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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    This is NOT the C4 Kenneth Branagh job from 2001 but an earlier drama series which was shown on BBC2 in 1983.



    I've never seen this but Shackleton was played by David Schofield and Neil Stacey played Captain Scott. It was written by Christopher Ralling and directed by Martyn Friend. I know nothing else about it.



    I'd love to see this if anyone has a copy. Does anyone remember anything about it? With all the current interest in Shackleton, I'm amazed that this seems to have been completely forgotten.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    This still hasn't crawled out of the archives I presume.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England
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    I don't remember this series - but I do know one thing about it...



    It went massively over-budget, and the producer was kicked out of the the BBC's documentaries department !

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    I'm trying to revive this request a little. However it feels like a lost cause but once again if anyone can help...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK aphra's Avatar
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    name='Captain Oates']I'm trying to revive this request a little. However it feels like a lost cause but once again if anyone can help...


    I don't think I can help with SHACKLETON (1983), but it has reminded me of a short series of plays made by the BBC that were intended as an exercise in cost cutting. Each play HAD to be totally studio-bound and one of them concerned the fatal last expedition of Captain Scott. Scott I seem to recall was played by Michael Kitchen and under the circumstances the final effect was very poignant despite all the fake snow. . The plays may not have come from TV Centre but from one of the regions. There is no mention of the play in Kitchen's entry in IMDB. Has anybody any recollection of this series?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    This one I do know, it was a Play for Today from 1984 called Terra Nova.



    TV Cream website says this: "Terra Nova - w Ted Tally/John Bruce. Sparse, unreal dramatisation of Scott's doomed South Pole expedition, presenting a less than completely heroic portrait of the man (played by Michael N Harbour), and featuring weird interludes in which his rival Amundsen turns up and starts winding him up."





    Again if anyone has a copy I'd love to see it.



    Back on the Shakleton film, the James Caird Soceity website has this:



    "AN OUTSTANDING, UNSUNG BBC SHACKLETON FILM

    The Recent success of both the IMAX and the Channel 4 Shackleton films has somewhat eclipsed a fine earlier Shackleton feature film made by BBC TV in association with The Entertainment Channel, Seven Network Australia and Television New Zealand.



    Shackleton, written by Christopher Ralling, produced by John Harris and directed by Martyn Friend (with original music by Francis Shaw) starred David Schofield as Shackleton, John Watts as Frank Worsley and David Rodigan giving a particularly strong and memorable performance as Frank Wild.



    In particular, Ralling's film made strenuous efforts to do justice to the boat journey aboard the James Caird and the mountain crossing of South Georgia, neither of which, some have suggested, felt wholly satisfactory in more recent versions such as the Imax and Endurance films."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK aphra's Avatar
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    name='Captain Oates']This one I do know, it was a Play for Today from 1984 called Terra Nova.



    TV Cream website says this: "Terra Nova - w Ted Tally/John Bruce. Sparse, unreal dramatisation of Scott's doomed South Pole expedition, presenting a less than completely heroic portrait of the man (played by Michael N Harbour), and featuring weird interludes in which his rival Amundsen turns up and starts winding him up."

    Again if anyone has a copy I'd love to see it.


    Thank you so much for solving this one for me. I obviously mixed up my Kitchens with my Harbours, and the IMDB does not list TERRA NOVA. I am now trying to work out which of the adjacent PLAYS FOR TODAY came under the same aegis - that is to say, were intentionally limited to studio filming.



    Slightly off-subject, but I remember, around the same time, seeing a very weird experimental play - at the Savoy Theatre in London, I think - about Scott's last journey. That should be a lot easier to trace, though. It came off after only a week or so...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK aphra's Avatar
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    I have discovered the play at the Savoy in 2001 was called ANTARCTICA. I quote:



    "From a recently received flyer on the play: "April 1912 and while Captain Scott struggles to the South Pole, six men find themselves cut off from the expedition. With no winter clothing, only seven weeks of rations and six months away from the advent of spring they face the biggest challenge of all--the fight for survival. Based on a true story, this critically accalaimed new play by David Young was a smash hit in Toronto in 1998 and now receives its UK premiere at the Savoy Theatre. Antarctica is an inspiring new play, which will take you on a powerful journey to the ultimate destination--the human spirit."



    And another note

    More personally, if you are familiar with the historical material, you can spot all the juicy bits that the writer cherry-picked from other epics and stuck into the script. This is not a historical play. Like the recent MUSKETEER movie, it's a drama peopled with characters that happen to have the same names as people we know in other contexts. It's distracting to sit there and watch Mawson's injuries, Cherry-Garrard's words, Oates' dilemma, come bobbing up. On the other hand, assuming an audience that isn't well-versed in these arcane details, why not give them all the snappy ones? A demented explorer biting off his own finger and spitting it out, who could ask for anything more?



    The empty house when they took the curtain call must have been heartbreaking. There was a surge of people (perhaps a dozen) just before the house lights went down, who must have been sitting in the upper balconies and were invited down into the orchestra. Still there were less than a hundred bodies. Oh, the acres and acres of empty velveteen cushions! My big regret is that we didn't wait at the stage door and assure the actors that it was all Osama bin Laden's fault really, and that we (or I, at least) had come all the way from America to see them. I doubt the production will last out the month.



    Captain Oates, Did you happen to see it?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    No, I hadn't heard of this one but I think Terra Nova was a stage play originally as well.



    It would appear that the BBC Wales are currently developing yet another film project based on Scott's Last Journey. Don't know if this has been given the green light yet though.



    All the BBC play for today productions are listed chronologically at TV Cream:



    TV CREAM - THE WEDNESDAY PLAY / PLAY FOR TODAY (1964-70 & 1970-84) BBC



    So you might be able to figure out the other productions in the season.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    Episodes 2 and 4 of the 1983 BBC2 Shackleton drama are now on Youtube. Highly recommended.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16RmWaHYFrk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iotptQeXCs4

    This is superbly realistic and accurate drama (actually filmed in the south), and I would rate this much higher than the C4 Kenneth Brannagh version, as it covers the Discovery and Nimrod expeditions as well. I wish the two remaining episodes would turn up.

    I had hoped that the successful DVD release this year of same production team's Voyages of Charles Darwin would stimulate a DVD of this masterpiece as well...

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