

It’s All Over Town (1964) on Friday at 7.55am. Stars Frankie Vaughan, Lance Percival & Willie Rushton. A technician and his friend try to see all the London shows.


You deserve to put your feet up in the afternoon too. Time for another cuppa and maybe a slice of cake with some fine film choices.

Dear Mr Prohack (1949) on Monday at 3pm. A rare starring role for Cecil Parker as the civil servant who struggles to manage his new-found fortune. With Dirk Bogarde and Glynis Johns.

The Singer Not the Song (1961) on Tuesday at 3.05pm. It’s Dirk Bogarde again, this time as a Mexican bandit. With John Mills as the priest who stands up to him.

True as a Turtle (1957) on Wednesday at 1.40pm. Stars John Gregson, Cecil Parker & June Thorburn. Newlywed Tony offers his young wife Jane a yacht cruise as a honeymoon trip.

Gert and Daisy’s Weekend (1942) on Thursday at 2.40pm. Gert and Daisy are put in charge of a group of tearaway evacuee children. Stars Elsie and Doris Waters.

Appointment with Venus (1951) on Friday at 3pm. Stars David Niven & Glynis Johns. During WWII, a British Major is tasked with rescuing a pedigree cow from a German-occupied Channel Island.

Short Films, Glimpses and ‘Look At Life’

Nobody else offers the unique, and eclectic, range of short films that we do. These shorts may not always make it into the TV listings, so we’re highlighting them here for you. Make a note so as not to miss your favourites, or to set your recorders.


7.35am – 1955 The Channel Islands. A glimpse of these beautiful islands in the 50s, starting in Jersey and finishing in Guernsey. A fascinating, colourful insight into the holiday camps, streets and cars of the time.

9.15am – Look at Life: A Car is Born (1960). A look into the success of the British car, this film takes us through the various stages of design, production and testing to build up a fascinating profile of the industry.

11.50am – Look at Life: Scooter Commuter (1960). A look into how, in ten years, the number of scooters on British Roads had increased from 4,250 to over 470,000, plus the convenience of “Corgi” style bikes.

1.45pm – Look at Life: Top People (1960). A look into a new generation in the City of London, from the crane drivers helping to rebuild it, to the flat-dwellers overlooking this throbbing heart of commerce.

6.35pm – Patricia Presents: Witness in the Dark. Exclusive interview with Patricia Dainton who discusses her time on this film and her career in general.

(Followed by Witness in the Dark (1959) at 6.40pm.)

7.55pm – Patricia Presents: Outro. Thank you for watching from Patricia Dainton who wishes us a fond farewell and looks back on her life in film.


5.45pm – Look at Life: Jobs With a Thrill (1961). A look into some exciting careers, including that of steeplejack. Think your job is too boring? See what these men do for a living.

7.50pm – War Time London. Shot around 1944, this footage of the capital in war time focuses on Piccadilly Circus, The Strand and Westminster.


6am – Your Local Council (1949). Short educational film explaining how the Parish Council and County Council work together to ensure that a tree survives when a new pavilion is built.

6.30pm – Cornwall Calling (1930). Join us for a trip by sea and road around Cornwall, visiting coastal villages from Rye to The Lizard, in this film from the Austin car company.


7.40am – Talkies Presents: The Cinema Experience. A look back at how the cinema overtook the music hall as the most popular form of entertainment.


6am – Festival of Britain 1951. The Festival was a celebration of all that was good about Britain. In this archive footage we see the South Bank exhibition, the Sea and Ships pavilion, the Transport building and much more.

4.45pm – Look at Life: Driving Test. Driving school tuition, including the innovative mock-up car with moving lights, the junior driver course and the training of police drivers and London bus drivers. Watch out for green Ford Cortinas!


6am – London’s Nine Elms Locomotive Shed in 1960. A glimpse of the workings of one of London’s most important railway sheds, which opened in 1838.

5.45pm – Look at Life: Getting a Move On (1961). A look into the science of removals, following a family’s move from Suffolk to Edinburgh.


12.20pm – Look at Life: Chickens in the Mill (1961). A look into the new industrial revolution in Lancashire. From 1950, more than 55 cotton mills were converted for light industry. How did this affect Lancashire’s workers?

5.15pm – Look at Life: Men in the Mode (1961). A look into the world of male fashion and how it is slowly moving towards gaiety and decoration.


Shepperton Babylon by Matthew Sweet

A gripping history of BRITISH CINEMA

This fascinating, well-researched book is filled with insight into British national cinema. There are intimate portraits of many of the players from the early days, many of whom were interviewed for the book.

“A lively alternative history of the (British) studios.”
The Independent


Tune in to the popular podcast for news, views and reviews of upcoming films and shows on your favourite channel.


We do love hearing from our viewers and encourage you to send us your emails and letters. It’s more love for Saturday Morning Pictures, this time from John Rees.

What happy memories your Saturday Morning Pictures brings back to me now at the age of 70 .... they remind me of when I used to go to my local ABC Cinema in West Hartlepool, as the town was called then way back in 1960. I loved those Republic Serials like the one you are now showing, “Radar Men from the Moon”. I wonder how many of your viewers have noticed, the flying suit featured also played a major part in another Republic Serial from 1948 called “King Of The Rocket Men”.

The old ABC Cinema at West Hartlepool? That alas was knocked down some years ago and now has a Morrisons store built upon the site ...... and that, as they say, is progress!

Thanks for getting in touch, John. We’re so pleased to have brought back happy memories. And well spotted on the flying suit!


It’s your chance to win Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe on DVD, by answering the three questions below. Email your answer to sarah@talkingpicturestv.co.uk with QUIZ 23/05 in the subject line by 9am on Tuesday 25th May. A winner will be drawn from all the correct answers we receive. Don’t forget to include your postal address so we can send you your prize if you’re the lucky winner.

Which prolific author wrote the novel on which The Beachcomber (Sat at 4.05pm) was based?
Mike Pratt, guest star in this week’s The Champions, also wrote the theme song to which 1961 film, recently shown on Talking Pictures TV?
Elsie and Doris Waters (Gert and Daisy’s Weekend, Thursday at 2.40pm) were the sisters of which famous actor?

Congratulations to Timothy Badger of Thetford. A prize will be on its way to you soon. The answers were:

Rogue Male
Warner Bros
Aldwych Theatre


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We want everyone to enjoy all that Talking Pictures TV has to offer in these difficult times.

Noel, Sarah and Neill