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Were there really LIVE episodes?

 
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Allard
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 2:10 pm    Post subject: Were there really LIVE episodes? Reply with quote

This subject has been discussed in the past (maybe on a previous forum), but I couldn't find it.

Some of the early episodes are claimed to have been live broadcast. I have even seen people claim (not on this forum) that this was the case for all first three series episodes, which is clearly nonsense.

But is this true of some of the first series episodes?
How do we know this for sure?
Which episodes are these?

Thanks for any clarity provided. (I feel I should know this.)
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Sam
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well "Girl on the Trapeze" was supposed to have been one of those, but a taped copy was found.
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are only nine episodes that finished production the same day they were broadcast.
Episodes 3-9 of series 1 seem likely to have been recorded "as live" and that recording was broadcast, rather than being live to air broadcasts, as episodes were offered to other regions of ITV as they started showing the series down the track so they could catch up. I'm not sure if they were all offered - I would have to check that.
Quote:
EDIT: See below, 3-9 were recorded to VTR off transmission and were live to air, they appear to have never been taken up by other channels as they join the ITV network or took up the series, except for Anglia which started from Diamond Cut Diamond (ABC Midlands and ABC North showed every episode).

School for Traitors and The White Dwarf in series 2 also have production and broadcast dates for the same date but I suspect that was grams or other post-production changes.
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Last edited by dissolute on Sun May 17, 2020 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dissolute
The Ministry


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh, well that was dumb of me. Episodes 3-9 do indeed seem to have gone live to air but were recorded off transmission onto tape.

I went to the paperwork and page one of the Girl on the Trapeze script reads:

Quote:
PROD. NO: 3370 VTR/ABC/1123 (Rec. off T/X)


Also, the schedule on page 2 has:

Quote:
Dress rehearsal: 20.00 - 21.30
Line-up: 21.30-22.00
TRANSMISSION: 22.00-23.00


Same too for Square Root of Evil and Ashes of Roses, so that would suggest all of them were recorded off T/X

SROE:

Quote:
PROD. NO: 3367 VTR/ABC/1089 (Rec. off T/X)


Also, the schedule on page 2 has:

Quote:
Dress rehearsal: 20.00 - 21.30
Line-up: 21.30-22.00
TRANSMISSION: 22.00-23.00


AOR:
Quote:
PROD. NO: 3373 VTR/ABC/1170 To be recorded of [sic] TX.


They even all give the in and out times and we can see they were scheduled to normally start around 22.03.30 and conclude at 23.00.40 (with some variations).
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The School for Traitors camera script confirms it was not broadcast live but was recorded "as live" then put to air.

Code:
CAMERA REHEARSAL: FRIDAY, 8TH FEBRUARY 1963, 10.00-21.00. STUDIO 2, TEDDINGTON.
VTR: SATURDAY, 9TH FEBRUARY 1963, 18.30-19.30.       "         "        "
TRANSMISSION: SATURDAY, 9TH FEBRUARY, 10.05 p.m./SUNDAY, 10TH FEBRUARY, 10.35 p.m.


So too for The White Dwarf but, as it's a rehearsal script, it only gives dates, not times.
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Allard
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for informing me.

I now remember once thinking about making a timeline on when episodes were recorded and transmitted, but that's probably optimistic on how much info there is available.

For all intents and purposes, an episode being recorded day of the transmission, pretty much boils down to doing it live, because a second take would not be an option.
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's right, the episodes recorded the same day as broadcast were recorded "as live" meaning no retakes - certainly not for the episodes recorded an hour before broadcast! Some with more leeway would have had a bit of flexibility and may have had retakes but generally even the telecine inserts and caption cards were done "live" for many of these early episodes.

I'll whip up a spreadsheet for you.
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Allard
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I love about the first three series that you can see how some of the technology was done.
All title sequences and graphics are CGI today, highly diverse and realistic but mostly so alike and little in originality.

I wonder whether videotaping episodes really allowed for a lot or retaking. Even in Gale episodes we see little mistakes that were just incorporated. Camera rolling in to set pieces, Macnee tipping over the radio Steed uses.

Thanks for the spreadsheet, consider incorporating into your website. All the list of recording dates make it quite complicated to figure it out.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allard wrote:

I wonder whether videotaping episodes really allowed for a lot or retaking. Even in Gale episodes we see little mistakes that were just incorporated. Camera rolling in to set pieces, Macnee tipping over the radio Steed uses.
And swearing!! Videotape was so expensive then that they really need to keep it for re-use, and editing was possible but only a handful of edits per recording as it meant physically cutting and re-splicing tape -- done too many times it would risk the tape splitting during reuse, which would abort an expensive studio performance/recording session. So once edited too many times a tape could not risk being used again.
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Allard
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Allard wrote:

I wonder whether videotaping episodes really allowed for a lot or retaking. Even in Gale episodes we see little mistakes that were just incorporated. Camera rolling in to set pieces, Macnee tipping over the radio Steed uses.
And swearing!! Videotape was so expensive then that they really need to keep it for re-use, and editing was possible but only a handful of edits per recording as it meant physically cutting and re-splicing tape -- done too many times it would risk the tape splitting during reuse, which would abort an expensive studio performance/recording session. So once edited too many times a tape could not risk being used again.


Thanks, that's pretty good insight in how that technology worked in action.
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