REVIEW: A Tale of Two Cities


  • 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


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.



‘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:



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.


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.


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.”


 ⇑ 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.


“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:

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:


(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.


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 (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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


[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.

© Copyright The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society:

PETER: A Personal Tribute

A gift of love, gratitude and respect to my Precious Prince

by Tina Wyngarde-Hopkins

What do you say about a man like PETER WYNGARDE?

At the time of his passing, I’d known PETER for almost 30 years, and as the closest person to him I was, rightfully, expected to give a eulogy at his funeral on Thursday, 25th February, 2018. Whilst there are at least a million words that could be used to describe PETER, I was forced to defer – simply because I was far too distraught to speak. In my stead, I requested that ‘Love Song for a Vampire’ by Annie Lennox be played during the service, because it said everything that I was unable to. For those not familiar with the song, these are the lyrics:

Come into these arms again

And lay your body down

The rhythm of this trembling heart

Is beating like a drum

It beats for you – It bleeds for you

It knows not how it sounds

For it is the drum of drums It is the song of songs…

Once I had the rarest rose That ever deigned to bloom.

Cruel winter chilled the bud And stole my flower too soon.

Oh loneliness – oh hopelessness

To search the ends of time

For there is in all the world

No greater love than mine.

Love, oh love, oh love…

Still falls the rain… (still falls the rain)

Love, oh love, oh, love… (Still falls the night)…

Love, oh love, oh love… Be mine forever…. (be mine forever)

Love, oh love, oh love….

Let me be the only one

To keep you from the cold

Now the floor of heaven’s lain

With stars of brightest gold

They shine for you – they shine for you

They burn for all to see

Come into these arms again

And set this spirit free

Listening to these words at the service – tears streaming down my face – felt as if Ms Lennox had tapped into to my heart and mind, and had managed to set all my thoughts and feelings to music. I certainly couldn’t have said it any better.

I first became acquainted with PETER when I set up his Appreciation Society in 1990, but it was clear from the very beginning that there was more to our new-found acquaintance than just Star and Fan Club Secretary.

Before long, I was doing much more for him than merely answering fan mail. Whenever I visited London, he’d either take me out for a meal at a nice restaurant or we’d go to the theatre. We’d spend hours just talking at his flat, and whilst he would mentor me with my writing, I’d give him lessons on his computer which, sadly, he never completely got the hang of (just blame the teacher!). I can’t tell you the number of times he’d start work on a script or story, only to lose it as a result of his not saving it correctly. I’d then get a frantic call, pleading with me to help retrieve his precious work. However, trying to give someone as computer-illiterate as PETER instructions over the phone was synonymous with directing a hamster to land Concorde using smoke signals!

“Have you tried rebooting it?” I’d enquire, hopefully.

“Reboot it!” he’d reply. “I’ll boot the bloody thing out of the window in a minute!”

“I’ll take that as a ‘No’ then!”

Another thing he never fully got to grips with was my Northern (English) accent. I remember standing in his “Drawing Room”, regaling him with a long-winded tale about Rugby League while he sat and listened intently on the sofa…

“…Lomax defused u’bomb reet under us own sticks; took off darn touchline, rounded their Full-Back an’ went in under’t posts!”

When I at last finished my anecdote I stood, awaiting his reaction. After a second or two, he declared: “It’s a completely different language!”

Trying to speak to him over the ‘phone was even more tricky, as I’d either end up repeating myself about 900 times, or I’d be forced to spell everything out for him. There was one instance when I was working away several years ago, and I’d sent him a chocolate egg and card for Easter. When he called, I asked whether he’d received my parcel or not:

“What is it that you’ve sent to me?” he enquired.

Me (in broad Lancastrian): “An Easturegg”    

He: “A what?”

Me (louder): “AN EAST-U-REGG”

He: “Spell it!”

Me: “A.N. E.A.S.T.E.R. E.G.G.!”

He: (Exclaiming) “Oh! An EASTER EGG!”

Me: “That’s what I said!”

The language barrier was IMMENSE!

Although communication wasn’t always as it might be, he did manage to pick up several pieces of ‘colloquial Lancastrian’, which resulted in his eating a “Butty” as opposed to a Sandwich, or referring to the great British delicacy of chips, fish and peas as a “Split’n’fish”.

In return, he taught me how to set out a script, make bullets(!) and create something more sophisticated for lunch that a boiled egg and toast. PETER was an absolutely fabulous cook, who was successful in demonstrating that there were other things to eat than oven chips and baked beans. That said, to make me feel “more at home”, he’d often cook what he described as “healthy burgers”, which I must confess, were delicious. His breakfasts were legendary!


⇑ PETER kept this on his mantel piece, as he believed we’d been together in a previous life, and that we’d be “as one” again in the future.

Of course, not everything was rosy in the garden for us – at least not all of the time. We would sometimes have the most explosive arguments, which would usually end with me saying I’d had enough and storming off in a huff. One such “misunderstanding” (his term for a good ol’ fashioned barny) took place on the eve of our going to Portmeirion in September, 2017. I can’t remember what it was that instigated it, but I do recall that Thomas (Bowington) – PETER’s agent – ended up acting as a go-between. So there was I bawling: “…well, tell HIM I’m not going then!” And PETER saying in return: “If SHE doesn’t go, then I’M not going either!” It ended with Thomas commenting to PETER that we sounded not unlike an old married couple: “But, that’s what we are!” came the reply.

We ended up with a code which we’d use when one of our quarrels started to get out of hand: one or other of us was meant to say, simply, ‘Solomon Issacs’, and the instigator of said squabble was meant to immediately fall silent. In reality, neither of us took a blind scrap of notice of poor ‘Solomon’, resulting in the dispute escalated from thereon in.

The thing about PETER, tho’, was – regardless of the severity of our disagreements, he never ONCE held a grudge. Where I’d simmer for days afterwards, with him, it was forgotten in an instant. One time whilst we were staying in a hotel somewhere in Wales, there’d been a bit of a set-to. I’d gone out for a walk to calm down and when I got back, he was asleep. Whilst I was still muttering under my breath the following morning and readying myself for Round 2, he completely disarmed me when he woke by declaring: “Darling, you didn’t kiss me goodnight last night!”

During the time he was in hospital, we did discuss getting married but, sadly, his condition worsened before we were able to do anything about it. It was a matter that we’d touched upon before. I recall a conversation the two of us had one evening when he said, quite out of the blue: “You know, if I was ever to marry again, it would be to you”. Just by mentioning this I know I’m risking a backlash from those people who BELIEVE they know PETER and I better than we know ourselves. In March 2015, a fan took it upon himself to write to PETER because he didn’t believe that we were as close as had been indicated. Quite what our relationship had to do with this person is anyone’s guess, but in spite of me warning that it wouldn’t end well for him if he went ahead with his plan to contact PETER, he mailed his vitriolic note anyway. On receipt of it, PETER went absolutely ballistic at such an intrusion, and responded with what he described as a “stinking letter” – warning this individual to stay away and to leave me alone. That was another thing about PETER. Whilst he didn’t shrink away from letting those closest to him know when he wasn’t best pleased with us, he would defend us to the hilt if anyone outside ‘The Family’ attempted to injure us in any way. Loyalty was very important to him, but it worked both ways.

Work to PETER was THE most important thing in his life, and he gave 100% to everything he did, whether he was appearing in a huge blockbuster movie like ‘Flash Gordon’, or being interviewed by a student journalist. Whatever he was invited to do, he’d literally work for weeks on everything he intended say. Each and every word was studied; read and reread. He was the consummate professional.

When cast in any production, including those on radio, he’d sit for hours sketching how his character would look and what he might wear – right down to the very last stitch. And woes betide anyone who interrupted this work! Of course it was OK for him to barge in with a phone call or text when one of us was toiling away, but God help you if did it to him!

That said, you always knew where you stood with PETER: if he didn’t like you there was no dressing it up, you’d know about it. But by the same token, if he did like you, you knew you had a friend for life. He was loving and warm, and would always be ready with an affectionate or kind word of support should you need it.

One thing he used to do that often drove me mad was to call at 1.30 0r 2 O’clock in the morning when I was away just to tell me that the film he happened to be watching that night wasn’t up to standard, or to complain about the tennis. Alternatively, he’d text at some unearthly hour, wake me up, and then text again five minutes later (just as I was nodding off again) to apologise for waking me up!


⇑ PETER’s nickname for me was ‘Little Bear’

Although he could never memorise how to turn his computer on, he did manage remembered every hospital, dentist or doctor’s appointment I had, and would always wish me luck on the night before. Whenever I was out of town somewhere, I was required to call him to let him know I’d arrived safely, and if I didn’t ring for some reason, he’d go into a blind panic – calling all our mutual friends to see if they’d heard from me.

Whilst he was always in full control when on stage or screen, he wasn’t quite so well-ordered in his day-to-day life. In fact, I’d often say to him that he was like a baby bird, given the amount of tending he needed. One day I answered my phone to hear a truly pitiful voice at the other end, saying: “Darling, I’ve lost my keys!” From 200 miles away, I had to call for a locksmith, contact Transport for London Lost Property Office to see if the driver of the taxi he’d taken had found them, and arrange somewhere for him to stay until new locks were fitted.

As a teetotaller, PETER absolutely loved tea, but was also partial to a can of ice-cold Diet Coke. And although he’d eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world at one time or another, he was never happier than when he had a big tub of chocolate ice-cream or a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. As a result, the one thing I’ll never forget is that all his kisses tasted of chocolate!

Of course he was a pain at times – what with the Blackberry phone that he could never get to work, his dodgy microwave and his bloody computer, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. He was like a little boy at those times and I think he enjoyed being mothered from time to time. He kept a boyish charm right until the end – with a roguish smile and a definite twinkle in his eye. He could wrap anyone around his little finger, which made it all but impossible to stay angry with him for long.

Other than acting, PETER also had an unrivalled talent for getting other people to do things for him – which even included those not directly connected to him. During a hospital appointment once, he succeeded in getting a group of teenagers in the waiting room to show him how to deleted old text messages from his phone, and even got a friend of mine who he’d never met before to do some repairs in his kitchen! He probably didn’t even think he was doing it, but everyone who met him was captivated by him.

For almost three decades, on Valentine’s Day, he’d always send me a hand-drawn card and I’d do the same for him. I’d start mine right after Christmas and would put hours of work into it. His mantelpiece and table tops were full of all the birthday, Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s cards I’d sent him over the years; he kept every one. I remember Thomas telling me on the day he was moved from one hospital ward to another just before Christmas (I’d gone back to PETER’s to get a couple of hours sleep), the first thing he took out of his bag was an Xmas card I’d made him, which he stood up on the table in front of him.

For Christmas 2016, he bought me two donkeys which live on a farm not far from me so I can visit. He told me that he’d paid for their upkeep for 12 months. I only learned after he passed that he’d actually paid for their indefinite keep. To be honest, I think he was as fond of them as I was, as he kept a photo’ of them both on a shelf in his ‘Drawing Room’.

Whilst he was a very generous man – especially to those closest to him, he was no fool with money. On a holiday he and I took in Turkey a few years ago, he spotted that I’d brought a mask, snorkel and flippers with me and decided that he’d like to buy a set of his own from a local quayside shop. I swear, he must’ve bartered with the poor girl behind the counter for over an hour-and-a-half. Whilst I would have just handed over the relevant cash, PETER insisted that the thing to do in Turkey was haggle! I have to say, however, that he did exceptionally well, as he not only came away with the aforementioned swimming accoutrements, but also a pair of flip-flops, a T-shirt and a beach towel!

His new found skills came in especially useful when he decided that we needed a car to get about while we were there. He bartered with the two blokes at the garage to such an extent that I do believe they ended up paying him to take one of their Jeeps! (Although I think they ended up with the last laugh, as we had to bump-start it every morning). As previously mentioned, he was an absolutely fantastic cook, so he was in his element with all the fresh fruit and vegetables they have out there. I think I only made dinner once in all the time we were there, and yet I managed to eat like royalty.


⇑ PETER on our holiday in Turkey

For my birthday, which dropped right in the middle of one holiday, he had a local goldsmith make me a necklace in the shape of a tiger. I still have it, of course, although I’m scared to wear it in case I lose it. He also added to his collection of wrist watches (one of which I had to wear on the way home to avoid customs), plus he bought a couple of replica pistols that needed some explaining when we were boarding the plane….

One thing that never came to fruition was our dream of purchasing a villa in the Peloponnese (Greece). It was his dream to have somewhere warm and sunny to live, which would’ve been good for his health and a nice, quiet location for him to concentrate on his writing. Only recently he talked about possibly getting a place in France. Not only did he speak the language, but it would be close enough to get back home should he be offered any work.

Another thing he’d do, which would have everyone laughing (apart from me!) was to say: “Darling…. (that was me), I think WE should do this or that…”. What he really meant was I should do ‘this or that’! So, of course, bang went any plans I had for the day. Nevertheless, I did get my own back on those who’d sniggered at my misfortune. No matter how meticulous PETER was when working, he could be more than a little vague when asking someone to run an errand for him. For instance, he once asked Thomas to acquire a Basildon Bond writing pad and envelopes for him. What he didn’t say was that the pages of the pad had to be blank – i.e. ABSOLUTELY NO LINES. To write on lined paper was a mortal sin in Mr W’s book since only children, apparently, required such an aid. So, of course, when poor Thomas arrived with the wrong paper, all hell let lose. And guess who was sniggering in the corner at Mr Bowington’s misfortune?!

The reason for the pad and envelopes was that he loved writing – whether it was a story, screenplay, or letter to his many ‘pen-pals’. He maintained a correspondence with several people over in the USA (“Because I can keep them at arm’s length”). He’d portray a different character with these individuals when exchanging letters; not to be cruel or sarcastic, but because he was different in almost every situation. Whilst one minute he could be the stylish dandy in a handmade suit and reeking of expensive aftershave, the next he’d be charging about in military camouflage and Doc Martens, shooting at targets across a farmer’s field. The fact was, he was every bit as comfortable sinking pints in the local pub with his shooting mates as he was rubbing shoulders with members of the Royal family.

In fact, PETER could be incredibly ‘blokish’ at times – especially when talking about cars and shooting. It didn’t make him any less of a gentleman, though. Whenever we walked out anywhere together, he’d always ensure that he was on the outside, between me and the traffic; would hold a door open until I’d passed through it, and pull out my chair at a dinner table. He was very old fashioned in those respects. Indeed, he was the first (and last!) man to ever buy me flowers.

The same went for numerous other things: You dare not mention that you watched ‘Coronation Street’ (“Have you no standards!”), or that you were the fan of a particular actor (who will remain nameless!) because, apparently “He’s just a bank clerk, darling!” There was nothing down for you if you so much as looked at the barrel of one of his shotguns (“Darling, what have I told you about touching the metal. Always pick the gun up by the Stock!”) And God help you, if you were to mention that you’d eaten at either MacDonald’s or Pizza Hut!!!

I was alone with PETER for the final 12 hours of his life, although he waited until Thomas arrived around 10 minutes before his passing to say goodbye. Although I didn’t leave the hospital at all from 7th January (I slept in his room, next to his bed), that final day I just sat and held his hand – telling him how much he meant to ALL of us.

PETER PAUL WYNGARDE  was the most infuriating, driven, impatient, compelling, talented, enigmatic, beautiful, loving and wonderful man I’ve ever had the fortuity to know. He has left a void that nothing and no one could ever fill, and for me his leaving has often been too much to bear. My heart aches from missing him, and all that keeps me going is the hope that I’ll see him again.

I adored him and, I believe, he felt the same way about me. He was the love of my life, my best friend and my Soulmate. I lived for him but would’ve died for him in a heartbeat.

I’ll be sad forever without him.

Special Notice

I’d just like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the (mainly) Junior Staff at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for caring for PETER, and for affording him the kindness and dignity he deserved during the last few weeks of his life.

Also, to Karen and members of the Palliative Care Team for guiding Thomas and I through what was the most dreadful and heart-breaking time of our lives. 

© Copyright The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society:


From being a very young boy, PETER had numerous hobbies and interests – the favourite of which was Plane Spotting.

According to his Mother, Margarite, he would often be found peering through a pair of his Father’s binoculars at planes as they flew over the family estate, and that he could identify every one of them merely by the sound of their engine. He would spend much of his spare time drawing and making models of aircrafts – his favourite being the BLOG4Sopworth Camel, a picture of which hung on his bedroom wall.

PETER (far right) clay pigeon shooting ⇒

At school, PETER enjoyed a range of sports, from Rugby Union (he played on the wing) and Cricket (he was an accomplished Fast Bowler). He also liked Boxing – both watching and participating, and would often pay a premium to SKY to watch late-night bouts on TV.

His greatest sporting love, however, was Tennis which he played almost on a daily basis until the last 10 or 15 years of his life (the square behind his home had its own private tennis courts for residents), and he was a regular visitor to Wimbledon for the famous tournament.

When he was no longer able to play himself, he watched every British and overseas competition, and was huge fan of Andy Murray.

When he gave up smoking in 1980, he took up Jogging, and could often be seen running in Holland Park or around the square near his home. He had a routine whereby he’d run once around the square at jogging pace and then he’d sprint the next. In between each jog/sprint set, he’d do at least 20 pull-ups using the children’s playground equipment in the garden square.

Although Jason King would often say that he’d never carry a gun – not least because it would ruin his pockets, PETER himself was a marksman, both with a pistol and shotgun.

MEDAL1He took up Pistol Shooting (at targets) in the 1960’s and was a member of the United Kingdom Pistol and Shooting Association (U.K.P.S.A.). He was latterly a Full Member of various other clubs, including The Kensington Pistol and Rifle Club, The Old Windsor Rifle and Pistol Club and the 26th Middlesex Enfield Shooting Sporting Club.

⇐Some of the medals and awards he won for his Pistol Shooting.

In 1994, when handguns were banned in the UK, rather than completely quit a sport that he loved, PETER took up Clay Pigeon Shooting, which he proved to be a natural at.

On several occasions, he competed in regional and national-level competitions, and took MEDAL2part in a number of charity events. PETER was amongst marksmen who participated in a charity clay-pigeon shoot at Dame Vera Lynn’s country estate at the end of May, 1999, and helped raise £8,000 for the S.O.S. Appeal.

A more sedate pastime that PETER enjoyed was Bridge, which he would play several times each week. Two of his better-known Bridge partners were Dame Diana Rigg and Liz Fraser.

His passion for the game lead to him being invited to take part in the first charity Pro/Celebrity Bridge Tournament, which was held at the White House Hotel, London, on 13th February, 2000. Eight tables were in play, with a lot of enthusiasm and good will from all sides. The event was in aid of the Millennium Charity, Save the Children, and was won by Su Burn and tenor, Ian Partridge.

For those who don’t know, PETER was very read, and had a huge collection of theatrical and cinematic biographies. However, his favourite genre was murder mysteries – especially those based on real events.

His favourite book of all time was ‘Midnight in Peking’ by Paul French. He met Mr French a couple of years ago, and the two men spent some time discussing their writing. PETER also wrote several scripts based on real-life incidents which were never published.  

Another of PETER’s passions was fencing, which he’d taken up in the 1950’s after being given lessons for a play he was to appear in. He attained such a level at the sport that he was invited to compete at the world-famous Green Club. He used his skills in numerous television and stage productions, including The Saint (‘The Man Who Likes Lions’) and Jason King (‘All That Glisters’).

One of the reasons that PETER bought a farmhouse and adjoining land in Gloucestershire back in the 1970’s was so that he could indulge in one of his favourite pastimes, which was riding.

He bought a horse which he housed in stables at the farm, and he’d ride on his own land, which amounted to over 60 acres. Unfortunately, on one of the occasions he’d taken the horse out, it began shaking its head uncontrollably and ran, at full gallop, into the side of the house. PETER immediately called a vet who found that the unfortunate animal had a brain tumour, and it had to be put to sleep. Although he did ride again, PETER never sought to replace the horse.

Latterly, PETER enjoyed nothing more than completing word games – crosswords and CARword searches, which I’d often join in with. He was also a compulsive TV viewer, who enjoyed American comedy – most notably ‘Seinfeld’ and the crime series, ‘True Crime’.

⇐ One of PETER’s beloved Porsche’s

I suppose that his real life-long passion was for classic sports cars. He’d owned numerous over his lifetime, including a Jowett, a Studebaker, a TR7, a Bristol, Triumph Sprite, plus several Porsche’s.

His last car was a red Porsche 911 Carrera.

© Copyright The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society:



By Luther Bhogal-Jones

Peter W

I was very saddened to hear about the death of PETER WYNGARDE. He’s been a presence in my life for years. Oddly, I could be wrong but I’m not sure if it means I was involved in filming his final performance.

I have very fond memories of Basil, my boss and friend at Selectadisc (the much missed legendary record shop in Nottingham) being a fan of Jason King and watching episodes at his house. His favourite moment, which I came to adore too, was King walking into a café empty for a solitary woman, approaching her and asking “Do you mind if I sit here as all the other seats appear to be taken?” Classic. I also had a postcard of him framed on my wall for many years.

This was a pre internet age and it wasn’t always as easy to join the dots, so I’m not sure when I initially realised this was the same actor who played the karate chopping, ‘Guyliner’-wearing Number 2 in the classic “Checkmate” episode of ‘The Prisoner’. This was one of my all-time favourite programmes, but for several years the only episodes I had on VHS were two lots of two episodes – the opening two episodes and then ‘Checkmate’ and ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ were on the same tape so I watched these four many times over and over. It took a while to twig that it was also PETER under General Klytus’ golden mask in ‘Flash Gordon’, administering the Bore Worms…

I couldn’t understand why, as such a fabulous actor, he’d seemingly disappeared from TV and film, though with the internet you’d read of a particular “scandal” in the 70s which apparently derailed his career, when actually he carried on working into the late 90’s…

As a film maker I guess there was a pipe dream to bring him back to the screen, though I had no idea how to find him. Once we entered the internet age I discovered he’d appeared at a convention several years before and I intended to contact the organisers to see if they could give me contact details… but it was something I never pursued despite coming up with a short film storyline called ‘Trans’.

This was about a big businessman – think Alan Sugar/ Dragon’s Den style – who had trod on everyone on the way up and after losing everything was reduced to a small humble flat for his twilight years, surrounded by photos of when he was someone, rubbing shoulders with politicians and film stars. His only contact was with a daughter who had taken too many life lessons from him in his prime and found his current predicament of literally thinking he was fading from the world an inconvenience to her busy business life. 

Events several years later would take a random turn – I was one day speaking to Andrew Calverley, who had starred in my film ‘Black Spot’. He’d noticed I was a “friend” of WYNGARDE on Facebook (which was actually managed by PETER’s friend, partner and custodian of his reputation and legacy, Tina (Hopkins), not himself and eventually would be closed down to be replaced by the WYNGARDE Appreciation Society.) I mentioned my wish to make a film with PETER and cult actors and briefly mentioned Trans. It turned out Andy and Tina were good friends and I think he mentioned me and the idea to Tina.

This all snowballed into me sending a copy of ‘Trans’ to PETER – can’t recall now if I forwarded it to Andy, or to Tina, who then passed it to PETER… and then one day I received a letter in the post with very tiny, spidery, hard to decipher handwriting. My parents were visiting at the time and I remember opening the letter, wondering who it was from and before interpreting the letter scanned straight to the bottom to see PETER’s signature… which just seemed mad that he was writing to me. He partly dismissed my idea at the time as a “sketch” (which was a fair comment as it really was just a brief synopsis I’d written for the initial pitch for a funding application) but said he had a piece of his own – a monologue – that he wanted to make and was looking for a cameraman and assistance to make it happen. I think he was proposing I help him with this piece and we could take it from there. Although I had no equipment of my own, I asked my cameraman friend, Darren, who I’d worked with on several shorts if he’d be up for filming PETER.

So we found ourselves on an August Bank Holiday at PETER’s flat in Kensington, not far from my day job’s head office to spend the day working on PETER’s piece. I can’t remember if I knew vaguely what the piece was about beforehand – he may have briefly mentioned it – but I hadn’t seen any script. It turned out that he’d really wanted to adapt a particular book, which was based in Shanghai in the late 1930s, of which he had personal experience of the world of diplomats etc. from living there as a boy. Unfortunately he’d discovered the rights to turn the book into a film had already been bought, so I think his plan was to do a monologue piece based on the book to pitch himself as the ideal person to play the lead role in the adaptation. This seemed odd to me – HE’S PETER BLOODY WYNGARDE – but perhaps it was his way of really selling that he knew this world and character inside out. Unfortunately the script we were working from was handwritten by him and was covered in asides, additions and amendments, which made it a challenge to follow.

It was without a doubt a “challenging” day. I could be wrong but I think we did a 2 camera set up, with one of us also doing the sound, but with no actual direction to be given as PETER was directing himself I was given the role of “script girl.” The only direction as such was at the end of a take when he’d ask us for our thoughts on his performance. Frustrations kicked in when it transpired the copy of the script he was working from wasn’t the same as the one I was working from which would lead to some issues. I was also apparently not very good at reading when PETER was either pausing for dramatic effect, or was awaiting my prompt. He’d get cross at this and I’d seethe, wondering why I was spending my Bank Holiday being shouted at by a man in his 80s. PETER was obviously a perfectionist though and his script to him was gospel – it was vitally important that he got EVERY word and nuance down as he’d written it, which was difficult when I was trying to follow his script… and as the day wore on and tiredness kicked in, it became very difficult for a long passage to be completed without something being missed, or on the next attempt being remembered at the cost of another line or aspect, all of which were important, I recall two particular moments where PETER consistently forgot the line “shoot the bugger” which resulted in him becoming so frustrated at himself I was almost scared to mention when he’d missed it. We’d also come to loggerheads over, of all things, prawn balls…. where I was paraphrasing “balls” and PETER was misunderstanding – thinking I meant testicles(!) and wondered where the hell I was getting BALLS from!

But it wasn’t all bad – outside of the filming when we stopped for a much needed break and food at teatime, PETER was absolutely charming and unsurprisingly an enthralling raconteur… as he told us stories of the people he’d worked with, many stories from the world of theatre of people I’d never heard of, the majority of which long gone it struck me that this was the gold dust we should have been filming. His reminisces of these times; of working in a theatre, television and film world which no longer exists in that form were wonderful and all I could think was that one day, when he’s gone, so will these stories and there are less and less people who were there remaining to document and record them. We got some fun titbits about working on’ Flash Gordon’ and then he also dropped the bombshell that the intended sequel was to star him as the lead villain (I’d never twigged that it was Klytus taking Ming’s ring at the end and laughing, I’d always presumed it was Ming who had somehow survived) and that he had the script to the sequel somewhere in the flat. Darren and I looked flabbergasted and wondered where, in PETER’s chaotic flat, was this priceless script that we had no idea existed. He told a story of Christopher Lee approaching him at a studio in recent times and portentously proclaiming “We are the last of the few.” PETER strangely seemed to take some umbrage at that remark, when I’ve always felt Lee was completely right.

What also became apparent during this filming was that PETER could still pull out a mesmerising, full bodied performance and his voice was like polished mahogany with a wonderful purr and timbre. Once again, it frustrated me that he hadn’t had any exposure for years and if people like Lee etc. could have some career resurgence in their twilight years, then PETER was more than deserving of a similar treatment.

The rest of the shoot continued in a similar difficult fashion and as the hours passed we were all getting tired and it was becoming more difficult. By the time we’d finished around midnight I was exhausted, fed up and ready to get home and not looking forward to a 2-3 hour drive back home at such a late hour. However, there were a couple of things I was determined to get before we left – I asked PETER if he would do a video message for Basil, repeating his Jason King line from the café. He obliged, but fluffed the line both times and then sharply told me he was done with it, so I couldn’t even get the main thing I really wanted, which in my current mood felt like the final straw. I was supposed to get a photo of myself with PETER, but by this point I decided I didn’t want one and just wanted to leave.

Upon my return home I posted the video message on Facebook, tagging Basil but with no description, as surely the piece spoke for itself. But then I received a message from PETER who seemed very cross that I’d talked about the project on Facebook and had blabbed about it, which surprised me as I hadn’t put anything public about it, apart from this video clip of him which had nothing to do with his filmed piece. Infuriated by this I took the clip down and felt that the one thing I had got from that day’s shooting was now contentious.

I was going to be editing the piece for PETER and this became a long winded, frustrating process. The aging Mac I was using struggled with the HD footage which made the editing extremely time consuming when even making small adjustments. As we were far apart I would create an edit, face a long winded export of the footage (and hope nothing went wrong at this stage) then burn PETER a DVD and post to him… then await his comments and adjustments which I would have to decipher from his handwriting. Sometimes I would receive several letters in succession, chasing me for progress and updates, which I came to resent as I was trying to do this edit in my spare time, around my day job, young family and own projects. In retrospect, and in communications with Tina, I realise now he was just “a dog with a bone” and obviously very keen and excited to see his performance piece. But as with the shooting, he had exact ideas of what he wanted – which was everything – and which became impossible when it became clear that somewhere, as a result of the shoot, certain passages had been missed, or were included in one take and not the other but would not cut together even when going to the other angle. Eventually he did compromise on certain aspects which couldn’t be pieced together. There was the issue with the stills elements though – there were photos Darren had filmed at the time, but PETER also wanted some other images during certain sections which I had no idea how to source or what he specifically wanted, yet he would text me photos that he’d taken from the TV that he wanted included which I found…unorthodox…but bowing to his wishes put them in as he requested, even though I felt they were distracting and looked out of place.

One large sequence we realised we were completely missing was the recital of a letter – luckily I had my own sound recording equipment by then, so visited London and recorded this large passage, over which some of the photos Darren filmed would be placed…even though it was a very long sequence which I felt slowed the piece down, with PETER not visible on screen. However, by now I’d found myself in a better place with the piece and always enjoyed chatting to him when we spoke on the phone, so seeing him again was a pleasant experience, as was recording this audio. As a thank you for all my hard work he gave me a bottle of red wine which he told me was his personal favourite…and very nice it was too!

Before the piece was completed I received a very worrying and strange email. PETER seemed to always have an update or awareness of the development of the book adaptation with the production company; I’d never known how he knew this, but he always kept me informed, possibly in case things moved forwards there and he felt he needed to get this audition piece in to the right hands A.S.AS.P.. But one day I received an email from the production company stating that they had seen from my Facebook page that I’d been working on a piece with PETER and that they owned the rights to the property. They then asked for either my or PETER’s legal representative to contact them regarding this breach of copyright. Based on PETER’s response immediately after filming with regard to Facebook, I went back and checked all of my posts and confirmed that I had never mentioned publically working with PETER, nor that it was an adaptation of this book… and also my Facebook posts were all set to private as viewable to friends only. I wasn’t sure how they’d got hold of my email address as well. I replied back with the above and also stated I could confirm I was working for PETER, but it was a personal piece and I was doing the work as a favour. I was a bit shaken by this email and passed it on to Tina – thankfully I never heard anything about it again, but it did make me feel a bit more cautious about the ways of the internet.

Eventually the piece was completed and I sent PETER a bunch of DVD copies of the piece. I always felt at around 22 minutes it was too long, but it was how PETER wanted it. In terms of what he wanted it for, I felt that it was too long for that purpose; that he needed a punchier 10 minute version more about his performance than the storyline he wanted to tell. As one of those rainy day back burner projects I’d always been meaning to go back and re-edit it (now I have a better Mac!) to cut it down more to an essence of the range of his performance, in part for the sad eventuality of today, but it’s one of those things I’ve never got around to.

Despite the issues I’d had in doing this piece, I was even more committed to the idea of PETER having some chance to really shine in a film to show off and remind the world what he was still capable of doing. Working around the physical limitations of his age and condition – no jumping out of an exploding helicopter shouting “Yippe kayay mutherfunsters” – I came up with a topical “Operation Yewtree” idea’ a three hander, almost a stage play but with flashbacks, and something that would deliberately blur the line between PETER, his acting persona, his public “perceived” persona and the character itself… in my daydream flights of fancy I hoped if I could get this written with the ticking timebomb of his age and the inevitable other takes inspired by the “Yewtree” fall out eventually surfacing. Then, perhaps, we could pitch it to his worldwide fanbase to fund it via crowd funding, for a chance to have PETER – not just in a cameo in a film, but THE lead role. The role to give him his twilight years moment. A role that, if it was to be a swansong, would be something to show the world what fools they’d been to have not been casting him for all these years “in the wilderness” However, I didn’t have the script, just the skeletal idea. Luckily, I pitched it to my wife’s friend, Calie Rydings, a local writer, on the off chance that she would want to collaborate on it.

She did. And she took to it with incredible enthusiasm. Within a few days and weeks Calie whizzed through the first draft of the script and over the coming months we’d refine it further, eventually having a piece that we were both really proud of. With her enthusiasm for research, she’d added plenty of thesp and theatre nods and winks, which I hoped PETER would appreciate. She’d brilliantly done that blend of fiction and non-fiction to where I wasn’t sure which pieces she’d made up, or which pieces she’d found out. We had plenty of flashbacks for each character and medical procedure cutaways, which provided a break from the dialogue heavy “main action”. There was a wonderful set up opening scene of an actor living surrounded by past glories, almost harkening back to my original Trans idea that I pitched to PETER – putting on a front even to his remaining friend. For the finale, Calie had written the most wonderful, literally curtain-falling monologue that was incredible and we were both SO desperate just to hear PETER recite those words. If nothing else, I just wanted to have an audio recording of him saying that ending, for our own satisfaction.

The script was called ‘Poison The Well’. I sent it to PETER. Unfortunately we heard nothing back. I’d send him the odd text, asking if he’d had chance to read it. I’d get the odd postcard from him. I’d hear that he had another script to read before mine, but he was so focussed on his own writing (he may still have been doing his own take on the adaptation, I wasn’t sure), but that he hadn’t had chance to read it. Perhaps it was presumption on my part, but I guess I’d hoped that after spending many hours working on his project for him, I might have got a free pass to jump the queue in his attentions, but that wasn’t the case. Calie and I were both very proud of the script, but with the topical timebomb still ticking I felt like I wanted to take it elsewhere while there was still time if PETER didn’t want to do it… eventually, I had one last crack of the whip, asking Tina if she could ask him to read it, but sadly we never got a definitive answer either way. So since then I’ve passed the script to a few random parties, including even trying to get it under the nose of Sir Ian McKellen via his performance of ‘King Lear’ at Chichester though, as I understandably never heard anything there, I’m presuming the unsolicited script way isn’t the most favourable approach…

PETER apparently did send me one last letter some time ago but unfortunately it apparently got lost in the post, so I’ll never know what that said. From time to time I’d get a call from him, hoping it was something to do with ‘Poison The Well’, but I’d answer and he’d ask for Mitzy*… then he’d be confused that it was me, realised he’d dialled the wrong number, we’d have a quick catch up and then off he’d go. Several weeks might have gone by and then I’d get the same Mitzy call again, which became a fun running joke. But then eventually he must have sorted my number from Mitzy’s in his phone and I didn’t hear from him again.

Not long ago I read J.G Ballard’s ‘Empire Of The Sun’ for the first time – as PETER was apparently interned in the same camp as Ballard (though he didn’t remember him). I meant to text PETER to say I’d read it and found the world of WWII Shanghai a fascinating and mad sounding time and place. Unfortunately I never did send that text.

Looking back I guess I hoped in a way our working relationship/ brief friendship could have developed almost into him being the Bela Lugosi to my Ed Wood (without me wearing my wife’s underwear!). Yes, I was initially grumpy about that day’s shoot, but I’ve come to look back on it fondly – it’s one hell of a story. But on this day I look back on that performance piece and still feel both sad and frustrated that it can’t be shared for people to see. I know he did various interviews for TV programmes and I believe another documentary on ‘The Prisoner’ since we filmed it, but as far as I’m aware, I think that’s the last piece he did as a performance on camera. I feel sad that he didn’t get his twilight resurgence, though I don’t know how much of that was down to himself – not finding a project that wasn’t his own that he felt worthwhile committing to, rather than doing roles for the sake of it – or others not wanting to cast him. I feel sad I didn’t get to film him in a script we wrote for him. I feel sad that those stories he briefly touched on for that 40 minute break are gone now, ‘though Tina has mentioned several times that he was working on his autobiography and I can only hope that a sympathetic publisher one day can release that, even in an unfinished and unedited state. I feel sad that another legend has gone; another that we will not see the likes of again.

At the end of the performance piece I filmed, PETER is talking to a servant off camera and says “Arrive a derci – it’s Italian…for goodbye.” He puts on a hat, gloves, sunglasses and sings, in a tired, old and world weary way, a rather haunting song in Chinese before solemnly ringing a bell. If indeed this is his final performance, somehow it seems quite an apt finale.

And Calie’s wonderful end monologue to ‘Poison The Well’ seems even more poignant today.

Int.- theatre – night:

Kingsley sits at the bare make up table and stares at his reflection in the mirror with lights as he removes his make up for the last time. He stands, revealing the table stood alone in the middle of a darkened stage – lit only by a spotlight.


(as if uttering a sacred recitation)

I offer now an apologia pro vita sua.

That is to say I CANNOT be sorry to have forced them to bring out in fullness their charges against me.

It is far better that they should discharge these thoughts upon me in my lifetime, than after I am dead. 

And yet, I entreat you, beware of what they say. Sometimes a man is wrong even when he is right and every word he utters just poisons the well.


Make no mistake, the lies will destroy us all.

Rip away the veil and what is left? A painted face. A faded curtain. A broken gas lamp.

Even when I searched to shine a light on the truths that burned within me, the disbelievers still cried ‘Have you not yet learnt those dreams are scattered now, these fires are spent?’ 

And though I clung to simpler thoughts and tried to find some peace – it was still the same reply back into the darkness of my soul.

Perplexed, I hoped my heart was pure of guile, but instead they judged me weak and now I see that all men are mad awhile – even me.

It is the oldest tale in history. Truth without a home is simply despised then slain, before rising again another day, cold and broken from the tomb.

And I am spent.

(He breaths deeply, and a look of calmness descends across his face)

Yet, somehow, I rise again, like a flame, higher and more serene than any slander can disturb. 

Perhaps life is simply a dream, or I an Angel, and all this world a deception. My fellow-angels by a playful device concealing themselves from me, and deceiving me with the semblance of a material world.

So away with you!

I will no longer cross myself in the dark, for I am moving quickly towards the light and it is pure and blinding. 

As he steps forwards to the edge of the stage the applause builds. He looks out at the unseen audience and smiles, touched by the rapturous response to his performance.

The curtain falls.

The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society:


Written by Freddie Valentine

Anyone who was old enough to watch television in the late 60s or early 70s would have been aware of Jason King and Department S. To a whole generation, he was the king of cool. Stylish, witty, tongue in cheek, and a solid role model for any male who grew up in that era.

In the latter part of the 1970s, the series was rarely repeated and PETER WYNGARDE, the actor who played Jason King was absent from our screens. It wasn’t until Flash Gordon was released that we heard his unmistakable, dulcet tones yet again. In the days before satellite TV, videos and DVDs, the only way to have seen this remarkable show again was if it was repeated on terrestrial television – which it wasn’t. So, for some time, us fans were starved of Jason King and only had to rely on our memories as to what a great show this was. It was around this time that I discovered that PETER had released an album. An actual LP! I searched far and wide for a copy but it seemed to be so elusive, like some kind of vinyl Holy Grail. It was at a record fair in the first half of the eighties where I chanced upon a stall that had a whole section of TV/film soundtracks and there, wrongly placed but obviously put there because of the Jason King connection, was a pristine copy of this masterpiece. At the time the chap wanted £10 for it which was more in the upper price range in the early 80s but not extortionate. To be honest, if I’d has £100 on me and that was what the dealer wanted I would very likely have paid it due to it rarity and my obsession with Jason King and Department S.

When I first played the album, I didn’t think I could admire PETER WYNGARDE more than I already did but listening to this surreal and captivating album showed me that not only was Mr WYNGARDE one of our greatest actors but he also had a fabulous, surreal and outrageous sense of humour! I was quite disappointed to discover that he only released the one album and I often wondered what gems would have been produced if his recording career had continued. I imagined him being discovered and produced by Frank Zappa and releasing a series of albums that would have been seen in the same light as Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’.

When VHS videos arrived on the scene, both Jason King and Department S were available again and I often wondered whether my memories were far better than the programmes themselves. It can sometimes be the case that a TV show you watched as a child and held fond memories for was often disappointing when revisited as an adult. It was not the case with these shows. Just like ‘The Prisoner’ (which PW also had a great part in) both series are timeless. The humour is still there. The style is still fabulous. And of course, it’s PETER’S performance in both series that elevate this above many shows of the time. Yes. He was as cool I remembered!

In the late 90s I had a band called The Paisley Wheelchair Experience. When writing some new songs I felt compelled to write one about Jason King returning and taking on the criminals of the day. There wasn’t anyone else on TV since him who could solve mysteries with such humour and panache so I made the rest of the band discover the wonders of JK and it became quite apparent to them where my dress sense came from. We performed around the music circuit and easy listening scene in London and I was delighted when PETER himself got wind of the song. Tina, who run PETER’S official fan club was incredibly kind to us and we decided to release the song as a limited edition through the society. PETER was amazingly gracious and not only did he agree to let us use his image for the cover, he signed every single copy! To say we were delighted was an understatement!

RETURN CDDelving back into his career, I realised what an amazing actor he was. He lit up the screen and was captivating in every performance he gave and it annoyed me that he wasn’t being held in the high esteem he deserved when mediocre actors were receiving acclaim. The British press were undeservedly vile to PETER in the 70s and he vanished from our screens from some time but the sporadic appearances that followed were ones to be cherished. Whether it was his face hidden behind a mask in Flash Gordon (identified by his unmistakable voice), a brilliant appearance in Doctor Who or, oddly enough, a bizarre and hilarious role in Channel 4’s ‘The Comic Strip Presents’ it was a joy to catch a glimpse of such a charismatic actor.

I always remember a story a friend of mine told me which although may seem like a trivial anecdote, but it did impress me. Around 1969 he was walking along the Kings Road in Chelsea when a big Bentley turned the corner and stopped, waiting to turn. Sitting behind the wheel was PETER WYNGARDE dressed exactly as he was when onscreen as Jason King and smoking a cigarette. There was no difference between the character and the actor as far as my friend was concerned as he looked like Jason King, dressed like Jason King and smoked a cigarette with the same panache the coolest television character did. How much of PETER was in the character of Jason? It appeared to be a lot! It was very gratifying to think that the person playing the coolest chap on television was actually as cool in real life as the character he played.

In the series Jason King defeats baddies and then writes novels as Mark Cain which are enthusiastically read by a public who are unaware that the events in them actually happened. Could PETER WYNGARDE actually be having these adventures in real life and the TV exploits are his ‘Mark Cain’ novels? With someone as incredible as PETER WYNGARDE it’s entirely plausible!

There are so many roles that PETER could have been offered. He was rumoured to be in the running for James Bond at some point. You could easily imagine him as a wise old Jedi in one of the new Star Wars films. But the fact that he wasn’t everywhere has perhaps added to his allure. He gave us the coolest, grooviest TV character of all time, blessed us with one of the most jaw dropping albums ever made, stole the show in an episode of The Prisoner and was one of the most memorable onscreen villains in the classic Flash Gordon. His ‘cool’ credentials remain intact and he’s managed to retain an air of mystery about himself at the same time. Anyone who is in the know will be fully aware of the fact that PETER WYNGARDE is quite possible the greatest actor the UK has ever produced. Fancy!

What’s wild, wacky and as mad as a balloon?

It’s The Paisley Wheelchair Experience, of course!

Original article published in The Hellfire Club Magazine – Summer, 1997

Lead Vocalist: Lord Freddie Valentine. Guitarist: Lady Karen. Bass Player: Lady Elizabeth. Pianist: Lady Helens. Drummer: Lord Amado. Backing Vocalists: The Pogeria Twins.

Donning their best feather boas, safari suits and oriental dressing gowns, The Paisley wheelchair experience, who admit to having an on-going fascination with the Demi-god of high fashion, PETER WYNGARDE, are currently one of the hottest bands on the pub and club scene south of the Watford Gap. With a set that includes such songs as ‘Shaken Not Stirred’, which pays homage to the delectable Jason King and his TV contemporaries, the Wheechairers are definitely an act not to be missed.

Lord Freddie Valentine – a crooner on a mission, told The Hellfire Club mag recently that the band where in the progress of recording a new song entitled, ‘The Return of Jason King’, which they not only plan to include in their ever-expanding live set, but intend to release it on CD exclusively via the Hellfire Club.

He explains: “We’re just about to acquire a recordable CD machine, and are planning to press around 40 copies of the disc, each of which will feature PETER’s gracious image on the sleeve and the song as the main track. If we do so, we’d like to make them available exclusively through the Society, and will release another single elsewhere for the time being”.

With their almost legendary dislike for modern attitudes in films, music and fashion, 51gRUbUrGpLLord Fred and the gang decided to invite PETER to join them on stage at the Indigo Club in London’s Soho last year but, unfortunately, the great man wasn’t able to make it due to prior commitments.

“What we wanted,” Freddie explains, “was to pretend that the amplifier had broken down mid-performance by switching it off. After faking some considerable concern, someone would then have the bright idea of calling ‘Department S’. After reaching them on our mobile, cue ‘Jason King’ theme, and on would swagger PETER, saying: ‘It’s not switched on, old chap!’ sadly, he wasn’t available on that night, so we’ll just have to keep trying and maybe, one day, our dream will come true!”

Freddie says that the fascination with Jason King is evident throughout the whole band. “But is mostly instigated by me. When a new member joins, they are initiated by having to watch videos of ‘Department S’ and ‘Jason King’”

Sounds like bliss!

© Copyright The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: