Promised Programmes that were never made

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George White
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Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by George White »

As people might have encountered on gallifreybase, I am interested in this topic.
The Upstairs Downstairs Mrs. Bridges and Hudson seaside hotel series that was postponed indefinitely when Angela Baddeley died.

Rose Tyler - Earth Defence
Series2 of Agony Again and Filthy, Rich and Catflap AND Hitchhikers Guide and 20th century Roadshow
The so-called Avengers TV movie with Jeremy Northam and Saffron Burrows/AVENGERS USA
'The Irish Adventures of Worzel Gummidge'
Ripper - the further adventures of Rupert Giles.
Still William, produced by Witzend with scripts by Marks & Gran. They had permission from the Richmal Crompton estate, but on the condition that he was NOT married to Violet Elizabeth. The writers decided to marry him off to Joan instead. Ginger was going to be bald, but gay so he could still use the name. It sounded horrendous. I'm glad it was never made.

Others...

A Dynasty knock-off produced by Simon Napier Bell (manager of T-Rex, Wham etc) set in 'glossy' European locations (whatever that means). Announced c1987.Any of the rumoured Blackadder shows - The Black Asp, Staradder, The Blackadder Five. Et al...



New On The Buses, with the gang working for a privatised bus company. Announced on Wogan with most of the old cast present, but it never materialised. c1989.
THE MINISTRY - Gareth Roberts (looking for more information forthis "new Avengers-type meets Men in Black".
Jago & Litefoot: a Doctor Who spin-off

The main reason I came here was this message from Andrew Pixley.
Hi George

Quote:
Originally Posted by George White View Post
ANDREW, I have long admired your intelligence ...
Bless you. Plenty of other people out there whom I know definitely wouldn't agree with your evaluation though ...

Quote:
... any other examples, Anthony Coburn's ENSEC, ANY THINGS THAT WERE CAST BUT NEVER PRODUCED, NOT EVEN A PILOT. ANY MORE DETAILS ON THAT "THE MINISTRY".
I think most of the Anthony Coburn material was covered quite superbly covered by Graham Kibble-White in his terrific "DWB" articles and as for "The Ministry", Gareth does I think occasionally look in here (or he used to ...).

Can't think of many others off hand - mainly I think of pilots that did go to series ... simply because the long reams of intangible ideas that were never documented or developed or turned into something else are endless. Like the revamps of "The Avengers" - is "Avengers USA" different to "Escapade" or the same thing? There was certainly a Kit Pedler/Gerry Davis format called something like "Earthforce" I seem to recall from the fanzine "TimeScreen", but I don't recall the details. And of course, one of the reasons that we often don't have many details is that they got no further than a few scribbles on a bit of long forgotten paper.

Some of the trade magazines are excellent sources for unmade series. I'm pretty sure there was an ITC film series called "Aces High" to be produced by Robert S Baker that didn't happen. The film series of "Whacko!" to be made as an American co-production. Other ATV backed film series I've seen reference to were "The Amazing Dr Thorndyke", "International Hospital", "Hongkong Harbour" (aka "Catch Dragon-Fly"), "Fleet Street" , "King, Queen and Knave" (with Robert Morley), "London Bureau", "Whitehall SW1" ... and there were a few proposed Hammer TV series as well, and a Conan Doyle series to be made by Sapphire Films in 1960. And there was the Dalek TV series that came within weeks of production in late 1966 which we covered in detail in "DWM".

That's a few odds and ends ... there'd be plenty to research in trade magazines for anyone with the time and resources ...

All the best

Andrew"

and this reply which sent me here.

"Hi George

In haste ... busy night I'm afraid ... very brief reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George White View Post
I'm 18, but I've long loved cult telly from watching Who and Gerry Anderson when I was a little lad to exploring various dvd shops.
Excellent! If you have a real passion for it, it'll be with you for life. Watch the shows on DVD and online and via obscure channels. Drink them in. Understand them. Study them. Discuss them. And - most importantly - have fun doing so!

Quote:
Aces High, anything to do with the film?
Not that I know of. Can't recall what I did find out about it. Places like Roobarbs Forum of Mausoleum Club may shed some light ...

Quote:
Was the Whacko series for ITV, as I know the original was BBC.
This was a US-UK project between the BBC and a Hollywood studio, around the same time as co-production deals were being made on "The Third Man", "RCMP", etc. - circa 1958/1959 as I recall.

Quote:
Dr. Thorndyke stories were also adapted into a BBC SERIES, apparently with Peter Copley, as well as two Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.
WHEN WERE THESE UNMADE SERIES SUPPOSED TO BE MADE, 60S, 70S?
The ITC Thorndyke was early 1960s - possibly there was a rights conflict with the BBC version.

Quote:
Apparently, according to Alan Barnes, Universal TV after the failure of a SHERLOCK Holmes pilot, one with Stewart Granger in Victorian setting, (though they'd later try with a modern They Might Be Giants-ripoff with Larry Hagman as an amnesiac cop who begins to believe he's Sherlock), planned to do a series of TV movies with Robert Shaw in the role. Jaws put paid to these movies, putting Shaw out of the budgetary range.
Love Alan Barnes' stuff on Sherlock Holmes - lovely fella.

All the best

Andrew"

stanbutler
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by stanbutler »

Red Dwarf USA - A pilot was shot but never broadcast, the execs weren't happy with it and gave Grant & Naylor the opportunity to put together a promo which also didn't go anywhere. This was around 1992 as I recall.

Charles Norton
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Charles Norton »

Quatermass in the Third Reich - Nigel Kneale wrote an outline, but the BBC knocked the idea back in about 2001. No full script was ever completed, but Kneale carried on thinking about the idea until his death in 2006. His agent is sadly in unable to remember what happened to the outline for the story, beyond recalling that the BBC didn't want to go ahead with it at the time. It would probably have been either 90 mins or 2x60 mins.

There was also Graeme Harper's plan to capitalise on his success with David Tennant on Doctor Who, by directing a glossy Western drama for BBC 1. It never got commissioned.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Ross »

Was there really going to be a second TV series of Hitchhikers? What happened there?

And what's the story behind Worzel Gummidge in Ireland?

I remember Still William being discussed in the papers and I'm really clad it was never made. It sounds like it'd piss all over Richmal Crompton's wonderful creation.

Ripper sounded like it was definitely going ahead. I was surprised it never materialised.

To add to the list, Victor Pemberton in a TV Zone interview c.1993 said he wanted to bring back Timeslip with the original cast as an adult all-film series. Not too hard to see why this was never made.

There's also the continuity announcer's promise of a second series of Filthy, Rich & Catflap.

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David Boothroyd
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by David Boothroyd »

Had YTV not fallen out with Wilfred Greatorex, the 1982 series 'Airline' would have continued to possibly 12 episodes (9 were made), and a second series made which featured a larger airliner. A Lockheed Constellation was actually found for this series (it's now in the Science Museum store at Wroughton).

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Simon36 »

I always wonder just how the intended Robin of Sherwood series four would have panned out with an all-male gang of merries and already just one too many escapes from Nottingham Castle.

Jago and Litefoot I could easily see as a Sunday afternoon hit though.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Jaz_Wiseman »

There were some unmade ITC Action series.

Aces High - I got to know Robert S.Baker (Bob) very well and I asked him about Aces High a couple of times and he had no recollection of being approached to make/produce it.

Dexter - Tribune Productions for ITC. Tony Williamson wrote the pilot and apparently it was intended as a series for Tony Curtis to star in after The Persuaders!. It was about a magician/secret agent.

The Powder Puff War - Again Tony Williamson wrote the pilot and this was in the vein of Jason King only with a female lead!

International Squad - Another Tony Williamson pilot written in the early mid-70s. A sort of Champions/Department S style of series, three agents solving crimes worldwide. Sadly out-dated for the time. Lew Grade turned it down.

Will dig out the script for the Philip Broadley/Dennis Spooner 90 minute pilot they wrote, sorry can't remember the title off the top of my head.

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Mickey
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Mickey »

Ross wrote:Ripper sounded like it was definitely going ahead. I was surprised it never materialised.
Joss Whedon periodically swears that it's still on. Realistically I think that ship sailed quite a few years ago though. It's a shame, as it's a series that was crying out to be made.
Simon36 wrote:I always wonder just how the intended Robin of Sherwood series four would have panned out with an all-male gang of merries and already just one too many escapes from Nottingham Castle.
And two Robins to boot, if plans to bring back Michael Praed for series four had come to fruition. The simple answer is that one too many escapes would indeed have one day been one too many. Richard Carpenter said that he planned to give the Merries a B7 style ending, so I'm rather glad that series four never happened. Partly because I should have hated to see that, and partly because half the brilliance of B7 is that they had the gall to do what few others have. Once it's been done, it would be very hard to do it again half so well.

And to add to the list, I'm still waiting on that second series of "Powers", BBC. And that adaptation of JG Ballard's "Vermillion Sands" that you promised years back. It was time to move away from the comfort zone of 19th century period dramas, apparently. Presumably reality set in.

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Simon Coward
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Simon Coward »

I'm not sure how far down the line something has to go before it counts as "promised" rather than merely mooted or discussed around a table, but if you're looking for programmes mentioned outside of the company walls...

A couple of planned ITC series bit the dust around the time of the Equity actors' strike of 1961/62. These were The Amazing Dr. Thorndyke, which Andrew Pixley mentioned, and which was planned as a science-fiction series - so maybe not quite from the same stock as the BBC's Thorndyke, and Collector's Item. A third series, also put on hold by the dispute, will be a bit more familiar: Man of the World.

The same strike buried plans for a few Granada sitcoms including Say 99, The Builders (I guess they'd have come up with a snappier title before broadcast), The Charleston Years and Too Many Crooks.

Wasn't Brian Clemens going to do something called The Good Guys at some point in the 1980s - or did that eventually morph into Dempsey and Makepeace?
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Juswuh »

There would have been a second series of Strange Report if Anthony Quayle and Anneke Wills had been willing to move to Hollywood.

Also, how close did Journey To The Unknown come to a second series?

Billy
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Billy »

If we're including individual episodes, the fabled Doctor Who episode written by Stephen Fry never actually happened despite a fair bit of hype.

Bottom was meant to be revived a few years back but got quietly cancelled after Ade changed his mind and pulled out after two episodes. Rik still wants to do it.

There was a major attempt to revive The Generation Game with Paul O'Grady a decade ago, recording a pilot which apparently went very badly - a bored audience and Paul injuring himself with one of the stunts ensured the swift end of it. Then they tried again with Graham Norton, which this time had a pilot that made it to air but again a full series didn't happen despite being widely predicted.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Spiny Norman »

Mickey wrote:
Simon36 wrote:I always wonder just how the intended Robin of Sherwood series four would have panned out with an all-male gang of merries and already just one too many escapes from Nottingham Castle.
And two Robins to boot, if plans to bring back Michael Praed for series four had come to fruition. The simple answer is that one too many escapes would indeed have one day been one too many. Richard Carpenter said that he planned to give the Merries a B7 style ending, so I'm rather glad that series four never happened.
Would it really have been different then before? No doubt Marian would've come back because of some reason or plot device?
Why was it cancelled, anyway, does anyone know?
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Steve Williams
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Steve Williams »

As Mark Lewisohn's book mentions, they announced in the mid-nineties that Steve Coogan was going to do a series featuring Gareth Cheeseman but it never happened, leaving his episode of Coogan's Run as his only appearance.

At the same time, Mike Yarwood was enjoying something of a comeback, he appeared on Have I Got News For You of course and also hosted All The Best For Christmas, a compilation of comedy clips on BBC1 at Christmas 1995. It was then announced that he'd be getting his own BBC show again, I remember it was going to be called Taking Off With Yarwood, and there was a call in the Radio Times for budding impressionists to appear on it with him. But it never happened.

George White
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by George White »

Mickey wrote:
Ross wrote:Ripper sounded like it was definitely going ahead. I was surprised it never materialised.
Joss Whedon periodically swears that it's still on. Realistically I think that ship sailed quite a few years ago though. It's a shame, as it's a series that was crying out to be made.
Simon36 wrote:I always wonder just how the intended Robin of Sherwood series four would have panned out with an all-male gang of merries and already just one too many escapes from Nottingham Castle.
And two Robins to boot, if plans to bring back Michael Praed for series four had come to fruition. The simple answer is that one too many escapes would indeed have one day been one too many. Richard Carpenter said that he planned to give the Merries a B7 style ending, so I'm rather glad that series four never happened. Partly because I should have hated to see that, and partly because half the brilliance of B7 is that they had the gall to do what few others have. Once it's been done, it would be very hard to do it again half so well.

And to add to the list, I'm still waiting on that second series of "Powers", BBC. And that adaptation of JG Ballard's "Vermillion Sands" that you promised years back. It was time to move away from the comfort zone of 19th century period dramas, apparently. Presumably reality set in.
I loved Powers. I was nine when it aired, and I was recently amazed to learn that one of the episodes, bizarrely the one I have no memory of was written by ex-Hammer/AIP scribe/script editor Christopher Wicking.

Sadly, now that Robin "Ethan Rayne" Sachs is dead, that may have killed Ripper.

George White
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by George White »

Jaz_Wiseman wrote:There were some unmade ITC Action series.

Aces High - I got to know Robert S.Baker (Bob) very well and I asked him about Aces High a couple of times and he had no recollection of being approached to make/produce it.

Dexter - Tribune Productions for ITC. Tony Williamson wrote the pilot and apparently it was intended as a series for Tony Curtis to star in after The Persuaders!. It was about a magician/secret agent.

The Powder Puff War - Again Tony Williamson wrote the pilot and this was in the vein of Jason King only with a female lead!

International Squad - Another Tony Williamson pilot written in the early mid-70s. A sort of Champions/Department S style of series, three agents solving crimes worldwide. Sadly out-dated for the time. Lew Grade turned it down.

Will dig out the script for the Philip Broadley/Dennis Spooner 90 minute pilot they wrote, sorry can't remember the title off the top of my head.
thanks.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Tim Munro »

Spiny Norman wrote:Would it really have been different then before? No doubt Marian would've come back because of some reason or plot device?
Why was it cancelled, anyway, does anyone know?
Well Marian would have been back but not for the majority of episodes - the reason she was written out in "Time of the Wolf" is that Judi Trott had already told Richard Carpenter she didn't want to do the whole of series 4. The cancellation was down to Goldcrest pulling out of financing the series (in order to concentrate on film production - which worked out so well for them...) and HTV were unable to fund it on their own.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

An obvious one is Dan Dare. James Fox cast, model work begun, then ATV lost their franchise...
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Ross »

In an early-90's book about the making of Inspector Morse, there's an interview with the writer Julian Mitchell. In it, he says he's busy adapting William Golding's Sea Trilogy and John Le Carre's The Secret Pilgrim for television.

The latter was never made; the former appeared in 2005 as To the Ends of the Earth, but without Mitchell as a credited writer, so presumably a completely different production.

According to IMDb, Mitchell also wrote with Ray Davies a TV play for Granada: Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire. The Kinks album of the same name, presumably songs intended for the play, was released subsequently.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Ross »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:An obvious one is Dan Dare. James Fox cast, model work begun, then ATV lost their franchise...
Another Dan Dare was mooted c.1991. According to rumours at the time, space had been booked at Shepperton Studios, effects tests had been done, and Nabil Shaban was all set to appear as the Mekon. Apparently a pilot was made, with Robert Bathurst as Dan and Geoffrey Hughes as his sidekick. It was never shown.

And here's another...

Series two of Hippies was commissioned but never written by Arthur Mathews as the first series had been reviewed unfavourably. Lots of erroneous rumours went round the internet that the series had been made in full but never shown.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Spiny Norman »

Tim Munro wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Would it really have been different then before? No doubt Marian would've come back because of some reason or plot device?
Why was it cancelled, anyway, does anyone know?
Well Marian would have been back but not for the majority of episodes - the reason she was written out in "Time of the Wolf" is that Judi Trott had already told Richard Carpenter she didn't want to do the whole of series 4. The cancellation was down to Goldcrest pulling out of financing the series (in order to concentrate on film production - which worked out so well for them...) and HTV were unable to fund it on their own.
Two Robins and no Marian... That could've been the beginning of a firm friendship!
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Brian F »

One that a pilot was made with Robert Hardy "The Incredible Robert Baldick" (1972). I saw it in the NFT many years later but apart form the train in it I can't remember much. IMDB suggests it was proposed as a Dr Who replacement!!!

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Tim Munro »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Tim Munro wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Would it really have been different then before? No doubt Marian would've come back because of some reason or plot device?
Why was it cancelled, anyway, does anyone know?
Well Marian would have been back but not for the majority of episodes - the reason she was written out in "Time of the Wolf" is that Judi Trott had already told Richard Carpenter she didn't want to do the whole of series 4. The cancellation was down to Goldcrest pulling out of financing the series (in order to concentrate on film production - which worked out so well for them...) and HTV were unable to fund it on their own.
Two Robins and no Marian... That could've been the beginning of a firm friendship!
I think the two Robins in Series 4 idea is a misunderstanding. Series 4 was definitely planned for Connery and I've never heard of a Praed return being planned then. However, around 1993 there was talk of a mini-series and as Connery wasn't available the plan was to bring Praed back somehow. Praed and Nikolas Grace even appeared on breakfast tv to talk about the possibility.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by wittoner »

Clement and La Frenais wanted to do an updated Likely Lads showing the "lads" approaching pension age. Bob was divorced from Thelma and living hand to mouth in a bedsit while Terry was living the life of riley on compensation received following an industrial accident.
Of course James Bolam woulldn't consider it. If they wait another 30 years maybe Ant and Dec will do it.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Mike S »

There was talk of a fifth Python series in 1975 wasn't there? I've often wondered if embryonic versions of Tomkinson's Schooldays and Out of the Trees (both very series four-ish) would have featured.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by ctraynor »

From the other way round, Mr Pither's Cycling Tour from Python has sometimes been remarked on as a prototype of Ripping Yarns.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Doom Patrol »

Brian F wrote:One that a pilot was made with Robert Hardy "The Incredible Robert Baldick" (1972). I saw it in the NFT many years later but apart form the train in it I can't remember much. IMDB suggests it was proposed as a Dr Who replacement!!!
Oh, I remember that well. A buried evil lurking in a cave. Cue lots of Pertwee style screen distortions etc. I thought it was very good at the time.

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

Mike S wrote:There was talk of a fifth Python series in 1975 wasn't there? I've often wondered if embryonic versions of Tomkinson's Schooldays and Out of the Trees (both very series four-ish) would have featured.
Indeed. Both were originally written with Monty Pithon Series 5 in mind. Chapman and Adams apparently also wrote a second OOTT episode that was obviously never recorded. Been looking for a copy of the script for decades with no success...

Palin, Jones and Chapman were all keen to do Python Series 5. Gilliam said he would only if Idle agreed. But Idle wasn't keen. Pity.
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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

There was also the planned Upstairs Downstairs spin-off where Mr and Mrs Hudson(!) would run a hotel. Of course, Angela Baddeley died before anything ever happened. And spin-off Thomas and Sarah had a planned out Series 2 that never happened, leaving Series 1 ending on what was never supposed to be a cliffhanger mystery, but ended up being one.
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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Ross »

Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:There was also the planned Upstairs Downstairs spin-off where Mr and Mrs Hudson(!) would run a hotel
You mean the one mentioned in the very first paragraph of the first post in this thread? ;-)

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Re: Promised Programmes that were never made

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

Ross wrote:
Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:There was also the planned Upstairs Downstairs spin-off where Mr and Mrs Hudson(!) would run a hotel
You mean the one mentioned in the very first paragraph of the first post in this thread? ;-)
Sorry. When I joined there were 25 posts, so I just skim-read through it, reading most but not all of this thread.
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