Arts documentary series with concerts and experimental dramatizations.
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10 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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A Warning to the Curious (TV Movie 1972)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An archeologist goes treasure hunting along the English coast in search of a lost, fabled crown that supposedly helps protect Great Britain against invasion.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Peter Vaughan, Clive Swift, Julian Herington
The Stalls of Barchester (TV Movie 1971)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

While cataloging the library of Barchester Cathedral, a scholar finds a diary detailing the events surrounding the mysterious death of an Archdeacon some 50 years earlier. The first of the BBC's famed 'A Ghost Story for Christmas'.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Robert Hardy, Clive Swift, Thelma Barlow
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After placing his ailing wife Alice (Gemma Jones) in a care home elderly academic James Parkin (Sir John Hurt) goes to stay at a wintry out-of-season hotel which they used to visit together... See full summary »

Director: Andy De Emmony
Stars: John Hurt, Gemma Jones, Lesley Sharp
Lost Hearts (TV Short 1973)
Short | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young orphan, Stephen, is sent to go and live with his strange, much older cousin at his remote country house. Once there, Stephen experiences terrible dreams in which he sees a young girl and boy who are missing their hearts.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Simon Gipps-Kent, Joseph O'Conor, James Mellor
Ghost Stories for Christmas (TV Mini-Series 2000)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Horror legend Christopher Lee hosts and narrates a series of four half hour ghost stories all based on stories by M.R. James. 'The Stalls of Barchester', 'The Ash Tree', 'Number 13' and 'A ... See full summary »

Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter White, Matthew Wheatley
Omnibus (1952–1961)
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Starting out as a live show from New York City, "Omnibus" was hosted by Alastair Cooke and featured everything from discussions about science and the arts, to original works by such ... See full summary »

Stars: Alistair Cooke, Leonard Bernstein, Joseph N. Welch
Play for Today (1970–1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A British television anthology drama series that aired on BBC1 between 1970 and 1984.

Stars: Alison Steadman, Nigel Hawthorne, Tony Caunter
The Signalman (TV Short 1976)
Drama | Horror | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A lonely Signalman is visited by a stranger.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Bernard Lloyd, Reginald Jessup
Stigma (TV Short 1977)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple move into a remote country house in the middle of a stone circle. They employ workmen who disturb an ancient menhir, unleashing a supernatural force.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Kate Binchy, Peter Bowles, Maxine Gordon
Theatre 625 (1964–1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stars: Michael Bryant, Judi Dench, Maurice Denham
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Adaptations of mystery stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's contemporary rivals in the genre.

Stars: Peter Barkworth, Peter Vaughan, Douglas Wilmer
Short | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stars: Doug Allridge, Sherry Legg
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Humphrey Burton Humphrey Burton ...  Himself - Presenter / ... 11 episodes, 1975-1991
David Collings ...  Father / ... 5 episodes, 1967-1990
Michael Hordern ...  Narrator / ... 5 episodes, 1968-1975
Stephen Fry ...  Himself / ... 5 episodes, 1986-2001
Terry Gilliam ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1976-2000
David Puttnam ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1982-1992
Kirsty Wark Kirsty Wark ...  Herself - Narrator / ... 4 episodes, 2001
Henry Livings Henry Livings ...  Himself / ... 4 episodes, 1967-1971
Michael Gough ...  Astronaut / ... 4 episodes, 1969-1981
Ninette de Valois Ninette de Valois ...  Herself / ... 4 episodes, 1968-1983
Robin Ray Robin Ray ...  Himself / ... 4 episodes, 1968-1973
John Gielgud ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1969-1994
Peter Hall ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1970-1994
André Previn ...  Himself 6 episodes, 1973-2001
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Storyline

Arts documentary series with concerts and experimental dramatizations.

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1967 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Arts documentary series with concerts and experimental dramatizations. See more »

Connections

Referenced in TV Hell (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Save Gilbert and Sullivan now!
10 September 1999 | by alice liddellSee all my reviews

For a good while now, there have been persistant fears in Britain about both the declining quality, and quantity, of arts-based programmes on television. This is undoubtedly true (note the South Bank Show's humiliating ratings-chasing decline), and OMNIBUS itself is hardly the force it was a couple of decades ago (a recent edition concerned British sitcoms, like they aren't dissected every two minutes in this culture), although it can still spring surprises, like the Jean Renoir double-programme about five years ago. Last night I saw an edition called 'Gilbert and Sullivan: Instant Merriment', which was one such treat.

It wasn't specifically about the duo per se, but a Gilbert and Sullivan obsessive and businessman, Ian Smith, who, sensing a decline in G&S appreciation since the disbanding of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1982 (whose raison d'etre was to stage specifically the Savoy Operas), tried to revivify interest by setting up a G&S International Festival, in 1997, in the US and Britain.

The brilliance of the programme was the way it set up and moved from the buzz and elation of putting on the festival, the sight (and sound) of different American amateur companies performing these sublime works, or devotees singing choruses on buses to the bewilderment of natives, or pretentious, prolix Anglophiles marvelling at English 'refinement', to the melancholy reality of lack of interest, poor ticket sales, gradual (though denied) disillusionment.

There is little attempt to explain why G&S could be relevant today - most people talk about their jolly good fun, or, at best, 'gentle satire'. But G&S are savage: the music makes use of sophisticated, subversive pastiche, parody and irony; while Gilbert's lyrics can be brutal, bitter, nasty, cruel, mocking, and laceratingly satiric behind the polished verse. There is little sympathy with authority, repression, hypocrisy, double-talk, stereotypes or the cult of mother-love.

As well as being a brilliant, furious attack on the British establishment, The Mikado, for example, is the first post-colonial critique, perceptively noting the repressive systems of signification behind British (and Western) Orientalism. Why do you think Mike Leigh is making a film about them? One pioneering producer has sensed this, and we see some of her intriguing modern-dress versions of G&S, set in Northern mills etc., which politicise G&S to the horror of old school connoisseurs.

It is these fuddy-duddy relics who are responsible for G&S's decline. For them, the Savoy Operas are a cosy, unchanged, untroubled Victorian idyll; their biggest proponents seem to be clergymen, businessmen, and silly Americans. Too many old fogeys reminisce Rowley Birkin, QC-style about the dear things, and you feel, to your horror, that you're turning into your grandparents because you adore G&S. One similarly-minded critic bemoans this 'ossified' treatment, suggesting an injection of new blood with the use of comedians such as Stephen Fry or Harry Enfield. An intriguing idea (why stop there - what about a SOUTH PARK Mikado?), but one thing is for sure: Gilbert would have poured moulten scorn on the timid little minds seeking to make respectable his name.


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