Fans of the 'Uncle' series, originally shown in the 1960's, will be over the
moon to hear the news that all the missing episodes have now been found.
All the original master tapes had been junked in the 1980's when the BBC
needed to find more space for the large number of accountants that were
employed by the corporation at that time. Only episode 12 survived this
mass junking. It was retrieved from a skip by a 'Doctor Who' fan looking for
lost episodes of that series which has a small following.
A spokesperson for the BBC revealed the discovery of 16mm prints of missing
exclusively to the Uncle fan site.
In the 1960's the BBC sold the series to broadcasters in a number of
countries that included the small state of Andalusia. Earlier this year it's
chief executive, Don Guzman, discovered that a number of 16m film cans were
propping up his desk. These contained all the missing 'Uncle' episodes and a
rather odd episode of 'Steptoe and Son' in which Harold marries Jane Asher
and becomes the fifth member of 'The Beatles'.
You can see an exclusive clip of the lost first episode of 'Uncle' here.
The series pioneered the 'cut-out' technique
later employed by 'Captain
Pugwash' and Noggin the Nog. Oliver Postgate has remarked many times on
the seminal influence that 'Uncle' had in developing his own style of
The series was controversial at the time. Although intended as a piece of
light hearted fun for children its transmission prior to the 6'0'clock news
meant that many adults were watching. It's satirical take on the politics of
the era led to Sir Alec Douglas Home blaming the programme for his election
defeat in 1964.
The BBC are delighted to have 'Uncle' returned to them. We threw it away
because we thought it was a load of rubbish - now we understand that it is
in fact a major piece of our cultural heritage".
There are also plans to revive the series for the 21st Century and we can
confirm that it will indeed be Russell T Davies (fresh from his success with
re-invigorating Doctor Who for a family audience) who will be master-minding
this new project.
This has prompted concern from fans as to how the series will be adapted. As
Russell T Davies is the only gay working in the television industry it is
thought that this will have an influence on the style of the new series. A
BBC spokesman said I know Uncle's a single chap and all that .and he does
give the Old Monkey a kiss in one episode .but it's purely plutonic ..anyway
Russell's not writing the series ..he's too busy with all that 'Who'
nonsense ..no we've got Roy Clarke and Armando Iannucci writing it so it
will be a gentle, whimsical, biting satire.
We'll bring you more news of the new series as the story develops.