Tag Archives: phil morris

Sue Malden Q and A from DW ME Facebook group

A little while ago the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook approached Sue Malden to see if she would be interested in doing a Q & A session to shed some light on her past involvement in stopping the junking of old TV shows, including Doctor Who. They took questions from the group, picked out 20 and sent them to Sue. Well, she has given us the answers. Here is a transcript with only the names of those who asked the questions redacted for their privacy. There are no bombshells in here, but there are some very interesting little tidbits!

What do you believe was your most important rescue for the archives, the recovery you are most proud of, for a) Doctor Who b) general TV? And if you could have saved a single missing episode of Doctor Who, which would it have been?

Sue: I think that just finding any missing Dr Who episode was a tremendous achievement. With regard to other tv progs – the missing Dads Army finds were great and have been shown by the BBC so many times.

 

What were your impressions on Philip Morris finding most of ‘The Web of Fear’ and ‘Enemy of the World’? And do you think of ‘what if’ we went to went to search physically in the first place we could have at least had those episodes back and possibly others?

Sue: Phil’s achievements are amazing – a tribute to his determination and tenacity . I agree if we had been able to visit foreign archives in person all that time ago we might have found these and others earlier, but we relied on letter contact with people in these other archives

What do you think happened to Tenth Planet 4 and Master Plan 4 after their visits to Blue Peter for clip usage?

Sue: This is a mystery I could not get to the bottom of. I am checking details again now

(Note: Sue originally provided the above answer with her partial response. She provided the follow-up answer below when she sent us the rest of her answers…..)

Sue: There was a loan record set up for the Master Plan episode it was sent to the BP film editor in October 1973), and it was logged that the print never came back to the Library. The Tenth Planet episode was not originally logged on Infax/FLOL which implies that it was accessed from Enterprises at Villiers House, as with certain other clips that survive from missing episodes of Dr Who.

Apart from doctor who which is your most wanted missing TV show you would like to see recovered?

Bob Dylan appeared in a play called MadHouse on Castle Street transmitted in 1963

When did you realise just how much material was missing, and were you shocked by the amount or had you expected to find so much missing?

When I first began working in the BBC library like many others, I presumes that everything that had been broadcast had been put away safely on their shelves. I became the Archive Selector in 1978 against a background of the Asa Briggs report into the BBC Archives and it was then that I realised that not everything had been kept and I was most shocked and needed to find out why programmes had not been kept in the archives. This is when I learned about live transmission, technology issues, re-use value of videotape, contributor rights issues   – all of which led to tapes not surviving.

Many Dr Who fans demonise Pamela Nash for the destruction of overseas duplicates…

Given that she he had ordered the creation of many of the film negatives in the first place (without which we may not have many of the episodes now….and that It wasn’t her role to keep backups – they were just overseas prints and the BBC’s attitude then was that TV was ephemeral…

Do you have a view of Pam Nash’s role back then….Is it right that she should be vilified, or do you think that the situation was more complicated than that?

Sue: I think it quite wrong to vilify Pam Nash.

You are quite right. Her job in BBC Enterprises was to (among other things) organise the copying and distribution of BBC productions for BBC Enterprises clients. As I understand it this involves arranging for duplicating masters from the original BBC masters to be made solely for Enterprises use – to copy from, thus saving wear on the original BBC master . Sometimes this would be a film recording from a 2” tape copy(and sometimes a black and white copy of a colour original). Pam was not aware of what the BBC subsequently chose to do with its masters. She was fulfilling her role meeting Enterprises requirements. Even then the BBC was not a “joined up “ organisation!

As you say – the fact that this BBC Enterprises activity was in operation parallel to the main BBC functions of production and transmission does at least mean that additional copies of programmes were being made and distributed to many countries which has meant that the chances of at least one copy of a programmes were increased.(to later be found )

I found that once Pam understood what had been happening to BBC master tapes she was helpful to our quest, but very clear that she was not responsible for the BBC wipings.

Hi Sue how are you? Thanks for all your hard work over the years trying to recover Doctor Who, Z Cars and many other programmes. Are you still involved in trying to recover missing episodes?

Sue: Hi

Many thanks. I am not directly involved these days, but do like to help out where and when I can

Thanks for the Q&A Sue. My question is how much of a process was it back in the 1970s to realise there had been a mistake in junking the BBC’s archive? Was there apprehension from other departments to abort junking in favour of retaining the status quo (i.e. continuing to junk)? What was the reaction (if any) of the unions when the BBC began retaining material for potential domestic sales?

Sue: The Asa Briggs report on BBC archives in 1978/9 was crucial in highlighting the need to review and bring consistency to the BBC’s retention activities. This report, among other things, recommended the creation of the post of Archive Selector. When I first began it was so helpful to have this report to refer to if I met any resistance from production managers!

Video recorders have been around for decades, when did staff at the BBC first think as a germ of an idea, “in the future people will have these things in their homes and they might want to access these old programmes”. Or did it just suddenly dawn on them just before the Revenge of the Cybermen.

Sue: I do not know when home video sales first appeared, but I would presume as soon as Enterprises (now Wordwide) became aware of the commercial opportunity. But unti then there were no domestic video rights negotiated or paid to the contributors so the back catalogue would need to be re-cleared – another commercial decision Going forward when a programme was made Enterprises would have to express an interest in it so that the appropriate rights could be negociated with all the contributors. Eventually these rights were written into most BBC contracts

When you started checking the archive for doctor who were there any records of non-theatrical sales (generally donated to areas like the armed forces etc ) or was there nothing like that i believe there were index cards for each DW story held by what is now BBC worldwide

Sue: I never found any formal records of non commercial distribution. There were certainly index cards for a Enterprises (now Worldwide) holdings and distribution

Was it true Sue that the directors or producers of a programme had to sign a form saying that there was no merit in keeping a story on tape? If they said no, it was junked?

Sue: It was certainly a production decision to wipe or keep and I think the wiping sheets may have been signed by the department managers, but I don’t think every individual tape was signed away!

Beyond broadcasters, is there a possibility other organisations such as government departments obtaining episodes from the 60’s?

Sue: The BFI did; govt overseas depts. did, but I don’t know on what basis and we did try to get programmes back from remote places such as the Ascension Islands

This is broader than Doctor Who I hope that’s alright, here goes. We’re told the BBC, and I assume other broadcasters, couldn’t keep everything. So was there a specific set of rooms or a building designated for this. Was it running some sort of system were new programs went in one end and the oldest programs went out the other to the skip to make space. I’m making it sound very simplistic, I’m sure it must have been much more complex. Thank you for giving some of your time to answer questions.

Sue: In the early days The VT programme tapes were managed by VT Engineering on behalf of the Production departments who would decide which of their tapes they wanted to retain depending on the significance of their content, the copyright and contractual arrangements for that programme and repeat or sale potential. In the late 1970s the library became responsible for this store and when I was appointed I could override the production decisions to wipe – using the BBC’s section criteria thus taking a wider view of the value of the programme

Not limited to Dr Who, but can Sue tell us what to do if us fans stumble across BBC material at boot-sales, junk shops etc? I live quite close to London and I often see material that may or may not be of interest, usually on old video formats, or reel-to-reel audio tapes. Is there any value in this material and should we try and get it all back, or are they just junk copies on obsolete formats that have been thrown out by the corporation on purpose, as they switch to digital formats? Also what is a fair price for us to pay and would we be reimbursed for expenses by the BBC/BFI if we have to pay out on material that might be of interest to the corporations, but might not be of any immediate interest to us as individuals? I’d be fascinated to have some advice and guidance.

Sue: It is always worth following up on any old tv or radio recordings you come across. Dick Fiddy who organises “Missing Believed Wiped” at the BFI is the best person to contact. In genera it is not likely that vhs are worth collecting because the broadcast master probably has been retained. Most interesting would be film recordings and 2 and 1 inch videotapes. All BBC material that is not required was supposed to be wiped first recycled or sent for landfill, but I know things slipped thru this process!

I cannot advise on a fair price to pay or whether it would be reimbursed by the rights owners – but I would hope so. Dick is the best person to check with, especially if possible before buying. I realise this is not so easy at a boot sale .

Were there any countries or types of countries that is it was difficult to get a response from when asking for old material to be returned, for example, countries like Ethiopia when it was under a dictatorship, and we know that some Dr Who was sold to Iran. It’s obviously rather a difficult place to approach. Do you know if they have been contacted again since the classic “Who in the name of Allah are you talking about” response many years ago?

Sue: I think almost everywhere I contacted responded, mainly because I was contacting people in the libraries . I cannot remember any rejects. Whether they all looked in the relevant stores is another matter. I do not recollect the quote, but certainly an archivist in Iran Tv was most helpful some years ago

Do you think there are any more missing episodes out there ?

Sue: Never say never!!!I think it is possible that more will be found – but who knows where!!

I’d like to ask Sue to tell us a little about her career leading up to becoming the BBC Archive Selector? Also, I’m interested in hearing about what she’s been up to since leaving the BBC.

Sue: I did a degree in Economics specialising in Economic history. My first job after leaving college was for about a year in the library of Birkbeck College London. I enjoyed library work so I decided to persue this as a career and left Birkbeck to undertake a Post grad diploma in Information Management at the Library School of the Polytechnic of North London. This ran for a year from Jan – Dec. Whilst I was there the BBC Film library advertised for student holiday relief work and I was a successful applicant. I returned to work there in Dec when I qualified – as an assistant librarian. I worked in all areas of the library including intake. In c 1975 I was sent to Lime Grove to work as librarian/researcher for the current affairs programme “Midweek”. The position of first Television Archive Selector was advertised in c 1978 and I applied.

I went on to work on the BBC’s 50th anniversary celebration, became Assistant head of the Film Library. Following management reorganisation I became head of BBC TV Broadcast Archives covering News, Photos, Music, Grams and later Radio archives. For a short period I was Head of Marketing for BBC Information and Archives I was Corporate Affairs Manager when I left in 2001. Since then I have been a freelance film researcher working mainly on current affairs productions, but also on the History of Ealing Studios and the Great War repeat. I have worked in a range of countries in the Middle East and Caribbean as a management consultant and training in archive work and research. I am currently chair of FOCAL International and also chair of the media Archive of Central England (MACE)

Hi Sue. Its 2015 now, looking back when you started cataloguing and preserving Doctor Who back in the late 1970`s, could you have possible envisaged how your work has brought joy and delight to the legion of Doctor Who fans all over the world with the releases on VHS then DVD, and do you receive much fan mail these days?

Sue: I had no idea what I was taking on when I began investigating Dr Who episodes. I just chose what I thought was an iconic, significant long-running series to investigate in order to earn about what had happened to programmes in the past. I do not get any fan mail these days!

How easy was access to the archives in the 1960s and 1970s – could items have been removed by any producers, editors and simply not returned?

Sue: In the early 1960s the library was based in Ealing studios so it is possible that “physical ” access was easier than when the archive moved to the Brentford site but I don’t know. Anyone working for the BBC with a legitimate production number could borrow from the library – it was unusual to loan a negative or master copy unless to the editor or the labs for transmission. There was also an overdue chasing process to get items back – but not always successfully. In fact the copy lent for the 1973 special did not return, but there was a master in the archive

Were copies of programs ever made for persons such as the royal family or celebrities to view at their leisure?

Sue: Hi, Copies of BBC programmes were made for contributors and others, but I do not know if Dr Who was ever copied for them.

 

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The Son of “Staff” Interview

Every once in a while the stars align and something magical happens. One of my favourite moments as a Doctor Who fan was this past October when the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the miraculous return of Enemy Of The World and Web Of Fear by Phil Morris. There was a lot of planning and preparation put into the event. We held a week long contest, had a cavalcade of random facts each day and votes on the episodes. The whole thing culminated in a comment a long to the final episodes of Web and Enemy.

As a part of the event I had come across a website about Jack Woolgar, the actor who played Staff Sergeant Arnold.  The website was run by his son Tim. I invited Tim to join our group and informed him about the comment a long. He graced us with his presence for both and the result was truly magical. Over the 22 odd minutes that Web was running, we had an online love in where Who fans got to express their gratitude. The praise wasn’t just for Phil Morris, who’s hard work and dedication allowed us to see these wonderful episodes that had been lost for 45 years, but also to Tim for the fantastic performance his father had given.

I recently had a chance to talk with Tim about the website and his father.

 

TIMD: Why did you decide to start the website?

Tim Woolgar: I thought that a website would make a great memorial to dad as at the time we hadn’t done anything with his ashes and there was no memorial to him except of course the hours of footage that must exist and that he regularly turns up on the TV screen – so the 25th anniversary of his death seemed a fitting point to make a web site. It’s a place to collate photos and writing about him for me and the family and of course fans of his work. I have always intended to grow it regularly and for others to contribute but life just gets in the way. I did do some finishing and editing some years in and have every intention of rebuilding the site… soon

TIMD: Have you had many visitors?

Tim: Web counters were de rigeur in the early days of web sites but I never put one on this site so who knows – there are probably some google analytics to be had but it’s one thing I don’t seem to have a need to count !

TIMD: Have you learned anything surprising about your father as you were doing research for the site?

Tim: Nothing in a BBC “Who do You Think You Are?” way; all the family skeletons were well out of the cupboard but it is interesting to realise that the adage ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ is very true. A lot of dad’s work was for the same producers or directors. You get to work with one or two and then they use you for different projects. He did a lot of work for Pamela Lonsdale for instance. The web is great for finding new stuff I found a film I never knew he was in and only last week found a drama he did in Sardinia on Vimeo that I’d never seen.

TIMD: How does the rest of your family feel about your endeavor

Tim: They like it I think but aren’t involved in the upkeep.

TIMD: What role of your dad’s stands out most in your memory?

Tim: The ones that stand out to me are

Lion the witch and the wardrobe – enabled us to go on a family holiday

Professor Branestawm – lots of excitement “a bomb of my own invention’

The Borrowers (radio) – lots of tiny stuff

Barlow of the Car park – produced the line ‘Choc- o- lates for meee?’

Dr Who – of course well it was dr who

TIMD: Do you know which role was his favourite?

Tim: He liked the drama work on 30 Minute Theatre and Play for Today I think like Barlow and The Discharge of Trooper Lusby. I think he just liked working so may be Carney in Crossroads

TIMD: He did a lot of work, but he will probably be best remembered (at least by my readers) as Staff Sergeant Arnold from Web Of Fear. That story was lost for 45 years, but returned a year and a half ago by Philip Morris. How did it make you feel to hear the news?

Tim: Very very excited. I had heard that some lost episodes had been found and had that sort of oh it might be web of fear feeling you get like oh I might win the lottery but you know you won’t. But it was – when it was released I downloaded it straight away from iTunes and watched the first couple of episodes but then saved the rest as a treat.

TIMD: What was your reaction to seeing the story for the first time in all those years?

Tim: Honestly it feels a bit wooden in places and the story quite simple but it was simpler back then and a kids’ show and only watched once and once a week. We have higher expectations now and tv shows have to stand repetition. There were some great performances and it felt quite theatrical.

TIMD: Jack sure acted his pants off in that one, especially the final episode. How did he feel about that story? Was it one that he was proud of or just another job?

Tim: It’s always nice to play the character with the twist and therefore have good lines and scenes. I can’t honestly say how he felt I was only 7 years old but the feeling at home was good and exciting and he brought home a rubber death mask which was great to play with!! I’m sure he was pleased with his performance, he watched everything very critically, he wanted to be the best that he could be.

TIMD: You joined the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook during their anniversary celebration for a comment- a- long of episode six. How did it feel to watch the outpouring of love and respect from the members for your father and his performance?

Tim: I was very touched and surprised at the interest in a very old black and white TV show. You’re all mad !!

TIMD: On the website you refer to his story telling and there is a wonderfully evocative passage where he tells us in his own words about running a W.H. Smith stall at the train station, and later on you reveal that he was a published poet.  Jack had a great way with words, didn’t he?

Tim: He was very proud of his self- education and loved words. I wish he had written more prose and more of his life story. He was doing it but didn’t expect to drop off the twig at 64.

 

Thanks to Tim for taking the time to talk to me and please take a moment to check out the website www.jackwoolgar.org.uk it’s incredibly interesting.

 

 

PHIL MORRIS Q&A ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE

Fans who have been following the missing episode saga are in for a treat tonight. Phil Morris himself has offered to do a question and answer session on the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group page on Facebook.

They set up a thread to take some questions for Phil in advance of tonight’s event. Unfortunately, the deadline for questions was earlier this morning (blasted different time zones) and they are already done with that process. Not that it really matters. Honestly, there’s only a few questions most of fandom are breathlessly anticipating. The Q&A is set for 9pm UK time, 4PM my local time. Be sure to be on the facebook page all day for updates in case the start time changes. If you haven’t joined yet, seriously, what are you waiting for?

UPDATE: as an administrator for the Facebook group, I have been asked to moderate the  debate. I am honoured and can’t wait for the action to begin!

Monday Morning News Round Up- June 9

Welcome to a special edition of the Monday Morning News Round Up!

Special? You betcha. Welcome to the Dark Journey Round Up. Saturday the good folks over at amaudiomedia.com launched their fan produced Doctor Who audio adventure Dark Journey. Episode One – The Doctor Meets the Great Detective went live at 5:35pm local time. Have you had a chance to listen yet? I would recommend you take eleven minutes out of your day and check it out!

Lead cast members Andrew Chalmers (The Doctor) and Roy Miranda (Holmes) during recording
Lead cast members Andrew Chalmers (The Doctor) and Roy Miranda (Holmes) during recording

Earlier in the week I had a chance to sit down and Skype with Mike, Andrew and Clayton, three of the masterminds behind the project! You can check out that interview as well as more information about the project. And stay tuned because later today I will be posting a review of episode one!

20140602-113142-41502240.jpg

It was a busy week for interviews because not only did we have the Dark Journey one, but Martin Ruddock conducted an amazing interview with Neil Perryman author of Adventures With the Wife in Space!

june console

Oh, but there’s more. As a part of #FanProducedFriday, where we try to highlight fan projects, TIMD interviewed Dave, who produced the amazing tardis console you see here!

Menace

Okay, on to the real news. Or lack thereof. Have you been waiting for The Underwater Menace to come out on dvd? Well you might be waiting a little while longer. Even though amazon has it listed to preorder, Steve Roberts says the dvd range is dead.

And finally, Phil Morris surprised us all when he tweeted some more photos from Sierra Leone!

That’s all the news from this past week, check out @troughtonsmydoc to find out about it as it happens!

Phil’s Journey Part 2

A while ago we got an intriguing photo tweeted by the man himself, Phillip Morris. It showed him standing in front of a broadcaster in Sierra Leone. Well, I guess that wasn’t the only photo that he took while he was there. He tweeted this earlier today:

Another photographic revelation from Morris. The more active he is an twitter and facebook the more excited we get that there may be more missing episodes coming!

Phil’s Journey -Picture #1

So have you seen the tweet from Phil Morris? I would call this “the first official photo documenting his around the world trip to try and save Doctor Who and other shows of cultural value, at least since the Enemy Of The World/Web Of Fear reveal six months ago”. Wow, that’s quite a mouthful.

https://twitter.com/archives1963/status/456723372705980416

I say first ‘official’ documentation because this picture has been passed around online for a few days now. I’m not 100% sure how it was attained or where they got it from, but either way it was none of their business to publish it. Unfortunately for those posters, it’s mission accomplished because they forced Phil to reveal it to the general public. There’s no point hiding or denying it now. Thousands of people are already rabidly talking about it.

It’s a shame because it would have been so awesome to get this as a nice little Easter present without the baggage that is hidden behind the scenes.

The staff from TIMD would like to say that we don’t condone shady business like the leaking of personal information or pictures in an attempt to force things along. It’s one thing to get rumours from inside sources, quite another to have stuff like this taken from a private place and spread across the internet.

Finally thanks to Phil Morris for all his work and his quiet and cryptic words of encouragement.

“Expect the unexpected.”

Missing Episode Leads at the M&S Cafe?

bAGEL

The Omnirumour. A ray of light leading to an Aladdin’s cave of glinting silvery treasure. Devourer of forum pages. Igniter of conflicts that if enacted in real life would make Game of Thrones look like a pillow fight.

It’s profoundly changed online fandom. On one hand, a great community of like minded souls has sprung up – friendly and open, with some good friendships being forged over borders and time zones. On the other, there’s a worrying amount of flame wars and trolling going on. Not to mention an overall oppressive atmosphere on certain forums, and some elaborate hoaxes. But hey ho, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who fandom if somebody wasn’t being a tool about it.

Every scrap of info or potential lead, no matter how unlikely it may seem, has been pored over in microscopic detail. We want to know. We’re excited. But, until some sort of an announcement comes (fingers crossed), all we can do is continue to look at the clues, and we’ve already torn the internet into so many shreds in our search for the truth that it’s a wonder it’s not collapsed.

Let me tell you a story, a story I haven’t shared up to now.

A couple of months ago, after some lengthy indecision about where to have lunch, my girlfriend Lesley and I ended up at a table in the upstairs café of our local Marks and Spencer. We were very hungry (our indecision often results in this).

She chose a healthy option. I didn’t. As we wolfed down our lunch and talked between bites, I noticed a man sat in the corner, tallish, and oddly familiar looking. Did I know him? If I did, where did I know him from? Work? Someone else’s work?

Hold on. I don’t know him. I do know him from being interviewed on TV by Lizo Mzimba though. That looks like…. Phil Morris!

What do I read into this? If that’s him, he’s at least 500 miles out of his way (I live on the south coast, and have an ex from Liverpool, trust me, I know), maybe there’s an episode lead in Dorset?!? He’s having a bacon bagel. Bacon bagels are round. Film cans are round!! Is this a sign?!?

I jest, but whoever this guy was, he looked enough like everyone’s favourite secretive globe-trotting episode hunter to make me stare at him with one eye for a good couple of minutes whilst maintaining eye contact and conversation with Lesley (risking going cross-eyed in the process).

Luckily he didn’t see me, as I would have looked somewhat deranged. My girlfriend didn’t notice my cross eyed basilisk gaze either, which was a relief. I didn’t fancy explaining that I’d spent so long boring holes in forums and twitter over the last few months that I was starting to believe episode hunters were among us, and……. tucking into a nice bacon roll in the corner of England’s favourite Penny Bazaar. Questions might have been asked about our relationship.

“You haven’t changed, still finding menace in your own shadow…”

There’s not really a message here, beyond “Do not stare at strange men in cafes”. I’m sure good times are still coming. The speculation is still great fun. But, if you do see Phil Morris, and he is a) Actually Phil Morris and b) Eating a Bagel, don’t snatch it out of his hand, it’s not a film can, it’s a bagel. And I hope he enjoys his bagel.

 

The preceding is a humorous account and not intended to offend anyone, even those who hate bagels. The real Phil Morris was not seen anywhere near the vicinity of M&S.