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BBC (ended 1989)
You have heard of the Lost Episodes TV stories that the videos has been lost and all we have are the sound tracks on CD.
Well they also have the Lost Stories. Ever wonder what happen the those TV stories that were never made? You have read about and heard interviews where they have been talked about. Well Big Finish has turned these lost stories into full cast audio dramas.
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Oct 05, 2017
I've listened to most of season 1, which was the original plan for season 23, and much better than Trial of a Timelord. I remember really looking forwards to The Nightmare Fair and the return of the Celestial Toymaker, so I was gutted when it got pulled. It was nice to hear BBC Radio 4 Extra air the original season 23 earlier this year.

I've also recently listened to the lost season 27, that was Andrew Cartmel's planned next season before it got cancelled. Interestingly it brought back the Ice Warriors and would have been the first story to establish that the armour was bio-mechanical, an idea eventually picked up in Cold War.

Many lost stories are lost more than once. Song of the Megaptera was originally intended as a Fourth Doctor story, Song of the Space Whale, but never made it. It then got readapted for Five, Nyssa and Tegan and was to introduce Turlough, but got swapped out in favour of Mawdryn Undead. Finally rewritten for Six and Peri and lost out to Vengeance on Varos. Though the basic premise did finally get a TV appearance in The Beast Below.
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Oct 07, 2017
At lest up to the late 1970,s radio networks still ran shows though not a great many of them. It seem many of these shows went away as TV grew in the U.S. I wonder how they have been able to stay in the U.K.?
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Oct 09, 2017
In the UK we have the BBC, which is funded by the TV license, and as such has strict requirements it must meet to keep its funding, which protects certain kinds of broadcast as long as there is still a demand, so it doesn't have to go after ratings, just ensure that what it is producing is appreciated by those that listen to it.

So on the radio front the BBC the radio services are banded, Radio 1 is mainly chart music, Radio 2 still popular music but with a more mature focus, Radio 3 Arts and Orchestral, Radio 4 News, Comment, Drama and Comedy, Radio 3 Extra Comedy and Drama (Digital only), Radio 5 Live Sport and Talk, Radio 6 Cultural Music. Importantly they're all free to air, though technically you should have a TV license to listen to them.

Now on the face of it, that sounds like it's propping up a market that isn't there, but all it's doing is protecting that market from being wiped out by more profitable ones. Radio 4 is still incredibly popular, you might think less so than Radio 1, but in 2017 Radio 1 is getting 9.5m listeners a week, compared to Radio 4 with 11.5m. Whereas if this were a commercial arrangement Radio 1 would be better suited to draw in advertising revenue targeted to content.

Radio 4 produces some incredible drama and comedy content, and is often a springboard to TV. Many well known TV comedies started life as short half hour shows on Radio 4. Even Sci-Fi can start there, with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy starting life as a radio show, long before it ever made the screen. It's also a good training gound for character actors, as you have to know your stuff to establish strong characters in audio only. Jon Pertwee cut his teeth on the radio.

It really shows that audio drama is alive and well in the UK in that when digital channels launched we got a second comedy and drama channel (originally Radio 7 but rebranded 4 extra). They host a slot for Sci-Fi known as the 7th Dimension (after the original channel name) which is where Doctor Who runs when it is airing, and is often hosted by Nicholas Briggs (even on the non-Who nights). The Eighth Doctor and Lucy seasons were directly commissioned by the BBC for airing in the 7th Dimension, whereas other Big Finish stuff is bought by them after market.
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Oct 11, 2017
It sound like a good system to me. Is it only the UK or elsewhere? And do you have to be in the UK to get a TV licence?
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Oct 11, 2017
I don't know whether any other countries have a similar system, but the UK one can only be applied to a UK address.

It's ironic that people that don't have the system can appreciate it, because an unfettered free market doesn't work the way a lot of people think. Whereas in the UK there are many that object to the system, since if they don't watch any BBC they feel they are paying for things they don't watch - and then they watch many productions on other channels that only exist to compete with the BBC.

But in a purefly commercial media market, even though there is an audience for a wide diversity of programs, most channels will simply go after the more popular elements, to make a bigger profit. But with one player forced to pursue a broader range, they WILL take audience from other channels, causing the other channels to then have to compete in that broader range of programming.
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Oct 10, 2017
So you pay a fee to listen? Is that what the TV license are? There was a time when many of our 1950's and early 60's shows came from radio.
It seem the same with the live action theater. Even the smaller local theaters that every mid size town had at one time are gone.
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Oct 10, 2017
Theatres are going strong in the UK. I live mid way between the cities of Nottingham and Derby. Nottingham has at least 3 main stream theatres and many smaller ones, Derby has one, it did have 2 but one burnt down and is awaiting redevelopment.

We have a great drama college in Nottingham (Bilborough College) and a TV workshop, that have produced many great actors of stage and TV. Lucy Carless (Mattie from Humans) was at Bilborough with our Will in his first year (Humans is a great show, look it up). Lots of local drama groups, and small theatre spaces.

I have a friend called Richard Oliver who set up his own Theatre Space in an old office above a shopping mall, and that is doing really well, and he recently worked with Dan Freeman (author of Death Comes to Time) to present "A Joke" there and he got to star with Sylvester McCoy and Robert Picardo. Our Will is looking at setting up his own theatre company later this year - so theatre is booming,
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Oct 10, 2017
That's an interesting question. Up until 1971 in the UK you should have a radio license to listen to the radio, but as TV was taking off it became evident that people would drop their Radio license and just watch TV, one less expense, and radio listening declined. So the funding for BBC radio was switched to be accommodated by the TV license , and radio listenership picked up again.

You need a TV license if you have any device that you use to watch any UK transmitted TV channel at transmission time (not just BBC) and if you download or watch any BBC program after air using services like BBC iPlayer.

The after air provision is a new one, recently introduced. It used to be that people could watch BBC shows online as long as they didn't watch them live, and as we're long past the days of sitting down to watch a show when it's on it wasn't too much of a shift for folks to find themselves switching to watching on demand and not really missing out, or needing a TV license.

None of this is enforced at point of consumption, i.e. you can physically watch TV without a license, but you can be prosecuted if caught doing so.

Though now you need a user ID to watch iPlayer online, and shortly they will tie those IDs to TV licenses, which will probably mean listening to BBC Radio online will disappear as an option when they do.

It might sound a strange set of affairs, but it means we get TV channels with no commercials, and programs don't have to go after ratings. So the BBC doesn't go after only making highly profitable programming, it can, and indeed has to, produce programming across the board. Which is why we still have a good strong radio drama audience in the UK.
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