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FAQ & Trivia

Timeslip FAQs

Ten Things People Remember About Timeslip



How many episodes were made?
One series of 26 episodes covering four different stories were made. These were 'The Wrong End of Time' (6 episodes), 'The Time of the Ice Box' (6 episodes), 'The Year of the Burn Up' (8 episodes) and 'The Day of the Clone' (6 episodes).

When was the programme originally broadcast?
The series went out originally on Mondays at (usually) 17.15 from Sept 1970 to March 1971 in the host region, ATV Midlands. (Other regions' screenings were simultaneous to within a few days.) In 1973-74 the series was re-run on Fridays, usually at 16.20.

But the video releases were in Black and White! Wasn't the series made in colour?
Yes (and no - see below) With the exception of four episodes, the series WAS made in colour. Alas, in the 1980s it was discovered that the colour master tapes had been badly damaged (with only one episode known to remain intact - 'Time of the Ice Box' episode 6). This meant that only 16mm, B&W film recordings, originally made for overseas sales, were all that remained. It was these that were used for the video releases.

Why were some episodes made in B&W and which ones were they?
In the early 1970s colour television technology was still in its infancy in the UK. Many issues had to be ironed out between the programme makers and the unions. This sometimes led to industrial action and of working to rule. Unfortunately, some 'Timeslip' episodes were made during one of these disputes, resulting in them being recorded in B&W. Sources often vary as to which episodes these are. However, the most reliable evidence (the episodes themselves!) reveals that four were affected in this way - these being parts 2 to 5 of 'The Day of the Clone'. Some older evidence has suggested that part 4 of 'The Year of the Burn Up' may have also been affected but this is incorrect. One of the problems verifying this over the years lies with inconsistent and misleading information published in the ITV listings magazine TVTimes. Some regional stations broadcast the entirerity of the original run in black and white due to not having colour broadcasts at the time. (Other programmes that were similarly affected by the dispute included LWT's Budgie and Upstairs Downstairs (where the producers were forced to remount the first episode in colour at the end of their first production block to ensure sales abroad.)

Why didn't the video releases feature the colour version of 'Time of the Ice Box' episode 6?
ITC Home Video decided that, in the interests of uniformity, they would release ALL of the episodes in B&W. However, a 2 minute clip from the colour episode (including the title sequence) was included on the 'The Best Children's TV of the Decade, 70s' compilation video in 1990 on the Watershed Pictures label (WSP 1013) and later re-released (with it's 60s counterpart) on Pocket Money Video (087 562 3) in 1993. Both of these videos are now deleted.

What was the theme music called?
The theme music was called 'Rite de la Terre' and was composed by Edouard Michael. More information can be found in the main site by clicking here.

Wasn't there a sequel of sorts called 'Tightrope'?
'Tightrope' was a children's adventure series made by ATV in 1972. It starred Timeslip's Spencer Banks and future Coronation Street star John Savident. It was created and written by Victor Pemberton and used most of the same production team as Timeslip. These are its only connections with Timeslip.

Was a second series of Timeslip ever planned?
Reports suggest that while one may have been mooted at some point, this was quickly abandoned once the show reached its natural climax with the final episode of "The Day of the Clone".

Weren't there plans to revive 'Timeslip' in the 1990s?
For a period of time, Victor Pemberton's Saffron Productions had the rights to produce a sequel series but, whilst Bruce Stewart wrote a treatment, the series never materialised.

Has Timeslip ever been repeated?
Aside from the 1973-74 repeat, the series has not been re-run on either British terrestrial or satellite TV stations. In his memoirs, the former Doctor Who producer, John Nathan Turner revealed that 'Timeslip' was to form part of BBC Select's proposed science fiction strand along with Doctor Who itself. As digital technology moved on, however, BBC Select folded before the strand could see the light of day.

Where was the Ministry Field?
The location scenes were recorded at a disused military establishment in Hertfordshire. More information can be found in the main site by clicking here.

I heard that a pilot for a new series of 'Timeslip' starring John Taylor from the pop group 'Duran Duran' was made in the 1980s. Is this true?
Yes and no. A pilot for an SF anthology series called 'Timeslip' was made in 1985 by Yorkshire Television and starred the Duran Duran bassist as a 'hacker' who saw each episode's 'tale of the unexpected' on his computer screen. The pilot also featured a pre-Farscape Virgina Hey. Aside from the title, it has nothing to do with ATV's 'Timeslip'. (As an aside, a thirty minute drama was made by the BBC in 1953 under the title 'Time Slip' concerning a man who dies and is bought back to life and finds his "time sense" is 4.7 seconds out-of-sync giving him the ability to answers questions BEFORE they are put to him. It, too, has nothing to do with ATV's 'Timeslip'.)

Wasn't there some controversy over one of the character's death scene?
There were complaints following the broadcast of part four of 'The Time of the Ice Box' where the cliffhanger revolved around the death of Dr. Joynton. Her prematurely aged face was seen full screen at the climax of the episode. (In the following episode's reprise, the final shot was a re-recorded one favouring the rest of the cast and their reactions to the discovery of her body.) The repeat screening in 1973 omitted the shot of Joynton's face in part four. The full version of the episode is contained on the ITC Home Video release. (The TV Times at the time featured a photograph of a very much alive Peggy Thorpe-Bates in her 'corpse' make-up...)

What official merchandise was produced for 'Timeslip'?
Not much compared to today's marketing fests... A novelisation of the first two stories was published by Pan Books in 1970. There was also a re-jacketed Piccolo version available shortly after. Look-in magazine ran a comic strip based on the show during it's early days. More information on the strip can be found in the main site by clicking here. There were also the four previously mentioned ITC Home Video releases in 1992-93.

Is the series available on VHS/DVD?
Timeslip was originally available on four 2-tape VHS sets from ITC Home Video in the early nineties. These have since been deleted. The entire series has recently been re-released on Region 2 DVD on Monday 19th July 2004 by Carlton Visual Entertainment Ltd. It is currently available as a box set of 4 discs and includes the sole remaining colour episode. The episodes have been digitally remastered and general restoration work has been carried out on them. They also include their original ad bumpers and the ATV caption at the end of each segment which the video releases didn't. It can be ordered on line or from most major high street DVD stockists. The new release is DVD only.

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