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Francis Durbridge

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:23 am
by andrew baker
I've recently watched a load of Francis Durbridge thriller serials on recent DVDs. You can get everything from Desperate People (1963) onwards.

They are very important bits of BBC Tv from the 60s and 70s - but more popular in Germany where some were remade.

They are the archetypal mysteries with twists, usually in home counties small towns with seedy used car salesmen etc.

Sadly the most famous, the World of Tim Frazer, is lost.

Several were made fir BBC2 and repeated on BBC1.

I suspect these were repeated from telerecordings, Bat Out of Hell (with a young John Thaw) has pristine 35mm filmed inserts so I guess it was recorded directly onto 35mm film rather than tape so the filmed scenes could be edited in, I suspect this was common in the late 6os. The first series of Adam Adamant was shot with 625 line cameras, directly telerecorded onto 35mm film, How common was this?

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:05 am
by Bernie
Not uncommon in the sixties. If the programme needed editing, especially a number of edits, it was better to film record than VT record. so that the edit was done on film. And a long term advantage, not thought about at the time, was that films were sent to the Brentford library and stashed on a shelf for ever. This is why there are plenty of 35mm inserts for shows that have been wiped.

One of the jobs for the most junior on the camera crew - me - was to go down to the studio floor during the half hour line up period and uncap a camera so that film recording could set up their scans. I used the time to practice my camerawork.

B

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:16 pm
by ian b
You can see how the BBC2 Durbridge serieals fitted into it's thriller slot here...

http://www.mausoleumclubforum.org.uk/xm ... #pid244057

Two episodes of TIM FRASER exist, eps 3 and 10 - the earlier one is quintessentially Durbridge, all his tropes distilled into a single segment.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:54 pm
by The Post Office
I remember watching BREAKAWAY by Francis Durbridge on BBC1 in 1980. Martin Jarvis played the lead character. I'm not sure if it was ever reapeated. It's one of those serials that I look for every now and then to see if it has had a DVD release - along with Telford's Change, Assassination Run, The Treachery Game and Running Blind. They were all shown around about the same time on BBC1 - give or take a year or two.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:17 pm
by andrew baker
Breakaway is in Volume 2 of the DVDs

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Francis-Durbri ... +durbridge

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:33 am
by The Post Office
andrew baker wrote:Breakaway is in Volume 2 of the DVDs

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Francis-Durbri ... +durbridge
Thanks for the info. It's a pity they don't do Breakaway on its own - £44 is a bit too pricey for me.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:15 pm
by Ian Wegg
The Post Office wrote:Thanks for the info. It's a pity they don't do Breakaway on its own - £44 is a bit too pricey for me.
I bought my from Madman, at last year's exchange rate is was £28 including shipping.

https://www.madman.com.au/catalogue/vie ... s-volume-2

~iw

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:59 pm
by andrew baker
I'm watching Breakaway now. I didn't see it in January 1980.It's a delight as it is exactly like the earlier Durbridges - 2 stories of 6 30 minute episodes. These DVD sets are things anyone interested in 1960s BBC really needs to have!

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:27 pm
by The Post Office
andrew baker wrote:I'm watching Breakaway now. I didn't see it in January 1980.It's a delight as it is exactly like the earlier Durbridges - 2 stories of 6 30 minute episodes. These DVD sets are things anyone interested in 1960s BBC really needs to have!
I still remember the name "Marius Rye" which I think was written on a van - 37 years on!

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:29 pm
by Mark
I'm still surprised more of them haven't been released in region 2, though.

I have the 1974 "Mellissa" DVD, but I think there are a couple of others as well.

You would think Simply would be all over them.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:22 pm
by ian b
andrew baker wrote:I'm watching Breakaway now. I didn't see it in January 1980.It's a delight as it is exactly like the earlier Durbridges - 2 stories of 6 30 minute episodes.
BREAKAWAY: THE LOCAL AFFAIR is closer to the past than you might think - it's a remake of THE SCARF, from 1959.

Unfortunately, the Madman dvd release of it has been filmised.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:36 pm
by andrew baker
The Family Affair isn't. Odd. Could be to do with German release versions.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:42 pm
by ian b
andrew baker wrote:Could be to do with German release versions.
No, just poor QC somewhere along the line.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:18 pm
by Don Satchley
I have finally gotten around to watching Breakaway for both of the runs of 6 episodes (thanks to yt) and found them delightful. I had never before appreciated Martin Jarvis as an actor. He always seemed very boring to me as a youngster. The Family Affair was very good in its ability to surprise and it was great to see so many familiar faces as supporting actors.
Likewise, The Local Affair was also superb, the action now crisscrossing between London and Market Cross (aka Southwold). Nice to see Ed Bishop (forever known for Klaus Hergesheimer for me) pop up and again a great cast. Jarvis plays Sam Harvey excellently. It is a real shame that there weren't any more series. Was this show well-received at the time? It also gives rise to another new nom de plume for me online; Marius of Rye! What a great story.
Don

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:38 pm
by Don Satchley
Just watched the 3 part serial The Doll, with John Fraser, Anouska Hempel and Geoffrey Whitehead. Another splendid series. Had me guessing until the end. I am very glad to have discovered Francis Durbridge and will seek out more of his work on tv.

Re: Francis Durbridge

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:58 pm
by Don Satchley
Just watched The Passenger. Another belter of a serial that has you guessing and keeps you entertained. On a side note, a welsh actor named Paul Grist was in this and had a handful of acting credits including Dr Who episodes then seemed to vanish. Anyway I did a bit of searching and was glad to see he is alive and gave up acting to race and restore Alfa Romeos! Nice to hear of someone doing well elsewhere as often I wonder about actors who are only in a handful of things then vanish. I wonder do any members know where the Durbridge serials were filmed? The ones I have watched are too blurry to make out signs much so I wasn't sure where either The Passenger or The Doll were filmed (not even sure the boat scenes were on the IoW either).