THREE BEHIND-THE-SCENES IMAGES taken during location filming on series one of Survivors at Hampton Court, Herefordshire in the early summer of 1975 have been saved from being dumped in landfill by the intervention of former BBC video-tape (VT) engineers.
The images, which show preparations for recording scenes from The Future Hour and Something of Value were taken by an in-house BBC technical photographer to help illustrate Outside Broadcast (OB) video-tape techniques for educational and training purposes.
After languishing unseen in a BBC archives for many years, these photos, alongside many other similar production and technical illustrations, were rescued from imminent destruction and uploaded to the VT Old Boys website - an online community for retired and former BBC video-tape editors, operators and technicians.
Chris Booth of VT Old Boys explains: "The slides in our Archive section were discovered in 2004 in a skip! We think that they originally came from the BBC Engineering Information Department (EID) which was one of the many casualties of the Birt and post-Birt era."
"They are nearly all in glass mounts as I suspect they were used in BBC technical presentations, which would have toured all over the country."
"These three Survivors slides are all we've got. They're classified in the master list that was with them as 'Outside Broadcasts > Television > Survivors > Tech Equipment late 70s'. The actual mounts have 'LMCR' written on them.
Retired BBC VT engineer Ian Rutter was the source for many of the on-location VT Old Boys photos. "Ian, who was an Outside Broadcast VT man all his career, supplied all our 1970s and 1980s Mobile VT pictures", explains Chris (although not these particular Survivors images).
"Ian did work on Survivors himself. I note from the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) that he is credited as a VT engineer on the programme."
The slides in our Archive section were discovered in 2004 in a skip!
"I can recall working on one episode of Survivors myself", Chris adds. "I suspect it may have been Mad Dog, as I can recall sequences shot on a steam railway. It may have been the next episode, which was Bridgehead, though, as I have a memory of George Spenton Foster being the director that I worked with."
"It was a slightly odd situation to be in, however. I was, in the case of my Survivors episode, the assistant to Geoff Higgs, who edited it - although I had been an editor in my own right for some years by that time. I suspect it was edited during a time of staff shortages."
Chris concludes on a more sombre note: "Looking through the Survivors: A World Away site, I was saddened to note the death of Pennant Roberts, another of the directors I edited for over the years. I must track down his obituary and add it to our list of those we worked with."
Cite this web page
Cross, R. (2021). 'Unseen series one location shots,' [online] Survivors: A World Away, 31 January. Available at: https://www.survivors-mad-dog.org.uk/a-world-away/Hampton_VT.php. Accessed on: 11 May 2021.
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