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    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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    BBC Two (ended 1981)
    Don't Panic! The Hitch Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy is a classic British television series from the early 1980s, starting out as a BBC Radio series of six episodes which grew to twelve episodes, then five best-selling books and a hugely successful TV series (this one). Finally, a feature film appeared in 2005. The creator, the late Douglas Adams, had been a script editor on Doctor Who and he once said the idea for the show came to him while he was lying drunk in a field near Innsbruck. Quirky British humour runs through all formats of the Guide, but what sets this version apart from the others of is the animated graphics created by Rod Lord – unlike anything seen on British TV until then. They inspired the animation in a TVO educational series called Landscape of Geometry (1983). The show won several awards, including BAFTA Awards in 1982 for Best Graphics (Rod Lord), and Best Sound Supervisor (Michael McCarthy), as well as an RTS Television Award 1982 for Most Original Programme.moreless
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    Red Dwarf

    Red Dwarf

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    BBC Two
    3 Million Years from Earth, the mining ship Red Dwarf Its crew: Dave Lister, the last crew member alive Arnold Rimmer, a hologram simulation of his dead bunkmate Cat, a humanoid, evolved from Lister's cat. Additional: The ship's crew has come across new members: Kryten, a series 4000 mechanoid rescued from the Nova 5 Navigation Officer Kristine Kochanski, from a parallel universe. I am Holly, the ship's computer with an IQ of 6000 (and rapidly decreasing). Message Ends. ========================== Welcome to the Red Dwarf guide. Enjoy the backstory and details of one of the best SF parodies ever created for TV.moreless
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    Postman Pat

    Postman Pat

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    BBC Two (ended 2008)
    Postman Pat was based on a series of books by John Cunliffe, the program is about a rural postman who helps his friends in the village of Greendale, based supposedly in Cumbria, England. The first series of thirteen 15-minute episodes was produced by Woodland Animations and broadcast by the BBC in 1981. Ivor Wood, a vetaran of animations like The Magic Roundabout, was at the helm as producer. Ken Barrie sang the well known theme tune and provided the narration. The stories were very successful and have seen endless repeats over the years. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show in 1991, the old production crew was reunited for two one-off 25 minute specials, again shown by the BBC. Two more came in 1995, and these were followed by a second full series of 13 adventures. Then, after almost 10 years of absence from our screens, Postman Pat returned in 2004 for his third series. This consisted of 25 new episodes and several specials. The model animation was a far cry from the simple look of the early 80's, with brighter sets, much smoother puppet movements and characters voices lip-synched. Ken Barrie is still the voice of our favorite postman, but he is also joined by a cast of other talented voice artists, like Carole Boyd. For the final season in 2008, the series was titled Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service. The show aired on BBC2 from 1981-2002, CBBC from 1986-2002 and at CBeebies from 2003-2008. Reruns continue today on CBeebies.moreless
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    Horizon

    Horizon

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    BBC Two
    Horizon is BBC Two's flagship 50-minute science documentary series. In September 2004 it celebrated its 40th anniversary and it continues to enjoy outstanding critical acclaim. Recognised as the world leader in its field, it regularly wins a sweep of international science, medical and environmental film accolades, and has recently won the Royal Television Society Award and the Prix Italia. In 2002, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts presented Horizon with the BAFTA Television Award for Best Factual Series or Strand. In 2003 it won the prestigious Images et Science award for best medical documentary and the Carl von Linne Award at the Living Europe film festival in Sweden. That year, a Horizon co-production with WGBH Boston won the Emmy for best documentary.moreless
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    Miss Marple

    Miss Marple

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    BBC Two (ended 1992)
    Miss Marple is an amateur detective created by famed mystery writer Agatha Christie. Marple, an elderly spinster, is always able to solve crimes that the professionals cannot, because of her keen eye and her experience with all the foibles of human nature through the years in her home town of St. Mary Mead in England. These 12 BBC productions are adaptations of the 12 novels Christie wrote about Miss Marple, originally published between 1930 and 1976.moreless
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    Naked Video

    Naked Video

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    BBC Two (ended 1991)
    Naked Video was a BBC Scotland comedy series, broadcast between 1986 and 1991 on BBC2. it started life as a radio show on Radio Scotland called Naked Radio, starring Gregor Fisher, Andy Gray, Elaine C. Smith, Tony Roper, Jonathan Watson, John Sparkes, Kate Donnelly, Louise Beattie, Ron Bain, and Helen Lederer (although Lederer and Sparkes were not part of the radio version). The series was produced by Colin Gilbert and the script editor was Philip Differ.

    Naked Radio proved to be a popular part of the local schedule, and in 1985 the cast successfully mounted the show on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Colin Gilbert realised that it had the visual potential for television and so Naked Video was born. Naked Video proved hugely popular with the viewing public and soared up massive audeince figures when first aired.moreless
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    A Fine Romance (1981)

    A Fine Romance (1981)

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    BBC Two (ended 1984)
    A Fine Romance which starred real-life married couple Judi Dench and Michael Williams is about two middle-aged people who are terribly shy and who fall in love. Their courtship is a rocky one as both characters are set in their ways and are tired of the rules of dating. A Fine Romance is British comedy at its most delicious, never over-the-top, and with a cast of Britain's finest actors.moreless
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    Star Cops

    Star Cops

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    BBC Two (ended 1987)
    Welcome to the Star Cops guide at TV.com. It's 2027, and manned space explorations are finally underway. The world's powers are developing space for industrial research, trade, mining military purposes and political prestige. There are now five major space stations, a base on the Moon, a small colony on Mars, and numerous satellites, all linked by space shuttles. So far, there has been little crime to speak of, and a few engineers, traffic controllers and scientists on each outpost have simply been paid a little extra to maintain law and order as and when necessary. Unfortunately, the bungling inefficiency of these amateur detectives has turned the International Space Police Force into a worldwide laughing-stock, and earned them the nickname "Star Cops". But space settlement is expanding, and it is felt that the force now needs a superhero, a professional who can give it some credibility and control the increasing crime rate.moreless
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    Mr Benn

    Mr Benn

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    BBC Two (ended 2005)
    Welcome to the Mr Benn guide at TV.com. This show is all about a man called Mr Benn who visits a fancy dress store every day. He tries on a costume, and then he embarks on different fantastical adventures, which always relate to the costume he has just put on. Mr Benn ran for thirteen episodes in the early 70s and there was a special episode in 2005. The protagonist's characteristic bowler-hatted appearance, and the spinning wheel-of-fortune design of the opening sequence, have become iconic emblems of children's television, and Mr Benn still has a cult following to this day.moreless
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    The Money Programme

    The Money Programme

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    BBC Two
    The Money Programme is a finance and business affairs television programme on BBC2. First broadcast in 5 April 1966, The Money Programme is the BBC's longest running business affairs programme. In the early years the Money Programme was fronted by "commentators" - distinguished financial journalists who gave viewers an insight and an understanding into Britain's new economic reality. The programme was not an immediate success. Audiences started at around half a million. But the programme had soon established itself and was making headlines - like the edition in November 1977 when Sir James Goldsmith accused the programme of telling lies and promptly stormed off the set. The Programme was completely transformed in the 1980’s into a new glossy magazine format. Introduced with two new presenters, Valerie Singleton and Brian Widlake, who helped to bring the programme to a wider audience. In 2001 the Programme was given a new look, changing from a magazine to a single subject documentary, such as 50 Cent’s business acumen, PPI’s and The World According To Google. The new format, produced in association with The Open University, has proved a great success with increased audiences, even greater press attention and a clutch of awards for its programmes.moreless
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    Not the Nine O'Clock News

    Not the Nine O'Clock News

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    BBC Two (ended 1982)
    Not The Nine O'Clock News was a satirical show broadcast on BBC2 (UK) from 1979 to 1982. Noted for its topical sketches and skits, it made stars of Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys-Jones and Pamela Stephenson.

    The show required a large number of writers, and to this end operated an "open door" policy, accepting sketch ideas from anybody who wanted to contribute. With a large number of contributing writers, there was plenty of material to go round, and only the best ideas made it to the screen; thus the series was able to maintain a remarkably high quality of material across four series.

    The series ended in 1982, partly due to the various cast members wanting to pursue their own projects instead. The format was subsequently copied in the USA where it became Not Necessarily the News.

    For those wishing to see Not The Nine O'Clock News on video, two VHS compilations are available: Nice Video Shame About The Hedgehog and The Gorilla Kinda Lingers. Both are deleted but should be easy enough to find. Three albums were also released: Not The Nine O'Clock News, compiled from the soundtracks of series 1+2; Hedgehog Sandwich taken from series 3, and The Memory Kinda Lingers, taken from series 4. The latter two albums are available as a combined long-play BBC cassette.moreless
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    The Goodies

    The Goodies

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    BBC Two (ended 1982)
    Created, written and performed by comedians Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, The Goodies was a British comedy that ran for 9 seasons between November 1970 and February 1982 on the BBC. With the motto 'We do anything, anytime', The Goodies often found themselves dealing with all sorts of bizarre situations such as giant kittens, the Loch Ness monster, dodo birds, lighthouses, the destruction of the Earth, black puddings and beanstalks, just to name a few. The plot for most episodes was relatively simple: One member of the trio goes nuts and the other two desperately try to stop him. Using a unique blend of sketch comedy, slapstick and almost cartoon-like humour the show was often outrageously madcap, and only rarely failed to hit the mark. The Goodies have received something of a revival in recent years with selected episodes being released on DVD in the UK and Australia, and a number of live tours performed by the trio. In the U.S.A. the Goodies are often compared to the Three Stooges when fans are trying to describe the show to some one who has never seen it. You can see some of what made the Three Stooges so great in the things the Goodies do.moreless
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    Look and Read

    Look and Read

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    BBC Two (ended 2004)
    Look and Read is a longrunning Children's educational show which has been shown in British schools since the 1960s.
  • 14
    Classic Top Gear

    Classic Top Gear

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    BBC Two (ended 2001)
    Featuring many presenters over the years including Jeremy Clarkson, Classic Top Gear, or Top Gear as it was once known was a car show that ran from 1978-2001. Classic Top Gear wasn't the entertainment extravaganza it is today and focused purely on reviewing cars and keeping motorists up to date with the latest motoring info. When the more popular presenters left the show viewership dropped and it was cancelled with Fifth Gear and modern Top Gear starting the following year.moreless
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    Yes Minister

    Yes Minister

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    BBC Two (ended 1984)
    This is the story of the endless battles between the Government in the form of Jim Hacker, a brand new Cabinet Minister and the Civil Service of his department run by Sir Humphrey Appleby. Stuck in the middle of it all is civil servant Bernard Whooley.moreless
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    Edge of Darkness

    Edge of Darkness

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    BBC Two (ended 1985)
    Welcome to the Edge of Darkness guide at TV.com.

    Edge of Darkness was a landmark mini-series from the BBC. A classic suspense thriller set in contemporary Thatcherite Britain, the series captured accurately the paranoia of an age where Trident missiles shared headlines with anti-nuclear protestors.

    The programme bears all the hallmarks of a classic, from the quality writing and subtle acting to the score, which is by turns mournful and suspenseful. The drama made stars of Peck and Whalley, and was rated by the British Film Institute as the 15th all-time best British television programme.moreless
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    Newsnight

    Newsnight

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    BBC Two
    Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news programme and runs on BBC2 five nights a week. Its format, with a limited number of items covered in each show, allows an in-depth analytical approach to news stories, with a particular emphasis on political and economic affairs. The show largely eschews the "human-interest" stories favoured by many news programmes. As of March 2003, the regular presenters were Gavin Esler, Jeremy Paxman and Kirsty Wark. The most-seen correspondents were Robin Denselow (international news), Liz McKean (UK news), Martha Kearney (UK politics), Tom Carver (US Politics), Mark Urban (world politics) and Stephanie Flanders (business & economics).moreless
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    Smiley's People

    Smiley's People

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    BBC Two (ended 1982)
    George Smiley returns to the Game. A member of one of George Smiley's old networks seems to have caught on to something big. When he turns up dead, the Circus asks George to tie up the loose ends with minimal fuss. But George Smiley does not like loose ends. Especially if they lead to the darkest recesses of the KGB - to Karla, the Sandman.moreless
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    To Serve Them All My Days

    To Serve Them All My Days

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    BBC Two (ended 1981)
    After barely surviving the trenches of World War I, an embittered young soldier takes a teaching post at Bamfylde, an elite boarding school in the uplands of West Devon. It is an unlikely job for a Welsh miner's son without a degree, but David Powlett-Jones (John Duttine) proves to be a rare schoolmaster, as passionate about learning as he is about teaching. Through two tumultuous decades, Powlett-Jones inspires his students with his courage and idealism, qualities that help prepare him to send another generation of young men off to fight yet another war.moreless
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    BBC Television Shakespeare

    BBC Television Shakespeare

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    BBC Two (ended 1985)
    In 1978, Cedric Messina persuaded the British Broadcasting Corporation to take on the task of filming the whole canon ofWilliam Shakespeare's plays for television, under the title The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare. Throughout the project, which was finished in 1985, the BBC was able to secure leading actors of stage and screen and also big directing names. Whether as individual dramas or taken as a whole, the series is impressive, to say the least. The play Edward III was not included in the series, as the balance of scholarly opinion at the time was that it was not by Shakespeare. Today, the decision might have gone the other way. All of these productions of the plays have been sold to dozens of countries around the world and are used in the world of education more than they are for broadcasting. The major plays (such as Macbeth and Hamlet) are the most often repeated on television. The productions vary in length from 112 minutes for The Comedy of Errors to 228 for King Richard the Third. All are now available on DVD as well as VHS video.moreless
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