Tuesday, 11 May 2010

"Science Fiction Film Festival" (BBC2, 1983)

Anyone remember this?  If you hotfooted it over from Doctor Who (Season 20 - "Arc of Infinity", "Snakedance", etc.) on a Tuesday evening in early 1983, you could enjoy a series of mainly American, mainly 50s, classic sci-fi flicks.  Wonderful!

It was no doubt a lot of people's first exposure to many of these pics.  It certainly was mine (and, in the case of The Forbin Project, the last).  Ratings were pretty sensational, building over the season and even, in the case of Fantastic Voyage, eclipsing Doctor Who.  But it was only "The King's Demons" Part One, so never mind.

I missed Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150AD, which I had never seen, on 5th April.  There was a 'Radio Times' strike, we didn't take a national newspaper, and I was off school on our Easter hols so no one who cared could tell me.  I know exactly what I was doing that evening - reading, with great enjoyment, a just-purchased "Doctor Who" novelisation ("Doctor Who and the Android Invasion" by Terrance Dicks).  Several levels of irony there but yes, reading for once instead of watching telly.  The sheer folly!

Missing the Dalek movie haunted me for the next two years or so, until my aunt bought it me on a (so dark it was barely watchable) VHS.


The list of 15 movies (plus their transmission times and, where known, viewing figures) in the "Science Fiction Film Festival" is below.  Listings from 'The Times':


Invasion of the Body Snatchers 
(1956, Don Siegel)
11 January 1983, 7.15-8.30pm
(3.70million, 6th in BBC2 Top Ten)






It Came from Outer Space 
(1953, Jack Arnold)
18 January 1983, 7.15-8.30pm (4.00m, 7th)

Creature from the Black Lagoon
(1954, Jack Arnold)
25 January 1983, 7.15-8.30pm (4.15m, 8th)

Invaders from Mars
(1953, William Cameron Menzies)
1 February 1983, 7.15-8.35pm (6.20m, 3rd) 

When Worlds Collide
(1951, Rudolph Mate)
8 February 1983, 7.15-8.35pm (5.15m, 4th)

The Forbin Project
(1970, Joseph Sargent)
15 February 1983, 7.20-9.00pm (viewing figures n/k - by me anyway)

Forbidden Planet
(1956, Fred McLeod Wilcox)
22 February 1983, 7.25-9.00pm (5.25m, 2nd)

This Island Earth
(1955, Joseph Newman)
1 March 1983, 7.20-8.40pm (4.90m, 4th)

Silent Running
(1972, Douglas Trumbull)
8 March 1983, 7.20-8.45pm (4.25m, 6th=)

Fantastic Voyage
(1966, Richard Fleisher)
15 March 1983, 7.20-9.00pm (6.40m, 1st)

Robinson Crusoe on Mars
(1964, Byron Haskin)
22 March 1983, 7.15-9.00pm (4.90m, 5th)





The War of the Worlds
(1953, Byron Haskin)
29 March 1983, 7.35-9.00pm (6.85m, 4th)


Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150AD
(1966, Gordon Flemyng)
5 April 1983, 7.10-8.30pm (4.40m, 4th)




Conquest of Space
(1955, Byron Haskin)
12 April 1983, 7.10-8.30pm (viewing figures n/k)


The Day the Earth Stood Still
(1951, Robert Wise)
19 April 1983, 7.00-8.30pm (5.60m, 3rd)



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