The Precious Things

December 2021

We shine a light on the weird and wonderful curios of British TV archives.



Certain sections of the TV archives are healthily exploited, repeated on terrestrial TV, available on streaming channels and released on DVD and Blu-ray. For the most part these are well remembered comedy and drama series and prestige one-offs and mini-serials. BFI TV seasons often feature more rarefied material, but there remains an enormous amount that hasn’t slotted into themed seasons. Our Missing Believed Wiped screenings often do include more obscure material (advertising magazines, regional documentaries, long-forgotten lifestyle shows), programmed because they’ve been ‘found’. However, many similar items have survived in the archives but rarely see the light of the day – brilliant, baffling, idiosyncratic footage often unseen since its original transmission. This small but perfectly-formed season allows us to unearth some of those precious things.

Dick Fiddy, season programmer

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