THE MAKING OF A DEPARTMENT S EPISODE

A day-to-day account of the making of an episode

EPISODE 8 – ‘THE TREASURE OF THE COSTA DEL SOL’

N.B.: The figures in brackets indicate scene numbers

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WEEK ONE

TUESDAY AUGUST 27th, 1968:

Filming starts at 6.45am prompt, on Sound Stage No.1 at Associated Elstree Studios in Borehamwood. The first scene (25) to be shot is the interior of the Department S office in Paris. The characters involved are Jason King, Steward Sullivan and Annabelle Hurst. The Props Department have provided the following items, which are placed on a table: A plastic fish, a locket and chain with a small photograph of a woman inside it; a tattered notebook; a pack of cigarettes for Jason, and a sheaf of reports. The entire scene takes 25 minutes to shoot, but lasts just 2 minutes on-screen.

The following five scenes (34, 36, 38, 40 & 62), which are again set inside the Department S office involve, firstly Annabelle, then Annabelle and Stewart. Although shot together, in the completed episode, they will appear to be set on different days.

The next three scenes (98, 100 & 102) are set in Annabelle’s hotel room. The Props Manager arrives with a small electronic device which is described as a ‘Transmitter/Receiver’. A note book and ball point pen is placed on the table beside it. All three main cast members are involved. In total, only four minutes and 55 seconds of footage is shot.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28th, 1968:

The day begins with the completion of the scenes started the previous day (104) in Annabelle’s hotel room. An additional 40 seconds of action is captured on film. PETER then moves on to Sound Stage No.6, nowhere a set has been built to represent his hotel room. Since these scenes (33, 35, 37, 39 & 41) are meant to be taking place in daylight, a lighting change is required.

The following segment (85) once again take place in Jason’s hotel room., where Sullivan has now joined him. A make-up lady arrives to paint a streak of blood on PETER’s cheek – the result of an altercation with a guard dog which has not, as yet, been shot. Also on set is the Wardrobe Mistress, who places crumpled suit on the bed, which we will see PETER wearing as he runs from the dog in the finished episode.

Two further scenes (87 & 101) are shot on this set, but subtle changes are made to the props; a small silver flask and a pack of cigarettes are brought in and then replaced moments later with a map and pencil. 4 minutes and 25 seconds of footage is captured on film.

THURSDAY AUGUST 29th, 1968:

Today, the action is due to take place on Sound Stage No.1, which has now been transformed into a luxury villa with elegant furnishings and intricate engravings adorning the walls. Rosemary Nicols takes the day off since her character is not required for the next seven sequences (73, 79, 86, 99, 103, 121 & 123), which are scheduled to be shot today.

It is night-time. At the villa, the characters are: Camilo Garria, Elaine, Achillie, Adolfo and Maxime. Members of the Props Department bring in and remove an array of items where and whenever necessary. These include (amongst other things) a telephone, wine glasses, plastic food on dinner plates and brandy bottles. PETER and Joel join the ensemble to complete the days shoot which lasts in excess of nine hours… or 4 minutes and 15 seconds of screen time.

FRIDAY AUGUST 30th, 1968:

Director, John Gilling, assembles the cast – including PETER, Rosemary Nicols and Joel Fabiani, on Sound Stage No.1 for a briefing before attempting to record two final scenes of the week (94 & 128). A lighting change is required., as these sequences are to take place in daytime. Staff from the Make-Up and Props Departments work frantically to create an illusion of passing days between scenes. By the end of yet another exhausting day, Mr. Gilling has managed to capture another 3 minutes and 40 seconds of footage.

TOTAL SCREENTIME FOR THE WEEK: 16 minutes and 6 seconds.

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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd, 1968:

No filming takes place, as this is a Public Holiday.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd, 1968:

Sound Stage No.6 has been turned into the cabaret lounge of the hotel where the Department S operatives are staying. The Props Department have set out masses of flowers, drinks, menu cards and champagne ice-buckets on all the tables, at which a small number of extras are seated.

Only PETER’s character is required for today’s shoot, which involves two scenes (43 & 63), featuring Jason and Elaine. Peter Thomas and David Prowes are also on set. 4 minutes and 10 seconds of screen time is captures.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd, 1968:

PETER’s first port of call on this morning is the Make-Up Department to have a rather nasty-looking bruise applied to his jaw. He then makes his way over to Sound Stage No.6, where he completes a 10-second sequence (69), which involves him stepping out of a lift and knocking on Elaine’s apartment door. Unusually, the next scene (70), follows on directly from the last, and David Prowes, Peter Thomas, John Louis Mansi and Isla Blair all join PETER on set.

As PETER takes a well-earned break, Rosemary Nicols, Joel Fabiani, John Louis Mansi and George Pastell complete another small piece (95), which is set in the studio of Camilo Carria’s villa. Moments later, PETER and Joel take center stage on the same set to play out a 15-second scene (122), which will appear in the completed episode as taking place several hours AFTER the sequence filmed previously (i.e. 95).

A rather frantic scene (124) in Garria’s studio involving PETER, Joel Fabiani and John Louis Mansi is next on the agenda before the three actors are moved on to the set of Garria’s villa (125), where a huge printing press is placed centre stage. As stunt doubles for David Prowes, George Pastell and Peter Thomas take their places, the Props Department begin staking the wall cupboards with wads of counterfeit American dollars. Two pistols – one for Fabiani and the other for Pastell’s stand-in.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th, 1968

On this day, the action moves back to Sound Stage No.1, where part of the floor space has been laid out as a restaurant with small iron and marble tables, complete with coffee cups and wrapped sugar cubes. In the first scene (28), PETER takes his cue at one of the tables, where he is seated opposite Jean Abbott, who is playing a young woman called Estelle.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the floor, Joel Fabiani and Dennis Alaba peters are playing out three brief sequences (57, 59 & 61), which is set in a cable car with a huge mountain backdrop.

Remaining on the same Sound Stage, a mockup of a motor launch has been erected, and skin-diving equipment is brought in. Three Extras play out the following eight segments (107, 127, 132, 140, 144, 148, 150 & 152) – some of which are seen from Jason’s perspective, who is watching the action through a pair of binoculars.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th, 1968

Once again the main cast members find themselves on Sound Stage No.1, onto which Sullivan’s Vauxhall Vectra, Jason’s Bentley Continental and an American car have been brought. A huge matte backdrop has been erected, and various items constantly arrive courtesy of the Props Department, including diving suits, an underwater spear gun and an automatic pistol. David Gregory who is playing Cal, and Peter Jay Elliot as Thorn, arrive on set and begin work on their first four scenes (3, 5, 7, 11).

Next up are Rosemary Nicols and Joel Fabiani for their scenes (92 & 97), which take place in Sullivan’s car. They are then joined by PETER for a further two sequences (110 & 113), before PETER and Nicols leap out of the vehicle, leaving Fabiani to complete the scene (25 & 27) alone. These pieces make use of the matte backdrop, onto which a piece of ‘Stock Footage’ last used in the Department S episode, ‘One of Our Aircraft Is Empty’, is projected.

While Rosemary Nicols and Joel Fabiani leave the set for the day, PETER is required to take part in a further five scenes (48, 52, 54, 66 & 31) – the first three of which are with David Prowes and Peter Thomas, and the fourth and fifth, alone. All are set in the Bentley.

The final and longest sequence of the day finds PETER and Olivier Hamnett, who plays Anita, on the hotel balcony, which is furnished by the Props Department with potted palms and various flowers.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th, 1968

On this day, both the cast and crew move out of the studio lot to film the first of eight scenes (6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 21 & 23). The Props Department provides the necessary equipment: air bottles, diving suits and plastic fish for David Gregory and Peter Jay Elliot. A police motorcycle with Spanish number plates is rode onto the lot, and a special FX rig-up for a harpoon gun is tested. An Extra dressed as a Spanish Police Patrolman joins the cast.

Both PETER and his ‘Fight Double’ now arrive with David Prowes for two brief sequences lasting just 20 seconds. The Bentley is then driven across the lot to another site where Rosemary Nicols and Joel Fabiani – the latter of whom is dressed in a skin divers suit, join PETER for nine individual sequences (130, 134, 136, 138, 142, 145, 147, 149 & 154). These are all set against a coastal backdrop, and add up to a mere 1 minute and 30 seconds of action.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, 1968

For just one scene only (89), Rosemary Nicols and Joel Fabiani step back onto the set of the hotel restaurant, where a sheaf of photographs of Achille, Adolpho, Maxime and Camilo Garria have been placed on one of the tables. ‘Extras’ dressed as a waiter and a small gaggle of customers take their places on set.

Meanwhile, out on the Lot, PETER acts out four brief segments (75, 77, 81 & 83), in which he is seen dashing through the grounds of Garria’s villa. He’s then joined by Fabiani for two further scenes (117 & 119) – again, in the villa grounds.

While Fabiani makes a brief visit to the Make-Up Department, PETER, David Prowes and Peter Thomas make their way over to the studio car park to film five more sections (45, 47, 49, 65 & 67), in which Jason is set upon by two thugs.

With Joel Fabiani dressed in a frogman suit, he and PETER record three more short sequences (115, 20 & 143) – the latter of which features Fabiani in an underwater scene, which is filmed through a large plastic sheet to give the effect of water.

This is the final day that the three main cast members – PETER, Rosemary Nicols and Joel Fabiani – are required on set.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th, 1968

Today Post Production of the episode begins, with a number of inserts being filmed – including the views of three notebooks (26, 29 & 32), in which the following words are written:

(I) ‘Estelle, Madrid 247-12-21’

(II) ‘Anita, Marbella 846333’

(III) ‘Camille, Barcelona 254.53.59

Other shots include photographs of girls (32), Cal’s hand holding a set of plans (5), and Sullivan’s hand holding a wad of $20 bills (39).

THURSDAY, 12th SEPTEMBER, 1968:

Peter Thomas and both PETER and Joel Fabiani’s doubles, work on a total of even short sequences (72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, 84, 93, 111, 118, 120), which are set in the grounds of Garria’s villa – the majority of which are made up of ‘Point of View’ shots, as seen by Jason as he is chased across a wooded area of the villa gardens by two guard dogs. Sullivan’s car and two huge Bull Mastiff’s are amongst some of the props used during the day’s shoot.

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FRIDAY, 13th SEPTEMBER, 1968:

On the final day of filming, David Gregory and Peter Jay Elliot are the first on the lot to record two scenes (2 & 4) for the episode’s opening teaser. They’re latterly joined by the Extra seen earlier playing the Spanish Police Patrolman. Together they film three short pieces (15, 18 & 22). Stunt doubles for PETER, Joel Fabiani, David Prowes and Peter Thompson now arrive on set to complete the final seven shots (51, 91, 96, 109, 112, 114 & 116) of the week’s schedule outside the villa.


The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/

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