The Times’ TV reviewer (TR) was pleased to sit down, last night, “to a substantial classic” in the form of Turgenev’s “A Month in the Country”, which was produced by Associated-Rediffusion under their International Theatre banner. TR found not the usual “sense of enclosed and occasionally cramped intimacy” often found in television drama, but instead “a large cinematic spaciousness”. Robert Hamer’s direction was “accomplished” and so were a number of the performances. In particular, “in Miss Margaret Leighton’s hands Natalya… had not only a tense nervous strength but a most moving vulnerability”; “Mr Laurence Harvey was a sincere, likeable Beliayev; and in their different ways Mr Michael Gough’s Rakitin and Miss Zena Walker’s Vera subtly confided in the invisible audience.” (more…)
There’s an interesting small-ad in The Times.
Who wants to know, I wonder? (more…)
The Daily Express’s Cyril Aynsley was disappointed by Associated Broadcasting’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Not so much, it seems, by the programme itself as by the failure of the programme to live up to its “top-pressure publicity as a dazzling celebrity show.” The main variety acts were approved of: “Top artists were Gracie Fields, who gave a monologue and sang three songs, and Guy Mitchell, the American singer. Other acts were of a high standard.”
But, he writes, “This was good enough variety, but not good enough to match the build-up,” and “The intrusion of ‘Beat the Clock’ and the amount of time devoted to it knocked the programme off balance.” (more…)
Writing in The Observer, Maurice Richardson has much to say about the new kid on the block as well as its more established rival. Noting a tendency for ITV “to imitate BBC patterns and actual features” he describes Twopenny Corner (sic) as “being du cote de chez Grove”. On the other hand “Dragnet… promises well”, Take Your Pick is “riotously low-brow”, the new variety “is perhaps a bit slicker than BBC”. While “ITA’s (sic) weather report is definitely livelier and sexier” its “most successful single feature yet is Orson Welles compèring his own travelogues.” (more…)
Broadcast: 19:45-20:15 on Saturday, 24 September 1955 (Associated Broadcasting)
What’s a natural break? That question vexed Daily Express writer Cyril Aynsley who notes that last night “interruptions were made in the middle of four programmes”.
Most of the examples he cites sound like cock-up rather than conspiracy, but here they are: “In Sportsclub… commentator Ken Johnstone said: ”Now let’s go into the gym and see how soccer player Danny Blanchflower is getting on”. Before Johnstone reached the gym an advertisement for soap powder appeared on screen.” (more…)
Perhaps surprisingly, last night’s opening broadcast from commercial television hardly makes front page news in those papers that carry news on their front page. It’s mentioned in passing on the Daily Express’s rather busy page one in a piece headlined “Who killed Grace Archer?” but its main headlines concern the new leader of the Argentine, General Eduardo Lonardi. a miniature tornado in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and a white paper on the missing diplomats Maclean and Burgess – which is due to be published later today. (more…)
The Times carries a preview of what we’re to expect tonight on commercial television, but there’s nothing in there that we haven’t been told already or which we couldn’t learn from TV Times. Interestingly, the paper also carries some news of a programme that Granada Television will be making – and news about that company has been quite thin on the ground. (more…)
Under the headline “Personality in News” in The Times and “Personality and News” in The Guardian are reports on Independent Television News’ Editor-in-Chief Mr Aidan Crawley who told a news conference yesterday that in the bulletins provided by ITN the newscaster will be invited “to inject something of his or her own personality” into the broadcast. (more…)
The Times and The Guardian both report that Messrs Denton, Hall and Burgin, solicitors of Gray’s Inn Place, have issued a writ on behalf of Associated British Cinemas asking for an injunction against the Associated Broadcasting Company to restrain them from “producing television programmes under a title which incorporates the initials or abbreviation ABC”. (more…)