REVIEW: Play of the Week – ‘Enemy of the People’

Broadcast: March 20th, 1957

  • Character: Hovstad

 Act I: Dr Stockmann’s Living Room.

Act II: Dr. Stockmann’s Living Room.

Act III: The Editorial Office of ‘The People’s Herald’.

Act IV: Large hall at Captain Horster’s house

Act V: Dr Stockmann’s Study.

The story is set in Norway. 

BACKGROUND

ENEMY OFOne of the greatest writers of the 19th Century – Henrik Ibsen, provided a tense story for Granada’s Play of the Week on 20th March, 1957.

This play was of enormous interest because it had been adapted by one of America’s foremost dramatists – Arthur Miller. Granada couldn’t have chosen a more dramatic moment to present Miller’s version of this great work, because it concerned a man’s fight for what he believes to be right.

Miller himself was a champion of what he believed to be right, having refused to reveal the names of fellow writers who took part in extreme Left Wing activities in the late 1940’s, even though this denial brought him before a Congressional Committee and led to him facing trial on charges of contempt of Congress.

No dramatist was more in harmony with Ibsen than Miller. His work on ‘Enemy of the People’ revealed his understanding of the formers mind and of his craft.

Miller, who was once married to Marilyn Monroe, had written many famous plays, including ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘All My Sons’. His thesis of the latter of these works was similar to that of ‘Enemy of the People’. The message implicit in both these plays is that a man’s social responsibilities are above self-interest: he should champion what he believes is right even though it may bring disaster to himself and to his family.

Miller’s adaptation altered nothing of the essence of ‘Enemy of the People’. The great play was there with all its warmth of feeling, its humour and its depth. Though the characters express themselves differently (Miller had substituted language of the 1880’s with that of the 1950’s), the meaning of their words were not altered but sharpened. Every word landed a punch.

The principal character is Dr Stockmann – general practitioner of a small town, who discovers bacteria infecting the water supplying a newly-opened health spa. He warns the leading men of the town, who refuse to believe him. When he’s inevitably proved to be correct, he exclaims: “Now they’re going to get it with both barrels!” 

Ibsen was the first dramatist to make his characters behave as they would in real life, his language would be probably be far more choice!

Ibsen wrote ‘An Enemy of the people’ in 1882 as a fighting reply to the abuse hurled at him after the publication of ‘Ghosts’ a year earlier. When he was reviled by the public, the press and the intellectuals, he promptly sat down to satirise, in ‘Enemy of the People’: the crassness, hypocrisy and stupidity of the “compact majority”.

Dr Stockmann is an irrepressible character; optimistic, fiery and with his own sly humour. “Well, it shows you, that’s all,” he comments on his return from a public meeting with his clothes torn. “A man who goes out to fight for the truth should never wear his best suit.” 

Stockmann is a typical; “agitator” to be found in every community, and ‘An Enemy of the People’ was full of fun – one of the most exuberant plays Ibsen ever wrote.

“I am descended from peasants and believe in my people!” Hovstad

THE STORY

The play opens in Dr Stockmann’s (John Robinson) living room, where his wife (Jessica Spencer), is welcoming Mr Billing (Tom Criddle) who’s been invited to dinner. No sooner has this gentleman taken his seat at the table when there’s a knock at the door. When Mrs Stockmann answers it, she finds Hovstad (PETER WYNGARDE) – Editor of the local left-wing newspaper, ‘The People’s Herald’, standing outside.

Moments after Hovstad’s arrival, there’s a second knock at the door. This time it’s her brother-in-law, Peter Stockmann (Clive Morten) – the town’s Mayor. Hovstad and the Mayor greet each other rigidly, and then begin to discuss the building of the new public baths, which both agree are an excellent addition to the town. However, when Hovstad announces that the baths had originally been Dr Stockmann’s idea, the Mayor appears annoyed.

Just as the Newspaper man takes his seat at the dinner table, the Doctor arrives home, bringing with him his two sons, Eilif (Brian Franklin) and Morten (Anthony Wilson), along with Captain Horster (Edward Forsyth). It’s clear from the off that the Doctor and his brother – the Mayor, are not on the best of terms, since the GP snappily counters each and all of his brother’s observation and opinions, and routinely talks over him.

Nevertheless, the Mayor asks his brother what he thinks of an article he’d penned about the new baths for Hovstad’s ’paper. The Doctor replies cryptically that he hopes the piece won’t be printed immediately, as it might turn out to be unfitting. The Mayor becomes agitated at this, since the Doctor plainly doesn’t wish to enlighten him any further on this point. With Stockmann remaining tight-lipped, the Mayor decides to leave.

The following day, Hovstad and his colleague, Billing, plus Horster and Mrs Stockmann meet at the latter’s home for a chat over a drink and a cigarette. The Editor brings up the difficult relationship between the Mayor and his ‘paper. But before a heated exchange ignites between the two men, the Captain interjects – announcing that he himself is due to sail to America soon. Hovstad and Billing are both stunned to hear this, and remind the sailor that he’d be missing an important election that’s scheduled to take place in the town later that month.

Momentarily, Petra (Jill Dixon) – Dr Stockmann’s daughter and the night school teacher, arrives with a letter for her father, which he’d clearly been eagerly awaiting. He takes the letter with him to his study where it’s read. When he reemerges, Stockmann announces that he’d recently taken samples of the water at the new public baths which he’d subsequently sent to a lab. The result of the tests he’d carried out were contained in the envelope brought by his daughter. The water, he declares, is dangerously polluted.

The Doctor goes on to tell the gathering that contaminated water from local industries has been seeping into the bath’s pump room, and that if the town’s hierarchy had listened to his advice about the drainage system in the first place, this problem would’ve been avoided.

Those around the table are full of admiration for the Doctor’s prompt action, and praise him for saving the town. The predicament, he maintains, can easily be rectified.

A few days later, Mrs Stockmann hands her husband a newly delivered letter, which is a response from the Mayor to the report from the lab. His reply curtly states that he will speak with Stockmann about it at a later date.

Some days later, the Mayor calls on his brother for the sole purpose, it transpires, of sniggering at the Doctor’s findings – saying that the Town Council would be mad if they were to believe it. Just then Hovstad arrives, and tells the Doctor that he hopes to publish an article about his findings in ‘The People’s Herald’, which he hopes will kindle a campaign against the town’s right-wing leadership since the real contamination, he says, comes from them.

Whilst the Doctor agrees that Right-Wing ideology is not the way forward, he’s still somewhat reluctant to start a concentrated assault on the Town Council which, after all, is led by his own brother.

Aslaksen (John Salew), a friend of the Stockmann’s and Chairman of the influential Homeowner’s Association, arrives to offer his support to the Doctor. He suggests that he should organize a peaceful demonstration in an effort to exert pressure on the Council to resolve the issue. The Doctor, however, doesn’t believe that such a protest is necessary, as he’s certain that he can persuade the baths’ Board of Directors to take the required action.

When Aslaksen’s departs, Hovstad, who’d been listening intently to the other men’s conversation, dubs the Doctor a weakling for his lack of desire to take on the Council, but Stockmann insists that if the Mayor fails to act with regard to town’s water system, then Hovstad would be welcome to publish the whole of the laboratory’s report in his ‘paper.

In the Editorial Office of ‘The People’s Herald’ the following afternoon, Hovstad is writing at his desk when Billing arrives with a copy of Dr Stockmann’s findings. The two men deliberate over the persuasiveness of the report, and how they might use it to confront the Council. Hovstad is convinced that if the Doctor’s pitch is officially recognised, then the Mayor would inevitably be confronted by those who invested in the baths and the powerful Homeowners Association.

At this point Stockmann turns up to disclose to the newspaper men the details concerning the row he’d had with his brother. The three of them agree that this scandal could well result in the downfall of the Council and its leader. When Aslaksen also appears, they each inn turn guarantee the GP that both the left-wing activists of the town, and the regular man on the street, will all back him. Secretly, both Hovstad and Aslaksen agree that the Doctor will be very useful to both of them, even if for different reasons.

When Aslaksen vacates the office, Hovstad and Billing – the latter of whom, it emerges, is standing for public office himself (if only to annoy the establishment!), converse about how much they’d like to be rid of him. Unfortunately, they have to rely on him and the powerful Homeowner’s Association whose money enables them to publish their newspaper. They then consider the possibility of the Doctor providing them with financial support.

As Billing leaves, Petra arrives to translate an English news item for the paper, but on reading it she immediately changes her mind – saying that the content is in direct opposition to everything that she and the ‘paper stands for. Hovstad explains that he thought the piece, which is about how higher ideas (or ‘Free Thinking’) can help guide a person’s actions, would help keep their less gifted readers happy.

Although Petra might expect this kind of low calculating from Hovstad, she’s surprised at Billing, with whom she’s involved with romantically. Whilst she still refuses to translate the article, she thanks the Editor for his support of her father.

To Hovstad’s astonishment, the Mayor now arrives and remarks on what a marvelous set-up the young Editor has. He begins by talking about his brother’s proposition for the baths, to which Hovstad claims to have no knowledge. That’s until the visitor notices a copy of the Doctor’s report lying on the desk.

The Mayor continues by warning Hovstad that, if Stockmann’s proposals are accepted by the Council, it could prove disastrous for the town. The baths, he explains, would have to close for upwards of two years, and that the costs for all the work would have to come from a civic loan.

On hearing this, both Hovstad and Billin begin to have second thoughts about backing the Doctor who, at that very moment, is seen walking towards the office. Given that he doesn’t wish to be seen fraternising with newspaper men, the Mayor hides from his brother in an adjoining room.

Stockmann wishes to see the first draft of the article about his findings, but Hovstad tells him that it’s not as yet been prepared. While the cheery medic interprets the two journalists caginess as a sign that they might be planning some festivities in his honour, Hovstad attempts to convey how things actually stand.

Just then Mrs Stockmann charges into the office, where she begs her husband not to risk everything by publishing his article. The Doctor smiles and calmly reassures her that he’ll soon have the majority of the townsfolk behind him. He then notices the Mayors traditional hat and cane lying on a chair, and deduces that his brother must be in the office somewhere. He puts the hat on and begins impersonating his sibling, until the Mayor can stand the insult no longer, and shows himself in the doorway of the adjoining room.

Several days later, a large room at Captain Horster’s house is full to the rafters with people from the town. Mr Billing has been sent to report on the meeting, whilst Horster is there with Mrs Stockmann and her children.

Meanwhile, Hovstad, Aslaksen and the Mayor arrive and take their places. They’re followed in short order by Dr Stockmann, who’s greeted with a mixture of applause and cat-calls from the assembled crowd.

The Mayor immediately prevents his brother from addressing the gathering with his report or, indeed, from mentioning the baths at all. Whilst he and Aslaksen work in tandem to influence the people in thinking that the Doctor is merely attempting to damage the interests of the town, Hovstad asserts that his sole concern is for the Doctor and his dependents. A recommendation is passed that the Stockmann’s case should be dismissed.

The Medic is plainly angry at the betrayal of those who’d sworn to support him. The final straw comes when a drunk (Reginald Marsh) staggers into the meeting room just as the Doctor is about to speak, and demands his right to be heard. Whilst the interloper is quickly dispensed with, Stockmann reminds those assembled that it was initially his idea to build the baths, and that he only ever wanted those facilities to be beneficial to the people of the town.

Although Aslaksen attempts to quiet him, the Medic’s parting shot is aimed at the Council, his says that he hadn’t bargained for the immense foolishness of those in power. In this he means the disappointing behaviour of his own brother. But, he adds, they’re not the party most guilty of stupidity. The people themselves must shoulder most of the blame for allowing the power of the majority to lie in the hands of the minority.

He now rounds on Hovstad and asks if, as a supposed ‘Freethinker’ himself, if he would agree with him. The Editor replies that, nowhere has it ever been said in print that he’s a “Freethinker” adding that, no, he does not agree with Stockmann’s foolish statement. “I am descended from peasants and believe in my people”, the newspaperman retorts.

Undeterred, Stockmann asserts that if the Peoples Herald refuses to publish his report, he will find a newspaper in another town that will.

With this, Hovstad stands and accuses Stockmann of being “An Enemy of the People”. In his agitated state, the Doctor agrees – stating that he’d be happy to remain so as long as he knows that what he’s doing is right. Meanwhile, as Aslaksen collects the ballot papers from the assembled crowd, Billing tells several of the locals that the Doctor is, in fact, a heavy drinker, and as a result, had recently been deprived of a raise in his salary by the Council.ENEMY OF2

When Aslaksen announces the result of the vote, and Stockmann is affirmed ‘An Enemy of the People’, he leaves with his family – the sound of the masses chanting “Enemy!” ringing in his ears.

The morning after the meeting, Dr Stockmann is found picking up the stones that had broken every window of his study the evening before. To add insult to injury, the landlord arrives thereafter to serve the family with notice of their impending eviction. In spite of this downturn in his fortunes, the Doctor remains optimistic now that he’s decided to leave for America with his family on Captain Horster’s next boat, where they’re to start a new life.

His wife is not quite so sure about the plan – proposing that a move to another town in Norway would be more prudent, but the Doctor is resolute; the people will be the same wherever they go in their own country, he maintains. At least in America things might be different.

The Doctor feels wholly justified in planning the family’s relocation when Petra arrives home to tell her parents that she’s been dismissed from her job after her boss was intimidated for employing her.

When Horster arrives, however, the Doctor’s fervor is dealt a blow on learning that the Captain has also lost his position – having been dismissed by the ship’s owner for his continued support of the Stockmann’s.

Hot on Horster’s tail is the Mayor, who arrives at his brother’s home to announce that the Doctor has been removed from his position as Medical Officer at the baths, and to request that he leaves town for six months or so. If, after that time, he’s willing to freely withdraw his testimony regarding the polluted water, then the Council would consider giving him his job back.

As a man of principal, the Medic flatly refuses to cooperate. The Mayor now suggests that the reason his brother feels so assured in his defiance of the Council, is because Morten Kiil – a local tannery owner – has provided for the Doctor and his family in his Will. This comes as a total surprise to the Stockmann, but when the Mayor adds that the elderly businessman might now decide to rewrite his Will in view of the Medic’s recent behaviour. Stockmann reject this, saying that Kiil has no love for the authorities, and that he’d be absolutely delighted to see the Doctor rocking the boat.

On hearing this, the Mayor accuses his brother of causing trouble in the town merely to ingratiate himself with Kiil, and now that he’s armed with this information, he assures the Doctor that he’ll never get his job back.

When Kiil arrives moments later, he brings with him a number of share bonds in the baths. The tannery owner suggests that if the Doctor was to retract his statement, the value of the shares that he’d bought cheaply that very morning would increase substantially, and leave him as the majority shareholder. He’d then be able to start work on the repairs that the GP had originally recommended. He asks the Doctor to consider his proposal, and to let him have his answer that afternoon.

As Kiil leaves, Aslaksen and Hovstad arrive with their own proposal for Stockmann. They’re aware that Kiil has been buying up blocks of shares, so they offer to give the Doctor full use of ‘The People’s Herald’ as soon as Kiil gains control of the baths so that he can convince the public that the water problem has been solved.

The two men advise the Doctor that the press have a huge amount of power in a town like theirs; all that they would require is some form of recompense in order to keep the newspaper running. Stockmann retorts sardonically – saying that it would be a travesty for sure if ‘The ‘People’s Herald’ – a real “friend of the people” should fold. However, since he himself has been declared ‘An Enemy of the People’, he really couldn’t care less what happens to the ‘paper! He then chases the two men from the house with his walking cane.

On hearing the commotion, Mrs Stockmann, Petra and Captain Horster come from the living room to see what’s going on. They find the Doctor writing the word ‘No!’ three times in large letters on a card which he’s ready to send to Morten Kiil. He then announces to his wife that they won’t now be sailing to New York as planned, but will stay put and fight. Given that the family are about to lose their own home, the Captain offers them a place at his house. There, the Doctor would be able to continue running his medical practice for the poorer residents of the town, since the more affluent townsfolk would doubtless refuse to see him.

Stockmann gratefully accepts Horster’s generous offer and vows to take on the rats that run the Council. His sole concern, he confesses, is that there might not be a single man in the town who’d be willing to carry on the fight after he’s gone.

When Eilif and Morten – Stockmann’s sons arrive having been sent home from school for fighting, the Doctor resolves to establish a school for the poor in the hall where he was declared ‘An Enemy of the People’.

Mr Stockmann, though, still has reservations – not least as she believes that the authorities will continue to persecute her husband. He reassures here, however, that he will always be stronger than them, because he stands alone.


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

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REVIEW: Armchair Theatre – ‘The Shining Hour’

  • Broadcast: Sunday, 5th January, 1958

Character: David Linden

‘The Linden’s are living a relatively happy, complacent life until Henry brings home his second wife. Their life is then disrupted and tragedy follows’.

This play – part of the Armchair Theatre series (Season 2, Episode 17), was due to be broadcast on Sunday, 29th December, 1957, but as a result of a faulty microphone and crane camera breaking down. Great efforts were made to repair it in time for the live broadcast, but they failed. Rather than put on a makeshift production, without the use of the “Mole” camera which could be raised or lowered, the decision was taken by ShiningCanadian director, William ‘Ted’ Kotcheff, whose methods of production include great mobility of cameras, decided that the transmission could not go ahead, since the faulty equipment was integral to his plans. A “stock” film was shown in its place.

⇐ PETER as David Linden and Elisabeth Sellars as Lise

Spare parts for the broken crane were rushed in from London on the Monday, and were anxiously fitted and tested. To be on the safe side. A.B.C. a complete spare “Mole”, which weighed two tons, to be set up their studios in Manchester.

The drama, which was written by Keith Winter, was eventually shown on the following Sunday, which meant the cancellation of the telefilm, ‘Trial by Candlelight’. It also meant that one of the main players, Angela Baddley, had to be replaced by Marian Spencer at short notice since Ms. Baddley had planned to abroad on holiday during the first week in January. A.B.C. were fortunate that she was the only one who couldn’t alter arrangements to leave a further weekend free.

The production company released the following statement during the week beginning 30th December: “In fairness to Kotcheff and the play itself, the production was abandoned when it was found that repairs could not be effected in time.” There was no mention of fairness to the cast, who must’ve felt somewhat aggrieved when they realised that they were of secondary importance to a camera!

Thankfully, there were no more gremlins – at least with the equipment. Whilst four of the original cast members made the trek back to Manchester for a second time in a week, a certain Mr WYNGARDE left them waiting to begin a camera rehearsal.

Thirty minutes went by, and still no PETER, and just as tempers were reaching breaking point, the great man arrived. Looking around at the solemn faces that greeted him, he quipped: “Don’t scold me. I meant to be late!”

The play was finally broadcast at 9.35pm on Sunday, 5th December, 1958, from A.B.C’s Didsbury Studios.

STORY SYNOPSIS

It was obvious from the moment the cameras swung over the dark, mid-Century farmhouse, and the full set of slightly forbidding austerity came into view, ‘The Shining Hour’ wasn’t going to fall into the ‘pleasant’ category of plays.

Set in the 1930’s, this story concerns the lives of a close-knit farming family living in the English countryside, and the tragedy of two unsuccessful marriages.

Into this family comes Lise (Elizabeth Sellars) – the Dutch second-wife of Henry (William Devlin) – the only members of the clan with the guts to go out into the world in search of his fortune.SHINING1

From the Manchester Evening News: Contract director ‘Ted’ Kotcheff discusses a scene during rehearsals for ‘The Shining Hour’ with PETER, Elisabeth Sellars and Diana Fairfax ⇒

Lise is violently resented by the older sister, Hannah (Marian Spencer) – a Cold Comfort Farm-type character, who flitters grimly about the place minding her brother’s business and making everybody else’s life a misery.

Soon after her arrival, Lise falls madly in love with her brother-in-law, David (PETER WYNGARDE), who a particularly obnoxious son-of-the-soil. He, conversely, is already married to, Judy (Diana Fairfax) – a girl he no longer loves. Tragedy is hastened by Hannah), who informs Judy of her husband’s infidelity, which drives the attractive young woman to take her own life by walking into a burning barn.

Into this already troubled family comes another gentleman by the name of Micky (Clifford Elkin), who also gets the idea that it might be fun to pursue on of the brothers’ wives.

The most troubling part of this story concerns the character of David who, after taking his brother’s wife (in both senses of the word!), then changes his mind and decides not to elope with her!

Special Notes:

The play’s director, ‘Ted’ Kotcheff, was trained in the ‘Method’ school of acting. PETER also dabbled with ‘Method Acting’ in the mid-Fifties, but he described the discipline as merely “thinking oneself into the role”.

‘The Shining Hour’ was the third time that PETER and Elisabeth Sellars had worked together. They had planned to star in their own production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with the two in the leading roles.

‘The Shining Hour’ was first performed in London in 1934, with Gladys Cooper as Lise and Raymond Massey as David.

THE HEART-THROB

He’s back again to-morrow girls…..

The man 4,500 women wrote to after he appeared in a BBC serial, stars on ITV to-morrow. 24–year-old actor PETER WYNGARDE is in ‘The Shining Hour”, the play that was cancelled a week ago because there were gremlins in the studio.

He is fast becoming TV’s heart-throb on the drama side. He has seen in three plays during recent months.

PETER’s 4,500 fans wrote to him when he took the lead in the serial, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.

To-morrow he co-stars with Elizabeth Sellars for the third time. This time they have a torrid screen romance in a farmhouse.

They have a joint ambition – to play Romeo and Juliet together.

WYNGARDE is dark, sardonic, and single. His hobby: cooking.

The Daily Sketch – Saturday, 4th January, 1958


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

 

ALLAN WARREN: A Fair Weather Friend

Written by Tina Wyngarde-Hopkins

The pain of losing a close friend or relative can be truly devastating, but when that loved-one also happens to be a well-known personality, the grief can be simply unbearable – especially when every man and his dog feels entitled to a piece of them.  

mwo,x1000,ipad_2_snap-pad,750x1000,f8f8f8_lite-1During the weeks subsequent to PETER’s passing, I personally encountered both the best and also the very worst of people. But whilst most of the latter were either third-rate hacks or your common or garden Internet Troll, the vilest creature to crawl through the cracks was none other than Royal photographer, Allan Warren.

This abhorrent senior citizen first came to my attention when he decided to send an unsolicited message to me via Facebook at the end of March, which made him sound less like a high-society snapper than a fat slag at a pie bake-off!

It was clear from the opening sentence that his mother had wasted her hard earned cash in sending him to Terry’s Juveniles Stage School[1], based on his horrendous spelling and use of grammar (evidently, he spent more time looking in the mirror than he did in class). Nonetheless, he persisted in his attempt to talk down to me (I might speak at WARREN1leisure, Mr Warren, but I don’t think so gradually!), then declaring in audacious tones that he was a “mate” of PETER’s.

Warren’s message: The dawn of legibility gradually reveals his total inability to spell! ⇒

I admit that I was lulled into a false sense of security when the coward fired this shot across my bow, then immediately blocked any means of repost – leading me to believe that was all he had in his arsenal. Imagine my surprise when the senescent old dear resurfaced the following afternoon for Round 2, by which time he’d elevated himself from a mere “mate” to a “Close Friend”. Well, let me tell you about this theoretical “close” friendship…

Whilst those of us who genuinely cared for PETER would make 400-mile round trips several times a week to help him through years of poor health, heart surgery and, latterly, as he lay dying in a West London Hospital Allan Warren – who lived only 4 miles away – never once troubled himself to either pick up the phone or visit his so-called “close friend” in person. The truth was that the two of them were so disaffected that Warren only learned of PETER’s death along with the rest of the population, via the media.

WARREN21

⇑ Once again, Warren allows his mouth to start something his brain can’t finish.

Doubtless heady from expensive Champagne and self-congratulation, this blatant disregard for his ‘old pal’ didn’t prevent Warren from sending his baseless and atrociously-composed note to me, nor did it stop him from directing a further two missives in my direction the following day.

Whilst I appreciate his concern for the state of my mental health, I can assure him that I’m in complete control of my faculties. On the other hand, his psychological state leaves much to be desired – indeed, when I ran his vindictive communiqués by a friend of mine (who just so happens to be a psychiatrist), I was alarmed to learn that the author of these outbursts was exhibiting the most clear-cut signs of “Neurotic Projection”[2] she’d ever observed!

My concern for Warren’s state of mind increased immeasurably upon reading two further sections of his rant that appear to contradict each other: in one breath, he brands me as little more than a lowly fan with less influence over PETER than a traffic cone and yet, he goes on to suggest that I was capable of wielding so much power over him as to influence his every thought and deed. So which one am I: a humble and ineffectual admirer, or an omnipotent manipulator with plans for world domination? Surely I can’t be both!

I can assure everyone that PETER was, and always had been, as sharp as a tack, and functioned perfectly adequately without having to rely on my input.

Curiously, Warren professes to recall a specific comment made by PETER many years ago (although how he could attribute it to me personally is anyone’s guess, given that there‘ve been at least five other incumbents of the Peter Wyngarde Fan Club/Appreciation Society since 1955, and he was either unable or unwilling to reveal when, exactly, this particular remark had been made!). It’s revealing, however, that whilst Warren was capable of recalling this innocuous remark (if it was ever made at all?!), he somehow managed to forget how to call his “close”, terminally ill, “friend”, or remember to get up off his ample behind to visit him in hospital!

When I put the abovementioned comment to Mitzi Kalinsky, who’d known PETER from birth in the 1950’s and who, incidentally, had never ONCE heard PETER mention Warren’s name in over 60 years, she exclaimed: “UTTER RUBBISH!” In fact, she went on to say that, during his regular conversations with her, PETER spoke of little else but me, AND only in the most affectionate terms: “He absolutely adored you!”

Similarly, PETER’S Agent and friend, Thomas Bowington, who spent hundreds of hours in his client’s company (and also had never heard of Warren), assured me that PETER had never, EVER said anything derogatory about me (I have almost 900 letters and 3,000 texts from him that corroborate these views). Mr Bowington added: “When I read Warren’s comments, my blood ran cold. He must’ve either been drunk or completely unhinged when he wrote these messages!”

Conversely, PETER DID once refer to Mr Warren in my company as “a dried up c**t” who’d “done some terrible things to me”. Indeed, he considered him (along with others of his ilk) as “the type who hung about, hoping for the good times to come around again.” Clearly, Warren is far more dementemneted” (sic) than I shall ever be! Incidentally, if anyone knows what dementemneted” actually means, would you please be kind enough to let me know.

With regard to the matter concerning PETER’s funeral: Firstly, I was in hospital with pneumonia at the time that arrangements were made by Mitzi (Kalinsky), and it was Thomas (Bowington) who compiled a list of people who were to be invited; those individuals consisted of close friends and relatives. Given the fact that neither Mitzi nor Thomas had ever heard the name Allan Warren before – certainly not from PETER’s mouth – he was not included on the list. His jumping to conclusions and pointing an accusing finger in my direction is indicative of an extremely confused and paranoid mind.

It would be clear even to a blind man that this sad, laughable old windbag has slithered out of the woodwork now because he believes he’s entitled to any or all monies that PETER might’ve left; his fixation with a so-called “Estate” is evidence of this (in three separate messages, he mentions it – not one, but twice). How he could possibly be so deluded as to think that PETER would reward the kind of cold indifference exhibited by this fair weather ‘friend’ is anyone’s guess, but I can assure him that he’s been left everything he deserves, which is absolutely NOTHING! (Unless, of course, he’d like to put his name on a carrier bag of odd socks we found when clearing PETER’s flat?!)

In spite of his supposed standing and the calibre of his clientele,* Warren has shown himself to be nothing more than a schoolyard bully. Whilst in reality he should be embarrassed by his own fickleness, he instead chose to ‘Project’ his reprehensible behaviour onto someone whose only crime was to love and care for PETER. Seemingly his own voracity and ignorance have driven him to the point where he can no longer differentiate between fact and fiction; he’d certainly find it impossible to substantiate any of the charges he’s levelled at me.

My Mother always told me that I should be nice to old people, but in Warren’s case I’m willing to make an exception. With a smile reminiscent of a brass plate on a coffin, this desperate, obsolete old fart is indubitably a man of few, ill-chosen words. Clearly educated beyond his aptitude, what he lacks in decency he makes up for with self-interest. PETER was nothing if not astute and never suffered fools – irrefutably, he had Warren’s card marked. I suspect that if the perfidious buffoon had actually managed to drag his geriatric carcass to the hospital to see his dying “friend”, PETER would’ve given it to him with both barrels and then had him thrown into the street!

Warren’s tirade says far more about him than it ever could about me. But then it’s true what they say: there’s no fool like and old fool! 

N.B. Because the Official Peter Wyngarde Appreciation Society does not wish to associate itself with such a crude and irrational character as Allan Warren, we’ve taken steps to remove any examples of his work from our websites, as we do not wish to be associated with such a reprehensible little man.

With reference to my name change: Due to the fact that Allan Warren was never privy to any of the conversations that were held between PETER and myself, he’s neither qualified nor entitled to comment on my name change. 

[1] At the Drury Lane Theatre, London.

[2] Neurotic Projection is the most common variety of projection and most clearly meets the definition of defence mechanism. In this type of projection, people may attribute feelings, motives, or attitudes they find unacceptable in themselves onto someone else. 

*Depending on how you rate these kind of people.

SPECIAL NOTE

I understand that there has been a complaint from Mr Allan Warren regarding the article above, as he apparently believes it to be libellous and a deformation of his character.

The definition of ‘Libel’ is as follows: “A published false statement that’s damaging to a person’s reputation”. This article is not Libellous, because it’s TRUE – his own words attest to that. He’s been hung by his own petard!

Having sent several abusive messages to me within a 24 hour period, he’s now attempting to present himself as the victim. According to Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1998 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, it is a criminal offence to send indecent, offensive or threatening messages either by mail or electronically. I was sent not one, not two, but THREE such messages by Warren, so I reserve the right to report the matter to the police at any time.

  • He bleats at my mentioning his Mother, but gave scant consideration to how my Mother might feel on reading his vile remarks.
  • He protests that I judged his ‘friendship’ with PETER, without knowing anything about it. This is rather hypocritical given that he felt entirely justified in using the most vile terms possible to dismiss my relationship with PETER, in spite of the fact that he knew nothing about that! Do as I say, not as I do?!

Similarly, he threatens legal action should I not remove this piece, when he himself has accused me of the VERY serious offence of applying ‘Undue Influence’ on a terminally ill man to write and sign a Last Will and Testament. I do hope that Mr Warren has the necessary evidence to back up his allegation, because he’ll be needing it.

Allan Warren has spent much of his adult life rubbing shoulders with the aristocracy, but that doesn’t entitle him to talk down to the rest of us. It was HE who stuck his head above the parapet in sending unwanted, uninvited mail to me, so he shouldn’t be feigning surprise now that I’ve returned fire. His squealing like a stuffed pig because he’s ended up with a bloody nose tells me all I need to know about him. Perhaps he’s not used to a member of the hoi palloi giving as good as they get, but then he’s clearly picked on the wrong person! 

If I’d written any of those three messages, I’d be ashamed and embarrassed, so there’s little wonder he wants them removed. Warren has spent decades building up the hoity-toity persona he currently presents, whilst his own words show him for what he REALLY is: a foul-mouthed bully. If he’d had a genuine regard for PETER, Warren would be grateful that he was cared for in the last few months and years of his life, not pilloring the one person who stood by him!

Shame on you!


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

 

REVIEW: The Two Character Play

The Hampstead Theatre Club. December 1967.

Character: Felice

N.B. The world premiere of the play was on Monday, 11th December, 1967.

“Your sister and you are insane!”

BACKGROUND

This dark drama was written in the early 1960’s by American playwright, Tennessee Williams, and is believed to be semi-autobiographical, with the character of Felice being based, in part, on the author himself, and Clare – both as the ‘Actress’ and ‘Character’ – on his sister, Rose.

Although it took Williams more than a decade to write, when the play was first staged, it wasn’t particularly well-received by either critics or the paying public. It’s been suggested that, whilst audiences generally see the theatre as a diversion, Williams’ work in this instance, delivered precisely the opposite. The characters of Felice and Clare, together with the individuals who play them, are powerless to break away from their worsening psychological situation, regardless of their attempts to convince themselves otherwise. As a result, the audiences found themselves confronted by a far bleaker reality concerning the human condition that they’d bargained for.

2CHARACTER

PETER and Mary Ure rehearsing the play with director James Roose-Evans

As with most of Williams’ plays, this particular composition is inhabited by broken personalities, entangled in their illusive pasts; caught within the confines of a partly-built theatre stage, representing a neglected wooden house.

By 1971, ‘The Two Character Play’ had been renamed ‘Out Cry’ – opening at the Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicago, and latterly transferring to Broadway at the Lyceum

THE STORY

The play tells the story of Felice (PETER WYNGARDE) and Clare (Mary Ure) – a reclusive brother and sister. They are both actors on an American tour, when they’re ditched by their theatre company in what Tennessee Williams describes in the script as a dilapidated ‘State theatre in an unknown state”.

Although it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who goes to see a production entitled ‘The Two Character Play’, Felice and Clare are the only two people in the work – and a very wordy piece it is too. It’s also immensely confusing, as this drama is, in fact, a-play-within-a-play.

Concerned that an audience, unaware that the main body of the troupe has left, might turn up at the theater expecting to see a performance, Felice sets about writing a play which he names ‘New Bethesda’. It’s set in a rundown house in a southern state of a America, where there’s no running water of electricity. The confusion begins when he chooses to name his two leading characters after himself and his sister, and to make the2CHARACTER-1 plot autobiographical. And so for most of the performance, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two pairs of siblings: Felice and Clare ‘The Actors’ or Felice and Clare ‘The Characters’.

We learn early on that the siblings have been emotionally damaged after being witness to the catastrophic death of their parents (the father murdered their mother, and then turned a gun on himself). The two have remained reclusively in their family home ever since. By joining the theatre troupe they’re cautiously attempting to make contact with the world outside, but their interdependent relationship and deteriorating mental state has lead them to become more isolated than ever.

The two sets of siblings (‘Actors’ and ‘Characters’) are what might be described as opposite sides of the same coin. In the case of Felice, he’s at once the unstable thespian and yet, a fraction of a second later, becomes the thoughtful and perceptive resident of New Bethesda. And so whilst ‘The Two Character Play’ tops and tails between the pessimistic circus of the confined players and the misfortune of the orphaned brother and sister, the two grow increasingly disconcerted with each other. Indeed, whilst Felice develops a progressively demanding attitude with regard to how his sister should play ‘Clare’, she protests continually loudly and refuses point blankly to portray the character as he’s been written it.

Clare: I’ve lifted the receiver.

Felice: (Closing his eyes). Moment.

Clare: Felice, I said I’ve lifted the receiver.

Felice: Oh. Yes. Sorry. Who are you calling, Clare?

Clare: Not a

Felice: Soul still existing

Clare: In a world gone away.

Felice: Moment.

Clare: Are you lost in the play?

Felice: Yes. It’s a warm August day.

Clare: (Raising tender hand to his head). Felice, your hair’s grown so long. You really must find time somehow to get to the barber. We mustn’t neglect appearances even if we rarely go out of the house. We won’t stay in so much now. We’ll pull ourselves together and practice necessary deceptions so convincingly well that liables, commendable and essentials of persistence will be delivered to us again.

Felice: Go straight to the tall sunflower.

Clare: Quick as that?

Felice: That quick!

Clare: Felice, look out of the window, there’s a giant sunflower out there that’s grown as tall as the house. (He draws a long breath, then leans out the window).

Felice: Oh, yes, I see it. Its colours so brilliant that it seems to be shouting!

Clare: Keep your eyes on it a moment, it’s a sigh to be seen. (She raises a hand not quite to her eyes but toward them, as if to shield them from the blinding light. Then she turns to the sofa to lift the pillow: Draws a grasping breath).

Felice: Moment.

Clare: Moment.

(They continue saying ‘Moment’ to each other as the stage is slowly dimmed out).

END


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

REVIEW: A Tale of Two Cities

EPISODES:

  • The Gathering Storm. Broadcast: August 11th, 1957
  • The Jackal. Broadcast: August 4th, 1957
  • The Honest Tradesman. Broadcast: August 18th, 1957
  • The Storm Breaks. Broadcast: August 25th, 1957
  • The Darkness. Broadcast: September 1st, 1957
  • A Hand of Cards. Broadcast: September 8th, 1957
  • The Footsteps Die Out. Broadcast: September 15th, 1957

 Character: Sydney Carton

 “It is a far, far better thing that I do now than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go to now than I have ever known”. Sydney Carton

BACKGROUND

4318573_tina bate_In-Store Restoration Art_0_0_x1Charles Dickens story of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ is probably so familiar to anyone reading this review that it would be difficult to tell you anything that you didn’t already know. But no matter how acquainted one is with the story, there is still something wonderfully moving in its famous climax on the steps of the guillotine – especially when the man playing the part of the novel’s hero, Sydney Carton, is real-life hero, PETER WYNGARDE.

⇐ PETER as Sydney Carton

Certainly, PETER’s depiction of Carton resulted in the BBC receiving around 4,000 letters – almost all from women – who immediately fell in love with the actor while watching this eight-part serial. According to the Beeb, they had never taken delivery of more letters address to a single actor in one of their own production, either before or since.

There is a great deal in the comment made by dramatist and poet, G.K. Chesterton, that a man rereads a detective novel because he has forgotten the plot, but that he rereads a Dickens’ novel because he has remembered the plot.

There are fewer characters in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ that in Dickens’ earlier books, but they are all memorable: the pathetic Dr Manettes, kind Mr Lorry, the terrible Defarges and their equally dreadful enemy, St. Evrémonde (Heron Carvic), good Gerry Cruncher, (played by Ronald Radd) of the secret fishing expeditions, and the formidable Miss Pross (Joan Ingram) with her mysterious attacks of “The Jerks”.

But of all the characters in the story, Sydney Carton – the self-indulgent young lawyer who said of himself, “I shall never be better than I am” and yet, one day, superbly was.

It was a joy to meet all these wonderful creations of Dickens’ imagination through the distinguished cast that producer, Kevin Sheldon, assembled for this production.

The Story

The story begins just prior to the French Revolution in 1775 when bank clerk, Jarvis Lorry (Mervyn Johns), travels to Paris to help reunite Dr Alexandre Manette (Fred Fairclough) with Lucie (Wendy Hutchinson), his long-lost daughter. Manette had recently been released from prison having served an 18- year sentence in the infamous Bastille.

Lorry intends to bring the Doctor with his 17-year-old daughter together at the room he’s been renting over a wine shop in the City. The Doctor, it emerges, cannot remember anything about of his life prior to his imprisonment, but on meeting his devoted Lucie for the first time, begins to regain his memory.

Five years later, the Doctor has built a successful medical practice in his house in TALE OFLondon. Lucie, meanwhile, has become engaged to a Frenchman by the name of Charles Darnay (Edward de Souza), who has turned his back on his former aristocratic life in France for a new life in England. We learn that Darney’s real name is Evrémonde and that he’d formally been put on trial for treason. Fortuitously, he was saved from the gallows by a young barrister, Sydney Carton (PETER WYNGARDE), who also happens to be the spitting image of the Frenchman.

Although the Doctor is delighted when his daughter finally marries Darney, he’s completely unaware that his new son-in-law’s father and uncle had been the parties responsible for his imprisonment.

As a result of the continued persecution of the lower orders by the French aristocracy, an uprising begins in France, at which point Darney decides that he must return to his homeland in an attempt to save Monsieur Gabette – a former household servant of his. On his arrival in Paris, Darney is recognised, rearrested and imprisoned for the supposed crimes of the Evrémondes family.

When Dr Manette learns of Darney’s fate, he and Lucie race to Paris where, with the help of Sydney Carton, they manage to negotiate the temporary release of the young nobleman.

Unbeknown to all concerned, Carton has been hopelessly in love with the Doctor’s daughter since their first meeting, and seeing her with her infant daughter – bereft at the thought of Darney’s execution, Carton take his place at the prison and is brought to the guillotine in his stead.

CARTON2

FACTS ABOUT THE SERIES

‘A Tale of Two Cities’ was filmed entirely in the Medieval French city of Bourges, and was shown as part of the BBC’s Children’s Hour.

Veteran British actor, Julian Orchard, played three different characters in the play, including Jacques, and two other unnamed men.

Critic Comment

“The TV production was very well done, and I think that in PETER WYNGARDE, the actor who portrayed Sydney Carton, the dissolute barrister, we have yet another new British top-liner.”

June Morrow – Woman’s Own

Far better Thing?

Fresh from his success in the BBC serial ‘A Tale of two Cities’ comes PETER WYNGARDE. He is in Rudolf Cartier’s important Thursday play, ‘Ordeal By Fire’.

Many Viewers have written to me about PETER WYNGARDE playing of Sydney Carton in the Dickens serial. And thousands more have written to him and the BBC.

It’s good, therefore, to see the TV companies snap him up. But Rudy Cartier already knows WYNGARDE’s work well. He had him as Will Shakespeare, in the Clemence Dunn play, some years ago.

PETER has been seen in a dozen or so TV plays in the past few years and in each he has caught the eye – and held it. It’s time he had the really big break now. 

Shirley Long – TV Mirror, October 1957


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

 

REVIEW: Liebelei

  • Broadcast: 15th June, 1954

Character: Lt. Fritz Lobheimer

SCENE 1: Fritz’s apartment in an affluent district of Vienna.

SCENE 2: Christine’s room in the suburbs, next evening.

SCENE 3: The courtyard of an old house it the suburbs.

SCENE 4: A spinney on Prater Island, next morning.

SCENE 5: Christine’s room, three days later.

The play is set in Vienna in 1900.

BACKGROUND

There is no real translation for the German word, ‘Liebelei; the word doesn’t exist in any other language. It derives from ‘Liebe’, which means ‘Love’, and the suffix lei makes it something smaller. Therefore you could say it means ‘A little love’, in contrast to… ‘A great love’. But that doesn’t reduce its hidden meaning; it’s a melancholy, typically Viennese term of affection for a bitter-sweet, short-lived love affair.

The author, Arthur Schnitzler, was a doctor, playwright and novelist, who began writing in his spare time under the name ‘Anatol’.

Schnitzler once said that the femme fatal over whom a duel is fought in his story, but who never actually appears on screen, was based on a woman who’d once walked into his surgery in Austria.

THE STORY

This tale revolves around the character of Fritz Lobheimer (PETER WYNGARDE) – a young gentleman of the upper classes and Lieutenant in the Imperial Dragoons. For some months, he’s been involved with Christine Weyring (Jeanette Sterk) – an attractive girl from the lower orders. The two have a number of mutual friends that include Theodore Kaiser (Derek Aylward), who’s also an officer in the Dragoons, and his current sweetheart, Mitzi Schlager – a milliner.

The story opens in the living room of Fritz’s apartment in a fashionable area of Vienna. The young Officer is regaling Theodore with stories of his affair with a married woman of his own class. Instead of being impressed by his philandering as Fritz had expected, Theodore advises his comrade that he’d be wiser to concentrate on his relationship with Christine who, like his own girlfriend, is both adoring and devoted: “Women are not to be interesting,” he urges, “but pleasant.”

LIEBELER

 ⇑ The cast and crew in Richmond Park, London, where some of the scenes from ‘Liebelei’ were shot. PETER can be seen seventh from the left in the back row. 

Their exchange is interrupted by the arrival of both Christine and Mitzi, who Theodore has invited to enjoy an evening of drinking and dancing. The party, however, is disturbed by an insistent ringing of the doorbell. When Fritz finally goes to answer it, he finds an irate gentleman standing on the step. The Lieutenant immediately asks his friends to step into an adjoining room for a moment before allowing the caller inside.

It emerges that this ‘gentleman’ is none other than the husband of the woman with whom Fritz has been having the affair. He’s come to return a bundle of letters written by the young Officer to his wife, and before departing, he challenges the Lieutenant to a duel. Fritz can do nothing other than accept.

The following evening, as Christine is chatting with her well-intentioned neighbour, Katherine Binder (Joan Carol) outside her humble home in the suburbs of the city, the older woman informs her that there’s been a lot of talk in the area about her relationship with Fritz, and that she’d be better served by finding someone of her own class to marry and settle down. Christine, though, will hear none of it. She’s absolutely certain of her feelings for the dashing Lieutenant, and of his commitment to her. Certainly she can’t envisage loving anyone other than him.

Christine’s meddling friend, Mitzi, conspires to confound Mrs. Binder’s comments when she warns her about getting too close to Fritz. She appreciates that her own relationship with Theodore is just a bit of fun. Conversely, Christine’s father, Hans Weyring (Wilfred Lawson) defends his daughter and her choice of boyfriend – believing that she has a right to some happiness before settling down to a life of domestic monotony.

Soon after her encounter with Mrs. Binder, Fritz calls on Christine and sees her modest room for the first time. It’s clear by the pet-names he has for her (“Angel” and “Treasure”) that he’s fully appreciative of her adoration and earnestness. He confides in her that he’s had little experience of true love in his life, and that he feels comforted by the haven that she provides for him.

This tender moment is shattered, however, on the arrival of Theodore, who asks to speak with Fritz privately. Once alone, he advises his friend to rest up so that he’ll be ready to fight in the duel which is scheduled for the following morning.IMG_20180306_0004

⇐ ‘The Duel Scene’ from The Times, June 1954

Two days later, Christine and Mitzi are together in the formers room. The two are deeply concerned that they’ve not heard from either of their men, in spite of their promising to be back by early afternoon after a trip to the country.

Ultimately, Theodore arrives alone to notify Christine that Fritz had been killed in the duel, and that he has already been buried. The young woman immediately breaks down – sobbing uncontrollably. Moments later, she rushes from the room – tears streaming down her face, as she goes to find her lover’s grave. But as her father predicts, she will never return home again.

CRITICS COMMENTS…

“Arthur Schnitzler’s ‘Liebelei’ is a delightful Viennese romance and it was played so delicately that one might forget it was only a trifle. PETER WYNGARDE’s Fritz was a dashing Lieutenant in the Imperial Dragoons who, too late, finds a love he believes will last. Jeanette Stark as Christine, the girl who gives all her love to Fritz, only to find despair in his death for another woman, played with tenderness and sincerely.

Plays and Players


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

THE MAKING OF… ‘Flash Gordon’

U5dre8BAPf7hC8UuFt2CpujvhK4jTHR_1680x8400The Main Shooting Schedule (based on the final script) was distributed to cast and crew on 31st July, 1979, ready for filming to start at the beginning of August, 1979. What follows are details of when and where each of the scenes were shot (included those that were deleted from the final cut), and in which order.

Instructions printed on the front of the Main Unit Shooting Schedule were as follows:

Notes:

(a) It is possible that 23rd August[1] and 24th August will be switched to avoid an unnecessary move back to Shepperton whilst we are at Weybridge (Surrey).

(b) This schedule excludes all 2nd unit work and Blue Backing at Weybridge and all miniature and optical Fx shooting.

(c) The 2nd unit will shoot all Blue Backing scenes as follows:-

  1. pt.132. pt.159. 160. 177.195. pt.211. pt.212. pt.213. 217. 221. 223. 230. 233. 235. 237. 261. Also Sc.277.

This work will commence from Monday, 3rd September at Weybridge until complete. In addition to these scenes, the 2nd unit will pick up sequences which the Main Unit cannot complete.

(d) A separate Miniture/Optical Fx Schedule will be issued soonest.

N.B. Parts in red were either cut from the final film, or rewritten and replaced.

Pre-Production began on the film on Monday, 6th August, 1979, and went on for three days. These scenes (1, 1a, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 5, 6. Dawn) were to establish Flash waiting for plane, and the arrival of Dale. These sequences were shot on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Additional sections (7. Day. Plus plates for 8, 9, 10. Day. 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, pt. 22. Night), involved external shots of the ‘Dove’ aircraft in flight.

Special requirements for the exterior Beach and country airfield, and aircraft included:

From the Art Department: Dove aircraft with ‘Green Mountain Airways’ logo. Car plates. Station wagon. Flash’s book. Luggage. Hotel bus ‘Dark Harbour’ Inn’. Air ticket folder. Pick-up truck.

Special Fx: Hot cinders falling Fx. Tank to shoot up and through violent rain of hailstones Fx. Rain puddles. Very pistol and flares. Windsock. Bowser for wetting down.

Camera: Helevision camera mount.

Production: Air to ground radio communications. Local tide timetable. Dove aircraft.

Helicopter. Air to air communications.

On Monday, 6th August, and for the next three days, several scenes were shot that were eventually cut from the final film.

One of those sections (For Sc. 15. Day and/or night) were set outside the White House in Washington D.C., and involved an American TV newscaster reporting on the unusual weather conditions which had, of course, been instigated by Emperor Ming.

These scenes were shot using a 16mm camera.

Also at this time, the section (Sc. 111) entitled ‘The Dehumanisation of Zarkov’, was filmed by Denis Postle. The ‘Disaster Footage’ shown on a screen and watched by GENERAL KLYTUS and General Kala, was made up of stock footage (For Sc. 14, 15.).

Another section which was cut from the final edit was filmed by the 2nd unit over in the United States. These scenes were to establish Flash as a football hero, and were recorded at Shea Stadium – the former home of the New York Jets.

Depicted in these passages was Flash himself, playing Quarterback, and included several extras dressed as a TV camera crew and a New York police officer.

The special requirements for the exterior shots of Shea Stadium, were:

Art Department: TV Cameras. Still cameras. Microphones, etc. Programmes.

Camera: Zoom lens/Arriflex BL.

Production: High shot from Goodyear blimp. New York Jets and opposition team. Double for actual New York Jets as Flash.

The Shooting Schedule now makes mention of the following:

Please Note: For INT. KLYTUS’s Control Room, we need footage from various sets on Mongo that will optically appear on their eye glass devices. Therefore it should always be remembered and scheduled for us to shoot random footage of all our sets.

WEEK 1.

After the preproduction as detailed above, the first full week of filming began on Monday, 13th August, with the segments (Start 8. 9. 10. Day. 12. 16.17. 18. 19. Night) where the aircraft carrying Flash and Dale hits the storm sent by Ming, and the two pilots disappear. This was filmed at Weybridge against a Blue Screen.

Shooting of these scenes continued into the following day (Tuesday, 14th August), with sections inside the aircraft cabin and cockpit (scenes 8. 9. 10. Day. 12. 16. 17. 18. 19.Night) being committed to film.

On Wednesday, 14th August, scenes 8. 9. 10. Day. 12. 16. 17. 18. 19. Night were completed. These involved the arrival of Flash and Dale at the airstrip, and concerned Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson, plus the extras who played the hotel bus driver and pilots.

The special requirements for the shots inside the aircraft cabin and cockpit included:

Art Department: Books for Flash. Repeat People magazine with Flash on cover. Practical seat belt. Cockpit window shatters – alternative screen curtains between cockpit and cabin.

Special Fx: Aircraft on rockers. Plane launches in all directions. Cockpit instruments practice – whirl crazily eventually. Lightning bolts hit cockpit Fx. Gale of wind Fx. Plane goes into nose-dive.

Camera: Blue Backing set. Outside changes from day to night in seconds. Red lightning bolts zap cockpit. Steady camera for P.O.V. through windscreen.

Production: Special Fx require 5/6 days to move aircraft – do during nighttime off rocker onto Greenhouse rig.

Editorial: Moviola with selected takes of model plane crash.

Thursday, 16th August. This was the day when work began on the sequences (Start 26. 28. pt.30. pt.32. pt.35. 37. 40. 43) in which Zarkov forces the Capsule he’s built to takeoff, with Flash and Dale held captive, plus the flight through space. Again, these were shot at Weybridge.

These sections were completed the following day (Friday, 17th August), using the set of the Capsule.

Special requirements for the Capsule segments included:

Art Department: Gun for Zahkov. Control lever. Red pedal. Practical seat straps. Rubber dummy gun for Zahkov.

Special Fx: Rocket takeoff effect. Quick closing door Fx. G-Force Fx. Capsule lands Fx. Air pressure gun for G-Force Fx. on artiste’s face.

Camera: Blue Backing set. Outside changes from day to night in seconds. Red lightning bolts zap cockpit. Steady camera for P.O.V. through windscreen.

Production: Fight arranger.

On Saturday, 18th August, scenes 14. 15. Night. were filmed, which involved the moment when Zarkov realises that the attack on Earth is now fact. These were set in the Greenhouse, with Zarkov and Munson.

The Special requirements for this section were:

Art Department: Revolver for Zarkov. Practical computers in slapdash fashion. Neglected plants. Coffee cups. Sandwiches. Cigarettes, etc. Two cots. Blankets. Munson’s watch. Display screen as scripted. Print-out data main console with 2 TV screens above.

Special Fx: Cinder through overhead glass Fx, which burns through blanket. Other cinder and broken glass Fx. Bank of switches – practical. Breakaway sugar glass.

Cameraman: 2 back projection TV monitors, barrage of red bolts o/s Fx. Lights flicker. TV screens dissolve into lines. Int. capsule brightly lit.

Production: Disaster footage and newscast.

WEEK 2.

Week 2 (Monday, 201th August) began with the completion of the aforementioned scenes (14. 15.) in the Greenhouse. These were followed by the segments in which the Dove aircraft crashes into the Greenhouse, killing Munson (21. 23). Again, these were filmed at Wybridge, with Chaim Topol and a stunt double for Munson.

The special requirements for the Greenhouse scenes were as follows:

Special Fx: Plane crashes into Greenhouse, killing Munson.

Cameraman: After aircraft crashes, there is a flash – all the lights go out except in the Capsule.

Production: Standby ambulance and first aid. Additional cameras. Note: Special Fx require one day to rig Take 2 after dallies viewed.

Art Department: As before – breakaway dressing and repeats.

Wednesday, 22nd August: The segments involved the parts in which Flash and Aura escape, and her rocket takes off (116. pt.117. 154). In addition, the scenes in which Flash, Dale and Zarkov are taken to Emperor Ming are filmed, along with those with Flash as pilot escaping with Aura, and when Aura kills an Imperial Guard in the lift (45b. 115. 225.).

This was also the first day that PETER was required on set as GENERAL KLYTUS in Weybridge for the scene where he arrests Aura.

The personnel required for these passages included GENERAL KLYTUS, Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, Princess Aura, Zarkov, Guard Leader and four Guards, Air Force staff, three Secret Police agents, and a hooded Guard.

The special requirements for the above scenes were as follows:

Art Department: Aura’s rocket ship. Practical lift doors. Weapons for Guards. Royal pennants. Crownlet of flowers for aura. Pin in corsage to stick in Guards neck.

Special Fx: Aura’s rocket ship lands. Rocket takes off Fx. Aura sticks corsage pin into Guards neck. Retractable pin.

The scenes in which Dale escapes, and Ming’s discovery of her flight (Int. Ming’s bedchamber and corridor; 140. 141. 142.), are recorded on Thursday, 23rd August at Shepperton (Sound Stage 1). The characters involved were Ming, a serving girl, Dale, plus four stunt guards (hooded).

The special requirements for the above scenes included:

Camera: Glow of light from bedside cube.

Art Department: 12 inch high jade statue of Ming. Weapons for Ming’s Guards.

Special Fx: Practical Guard’s pistol. Flaming bolts pass through their armor.

Production: Stunt arranger.

On Friday, 24th August, work continued on the Greenhouse scene, which included filming sections of the aircraft fuselage (24. 25. Plus plate for 26), from which Flash and Dale climb out to meet Zarkov. These were filmed at Weybridge.

The special requirements for these segments were:

Special Fx: Dust and smoke for rocket. Rocket starts to move.

Production: Check injuries to Flash and Dale for continuity reasons.

No filming took place on Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th and Monday 27th, August, due to the Bank Holiday.

WEEK 3.

Tuesday, 28th August: Scenes inside Ming’s Bedchamber (119. pt.125. pt.127. pt.128. pt.129) in which Flash makes telepathic contact with Dale were filmed at Shepperton (Sound Stage 1). The characters required were Dale, plus four exotic females and Hedonia – a servant girl.

The Art Department supplied the following to the set: A flagon of green liquid, drinking glasses, and a huge tapestried bed.

Filming in Ming’s bedchamber continued into Wednesday, 29th August (216), which was the scene involving Dale and Aura prior to the wedding. The characters for this part of the film were Dale, Aura, Hedonia, four Servant Girls (from Sc.119), two Hooded Guards, plus fight doubles for Dale and Aura.

The special requirements for these segments were:

Art Department: Small black pill.

Production: Stunt Arranger – rehearse fight. Wedding dress for Dale.

As with the above, the following scenes (Exterior of Arboria – Branches: 147 – excluding P.O.V. of Rustic Temple. P.O.V. of Arborian Temple: For Sc.147. P.O.V. plates for rocket arrival on actual set: For 130a. 137) were all filmed at Shepperton.

These sequences involved Aura and Flash watching the events at the Tree Temple; establishing their P.O.V. shot, and the 2nd Unit pick-up.

Friday, 31st August involved work on the landing of the Capsule on the planet Mongo filmed at Weybridge (43a. pt.44. 45), in which Flash, Zarkov and Dale are captured. The characters required on set were Flash, Dale, Zarkov, Leader of the Armed Troops, six Armored Troops, Guards, plus a stunt double for Flash.

Work continued on the above scenes the following day (Saturday, 1st September), and on segments 43b and pt.44 (having landed on Mongo, shapes are seen outside the Capsule).

The special requirements for the above scenes included:

Art Department: Control gadget for Leader. Weapons for Ming’s Troops. Damage to Capsule. mattresses and boxes on standby.

Special Fx and Camera: Metal hand materialises out of thin air and clamps on Flash’s wrist. Bluish ray zaps out and throws Flash to the ground. metal hand disappears.

Production: Stunt Arranger.

WEEK 4.

Monday, 3rd September. PETER notes in his diary that he has a 9.15 appointment with Dino DeLaurantiis.

Meanwhile at Shepperton, work was carried out on the scenes in the Temple on Arboria, featuring the characters Flash, Aura, Prince Barin, an Aged Priest, Fico and several young Aborian men. The scenes involve the death of a young Arborian (147a. 147b.147c. q47d. 147f. 147g. 148).

The following two days – Tuesday, 4th and Wednesday 5th September, work continues on the Arborian section, as above.

The special requirements for the three-day shoot of the scenes on Arboria are as follows:

Art Department: Huge gnarled tree stump with a number of holes in it. Arms for the Arborian men. Facility to get camera into tree stump.

Special Fx: Hissing beast Fx. Barin plunges sword into young man’s chest. Retractable sword.

Camera: Green light and shadow effect.

Production: Playback for chanting.

Make-up: Puncture marks on young man’s wrist. Green blood.

PETER records that he was due on set at Shepperton at 4.30pm on Thursday, 6th September, and that a car would pick him up at home at 2.30pm.

Further scenes on Arboria are shot (163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 168a), in which Flash outwits Prince Barin and escapes. The characters requested on set are Flash, Barin, Fico, the Aged priest, and 18 Arborian men.

The special requirements these scenes are:

Art Department: Fico’s dagger. Arms for the Arborians. Crossbows. Barin’s sword and crossbow.

Production: Stunt arranger.

Friday, 7th September. PETER’s schedule for Dress Rehearsal is as follows:

U5dtsfJSkbLtUhsRxKraVmESdLsHea4_1680x84007.30am call for 8.15am. Film scene 87. First shot at 1.45. Finish 5.30.

Scenes at Vultan’s camp on Arboria are shot at Shepperton on Soundstage H (211 Dusk. pt.212. pt. 213). This includes the moment when Prince Vultan receives a call from Flash that he’s “Flying blind on a Rocket Cycle”.

Characters On set include Vultan, Luro, Biro, forty Hawkmen and ten dead Arborian men.

The special requirements for the above scenes included:

Art Department: Fico’s dagger. Arms for the Arborian men. Crossbows. Barin’s sword. and crossbow.

Production: Stunt arranger.

Saturday, 8th September. More work at Vultan’s Camp on Arboria. These include Flash’s contact with Vultan (211. Dusk. pt.212. pt.213). Barin taunting Flash as he lowers him into the swamp in a big wooden cage (155), and Fico telling Barin of his plan to dispose of Flash. All are filmed on Soundstage H at Shepperton.

Characters required on set are: Vultan, Lubo, Biro, 40 Hawkmen, 10 dead Arborians. Flash. Lionman. Hawkman. Barin. Fico. 20 Civilian Arborians and ten soldiers.

The special requirements for the three-day shoot of the scenes on Arboria are as follows:

Art Department: Belongings. Weapons. Radio communicator in Vultan’s belt. Barin’s crossbow. Weapon’s for Arborians. Fico’s horn. Pan pipe of curious design. Various games for Arborians. Tankards.

Special Fx: Hissing beast Fx. Barin plunges sword into young man’s chest. Retractable sword. Prison cage lowered into swamp.

Sunday, 9th September. PETER’s first call was at 8am for rehearsal.

WEEK 5.

Monday, 10th September. Scene 46 – Flash, Dale and Zarkov pass Mongo prisoners at Mingo City. Filmed at Shepperton, Soundstage C.

Also Scene 214: Wedding announcement (Shepperton, Soundstage C).

Required characters are: Flash, Dale, Zarkov, Leader of Armoured Troops, Six Armed Guards, 1 Red Officer, 1 Blue Officer, Four Arborian Civilian Men, 4 Arborian Soldiers, 13 Mongo Men, 8 Mongo Women, 5 Mongo Children.

Prisoners: 1 Lion Man, 2 Lizard men, 1 Tiger Man, 2 Arborian Men, 2 sand People, plus 75 assorted Crowd (from Scene 85).

Special reuirements for these sequences include:

Art Department: Weapons for Guards. Practical lift doors. Prisoners joined by chains and heavy metal neck collars and are also blindfolded – hands bound behind their backs. Wedding announcement poster of Dale Arden.

Special Fx: Hissing beast Fx. Prince Barin plunges sword into young man’s chest. Retractable sword.

Camera: Sequence involves matte shots.

On Tuesday, 10th September, PETER is called at 9.15 am and finishes work at 7pm.

The scenes shot on this day are inside GENERAL KLYTUS’S Control Room (33. pt.34. pt.35), which involve KLYTUS observing Zarkov’s capsule flying to Mongo (EMI Studios – Soundstage 2), and KLYTUS watching Dale’s escape from his secret H.Q. (pt.143. 144. pt.146).

Character’s featured are: KLYTUS voice over (as Zarkov’s Capsule lands), KLYTUS and 2 Observers. Then as Dale escapes: KLYTUS, Ming, Kala, 2 Male Observers and 8 Black Uniform Observers.

Special requirements for the above:

Art Department: Faintly glowing keyboard. Half-silvered eyeglass Lenses/Mask. Eyeglass devises.

Camera: Changing numbers and patterns flicker on surface of eyeglasses Fx. Also see space capsule flying. Dale and Zarkov observed on enormous rear projection screen.

Wednesday, 12th September. PETER is called on set at 8am.

Scenes shot on this day are all in KLYTUS’s Secret H.Q. (pt.143. 144. pt.146), where KLYTUS observes Dale’s escape, and pt.220, where General Kala receives the announcement that Flash Gordon is approaching Mingo City in the War Rocket ‘Ajax’.

The character’s required for these sequences are: GENERAL KLYTUS, Ming, Kala, 2 Male Observers, 8 Black Uniform Observers (Robots).

And for the segments where Flash Gordon approaches the City: Kala, 10 Observers.

Special requirements for these scenes were:

Special Fx: Eye glass devices. Faintly glowing keys.

Camera: Images in eye glasses Fx. Dale and Zarkov observed on enormous rear projection screen. Plate of battle control room.

On Thursday, 13th September, PETER arrives On set at 7.15am at EMI Studios – Soundstage 2. Again, scenes are shot inside KLYTUS’s H.Q. (255. 263.). These are where General Kala is advised that the War Rocket ‘Ajax’ is returning. She orders its destruction. Also where Prince Barin and Zarkov overthrow the H.Q. and kill Kala.

Characters On set are: Kala, 10 Observers, Zarkov, Barin, and stunt doubles for Kala and Zarkov.

Friday, 14th September. Again, PETER is called at 7.15. Scenes 263 is completed and 269 filmed (Zarkov holds off KLYTUS’s Agents).

Special Requirements for the day were:

Art Department: Microphone. Practical lift doors. Weapons.

Camera: Back projection on large monitor screen. Broken pattern on big screen. Battle control room plate appears on screen.

Special Fx: barin blows out monitor screen with laser blaster. Barin snatches off Agents lens revealing wires, etc. Curious tube which fires a jet of flame Fx which nearly takes off Zarkov’s head. barin kills Kala Fx.

Production: Record Kala’s dialogue for Sc.256.

Special Fx: Barin blows out monitor.

Saturday, 15th September. PETER is called at 2.45 and put on standby.

770e9f026815681213d518929b2512fb--flash-gordon-film-childhood-memoriesSequences in the Underground Crypt (104. 105. 106. 107) where Aura brings Flash back to life are shot on EMI Studios – Soundstage 8.

The characters required for these scenes are: Flash, Aura, Mongon Doctor and 6 Dwarfish Creatures.

Special requirements include:

Art Department: Flash’s coffin and inscription. Chisels, panel opens revealling Aura and Doctor. Clothing bag for Aura. Injection gun. Hammers.

Special Fx: Aura can see Flash semi-naked in reflection of glass panel.

WEEK 6.

Monday, 17th September.

PETER is required on set at 7.15 to shoot scene 177a, but the session is cancelled. Instead, he’s required to shoot Scene 156 inside the Prison Cell where Princess Aura is being tortured.

Characters required on set are: General Klytus, Aura, Kala, 8 Prisoners and 2 of KLYTUS’s Secret Police. This is filmed at EMI Studios, Soundstage 8.

Requirements for the Prison cell scenes are:

Art Department: Entire wall of chamber dissolves and becomes black glass with Ming behind it. Aura chained with her face against the wall. Metal crown-like device with electrodes on her head. Lizard hide whip. Electronic device lights up with red light. Communicator device. Large box of Bore Worms and pincers.

Production: Protection for actress’s back.

N.B. Clearly from the List of Requirements, this scene was changed from the one described here to that in the final cut – i.e. Princess Aura lying face down on a table as General Klytus and Kala torture her.

On Tuesday, 18th September, PETER was called at 11am for a 1.15pm start on set.

The scenes filmed on this day involved the Dehumanisation of Zarkov first began in pre-production on the 6th August. These sequences were set both in in the underground tunnel from where Flash and Aura see GENERAL KLYTUS and Kala wiping Zarkov’s brain clean, and inside the Laboratory. All were filmed at EMI Studios (Soundstage 2).

Scene numbers: 108. 109. 110. 111. 120.

Work continued on these sections the following day (Wednesday, 19th September), for which PETER was on set from 6am.

The characters needed for these scenes were: KLYTUS, Aura, Flash, Ming, Kala, plus 10 Secret Police Officers.

Special Requirements for the day were:

Art Department: Moving conveyer belt. Windows overlooking laboritory in tunnel. Zarkov strapped on table under x-ray machine. Control console.

Camera: Purple ray zap down from machine to Zarkov’s head. Projection screen for dehumanisation. Another colour ray zaps down.

Production: Dehumanisation film material as scripted.

On Thursday, 20th September PETER was on set from 7.15am until 8.10pm.

The sequence filmed on this day (87 – night), are of Dale’s final moments with Flash inside the Prison Cell, which were filmed at EMI Studios – Soundstage 8.

The characters required for this scene were: KLYTUS, Dale, Flash, 2 hooded Guards, 8 Prisoners from Sc. 46.

Special Requirements for the day were:

Art Department: Flash’s final meal. Big hour glass on a shelf. Sand goes upwards effects.

Camera: Reverse camera for hour glass.

Special Fx: Flash chained to wall. Head covered with metal hood. KLYTUS flashes a ray from his signet ring – the metal hood flies off. Hanging wires for hanging prisoners.

PETER’s diary records that on Friday, 21st September, he was on set at 7.15am and finished “late”.

Work on three separate scenes were completed on this days. These included those inside the Prison Cell (87); inside the Underground Chamber (228 – ‘Aura rescues Zarkov and Barin’); and inside the Underground Area (Mingo – Tunnel with Pipe Entrance – 251; ‘Aura, Barin and Zarkov escape. Door will not open’).

The characters required for this day’s filming were: GENERAL KLYTUS, Dale, Flash, Zarkov, Barin, Aura, 2 hooded Guards, 10 Prisoners.

Special Requirements for Underground Chamber, Prison Cell and Tunnel were:

Art Department: Guard’s gun. Zarkov and Barin chained to wall. TV scanner. Arms for group.

Camera: Flash from Aura’s ring to door plate.

Special Fx: Aura zaps out TV scanner and chains off Barin and Zarkov.

Production: Aura’s ring.

Again, these scenes were filmed at EMI Studios, Soundstage 8.

Saturday, 22nd September. PETER was not needed on set, and so was given the day off. Nevertheless, it proves to be a very busy day’s filming at EMI Studios (Soundstage 2), with several scenes being shot (219. pt.220. Plate for Sc.255. Plate for Sc.263. 273). These involved the following:

Colonel sees Flash approaching Mingo City. Colonel reports that the War Rocket ‘Ajax’ is returning. Colonel guarantees Flash’s rocket will be destroyed. Barin blows place apart.

The cast for these sequences are: Colonel and 6 controllers. Prince Barin, plus 6 stunt Battle Controllers and stunt double for Colonel.

Requirements for these scenes were:

Art Department: Playcreature magazine.

Camera: Do we see Flash on screen?

Special Fx: Barin blows place apart with a heavy weapon.

WEEK 7.

Monday, 24th September was a big day at Shepperton (Soundstage C), where scenes 85 and 86 – ‘The Execution of Flash Gordon in the Courtyard of Mingo City’, were filmed. For this, PETER was put on ‘Stand By’ in the hope that these sequences would be completed in time to record additional scenes at the Execution.

Here, preparations were made for Flash to be put to death.

The characters needed for this sequence were many: Barin, Aura, 6 Drummers, 4 Black-Clad men, 5 Arborian Soldiers, 2 of Ming’s Officers (in red), 2 of Ming’s Officers (in blue), 20 of Ming’s Armoured Guards, 6 of Ming’s Hooded Guards, 2 of Ming’s Airforce Officers, 2 of Ming’s Airforce Men, 2 of KLYTUS’s Air Force Men, 30 Mongo Men, 15 Mongo Women, 5 Mongo Children, 5 Lion Men, 3 Lizard Men, 1 Tiger Man, 6 None-Flying Hawkmen, 3 Mutants, 1 Azurian Queen Magician, 5 Azurian Magicians, 3 Frigian Men, 3 Frigian Women, 3 Ardentia Menn, 3 Ardentia Women, 6 Dwarfs, 3 Fezalians, 3 Sand Moon Men, 3 Sand Moon Women, 6 Cytherians. Total approx = 158.

PETER was called on set later in the day to work on the following scenes: 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103 – ‘The Execution of Flash’. Again, the filming took place at Shepperton – Soundstage C.

The characters required for these sequences were: General Klytus, Aura, Ming, Flash, Mongo Doctor, Dale, Zarkov and the crowd as above.

The scenes listed above were completed on the following day (Tuesday, 25th September). The cast were the same as on the previous day.

Special Requirements for Flash’s Execution were:

Art Department: Sc. 85 & 86. Floodlit platform with transparent dome. Stark heavy chair with straps. Medals for Barin. 6 Mongo drums. Stethoscope. Window with thick plate glass. Knockout gun. Black hood for Flash. Black handkerchief for KLYTUS. Manacles for Flash.

Camera: Every light goes out except for the theatrical spotlights on the terrace. Follow spot effects.

Special Fx: Purple vapour in dome kills Flash effect.

Production: Music playback track.

Wednesday, 26th September. PETER is called at 9.30am to run through various scenes. meanwhile, the sequences in Aura’s Rocket (‘Flash Escapes With Aura to Arboria’ – pt.117. pt.123. pt. 124. pt.125. pt. 126. pt. 127. pt. 128. pt. 129. 137. 139) were filmed at Weybridge.

Special Requirements for these sequences:

Special Fx: Rocket on rocker. Rocket goes into nosedive Fx. Rocket ship halts abruptly. Green fog effect.

The above detailed scenes are completed on the morning of Thursday, 27th September at Weybridge. Meanwhile, PETER was called at 8.45am to film two sequences (177 and 179a) which were set on KLYTUS’s War Rocket. Here, the Pilot of the Rocket observes Hawkmen with Flash and Barin.

The characters required at this time are: GENERAL KLYTUS, KLYTUS’s Pilot and Co-Pilot.

Special Requirements for the scenes on GENERAL KLYTUS’s War Rocket were:

Art Department: KLYTUS in transparent cylinder.

Special Fx: Rocket on rocker.

Camera: Practical display screen which reveals Flash and Barin flying with Hawkmen. Red light in cylinder wakes KLYTUS up.

On Friday, 28th September, one of the most well-known sequences in the film is shot at Shepperton – Soundstages A & B. This is where Flash, Zarkov and Dale enter Ming’s palace and the hovering Globe discovers the gun hidden in Zarkov’s pocket; the introduction of the trio to Emperor Ming, and the ‘Football Fight’ between Flash and KLYTUS’s men.

The scene where the Globe vapourises the gun (49. Plus 2nd Unit pickups on globe/gun) requires the following on set: Flash, Zarkov, Dale, 6 Hooded Guards, 15 Mongo Men, 5 Mongo Women, 3 Mutants (Blue Screen Type).

PETER was required on set from 7.45am until 5.30pm for the ‘Football Fight’ scenes (50. 51. 52. 54. 55.56. 57. 58. 58a. 58b. 59. 60. 60a. 60b. 60c. 61. 62. 62a. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. Plus 2nd Unit pickups).

The characters needed for this sequence were many: Barin, Aura, 6 Drummers, 4 Black-Clad men, 5 Arborian Soldiers, 2 of Ming’s Officers (in red), 2 of Ming’s Officers (in blue), 20 of Ming’s Armoured Guards, 6 of Ming’s Hooded Guards, 2 of Ming’s Airforce Officers, 2 of Ming’s Airforce Men, 2 of KLYTUS’s Air Force Men, 30 Mongo Men, 15 Mongo Women, 5 Mongo Children, 5 Lion Men, 3 Lizard Men, 1 Tiger Man, 6 None-Flying Hawkmen, 3 Mutants, 1 Azurian Queen Magician, 5 Azurian Magicians, 3 Frigian Men, 3 Frigian Women, 3 Ardentia Menn, 3 Ardentia Women, 6 Dwarfs, 3 Fezalians, 3 Sand Moon Men, 3 Sand Moon Women, 6 Cytherians. Exotics – numbers to be confirmed.

Special Requirements for the scenes inside Ming’s Palace, outside Main Palace and Main Hall were:

Art Department: (Sc.49) Arms for troops. Zarkov’s gun.

Special Fx: (Sc.49). Buzzing metallic Globe. Special effects gag for gun ripping through Zarkov’s pocket and disappearing into Globe.

Inside Ming’s Main Hall:

Art Department: Vultan’s chest with ice jewel of Frigia. Fico’s hunting horn. Aura’s beast. Vultan’s sword. Barin’s sword. Ming’s big green ring. Gifts – general dressing, Weapons for Guards.

Special Fx: Buzzing Globe over threesome. Wind effcts. Rima spreads her wings to take off. Anotehr Globe sails away. A Globe zips out of nowhere and zaps Thun. Ming chops off Thun’s head. Globe flies and hovers over Flash’s head. Repeat heads for Thun. Dazzling ice jewel effects. Buzzing key effects from Globe to Thun who is then surrounded by shimmering greenish glow.

Camera: Ming;s ring emits a strange glow which turns Ming’s face into a greenish waxy texture with black lips. A sourceless golden light bathes Dale and goes out. Special camera wide angle P.O.V. from buzzing Globe Fx.

Production: Fight arranger + pre-rehearsals. At least two weeks before. Additional camera. Choreograph extras 5 days before shooting.

Saturday, 29th September. PETER is on set at 11am, and after completing the scene in Ming’s Palace on the previous day (50 to 73), he leaves Shepperton at 1.15pm.

WEEK 8.

The whole of week 8 (Monday 1st to Saturday 6th October) was taken completing the scenes entitled ‘Introduction to Ming’, and ‘Flash fights for Dale and loses’, started the previous week.

During those six days, PETER was on set at Shepperton every morning before 8am.

WEEK 9.

Monday, 8th October.

A total of three scenes were shot at Weybridge, which were situated inside the Control Room of Ming’s Rocket Ship (pt.198 – Ming orders shuttle to be sent for Zarkov), Inside and outside Ming’s Rocket Ship with Blue Backing (pt.210 – Dale watches sky palace explode), and inside the Engine Chamber of Ming’s Battle Rocket (249 – Flash enters Rocket) – again with Blue Backing.

Characters required for the days filming were: Ming, Ming’s Officer, 2 of Ming’s Air Force and 6 of Ming’s Guards. Dale, Zarkov, Flash, Lieutenant, and 6 Hawkmen (Stuntmen).

Special Requirements for these scenes were:

Special Fx: Rocket on rocker. Laser bolts zap Lieutenant (Sc.249)

Camera: Screen shows Zarkov surrendering.

Art Department: Gas masks.

Tuesday, 9th and Wednesday 10th October.

Both days were spent at Shepperton (Soundstage C) to film Scene 275, which involved the War Rocket ‘Ajax’ against a Blue Backing crashing during the wedding, and completing Scene 275, which was a P.O.V. of the same.

Thursday, 11th October involved the shooting of the sequence in which Zogi[2] warns Ming of the “fair-haired prisoner” (83), and the passage where Dale, having escaped from Ming’s bedchamber, meets Zarkov in the corridor (pt.143. 144a. 145. pt.146). All were shot on Soundstages A & B at Shepperton.

Special Requirements for these scenes were:

Art Department: Alter. Massive black-bound book. Wall of black glass behind alter.

Special Fx: Powerful wind. Massive book opens itself. Letters of fire appear in the black glass. Letters eventually vanish and the wind ceases.

Friday, 12th October.

Three sequences were shot at Shepperton (Soundstages A & B), involving Dale and 2 Hooded Guards, and Prince Barin and 4 Stunt Soldiers.

The first is where Dale hears the announcement of Dr Zarkov and Barin’s execution (226). The second two was where Barin fights Ming’s soldiers in the Palace Corridor (268. 270).

Special Requirements for the passages were as follows:

Art Department: Palace P.A. system.

Production: Wedding dress for Dale.

Art Department: (For 268 and 270): 1 Soldier has large weapon which Barin takes.

Special Fx: Gun battle effects.

Saturday, 13th October.

Over at Weybridge, more scenes involving the battle over the War Rocket ‘Ajax’, between the crew and Hawkmen, were shot. These included the moment when the Captain is about to kill Flash (232), and when the Crew prepare for the Hawkmen attack, and where Flash enters and takes over the Bridge (239. 242. 246. 250).

The characters required for these scenes were: Flash, Captain of Ming’s Airforce, Lieutenant, 2 Pilots, 8 Gunners, and 6 Stunt Hawkmen.

Special Requirements for the War Rocket ‘Ajax’ sequences were:

Art Department: Weapons for Hawkmen.

Special Fx: Set on rocker. Vapour billows around Captain and his men.

Camera: Plate for projection on scanner.

WEEK 10.

From Monday, 15th to Thursday 18th October, work continues on the battle over the War Rocket ‘Ajax’.

On Monday, eleven scenes (239. 242. 246. 250. 253. 259. 261. 262. 264. pt.266. pt.272 and pt.274) are either shot or completed. These include:

(Continue) – ‘Crew prepare for Hawkmen attack’. And ‘Flash enters and takes over the Bridge’.

‘Flash Controls Rocket Ship’.

‘Flash tells Vultan to leave the ship’.

‘Rocket dives towards Mongo’.

‘Final moments before Rocket crashes into palace’.

All scenes are shot at Weybridge.

The characters required for the shoot are: Flash, Captain, Lieutenant, 2 Pilots, 8 Gunners, 6 Stunt Hawkmen. Vultan, Luro, Biro, 2 Pilots (dead), 2 Gunners (dead).

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are used to continue the scenes described above.22282111_1563885900340778_6323578833468072137_n

Special requirements needed to complete these scenes were:

Art Department: Weapons for Hawkmen.

Special Fx: Vapour billows around Captain and his men. Panels. Practical digital display, etc. Explosions outside rocket. Digital display countdown. Windshield blown out. Wind and explosion Fx. Rocket moves violently about. Smoke, wind Fx.

Camera: Plate for projection on scanner. Control Room lights go out. Now lit by flashing electrical discharges from outside. Rocket veers Fx.

On Friday, 19th October, it was back to Shepperton (Soundstages A & B) for the Wedding sequence in the Great Hall of Mongo City – most exactly, as Dale approaches the alter (254).

Other scenes shot on set involved Ming walking to the alter, with explosions outside (256); Dale getting closer to the alter (260), and the final moments of the wedding procedure (265. pt.266. 267. 271 – before Rocket crash).

The characters involved were: Dale, Ming, Aura, Rima, Zogi, 200 crowd (Note: Maximum costumes from Scs.50, 85 and 86, plus additional to be decided).

Special requirements for these scenes were:

Art Department: Musical instruments.

Production: Crowd dressing rooms.

WEEK 11.

Between Monday 22nd and Friday, 26th October, all work concentrated on the scenes on Arboria (Shepperton – Soundstage H).

First on the schedule was the sequence where Prince Barin save Flash from the ‘Swamp Thing’, but is captured by the Hawkmen (169. 170. 171. 172a. 173. 174. 175).

Flash fights for his life in Scenes 170a and 172, and Fico enters the cage with the spare key (158).

The characters required on set were: (169. 170. 171. 172a. 173. 174. 175) Flash, Barin, Luro, Flying Doubles for Flash and Barin, 4 Flying Hawkmen and 1 Double for Luro.

Flash, Lionman, Hawkman, Fico and Treeman (158).

Special requirements for the scenes on Arboria:

Art Department: Hawkmen have dazzling atomic lanterns in their helmets. Bones of animals inside “The Swamp Thing”. Cage half under water which bubbles like a geyser. Lock and keys for cage hatch.

Special Fx: Flash sinks in quicksand, hanging vine for Flash. “The Thing” as scripted – work out how Flash is consumed and breaks out of a skin. Barin’s practical crossbow. Bolt fired into “The Thing”. Luro has a practical laser gun which fires. They swoop down and carry off Flash and Barin – rig. Flash inside “The Thing”. Bolt hits it from outside and it explodes. Dry ice.

Camera: Green moonlight Fx. “The Thing” explodes in a silent flash of atomic light. Patches of phosphorescent lights. Green filtered light Fx.

Saturday, 27th October.

The shoot for the day take place in the Great Hall in the Palace as the War Rocket crashes and brings the wedding to a halt (pt.275. 276. 278. 279. 280. 281. 282. 283. 284).

All are filmed at Shepperton (Soundstages A & B), with the following characters: Flash, Ming, Dale, Aura, Zoki, Vultan, Luro, Biro, Rina, 30 None-Flying Hawkmen, plus a crowd as in Sc.254.

Special requirements for the Great Hall scenes :

Art Department: How long to rig wrecked set and rocket?

Special Fx: Smoke. Explosions, etc. Rig for Flying Hawkmen. Incredible gale effects.

Camera: All lights go out except for a glow around Ming. Bolt of lightning Fx.

WEEK 12.

The week began (Monday, 29th October) where it had left off on the previous Saturday with work commencing and completing on the scenes in the Great Hall of Mingo City after Flash had crashed the Rocket into it.

First on the schedule were sequences pt.275. 276. 278. 279. 280. 281. 282. 283 and 284. The character’s needed for these scenes were as above.

Next up were shots inside the wrecked Rocket of Flash breaking out (277).

The final sections (291. 292. 293. 294. 295) were what was described in the Main Unit Shooting Schedule as the ‘Finale’. The characters involved were: Flash, Dale, Vultan, Luro, Biro, Zogi, Aura, Barin, Zarkov, Rima, plus 8 Flying Hawkmen and crowd as per Sc.275.

Special requirements for these scenes were:

Art Department: How long to rig wrecked set and rocket? How long to damage set (Int. Wrecked Rocket)? Weapons.

Special Fx: Smoke. Explosions, etc. Rig for Flying Hawkmen. Incredible gale effects. Wind cease Fx.

Camera: All lights go out except for a glow around Ming. Bolt of lightning Fx. Lights return.

All the above were shot at Shepperton (Soundstages A & B).

Over at Weybridge on Friday, 2nd November, work returned to the sequences on the surface of the War Rocket, ‘Ajax’ (240. 241. 243. 244. 245. 247. 248), for which the following characters were needed: Flash, Vultan, Biro, Luro, 8 Flying Hawkmen, 22 Stunt Hawkmen, 20 Rocket Soldiers.

All the above were required at Weybridge on Saturday, 3rd November.

Special requirements for theses sequences included :

Art Department: Jagged hole in stern where bomb went off. Weapons for Hawkmen and Rocket Soldiers. Hatches open on Rocket Ship. Small exhaust port on deck. Gas masks.

Special Fx: Hawkmen impaled on knives. Set on rocker. Sharpe knives pop up. Slippery lubricant shoots out and covers Rocket deck. Flash lands rocket cycle on War Rocket. Limpet mine explosions, lasers and grenades. Plastic explosive and explosions Fx. Rubber knives, mattresses, boxes, safety net.

WEEK 13.

First three days of week Thirteen are used to complete the Battle Scenes on the surface of the War Rocket ‘Ajax’ (240. 241. 243. 244. 245. 247. 248.). The characters required on set were as above.

On Thursday, 8th November, work began at EMI Studios (Soundstage 8) on the sequences in Dyzan’s Grotto (285. 286. 287. 288. 289. 290). The characters needed for these scenes were Flash, Dale and Ming.

Special requirements for these scenes were as follows:

Art Department: 6ft. long silver masonary which Flash hurls at the toad.

Special Fx: Pool of green slime. Practical guns. Spider with face of Ming. Dale covered in maggots. Hairy beast pulls Flash into pool. Huge toad with face of Ming. Slime rises in pool. harpoon kills toad Fx, which sinks and disappears, as does the slime. Dummy rock for Flash to throw at Ming.

Camera: Ming lit satanically.

N.B. The above scenes were not used in the finished film.

WEEK 14.

On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th November, work continued at EMI Studios (Soundstage 8) on the death of Ming in Dyzan’s Grotto (285 to 290), involving Flash, Dale and Ming.

Wednesday, 14th November. EMI Studios – Soundstage 4. Work was carried out on scenes in Vultan’s Sky Palace using Blue Backing.

The characters required for these sequences were: Vultan, Luro, Dale, Zarkov, Biro, 30 Non-Flying Hawkmen, 15 Non-Flying Hawkwomen, 10 Non-Flying Hawkchildren, 8 Flying Hawkmen.

Special requirements for these scenes :

Art Department: Weapons for Hawkmen. Food for Vultan.

Production: School facilities for children.

Containing the work at EMI (Soundstage 4) on Thursday, 15th November, scenes on the Terrace of the Sky Palace (180. 180a. 181. 183. 183a. 183b. 183c. 183d), which involved Prince Barin challenging Flash to ‘Trial by Combat’, Dale seeing Flash, and everyone moving to the ‘Combat Area’.

The characters used in these scenes were as follows: Vultan, Luro, Flash, Barin, Biro and a crowd for Scene 162.

Special requirements for these scenes :

Art Department: Mallet and gong. Two long coiled whips.

Work continued on the scenes inside the Sky Palace on Friday, 16th November, which included the sequences where Dale sees Flash, and the crowd moving to the Combat Area (180a, 181. 183. 183a. 183b. 183c. 183d), plus the arrival of GENERAL KLYTUS (189. 190. 191. pt.192).

The characters needed for these scenes were: KLYTUS, Vultan, Luro, Barin, Biro, Flash, Zarkov, Dale, plus stunt doubles for KLYTUS and Flash, and the Hawkpeople used in Sc.162.

Special requirements for these scenes :

Art Department: KLYTUS’s shuttlecraft lands Fx. Dummy for KLYTUS. Boxes, mattresses, safety net.

Remaining at EMI Studios (Soundstage 4) on Saturday, 17th November to complete the scene when KLYTUS arrives at the Sky Palace and to shoot the sequence where Flash throws him onto the spikes (189. 190. 191. pt.192). Also filmed were the section where Flash prepares parachutes and the arrival of Ming’s Rocket (196. pt.197. pt.198).

Special requirements for these passages were :

Art Department: Curtains blow in the wind. Couches, big banners on the walls. White cloth.

WEEK 15.

Monday, 19th November.

Back at EMI Studios (Soundstage 4), work continues on the scenes on the Terrace of Vultan’s Sky Palace where Ming offers Flash a kingdom to rule (201), and in the shaft down which Flash falls to find the Rocket Cycle and escapes (205. 207. 208).

The only characters required on set were Flash, Ming and 2 Hooded Guards.

Tuesday, 20th November brought more work on Scenes 203. 205. 207. 208. which involve Flash making parachutes and, latterly, falling down the shaft.

The shooting of the above sequences continue into Wednesday, 21st November (203. 207. 208), which involve just Flash.

Special requirements for the three days (Monday 19th – Wednesday 21st November) scenes :

Art Department: Several curious Rocket Cycles.

Special Fx. Set on rocker. Piece of outer wall falls away revealing sky. Explosion Fx. Rocket cycle starts up – rockets fire.

Production. How do we shoot Rocket Cycle?

Thursday, 22nd and Friday 23rd November were spent at Weybridge shooting the “Trail by Combat” between Flash and Prince Barin – including the part where Flash wins and saves Barin (Scenes 184. 186 – using Blue Backing).

WEEK 16

Monday, 26th November was, again, spent completing Scenes 184 and 186; ‘Trial by Combat’ at Weybridge.

Special requirements for these scenes :

Art Department: Hawkmen spray grease onto disc flooring. Vultan’s throne with button panel.

Special Fx. Rocker for contest disc. Whips. Knives shoot up out of the disc. Flash holds onto the knives. Rubber knives for Vultan double.

Camera: Area around and beneath disc is a bottomless sky.

Stunt Arranger: Whip expert.

Tuesday 27th and Wednesday, 28th November. Still resident at Weybridge, Scenes pt.192. 193 were shot – KLYTUS dead – reveals second face’.

The characters required for these segments were: KLYTUS, Barin, Hawkpeople, 8 Flying Hawkpeople.

Special requirements for these segments were as follows:

Art Department: Weapons for Hawkpeople.

Special Fx. KLYTUS reveals a ghastly second face. Many Hawkpeople fly off. Dummy for KLYTUS.

END OF PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY

[1]. PETER’s birthday.

[2]. The character, Zogi, is mentioned several times, but appears to have been replaced by a free-floating globe in the final cut.


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