Softly Softly: Taskforce

What's not currently on the box
Michael
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Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Michael »

Just noticed some of this slipping through the BBFC. Anyone know anything about this?

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Tim Scrafton
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Tim Scrafton »

Super. I suppose it had to come, what with the Dixon and Z Cars episodes already out there.

JWG
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by JWG »

November 11th release,according to Amazon.the whole of series 1. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Softly-Task-For ... task+force

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Bernie
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Bernie »

What were the dates of the original transmisssions? Or any one of them?

B

JWG
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by JWG »

Bernie wrote:What were the dates of the original transmisssions? Or any one of them?

B
There's this at the BFI database http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/2541 if it's any good?

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Simon Coward
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Simon Coward »

Bernie wrote:What were the dates of the original transmisssions? Or any one of them?
For the episodes certificated:

20/11/1969 Arrival
27/11/1969 Exercise
04/12/1969 Diversion
11/12/1969 The Spoilt Ones
18/12/1969 To Protect The Innocent
01/01/1970 Any Other Night
08/01/1970 The Aggro Boy
15/01/1970 Standing Orders
22/01/1970 Private Mischief
29/01/1970 Open And Shut
05/02/1970 Sprats And Mackerels
12/02/1970 Like Any Other Friday...
19/02/1970 Power Of The Press
26/02/1970 Trust A Woman
05/03/1970 The Hermit
12/03/1970 Escort

After that, there are a further 133 episodes spread across seven series, running from 16/09/1970 to 15/12/1976. I believe they all survive, though I think one 1972 episode exists only as a b/w telerecording.
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Simon36
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Simon36 »

Oh wow! Fantastic! Hope Barlow at Large gets a look in too!

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Westengland
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Westengland »

Bernie wrote:What were the dates of the original transmisssions? Or any one of them?

B
@Bernie
The most easily accessible information is on IMDb for Softly Softly: Task Force and Softly Softly.

You (and your surviving SS and SS:TF colleagues) may like to put your details - and any other information - onto the relevant episodes.
Expect trouble if you know more than they do.

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Westengland
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Westengland »

[align=justify]As all of the Softly Softly: Task Force series episodes, with apparently one exception, survive - and all in colour, I guess it was inevitable that the release ofSS:TF episodes on video was going to follow those of Dixon Of Dock Green, Parkin's Patch and particularly, Z Cars.[/align]
[align=justify]I always wondered why nothing of SS:TF came out back in video cassette days; it was popular enough in West Germany to justify German-language novelisations of some episodes and to become a feature of German/Austrian/Swiss TV history websites , so properly promoted foreign sales could have made a tape or tapes viable (will this current release be promoted in Germany and neighbours?).[/align]
[align=justify]I hope that the first series sales lead to further SS:TF series releases - although the programme as a whole went on a slow downward curve from the beginning and should have been pulled by series four (1972-1973) at the most (Watt leading short-season 90 minute dramas would have been a better way of developing the brand than allowing it to wither away as it did).[/align]
[align=justify]Unfortunately, I don't see what's left of Softly Softly ever being released as a commercial video release - unless 1960s Police Procedurals become very popular with the DVD-buying public.[/align]
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bent_halo
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by bent_halo »

Tremendous news and for once, I'd support the skip ahead to colour episodes. Although I think 'Sleeping Dogs', 'Pressure' and 'Dead Aboard' are outstanding, the very earliest surviving episodes are pretty poor and even the producer would agree they got the format wrong at the start. Roll on Barlow at Large too, the first series of which is amongst my favourite Z Cars-related drama.

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Bernie
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Bernie »

Westengland wrote: You (and your surviving SS and SS:TF colleagues) may like to put your details - and any other information - onto the relevant episodes.
I was just a junior cameraman. I didn't work on this series - checked the 1970 diary - but I did work on later ones, and have the SSTF tie somewhere here to prove it.

I know it will disappoint MikeS, but even if I saw them I doubt I'd recognise them or have any specific memories. Just another day at work - though having worked with the team on and off over several years, I can say that they were not only incredibly professional, but lots of fun.

B

Peter Neill
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Peter Neill »

And I still have mine

Image

THis was the later version - the first (pre-Task Force) had two monkeys leaping out of a TV screen.

I worked on quite a few of these. I wish I had kept my diaries to be sure of dates, but I had a period when my working week consisted of 2 days Softly (with live TX on the second day), A sitcom (Likely Lads? NOBA?) on Sunday and TOTP (also live) every other Thursday. We used to have something like Blue Peter to fill in the free day on alternate weeks.

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Westengland
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Westengland »

I have just spent over an hour composing and typing a reply and further contribution to this thread for it to be rejected on submission by the technology the site uses and I was unable to recover the text to submit it again.

This is happening every time I write anything for the MC that is more than a sentence or two long.

I'll try again later today - if I have the time.
Expect trouble if you know more than they do.

Andy Marriott
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Andy Marriott »

I have encountered this in lots of different dicussion groups. I always draft my post in wordpad and then copy 'n' paste.
Somehow the re-write, if you have to do one, is never as inspired or detailed as the original!

Canon Smallwood
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Canon Smallwood »

Hopefully we may get a release of the 1973 'Jack the Ripper' 6 part series at some stage.

Peter Neill
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Peter Neill »

Peter Neill wrote: I worked on quite a few of these. I wish I had kept my diaries to be sure of dates, but I had a period when my working week consisted of 2 days Softly (with live TX on the second day), A sitcom (Likely Lads? NOBA?) on Sunday and TOTP (also live) every other Thursday. We used to have something like Blue Peter to fill in the free day on alternate weeks.

As if by magic - John Henshall (who some of you will know) uploaded this page from his diary to another site.

I was on Crew 7 (as a junior sound operator) at the same time, so this illustrates perfectly what I was saying

Image

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Simon36
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Simon36 »

Incidentally, the episode Like Any Other Friday has a blink and you miss it appearance from a pre-Who Tom Baker, ironically playing a building site manager.

Whenever I think of SS, I remember the first episode of it I ever saw, Private Mischief, on a UK Gold repeat back in the 90s. It featured one of the regular officers being up to no good, and featured a good long shouty scene in his kitchen. Can't remember anything else about it so looking forward to seeing it again!

softly2
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by softly2 »

"Private Mischief" was never broadcast on UK Gold... I think the episode you're thinking of was "Skipper's Walk" featuring guest appearances by Warren Clarke and Anne Stallybrass (who was in the kitchen scene with Frank Windsor and Norman Bowler).

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gran not nan
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by gran not nan »

I was 3 when the last episode was shown so I have no memory of Softly Softly: Task Force but being a fan of police drama, I'm very interested in seeing it. Has it been repeated on terrestrial TV since it was last broadcast?

I'm also intrigued by the fact that it exists in it's entirety from the rebrand November 1969 when the other major BBC police series of the time fare so badly in the archives. Any insight as to the reason? Was it sold abroad?

softly2
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by softly2 »

The only episode of Softly Softly - Task Force I recall being repeated on terrestrial tv since the prog ended was "Escort", the final episode from the first run of Task Force.... It was repeated in 1982 as part of the BBC's Six Of The Best season.

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Simon36
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Simon36 »

softly2 wrote:"Private Mischief" was never broadcast on UK Gold... I think the episode you're thinking of was "Skipper's Walk" featuring guest appearances by Warren Clarke and Anne Stallybrass (who was in the kitchen scene with Frank Windsor and Norman Bowler).
Ah thanks for this. I was guessing it was PM as the synopsis looked about right. I can actually remember the kitchen more than anything else!

Brock
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Brock »

gran not nan wrote:I was 3 when the last episode was shown so I have no memory of Softly Softly: Task Force
I was a little bit older, but I have to say that my main memory was of the incredibly clumsy title. Only now do I learn that it was originally going to be entitled Task Force, but the earlier Softly Softly series was so popular that the BBC decided to keep the name in the title. (Thankfully that wasn't general BBC policy, or we'd have had things like Porridge: Going Straight.)

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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by ian b »

It's always SOFTLY SOFTLY on one slide, followed by TASK FORCE on another isn't it?*

Or SOFTLY SOFTLY(two spaces)TASK FORCE when I have to write it...

;)


*
SOFTLY
SOFTLY

TASK
FORCE

MDK
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by MDK »

Just taken delivery of Series One and been flicking through the first disk, scratching my head. Why you ask?

Well for some reason what were originally clearly the studio sections of each episode now have a filmic look. This puzzled me because Simply Home Entertainment are not known for treating anything they publish - they just bang out the original VTs, so the BBC originals must have been treated. Or perhaps these are colour film recordings of the originals - but surely the Beeb only ever did B & W fim copies of their shows?

Can anyone solve the mystery?

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David Boothroyd
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by David Boothroyd »

MDK wrote:Well for some reason what were originally clearly the studio sections of each episode now have a filmic look. This puzzled me because Simply Home Entertainment are not known for treating anything they publish - they just bang out the original VTs, so the BBC originals must have been treated. Or perhaps these are colour film recordings of the originals - but surely the Beeb only ever did B & W fim copies of their shows?
Colour telerecordings were done; they were rare, but they do exist.

But it ought to be easy to tell the difference between a colour t/r and a filmised VT sequence - film distorts the picture slightly, and even the best preserved film will have some tell-tale damage (especially after 40+ years).

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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by ian b »

Oh hell! Something is up with the studio scenes - motion is completely off, lacking definition and very grainy.

Not unwatchable, but wrong.

Mark
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Mark »

That's a crying shame, this series was high on my list to see released, if it's been stuffed up, I may think twice about getting it.
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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

ian b wrote:Oh hell! Something is up with the studio scenes - motion is completely off, lacking definition and very grainy.

Not unwatchable, but wrong.
Does it look like they've film-effected the VT scenes?
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by ian b »

Think of a colour telerecording that's you are watching from an elderly NTSC tape - it's that kind of look.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

ian b wrote:Think of a colour telerecording that's you are watching from an elderly NTSC tape - it's that kind of look.
Ah, nostalgia! Is it that bad on all the episodes? Starting to look even more of a shame that Acorn didn't bag these episodes....
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