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Curse vs. BBC Biography

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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Curse vs. BBC Biography

Postby NewSteptoeFan-USA » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:15 pm

As a brand-spanking shiny new Steptoe fan, aware of the show's name only because it ran in the credits of one of my favorite shows from childhood, Sanford and Son, I took in the entirety of the Steptoe broadcasts, movies, Christmas specials and then the subsequent biography and now the drama "Curse" all in the span of an obsessive compulsive month of watching them on YouTube, thanks to the wonderful fellow who spent an ungodly amount of time encoding them from DVD and DVD-R I suppose, then uploading them one painfully slow minute after another to the service.

Thus, I got a saturated heavy dose of the series, which I absolutely love, and the lot. When I ran out of shows and movies and specials, I naturally wanted to know more about the show and these actors, so I sat down to watch the biography of a few years ago, also on YouTube.

I came away from it definitely thinking that the two men were not on speaking terms for most of the run, and that there was indeed a lot of friction between them. They hinted toward the end that Wilf's interview when Harry died was rather calm and not something one might expect from somebody who might have loved and cherished the friendship of a good friend. I never got the impression he broke down on TV.

Having seen this biography, itself errant or not, then watching The Curse of Steptoe, I got the distinct feeling that the script for the sensationalized Curse was written from somebody watching that biography as their source materials. I well expected the Curse to be a sensationalize drama and even as a shiny new fan, realized all the things that they got wrong in it, especially as it pertained to timelines for various events, and episodes.

When I got to the last ten minute segment (YouTube limits videos to that length), I found myself wondering how on earth they were going to fit the rest of the story into that last bit, especially given the time they need to dramatize it, vs the time required in a biography.

There was no mention of the films at all. And what frankly should have been the most dramatic part of the story, the tales of woe from down under, were so poorly represented that it would have been best for The Curse of Steptoe to have been shelved altogether until they could muster the budget and time to make it long enough to tell the rest of the story.

Just my two cent from across the pond, fellows. No matter what I saw on the biography or the drama, I am still an absolute fan of this show, and sit and marvel still at the things the UK broadcasters got away with saying, the subjects they could cover and more during that era of the sixties and seventies, when USA censors would have had none of that. I know you had only a few channels back than, and frankly, that's all we had here, too. Count yourselves lucky you got Steptoe in the sixties when we were getting drivel like Leave it to Beaver.
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Postby PhilGlass » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:23 am

Welcome to the forum.
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
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Postby bob » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:14 pm

Nice post

It's always nice to get a completley new perspective on Steptoe.

I've lived with it for over 40 years and can get quite blinkered.
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