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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain hhhhancock's Avatar
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    Thanks to crunchie I now have 6 of the 13 episodes of this series. Has anyone got the complete series please?

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    Senior Member Country: UK
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    No, but I'd certainly be intersted to read your views on the series. The show doesn't have a great reputation, but how does it seem to modern eyes.



    Also, how's Tony's performance? I find The Blood Donor hard to watch now as it's so obvious he's reading his lines off boards, and it's said once he realised he could perform like this he never learned another line as long as he lived.

  3. #3
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    Hi.

    The Blood Donor is from the last BBC series Hancock. The block capitals at the top refer to the 1963 ATV series which had different script writers and unfortunately went out, coincidece or not, at the same time as Steptoe And Son which of course emerged after Hancock left the BBC and his usual scriptwriters, Galton and Simpson, who in turn Wrote Steptoe and Son. I am not sure but I believe it featured short sketches, Patrock Cargill and the name Mckonky television

    Alan French

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    IIRC there was an ITV series which followed the same format as his classic BBC series but was very inferior. I believe it featured Wlifred Lawson as a newseller.

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    I seem to recall that because of power cuts many tv screens,including ours were blacked out,so little was seen of it.

  6. #6
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    name='alan french']Hi.

    The Blood Donor is from the last BBC series Hancock. The block capitals at the top refer to the 1963 ATV series which had different script writers and unfortunately went out, coincidece or not, at the same time as Steptoe And Son which of course emerged after Hancock left the BBC and his usual scriptwriters, Galton and Simpson, who in turn Wrote Steptoe and Son. I am not sure but I believe it featured short sketches, Patrock Cargill and the name Mckonky television

    Alan French


    Hi Alan,



    Oh, I know The Blood Donor was made for the BBC, in fact from memory I believe it was the last episode of his final Galton and Simson series. My point was that this was the episode where Hancock discovered he could read all his lines off boards, as he recorded the show when still suffering fromt he after effects of a road accident.



    That he could use boards was a great relief to him, as he always hated learning lines. I watched a recent interview with Galton and Simpson where one of them said that it killed his performance, as his face became this rigid mask, and from the evidence of The Blood donor he was dead right.



    What I was wondering was if the ATV shows, which I've never seen, show this decline in Hancock's performance, and also if they are seen as so much of a disappointment than they were in the sixties. The Hancock character was a difficult one to write properly, as witessed by the Australian shows he made, where the character seems merely a rude, arrogant bore.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Apparently this 'arrogance' was the problem with the ITV shows. The writers were unable to capture the essence of the original Hancock character and he became this boorish person. I have seen a couple of Hancock's, the night club thing, and it is dire. Hancock looks dreadful.

  8. #8
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    By the way remember that Bob Hope used to read off idiot boards.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain hhhhancock's Avatar
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    name='Lord Brett']No, but I'd certainly be intersted to read your views on the series. The show doesn't have a great reputation, but how does it seem to modern eyes.



    Also, how's Tony's performance? I find The Blood Donor hard to watch now as it's so obvious he's reading his lines off boards, and it's said once he realised he could perform like this he never learned another line as long as he lived.


    The ATV series was certainly not up to the BBC Galton and Simpson scripted shows but have their amusing moments. Had Hancock stayed off the booze and realised his limitations were dictated by the quality of his scripts he may have gone on for many years entertaining us all.



    Unfortunately that wasn't the case leading to his untimely end at the age of 44 in 1968. I suspect when one's expectations exceed one's individual talent that is bound to happen. Having said that I still believe Hancock was, along with another very strange character, Peter Sellers, the greatest English speaking comic talent of the 20th Century.



    As far as Tony reading from 'idiot boards' from the Blood Donor on this came after he was involved in a car accident and he claimed that this had affected his memory (I expect a bottle or 2 of Vodka a day didn't help much). But, if you didn't know this would would you have noticed, he certainly did this very cleverly? I certainly didn't realise there was anything unusual when I watched the shows originally.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain hhhhancock's Avatar
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    name='Lord Brett']Hi Alan,



    Oh, I know The Blood Donor was made for the BBC, in fact from memory I believe it was the last episode of his final Galton and Simson series. My point was that this was the episode where Hancock discovered he could read all his lines off boards, as he recorded the show when still suffering fromt he after effects of a road accident.



    That he could use boards was a great relief to him, as he always hated learning lines. I watched a recent interview with Galton and Simpson where one of them said that it killed his performance, as his face became this rigid mask, and from the evidence of The Blood donor he was dead right.



    What I was wondering was if the ATV shows, which I've never seen, show this decline in Hancock's performance, and also if they are seen as so much of a disappointment than they were in the sixties. The Hancock character was a difficult one to write properly, as witessed by the Australian shows he made, where the character seems merely a rude, arrogant bore.


    The ATV series in 1963 was poorly written and produced, however, I think the Lad still had all his powers at that time. However 5 years on when he made the Oz series (or started it) his performance was seriously affected by the booze and his facial expression, which was part of his genius, was no longer there.

  11. #11
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    HI,



    i was certain that 'Hancock's' Set in the nightclub, was absent from the archives with no surviving tapes/prints for any of the episodes. if anyone has access to any of these, i'd love to see them!

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I saw a couple of episodes years ago .... can't remember where though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England Harbottle's Avatar
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    name='jonathanecoley']HI,



    i was certain that 'Hancock's' Set in the nightclub, was absent from the archives with no surviving tapes/prints for any of the episodes. if anyone has access to any of these, i'd love to see them!


    Indeed I thought so too, I have about a minute of one episode as part of a disk full of bits and bobs.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='Harbottle']Indeed I thought so too, I have about a minute of one episode as part of a disk full of bits and bobs.


    Then what the heck am I thinking of? Did he do a guest spot on someone's show and I am getting mixed up?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK Wee Sonny MacGregor's Avatar
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    I seem to recall that Hancock also compered an ITV variety show from Blackpool. I'd always enjoyed anything he did but that stuck in the mind particularly because it was so poor. I'm sure he did his George Arliss impression when even by the mid 60s, hardly anybody knew who it was. Great shame.

  16. #16
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    I was always under the impression that only 6 of Hancock's ATV show are in circulation - any advance on 6?

  17. #17
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    name='hhhhancock']

    As far as Tony reading from 'idiot boards' from the Blood Donor on this came after he was involved in a car accident and he claimed that this had affected his memory (I expect a bottle or 2 of Vodka a day didn't help much). But, if you didn't know this would would you have noticed, he certainly did this very cleverly? I certainly didn't realise there was anything unusual when I watched the shows originally.


    Now I know, all I can see is his eyelines being out of whack when speaking to others and his lack of facial expression. The latter, I must say, I noticed when I first saw the show with sound and vision. Like many, I was introduced to the classic Hancock shows through LPs, where I think The Blood Donor works best, so Hancock's subdued physical performance here always puzzled me.

  18. #18
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    Hi all.

    Just read all of your comments. I find that we are all in some ways preaching to the converted.

    I agree Tony Hancock must have had that something to have made us adjust our social lives around his radio and definately his television programme. And of course his scriptwriters supplied the material. They must take a vast proportion of the credit. He did go wrong up to a point,when he started to make changes. I gather his last work for the BBC was his Royal Festival Hall one man show. I gather he at one point, he wanted Kenneth Williams to come along and join in reading from an old script and 'phoned him up earlier that day. This would have entailed no rehearsal. Kenneth Williams felt this was unprofessional and declined. But I think that his move left a gap. Which was filled by other writings from his origainal scriptwriters. I do not think after his new look BBC series and the film The Rebel, he did not seem to gel as much as he had with the public. A pity. Evidence that he may have regretted this split is that he approached them to write a show for the West End stage to be called Noah. Discussions took place but in the end nothing materialised. Yes, he did make a few films and compere a variety show series for commercial television. He also appeared in a series of adverts for eggs.



    The show which he did appear as a guest on, I believe may have been called Secombe and friends. Harry Secombe was host and Hancock guested in one edition and performed his budgerigar act. In one documentary, I believe the reference to his ATV series may, or may not, state or give the impression, that very little is in existance. I think a poor technical quality extract was shown. But his Australian show was released on video some years ago and in colour.



    Like some of you, yes, there have been some good moments and not so good in his post Simpson and Galton era. But I think that their era is definately Hancock at his best. It is certainly the way the public seem to best remember him. I am more than sorry things ended as they did. As some have said, the world mourns the death of a clown.



    Alan French.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Good post Alan, thanks.

  20. #20
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    Agreed. The bit that pulled me up short during this discussion was that the poor man was only 44 when he died. What a really tragic waste.

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