The Big Freeze - 1963/4

What's not currently on the box
Post Reply
User avatar
Jezza
625 lines
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:09 pm

The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Jezza »

BBC 2 are showing "The Big Freeze" right now, a special BBC programme from 1964 with Cliff Michelmore.

Ridley Scott was the designer on this!

User avatar
robinsmith
405 lines
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:39 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by robinsmith »

Right now! Then I have missed it, hopefully it's on iplayer!

Irongiant
405 lines
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:37 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Irongiant »

Yes, it's on iPlayer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ig_Freeze/

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but couldn't help thinking that it wasn't QUITE presented in its original aspect ratio - the black bars at the sides weren't large enough. I feel that it had either been slightly stretched, or enlarged then cropped top and/or bottom.

A very worthwhile watch nonetheless.

Cliff Michelmore was one of the presenters.


BTW Jezza, the thread title is wrong - it should be The Big Freeze - 1962/63

User avatar
Jezza
625 lines
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:09 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Jezza »

It was a "WinterWatch" special, so it's presented by Chris Packham, he introduces it, then they show the whole 45-50 minute programme! I did try letting people know at the time, it's a fascinating documentary/report about it, made probably in March 1964.

Ridley Scott was trending on Twitter after because he was the set designer and Anthony Jay produced it!

It was a "Tonight" special, so was presented by Cliff Michelmore, and had a detailed account of the weather building up to the massive blizzards, not sure who the Weatherman was though.

JWG
D-MAC
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:08 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by JWG »

Irongiant wrote:Yes, it's on iPlayer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ig_Freeze/

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but couldn't help thinking that it wasn't QUITE presented in its original aspect ratio - the black bars at the sides weren't large enough. I feel that it had either been slightly stretched, or enlarged then cropped top and/or bottom.

A very worthwhile watch nonetheless.

Cliff Michelmore was one of the presenters.


BTW Jezza, the thread title is wrong - it should be The Big Freeze - 1962/63

That's a relief; I was wondering how many Big Freezes there'd been!
The documentary 'Dylan in the Madhouse' had a wonderful evocation (and footage) of that winter.Was some of the 'Tonight' material used in that?

fatcat
D-MAC
Posts: 900
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:02 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by fatcat »

Jezza wrote:BBC 2 are showing "The Big Freeze" right now, a special BBC programme from 1964 with Cliff Michelmore.

Ridley Scott was the designer on this!

He certainly worked hard here..all that snow :-)

I found the presenters and script a joy to listen to and what a great prog altogether?

Do I need a new brain chip to appreciate some of today's journalism?

User avatar
Doom Patrol
625 lines
Posts: 481
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Doom Patrol »

Switch it off I think.

didi-5
625 lines
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:42 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by didi-5 »

Well worth watching, this one. Thanks for the spot!

User avatar
robinsmith
405 lines
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:39 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by robinsmith »

Forum doesnt seem to want to have the entire link posted up...

User avatar
Juswuh
D-MAC
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:04 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Juswuh »

A bit off topic, but I've always thought the Edgar Wallace Mystery "Ricochet" must have been filmed around that time.

User avatar
Ross
D-MAC
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:06 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Ross »

Val Guest's 80,000 Suspects certainly was: plenty of shots of Bath looking gorgeous under the snow in black and white Scope.

Also the fabulous short film Snow, about trains in drifts, which is on one of the BFI sets.

fatcat
D-MAC
Posts: 900
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:02 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by fatcat »

Juswuh wrote:A bit off topic, but I've always thought the Edgar Wallace Mystery "Ricochet" must have been filmed around that time.
EW I thought, always had stunning atmospheric night shots and that shot of the Citroen in the snow is just one of them.

User avatar
Ian Wegg
625 lines
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:10 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963

Post by Ian Wegg »

robinsmith wrote:Forum doesnt seem to want to have the entire link posted up...
The forum shortens the display but clicking the link still works.

User avatar
Mark C Bale
405 lines
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:31 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Mark C Bale »

Was Arthur Haynes' opening/closing titles done during one of the big freezes?

swills
405 lines
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:31 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by swills »

Good to see this, and how we have not really learnt much in 50 years! don't about anyone else, but my tv seemed out of sync, just me? recall that winter, I was about 9 or 10, and we moved house in January from Harrow Rd in Sudbury to West Ruislip/Ickenham :-)

User avatar
robinsmith
405 lines
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:39 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by robinsmith »

Big thanks to Jezza for flagging this up, your place in tv heaven is assured!

Brilliant piece of telly from yesteryear, loved the map/graphics. Surely there's a place for a partwork mag with free DVD 'Plucked From The Days Headlines', I'd certainly buy it!

User avatar
Ian Wegg
625 lines
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:10 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Ian Wegg »

I was amused by Cliff Mitchelmore's introduction: "...when we talk of temperatures they will be in the old Fahrenheit scale".

User avatar
Simon Coward
D-MAC
Posts: 940
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:56 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Simon Coward »

Jezza wrote:it's a fascinating documentary/report about it, made probably in March
Actually a little earlier than that, I think. A programme with the title "The Big Freeze" was originally shown Sunday 10/02/1963 at 22:10.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that some part of that winter is my earliest memory. I can certainly remember the snow in much of the garden being about as deep as I was tall. I presume I must have assumed at the time that snow was always like this, but I don't actually recall being surprised when it didn't happen again the following year.
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

JezR
625 lines
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:08 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by JezR »

Ian Wegg wrote:I was amused by Cliff Mitchelmore's introduction: "...when we talk of temperatures they will be in the old Fahrenheit scale".
The Met Office had started using Celsius as the primary temperature in public weather forecasts the previous October, although they had been working internally in Celsius from the beginning of 1961.

User avatar
Cheeseford
Committee
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:43 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Cheeseford »

Irongiant wrote:Yes, it's on iPlayer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ig_Freeze/

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but couldn't help thinking that it wasn't QUITE presented in its original aspect ratio - the black bars at the sides weren't large enough. I feel that it had either been slightly stretched, or enlarged then cropped top and/or bottom.

A very worthwhile watch nonetheless.

Cliff Michelmore was one of the presenters. [/b]
Yes, it looked to me like it was cropped from 4:3 to 14:9, which strikes me as an odd fudge. The black bars are still there for pillarbox loathersm and those who prefer their archive TV in the original format won't be best pleased either. Given that 45 minutes of the hour was 4:3, I'd have made Packham's bookending material in the old format. Once you start cropping a 405-line telerecording, you're making something that's less than ideal far worse. That said, my interest in the programme material overcame any objections to the format (as should always be the case - I'm glad to see this sort of thing turning up at all). God's teeth, I love Cliff Michelmore. I do believe that he may well be the best current affairs presenter we've ever had. He could go from serious to frivolous and back again without strain or smirking. Eddie Mair's the closest we've got these days, I think.
The Trials and Triumphs of Les Dawson and Britain's Greatest TV Comedy Moments - available at some indifferent bookshops.

User avatar
Ross
D-MAC
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:06 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Ross »

Here's that BFI film about snow. The BFI themselves have put it on youTube.

[BBvideo 560,340]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl4pJwcE7JI[/BBvideo]

solidgold25
405 lines
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:21 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by solidgold25 »

Aspect ratio aside, did camera pans in the programme leave behind a slight doubling/ghost image around the edges of objects and people? (or is my TV's motion engine playing up).

stevep
405 lines
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:46 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by stevep »

Having just watched it, I strongly suspect many of the scenes of snow were stock-shots! They were in much worse condition than the main show (the studio bits). Why would film inserts of just a few weeks' old be as bad as that? Cos they were from winters in the 50s (or even 40s), that's why! Cheating buggers.

stevep
405 lines
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:46 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by stevep »

Cheeseford wrote:God's teeth, I love Cliff Michelmore. I do believe that he may well be the best current affairs presenter we've ever had. He could go from serious to frivolous and back again without strain or smirking.
There were a number of presenters back then who managed to balance gravitas with a lighter touch. Richard Dimbleby (Panorama) and Huw Wheldon (Monitor) are two others that spring to mind.

A lot of less experienced presenters of the time come across as pretentious twats nowadays.

"There'll be another Tonight tomorrow night..." Cliff, still going at 93! It's a shame he was demoted to that bloody holiday thing for some of his latter years - way below his mark.

wittoner
625 lines
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:10 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by wittoner »

Yes I used to love those occasional "So you think you're..." audience participation shows he used to do as well. Great fun.

User avatar
Ross
D-MAC
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:06 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Ross »

stevep wrote:Having just watched it, I strongly suspect many of the scenes of snow were stock-shots! They were in much worse condition than the main show (the studio bits). Why would film inserts of just a few weeks' old be as bad as that? Cos they were from winters in the 50s (or even 40s), that's why! Cheating buggers.
How come the location filming for Dad's Army/The Tomorrow People/And Mother Makes Three etc... is always covered in dirt and scratches while the studio VT is pristine? It must have only been a few weeks old at most when it was telecined into the main show. I just get the impression that the various TV film departments used to be spectacularly careless with the brand new film and that's probably what happened here. I don't think there was any trickery involved in The Big Freeze. Film sequences in vintage TV always look like shit.

User avatar
Tim D
405 lines
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:04 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Tim D »

I thought that edition of Winterwatch was a superb example of re purposing archive material. The Big Freeze programme itself was a fascinating time capsule. I forgot I was watching something from fifty years ago as they expertly retold the story. There must be many other gems like that in the archive.

They're also a great way to stimulate discussion with those who experienced these events first-hand and promote the verbal tradition of handing stories and local history down through the generations. That sort of information is priceless. I think programmes like this demonstrate some of the real value of eventually putting the BBC archive online and in the hands of the general public. Access to programmes like this can only be beneficial to future generations.

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3586
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by Mark »

This was a great surprise and was very good indeed, very interesting and nicely done, agree about the presenters, especially Cliff.

It appears to have had an audience of around three million, not bad for a fifty year old programme.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

ian b
D-MAC
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:58 pm

Re: The Big Freeze - 1963/4

Post by ian b »

A further repeat on BBC2, 11:20pm Tursday 28th Feb.

Post Reply