Missing Believed Wiped

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Wed 9 Oct 2013

The hunt is on for hundreds of lost episodes of vintage Scottish TV series as Filmhouse teams up with the British Film Institute's (BFI) Missing Believed Wiped initiative ahead of a special event in the capital this December.

Launched by the BFI in 1993 with the aim of tracking down and screening material long missing from the official TV archives, Missing Believed Wiped will leave its BFI Southbank base on Sunday 1 December to bring a number of rarely-seen episodes to Filmhouse.

Among the rarities screened in Edinburgh will be a recently-recovered BBC play, Colombe, from 1960 starring a young Sean Connery, footage from the pre-Monty Python At Last the 1948 Show and a once-lost episode of 1960s Doctor Who.

Ahead of the event, the BFI and Filmhouse are asking the public to search their attics and garden sheds for lost episodes of Scottish TV series which are no longer held in the archives of UK broadcasters. Many series have been wiped or destroyed over the years, either for cost-cutting reasons or by mistake.

Some of the series still missing from the archives and much wanted by the BFI and Filmhouse are:

•    Para Handy – Master Mariner (1959-1960): Six episodes of this BBC maritime comedy, starring Roddy McMillan and John Grieve, were adapted from the short stories by Neil Munro. All are now missing from the archives. 

•    Garnock Way (1976-1979): STV's forerunner to Take the High Road, set in a small fictional mining town between Edinburgh and Glasgow, ran for 150 episodes. Only four episodes still exist.

•    The Adventures of Francie and Josie (1961-1965): Ricki Fulton and Jack Milroy starred as former Teddy Boys in 16 episodes of this STV comedy series which combined music and jokes. No episodes survive in the archives.

•    Dr Finlay's Casebook (1962-1971): This classic medical drama, starring Bill Simpson and Andrew Cruickshank, ran for nine years and amassed 191 episodes in total. Of those, 123 are now missing.

•    The One O'Clock Gang (1957-1964): Shown, as the title suggests, at one o'clock each weekday, this entertainment show featured music, songs and comedy in front of a live audience at Glasgow's Theatre Royal. Sadly, although 1832 episodes were made, only one remains in the STV archives.

If any member of the public thinks they have a full episode, clips or behind-the-scenes footage from a missing TV series please contact Dick Fiddy:

Tickets will be on sale Tue 22 Oct.

Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland today at 2.30pm to hear Jonathan Melville talk about Missing Believed Wiped.

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