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Pre-Broadcast Thoughts

BBC4 are broadcasting a documentary drama about the lives of Wilfred and Harry. What do you think ? Please let us have any comments about this programme

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Pre-Broadcast Thoughts

Postby bob » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:43 am

Ever since this programme was announced the main thought of everybody has been, lets hope it’s not another . “When Steptoe met Son”

Ray and Alan’s agent was assured this would not be so and we have therefore been looking forward to the broadcast. However as the broadcast date draws near some concerns are beginning to creep in. It seems that the marketing for this broadcast again focuses on the negative side of their relationship.

While it would be wrong to judge the programme before it is broadcast, it does seem that the production team are trying to entice an audience by highlighting Harry and Wilf’s “strange story”.

Even the title of the piece, suggests negativity. “The Curse of Steptoe” is a title that the Steptoe team describe as “not helpful”. The main thrust of the drama is the off-screen relationship between the two leading actors, described as “a poignant tale of two incompatible men”.

My fear is that we will be presented with two men who effectively hate each other. Some of the things that did happen between Wilfred and Harry, undoubtedly did happen, but the context is all important. They had been working together for almost 20 years, furthermore the success of the show had a major impact on their individual careers. Wilfred freely admits in his book that their styles and approach were “chalk and cheese”, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Without doubt there would have been tensions and in all productions of this nature. There was nothing in the contract that suggested that they had to be best buddies for the rest of their careers. I understand that this is a drama and therefore it needs to have some tension in it. I worry that the public again will be presented with a distorted picture of the show. These things soon become folk law and the accepted way things were. I hope I am wrong.

Remember on hearing the news of Harry’s death Wilfred broke down at the death of a man “he hoped he could consider a friend”. I hope some of this element of their relationship is apparent in the film.
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Postby Guntherk » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:15 pm

I understand your concerns, Bob. I think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised by the film - particularly when it comes to the way in which Wilf and Harry's relationship is played out. I'd love to say more but it would amount to a series of spoilers! When you see it you'll know what I mean. Plus the drama always makes it clear that the show was wonderful and popular - but doesn't flinch from exploring the impact it had on, in particular, Harry's career.

Tessa isn't overjoyed with the title, but it's a draw and the BBC like titles that draw viewers! All I'll say is that sometimes dramas are larger and more complex than their titles suggest... And I think that the fact that Ray, Alan and Tessa have seen and liked the film is a good sign.
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Postby Rian » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:23 pm

i understand everyones concerns after "Steptoe Met Son" and i toatally agree with you Bob, i hope its not shown in a negative way in which the 2002 documentary was shown
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Postby Archie » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:30 pm

I just can't wait to see it.
It is nothing short of criminal that Murder In Oil Drum Lane was not released on DVD !.
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Postby Rian » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:33 pm

yeah i feel the same

i would love them to release a dvd this year with

Murder On Oil Drum Lane
When Steptoe Met Son
The Curse Of Steptoe

and call it "What Happed After Steptoe"
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Postby ColdComfort » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:02 pm

It would no doubt be a sad day if the BBC does give Harry and Wilf a kick in the guts, especially when they are no longer around to defend themselves. But the legacy they have left us on the screen will never be compromised. No matter what anyone says I will never stop enjoying their on screen antics. That will be my enduring memory.
What can I say, these two lovely guys make me laugh.
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Postby Archie » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:44 pm

Wise words CC :)
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Postby Jojo » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:20 am

Quite looking forward to this and the series itself. From the trailers I've seen so does seem to dwell on the sexual preferences of some of it's featured stars. Why does it have to be an issue?
up yer pipe!
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Postby hercules » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:33 am

hi bob, cold comfort, jojo

Your worst fears are going to be realized

Rian - ?

Guntherk do you work for the production team on this piece of sensationalist muck raking pap. or have you not seen jason isaccs interviewed by fern britton expounding on the trials and tribulations of how he put up with wearing brown contacts for the part, go check out a picture of harry his eyes are blue if they cant even get that right...

Get it right they haven't even bothered its all a load of tosh.

Bend over harry and wilf here comes the BBC.
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Postby Archie » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:20 pm

Welcome to the forum Hercules.

I was always struck by Harry's blue eyes !, he also wore his watch on his Right wrist which could be from the time he spent in the Commando's. Wearing a watch on the Right wrist is a bit like the Masonic Handshake for Special Forces troops .

Less than 5 hrs to go :o
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the crse of steptoe

Postby rumneylu » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:45 pm

Im looking forward to it immensely even though it shows the 2 great stars in a diffrent light to which they were .however it will be good to see the 2 actors portraying them as i really enjoye murder at oil drum lane and if there as good as them it should be brilliant
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