"Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

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Mark
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Fredowl wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:28 am
For anybody that doesn't know, I've been running a twitter account https://twitter.com/fred_owl for the last couple of years trying to make inroads into all these Ace of Wands mysteries ... where was it sold abroad? WAS it sold abroad? What happens in The Mind Robbers? Does any more off-air audio of the missing episodes exist? What happened to all the photographs taken during making of the series? What did Ceribraun look like in The Eye of Ra? And many more.
There's a link to a Drive folder containing photo galleries, press scrapbooks, attempts at reconstructions of many of the missing episodes if that's your thing, reference material (including all the overseas airdates mentioned above - looks like it was only series 3, sold to Hong Kong and New Zealand), production subtitles for both existing and missing episodes, a production diary of series 1, with series 2 shortly to be completed with contributions from Michael Mackenzie and PJ Hammond who were kind enough to share their memories on making the show, library music used in the series, some mocked up Look-In comic strips, a write up of a series poll from earlier this year ... and other things I've probably forgotten!
All free to download!
(The relevant stuff to the discussion here can be found in the Reference folder)
I have seen this excellent resource before, some great new stuff, the library music is excellent, and music from "Freewheelers" as well, brilliant.

I have found the reference section, the overseas sales table is nicely presented, and as I thought, all s3, nothing found for "Seven Serpents" then, so perhaps it was offered but there were no takers, disappointing.

On photographs, I personally think there may be loads, maybe from every story, I started a thread here, a while ago, about a large batch of pictures from "The Golden Shot" that appeared on Shutterstock, and there are also a lot of new B/W photos added for series one of "Please Sir! (1968), around 60 or more for each of the seven episodes.

The shots include location filming and studio recording, including the formidable Mark Stuart, the studio order of the sets, , and possibly a couple of location scenes not used in the first episode.

None of these are from the usual set of shots seen before, so there could be some gems from "Ace Of Wands" yet to be seen!
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Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

Let’s hope so. I still haven’t entirely given up on something from
Seven Serpents turning up, at least there appears to have been an export copy that survived the initial Wiping of S1 & 2, you never know. I’ve spread the word about Fred Owl’s Twitter page on Missing Episodes and asked those who partake to follow & retweet, perhaps anyone on here could do the same. You never know it might help.
don’t bite the hand of the dog that feeds you.

Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

Fredowl wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:28 am
For anybody that doesn't know, I've been running a twitter account https://twitter.com/fred_owl for the last couple of years trying to make inroads into all these Ace of Wands mysteries ... where was it sold abroad? WAS it sold abroad? What happens in The Mind Robbers? Does any more off-air audio of the missing episodes exist? What happened to all the photographs taken during making of the series? What did Ceribraun look like in The Eye of Ra? And many more.
There's a link to a Drive folder containing photo galleries, press scrapbooks, attempts at reconstructions of many of the missing episodes if that's your thing, reference material (including all the overseas airdates mentioned above - looks like it was only series 3, sold to Hong Kong and New Zealand), production subtitles for both existing and missing episodes, a production diary of series 1, with series 2 shortly to be completed with contributions from Michael Mackenzie and PJ Hammond who were kind enough to share their memories on making the show, library music used in the series, some mocked up Look-In comic strips, a write up of a series poll from earlier this year ... and other things I've probably forgotten!
All free to download!
(The relevant stuff to the discussion here can be found in the Reference folder)
I’ve spread the word about this excellent site on Missing Episodes. Just had a look at the recon for Seven Serpents, excellent work. It’s really good to see the recon of the season 1 & 2 opening credits, which fits with my recollection of how it looked. I’ve also PM’ed you to see if you’ve any info about the Thames Export docs.
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Simon Coward »

Mark wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:16 am
Talking of audios, I was wondering if the audio of "Seven Serpents" might actually be from the 73 repeat, might explain why "Joker" wasn't done, perhaps it started with "Nightmare Gas".
To the best of my knowledge, all three tapers were different people but, if I'm wrong about that, there were definitely two different people.

The "Nightmare Gas" taper is a friend of mine and definitely wasn't responsible for the recordings of either "Serpents" and "Ra". So your theory may still hold true, but only for those two serials. That said, given that the "Serpents" recording is easily the poorest of the three, unless there was a significant equipment crisis, I'd be slightly surprised at the later recording being so reduced in quality from the earlier one if the same person was doing both.
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

Simon Coward wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:37 am
Mark wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:16 am
Talking of audios, I was wondering if the audio of "Seven Serpents" might actually be from the 73 repeat, might explain why "Joker" wasn't done, perhaps it started with "Nightmare Gas".
To the best of my knowledge, all three tapers were different people but, if I'm wrong about that, there were definitely two different people.

The "Nightmare Gas" taper is a friend of mine and definitely wasn't responsible for the recordings of either "Serpents" and "Ra". So your theory may still hold true, but only for those two serials. That said, given that the "Serpents" recording is easily the poorest of the three, unless there was a significant equipment crisis, I'd be slightly surprised at the later recording being so reduced in quality from the earlier one if the same person was doing both.
As an aside you can tell that the Seven Serpents recording was made from a 405 line b/w set as you can hear the video bleed over on the AM sound usually due to poorly adjusted fine tuning. In places you can just about pick out the distinctive whistle from the set, so despite the quality there’s little wrong with the frequency range of the recording.
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Fredowl »

Thanks for the plug and I'm glad you enjoyed the recon! Trying to recreate whole episodes from a handful of photos is always going to be a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully at least it's a way to "see" these fantastic stories! My theory is that anything that raises the profile of the show is more likely to make whatever else may be out there more likely to surface, be it photos, scripts, audio or just memories. And if I record whatever I can find out, it's there for other fans too!

Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

Fredowl wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:59 am
Thanks for the plug and I'm glad you enjoyed the recon! Trying to recreate whole episodes from a handful of photos is always going to be a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully at least it's a way to "see" these fantastic stories! My theory is that anything that raises the profile of the show is more likely to make whatever else may be out there more likely to surface, be it photos, scripts, audio or just memories. And if I record whatever I can find out, it's there for other fans too!
Brilliant work, Mate. It’s all grist to the mill.
don’t bite the hand of the dog that feeds you.

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by fatcat »

Fredowl wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:59 am
Thanks for the plug and I'm glad you enjoyed the recon! Trying to recreate whole episodes from a handful of photos is always going to be a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully at least it's a way to "see" these fantastic stories! My theory is that anything that raises the profile of the show is more likely to make whatever else may be out there more likely to surface, be it photos, scripts, audio or just memories. And if I record whatever I can find out, it's there for other fans too!
Absolutely! You have stirred up the imagination just like the original programme did. Thank you.

Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

fatcat wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:29 pm
Fredowl wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:59 am
Thanks for the plug and I'm glad you enjoyed the recon! Trying to recreate whole episodes from a handful of photos is always going to be a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully at least it's a way to "see" these fantastic stories! My theory is that anything that raises the profile of the show is more likely to make whatever else may be out there more likely to surface, be it photos, scripts, audio or just memories. And if I record whatever I can find out, it's there for other fans too!
Absolutely! You have stirred up the imagination just like the original programme did. Thank you.
👍🏻
don’t bite the hand of the dog that feeds you.

Mark
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Richard Woods wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:28 am
Simon Coward wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:37 am
Mark wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:16 am
Talking of audios, I was wondering if the audio of "Seven Serpents" might actually be from the 73 repeat, might explain why "Joker" wasn't done, perhaps it started with "Nightmare Gas".
To the best of my knowledge, all three tapers were different people but, if I'm wrong about that, there were definitely two different people.

The "Nightmare Gas" taper is a friend of mine and definitely wasn't responsible for the recordings of either "Serpents" and "Ra". So your theory may still hold true, but only for those two serials. That said, given that the "Serpents" recording is easily the poorest of the three, unless there was a significant equipment crisis, I'd be slightly surprised at the later recording being so reduced in quality from the earlier one if the same person was doing both.
As an aside you can tell that the Seven Serpents recording was made from a 405 line b/w set as you can hear the video bleed over on the AM sound usually due to poorly adjusted fine tuning. In places you can just about pick out the distinctive whistle from the set, so despite the quality there’s little wrong with the frequency range of the recording.
So, different sources, at least it means there may be others that did it as well.

I suppose the quality would point to the original TX, it's certainly one of the worst ones I have heard.
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Here is the fan card for series 3 on this site, for those that haven't seen it.

Looks like it was taken outside Teddington studios.

[url][/https://murdersville.co.uk/museum/url]
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by brigham »

If the 'line whistle' is present,it suggests that the poorer recording was made using a microphone, rather than a direct audio feed from the set.

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Brian F »

brigham wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:26 am
If the 'line whistle' is present,it suggests that the poorer recording was made using a microphone, rather than a direct audio feed from the set.
When I had some other shows recorded for me because I couldn't watch (on a listen and record over basis so nothing survives except the last episode of The War Games) a crystal microphone rather than a moving coil one meant no line whistle.

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

There was an interesting discussion sometime ago on Missing Episodes about the possibility of recovering low quality video from bleed over signals, like those present on the audio of Seven Serpents. Will try & find it. Not quite as bonkers as it sounds.
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Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

don’t bite the hand of the dog that feeds you.

Mark
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Watching "Blakes 7", "Space Fall", last Wednesday, (50th anniversary of "Nightmare Gas" 3), an appearance of Michael MacKenzie of course, as a guard, with Villa showing him some magic tricks!

Listening to them in the background, Villa saying things like 'Are You Watching?', and at one point it sounded like MM saying, 'Yes, never works first time'.

Well he would know!
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

In the book, 'Kiss FAQ', there is a mention that Michael Winder ( "Eye Of RA" writer) had written a twenty page treatment in 1977, for the film "Kiss In The Park", which had turned up ( probably in the US) although not used, but interesting none the less.

Reading the entertaining synopsis for part one of "Eye Of Ra" on Fred Owl's account, ( from another account), was interesting, don't recall the alleyway scene ( could have happened though) but Fredericks wouldn't have been there as he is the customer at the start of episode Two, posing as a Vicar and breaking the Statuette of Mr Sweet, Tarot and Sam would have recognised him.

Rather frustratingly, I started Audio recording in 1973, if only three years earlier!...wasn't in the Thames area so couldn't have done the "Seven Serpents" repeat, I did "Doctor Who" and "The Tomorrow People", but oddly didn't do the "Day Of The Daleks" repeat in September, (despite watching it) or even the "Timeslip" repeat.
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Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

I keep hearing that there’s a rumour that Seven Serpents may exist in a private collection. Is this just wishful thinking based on it’s possible survival of the initial wiping or does anyone on here have any more of the story to add?
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Fredowl
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Fredowl »

I think that alleyway scene is Sam looking for a way to establish this "cube" we hear about in episode 3 that Tarot will believe turns people to chalk -although Fredericks doesnt seem to know about it. My guess would be the episode 1 action is all in the bookshop, HQ, Gambit Room and Mr Quince''s shop, with location work being the characters travelling around observed by Ceribraun''s (non speaking) operatives. The cube then would be seen in the bookshop as an operative (a heavily disguised Fredericks?) is turned to chalk in a blinding flash. It does seem that out of work actor Fredericks is a master of disguise, which might explain why Tarot is suspicious of him as a vicar despite not clearly recognising him. He also gets to play a thug and a butler later! Perhaps someone else will turn up with more audio one day!

Any rumours I've ever heard regarding the existence of Seven Serpents seem to stem from the idea it was apparently offered for sale with series 3, and hence considered more likely to still exist. I suppose somebody having it is an appealing explanation why it wasn't in the archive with series 3. I've never seen any proof or evidence though. It could have been wiped after the repeat in 1973, or the entirety of series 1 and 2 could just have been stored somewhere else and forgotten about .... who knows?

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

It's quite likely Fredericks was heavily disguised as The Vicar, don't recall what he looked like though, and don't recall anything about blood from the statuettes, although I was still watching in B/W, just two months away from getting our first Colour TV set, it arrived on a Sat morning appropriately enough during "Ali Bongo's Cartoon Carnival", the off-air theme tune of which has been on YT for the last 10 years, ( couldn't have been from one of the tapers I suppose.).

I have been listening to "The Eye Of Ra" again, on the days it was on, the scene at the start of part 2, with Sam picking the lock was on location, you can tell from the Audio itself.

The shots of Mr Sweet, Sam and then Lulli being chloroformed in part 3 were accompanied with the picture going out of focus, if I'm remembering correctly, although that was often how such scenes were done.

Ali Bongo appeared in "The Tomorrow People" serial "Revenge Of Jedikiah" in 75, wonder if he offered his services as The Mummy again!

Looking at the photos for "The Tomorrow People" on the old Rex Features site ( the 70's and 80's series shots are listed as Thames TV-Nicholas Young Archive) they are the usual colour ones, but there seems to be plenty of different B/W shots ( and some colour) in the old TV Zone magazines credited under 'Thames TV courtesy of The Production Design Company'.

There must be a lot more around for "Ace Of Wands".
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Fredowl
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Fredowl »

Yes, I'm sure there are masses more photos from Ace of Wands ... somewhere. The Rex features ones, and those in the hands of fans, are on the DVD of course but there are many more from newspapers, TV Times, old TV Zones etc not in the DVD galleries (they are in mine via the twitter account galleries though ;-) ) Around two hundred poor quality ones exist for One and One and One are Four (again in folders via the Fred Owl twitter account) so imagine if there's a similar amount for all the others!
Those memories are great, thank you - even little moments help to rebuild the show. The "dolls that bleed when they break" is just something I've heard from different sources which you would think was Mama Doc but isn't. Doesn't sound like it can be the chalk statues either then - that was just me wondering where else it might fit. That would leave either some bizarre hallucination in Senor Zandar''s house in The Mind Robbers, or just a false memory I suppose!
Finding out all that growling on the episode 3 audio is the miniaturised chalk Lulli being menaced by a giant cat was a bit of a revelation! Do you have any memory of how that looked on screen? Chroma key I would imagine with Judy Loe covered in white chalk dust superimposed over some stock footage of a cat? Similarly any descriptions of Ceribraun or the Gambit Room are helpful - did he have glasses? Hearing aids? Rather Davros-like, I imagine, with black tunic and a control console mounted on his electric wheelchair. I know the Gambit Room has this control area with a window looking out over the giant chess board, and a curved ramp leading out, so perhaps a two tier set which seems a common feature for Thames shows! Apparently in the basement of Ceribraun''s house, so perhaps whitewashed brick walls lined with computer banks?
And yes, I would agree, episode 1 and 2 must have used a real location for the exterior of Mr Sweets bookshop. I'd love to know where - my guess would be somewhere around Great Russell Street etc, but who knows?

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

I'd forgotten about the Cat, until I heard the Audio, the old stock footage framed in a doorway I think, you could always tell of course, watching "The Time Tunnel" was good training for that.

I remember the main set, as described with the computer banks at the back, and Mr Sweet in a chair, the more you think about Ceribraun in black, the more you think of Davros though, I just remember his face, as he was an Actor I was already familiar with.

I may be wrong but I thought the Chess pieces were surrounded by darkness, and you couldn't see the walls.

One thing, I do remember the waveform in the Titles, but also on the Adcaps as well.

There is an old "Tomorrow People" locations site, which is very interesting and mentions using the same rehearsals hall, some of the high street locations may well have been used for "AOW".

[url][/http://www.oocities.org/tiylaya/locatio ... _main1.htm]
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Listened to the final episode of "The Eye Of Ra", on it's 50th, superb of course, and sad that it's the end of the best of the three series.

Certainly sad at the time, I watched it's replacement, "Tottering Towers", and although it was great fun, I missed Tarot and his friends.

One more to add to the location filming, Lord Henry's house ( interior) Peter Williams scenes on film, (The Actor popped up a couple of times in recent weeks, on "Blakes 7" and "The Human Jungle").
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Fredowl
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Fredowl »

The Eye of Ra is a great story, isn't it? Such a shame the visuals are lost - completely - since its surely the most visually imaginative of all the Ace of Wands stories, with those chess pieces, Ceribraun himself, the chalk statues, the giant furniture ... all fantastic imagery. Bit of a nightmare for the design department though!
Makes sense Lord Henry is on film only, so not required in studio. Spotted Peter Williams in JG Reeder around the same time. So 4 days of location work - one on general street scenes, one on exteriors of Sir John Packham's house, one on exteriors of Ceribraun's house (an office building in Teddington with "vertical windows"?) and one on interiors with Lord Henry. Typical stately home type location for that, I would imagine?
Thanks for the added descriptions of the Gambit Room. Might well have extended into darkness, I'm guessing based on MM telling me it was a full set. Were the computer banks at the back of the chessboard area or at the back of Ceribraun''s control room? I imagine the control room up on stilts so at a higher level than the chessboard ...
I'm just polishing up the series 2 production diary, so the whole thing should be available as a pdf in a few days. 146 pages at the moment!
I think there's also a Peacock Pie watchalong in the works for the near future (Sat 30th?), so I'm doing some production subtitles for those episodes. (If anyone knows the location used for 17 Laburnum Road, I'd love to hear from you!)

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Ian K McL »

Hi Fredowl. Have you considered turning all your hard work into a book about the making of Ace of Wands. You could use LULU. Last year an excellent book about the making of Brian Clemens' Thriller was published to much acclaim. Or you might even issue it in aid of some charity. Or have a book containing people's memories of Ace of wands that was done with Catweazle. Book are more permanent reminders of classic TV series I think. Just a thought...

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Ian K McL wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:54 pm
Hi Fredowl. Have you considered turning all your hard work into a book about the making of Ace of Wands. You could use LULU. Last year an excellent book about the making of Brian Clemens' Thriller was published to much acclaim. Or you might even issue it in aid of some charity. Or have a book containing people's memories of Ace of wands that was done with Catweazle. Book are more permanent reminders of classic TV series I think. Just a thought...
A book sounds great, with so many other Cult fantasy titles out, aside from the aforementioned "Thriller", there's "The Tomorrow People", "Freewheelers" and "Star Cops".
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Mark »

Fredowl wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:17 am
The Eye of Ra is a great story, isn't it? Such a shame the visuals are lost - completely - since its surely the most visually imaginative of all the Ace of Wands stories, with those chess pieces, Ceribraun himself, the chalk statues, the giant furniture ... all fantastic imagery. Bit of a nightmare for the design department though!
Makes sense Lord Henry is on film only, so not required in studio. Spotted Peter Williams in JG Reeder around the same time. So 4 days of location work - one on general street scenes, one on exteriors of Sir John Packham's house, one on exteriors of Ceribraun's house (an office building in Teddington with "vertical windows"?) and one on interiors with Lord Henry. Typical stately home type location for that, I would imagine?
Thanks for the added descriptions of the Gambit Room. Might well have extended into darkness, I'm guessing based on MM telling me it was a full set. Were the computer banks at the back of the chessboard area or at the back of Ceribraun''s control room? I imagine the control room up on stilts so at a higher level than the chessboard ...
I'm just polishing up the series 2 production diary, so the whole thing should be available as a pdf in a few days. 146 pages at the moment!
I think there's also a Peacock Pie watchalong in the works for the near future (Sat 30th?), so I'm doing some production subtitles for those episodes. (If anyone knows the location used for 17 Laburnum Road, I'd love to hear from you!)
It's possible the Packham location was used for the Lord Henry interiors, as the Packham interiors were all studio, and it would have saved time and money, (also no more room in the studio).

It's occurred to me that my earlier memory of the dark walls of the Gambit room is from the start of Part 4, when Ceribraun closes down everything to make the place look deserted, and Tarot enters in semi-darkness.

Earlier in the story, it would have been a white room with the chessboard floor and the giant pieces, and the control room was definitely raised with the computer banks at the back, and Mr Sweet sat to one side.

The giant furniture was obviously part of the illusion to make Lulli think she was a chalk statuette,( strangely something else I had forgotten till mentioned), the room with the window is as it sounds, dilapidated, bare floorboards and brick walls.

I have been trying to remember what the two transformation tricks Tarot performs at Packham's house early in part 3 were, the second might have been a poker, ( or Blunderbuss) into an umbrella, but it's not clear.

That press call with Judy Loe and Ozzie, may have been taken on Broome Road outside Teddington Studios, also the other one with MM in the flowery shirt.

The shot of Judy and MM next to furniture could be the props store at Teddington as well, although MM has a different outfit on, so possibly a different shoot, taken alongside the portrait of JL, in Look-In.
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Richard Woods
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Richard Woods »

A great series and what a crying shame so much is gone.
don’t bite the hand of the dog that feeds you.

Fredowl
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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Fredowl »

Those conjurings in episode 3 would be good to pin down. The first prompts Tarot''s line about saving Sir John a journey and a lot of digging ... some sort of artefact or scroll? (Not that that makes any logical sense!) and the second could well be some sort of rifle or weapon into an umbrella. Stop-lock effect, I guess! All useful, thanks!
I think the press call is in the week of the series 2 launch, July 1971, there was a champagne party held at the Magic Circle HQ. But I agree the ones with Lulli in the same outfit but Michael in his snakeskin suit look to be from a different occasion - could these be their costumes for at least some of The Eye of Ra?
As for a book ... I hadn't really thought seriously about that. Its a good idea - maybe one day! I'd have to find out how that sort of thing all works, and get a lot more answers about the series. There's still quite a lot of "It seems likely that ...", "Assuming that ...", "Some viewers remember ..." rather than concrete info. My main goal for now is to get what I do have out there - for free - so that other fans can access it and hopefully it generates more interest in the show. You put something out there, then somebody comes forward with some more info and so it grows - like this thread!

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Re: "Ace Of Wands" series 2 50th

Post by Ian K McL »

Hi Fredowl, Thanks for answering my question about a book. Have you also considered turning your information into a Facebook page. For me such a forum is easier to access than Twitter. I have met Michael and found him to be a great chap. Would he be interested in writing his autobiography? We are fortunate in that Michael, Judy, Roy and Petra are all still with us. Perhaps Big Finish might think about an Ace of Wands audio series. I was also very fortunate in getting to interview Judy for a TellyCon event many years ago. I think it was recorded but sadly do not have a copy myself. All the best, Ian.

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