Just for the record the episodes that never made it to radio where - Gorilla Warfare, Ring Dem Bells, When You've Got To Go, Come In, Your Time Is Up, The Face On The Poster, My Brother & I, The Love Of Three Oranges, Wake Up Walmington. The Making Of Private Pike, Knights of Madness, The Miser's Hoard, Number Engaged & Never Too Old.
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 1, 2012 0:42:16 GMT 12
Actually to add soome detail and accuracy to what I said above, what you said Chris is partly right as was what I said.
The last radio episode recorded was High Finance, which was recorded on the evening of the 27th of June 1975, for BBC Radio 2 at the Paris Theatre Studio, London.
TV episodes that were not adapted for radio but at that time had been recorded for television in the 1974 season were: Gorilla Warfare - this must have been rejected for radio because of the over-visual nature that would make an audio adaptation difficult, and the weak script
Episodes from the 1975 season that were already in script form and recorded but were not adapted for radio included: Ring Dem Bells When You've Got To Go Come In, Your Time Is Up The Face On The Poster My Brother & I
Of those I think that Ring Dem Bells and Come In, Your Time Is Up would probably have been difficult to adapt, but When You've Got To Go should have been adaptable, and the same goes for The face On The Poster. My Brother And I could also have been done but it would have lost the impact of Arthur playing two roles - if he'd played both very few would realise as they couldn't see him. If they had recast Barry with another actor it would have lost a bit of the nvelty - but may still have worked.
Interestingly, from that 1975 series they did adapt Is There Honey Still For Tea? and High Finance.
I think therefore that there might have been other factors here - it was never going to be easy to get the whole cast together regularly for long periods, especially when the likes of Arthur Lowe and others were by this time in high demand and acting all over the country. It is possible that their schedules clashed which forced the other doable episodes to be dropped form the line up. It may also have been down to the BBC Radio budget not stretching to cover all the episodes in this series recording sessions. They may well have felt there would be another series and these episodes would be tucked into it, but it wasn't to be.
TV epsiodes recorded subsequently to that last radio recording date were: The Love Of Three Oranges (1976) Wake Up Walmington (1977) The Making Of Private Pike (1977) Knights of Madness (1977) The Miser's Hoard (1977) Number Engaged (1977) Never Too Old (1977)
The main problem with getting the cast together in 1976 to record a further radio series, and for that matter the TV series, was the problem of them all being in the stage show nightly for long periods. As all the cast were needed in a adio episode and almost all of them needed on the stage too, they could not be in two places at once.
By 1977 when the stage show was over some of the cast were in poor health - Arthur's narcolepsy was getting worse, John le Mez had liver disease, John Laurie was unwell, Arnold broke a leg too that year. Then Teddy Sinclair died and that was the finish of the series. So sadly these episodes were never adapted, both because of the difficulty in adapting some and in other cases as they were from after the radio series was being produced.
Some years back after I heard Bill Pertwee's excellent impersonations of most of the cast on his audio book version of his Dad's Army book, I suggested to him he should recrd these remaining episodes where he reads the story as a narrator and adds in all the voices. His cousin John was doing exactly that at the time with old Doctor Who scripts. Bill thought it was a good idea but he thought it was too much work involved to get permissions sorted, adapt the scripts and record them all, and try to find people to buy them. I would have!
I believe the BBC radio budget for comedy was slashed again around mid 1975, it had been before in 1968 when Bill Pertwee was dropped from Round The Horne along with the Frazer Hayes Group and around 5 musicians, I only ever saw one recording in the Paris studio with Bill in it, the Paris was quite small, it only held 200 in the audience and the stage was full when recording Round the Horne, the Paris was built as an underground cinema in 1939 but the BBC aquired it at the outbreak in WW2 as it was below ground level it was considered bomb proof, anyhow as TV comedy had started to progress in the late 1960s I guess radio comedy became less important.
Radio 4 extra which broadcasts all the old shows has around 1.64M listeners a week tuning in now to hear the old favourites amongst other programmes of course. Maybe things are turning full circle and radio is becoming more popular, people getting fed up with all the bad language they use nowadays to try and make people laugh.