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Belvision: UK screenings of Tintin episodes (1972 to 1991)

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goldenfleece
Member
#1 · Posted: 3 Dec 2011 13:04
Showing myself as a Belvision Tintin geek, I have ben researching my audio and off-air archives, and for those interested...

BBC1 1972 Crab with the Golden Claws: Screened by BBC1 during the Summer holidays, weekdays daily at 10.50am. All 17 x 5 minute episode format, with English titles and the standard US audio track.

BBC1 1973 Crab with the Golden Claws: Screened by BBC1 during the Summer holidays, weekdays daily at 10.25am. All 17 x 5 minute episode format, with English titles and the standard US audio track.
NB: Same film print source as 1972 showings. The final time the 5 minute episodes were screened in the UK; subsequent screenings in 1990 used double-length episode formats.

BBC1 1974 Secret of the Unicorn: Screened at Easter, all 10 x 5 minute episodes, with French title sequences and US audio track.

BBC1 1974 Red Rackham's Treasure: Screened during Summer, all 17 x 5 minute episodes, with English titles at each end and the US audio track. End credits include the 'Produced by Tele-Hachette and Belvision' vocals and the complete end music to its climax.
NB: Film prints noticeable spliced after the re-cap and just before the cliffhanger voice-overs, showing that the prints were previously used to assemble a movie-format version.

BBC1 1976 Red Rackham's Treasure: Screened during Summer, 13 x 5 minute & 2 x 10 minute episodes. In 15 episodes to fit into 15 days (3 weeks) exactly, two broadcasts merged two episodes into one, with obvious splices, and the re-cap/ cliffhanger vocals missing. Shown with English titles at each end and the US audio track. End credits include the 'Produced by Tele-Hachette and Belvision' vocals and the complete end-music to its climax.
NB: Film prints noticeable spliced after the re-cap and just before the cliffhanger voice-overs, showing that the prints were previously used to assemble a movie-format version.

BBC1 1983 Secret of the Unicorn: Screened during October, all 10 x 5 minute episodes. Not known if English or French titles used as only have audio recording of the broadcasts.
NB: The last time this series was shown in the original 5 minute episode format in the UK.

BBC1 1984, Red Rackham's Treasure: All 17 x 5 minute episodes with English titles at each end, and the US audio track. End credits include the 'Produced by Tele-Hachette and Belvision' vocals and the complete end music to its climax.
NB: Film prints noticeable spliced after the re-cap and just before the cliffhanger voice-overs, showing that the prints were previously used to assemble a movie-format version.
This was the last time any English titled version of Belvision Tintin episodes were seen in the UK, and the last time the full closing music and voice-over were left complete.

ITV 1990 Secret of the Unicorn French titles and US audio. Shown during the ITV Kids morning feature weekdays. Double length episodes with French titles and US audio, so the original episodes merged into 5, with some of the re-caps and cliffhanger vocals removed.
Also
ITV 1990 Red Rackham's Treasure 8 x 10 minute episodes, 1 x 5 minute episode. Shown in double-length episodes, apart from the original episode 17, which was left intact. French titles; the 'Produced by Tele-Hachette and Belvision' vocal was missing from each closing sequence, and the music also trimmed short, although the titles appear on screen, which is a curious and unknown edit for all these screenings.

Channel 4, 1991 Crab with the Golden Claws: Screened as 8 x 10 minute episodes, 1 x 5 minute episode. Shown in double-length episodes, apart from the original episode 17, which was left intact.
Also
Channel 4, 1991 Red Rackham's Treasure: Screened as 17 x 5 minute episode.
NB: In the original 5 minute episode format, French titles, US audio, and again with the strangely cropped closing audio and removal of the 'Produced by Tele Hachette and Belvision' voice-over.

Channel 4 also screened Black Island in 5 min episodes, Objective Moon, Star of Mystery, Calculus Affair, all in original 5 minute episodes with French titles and US audio, believed to be the LAST time the original episodes have been seen in the UK. (I don't have off-air recordings of these regrettably due to a tape 'accident' in 1998.)

Some issues raised I would like to discuss:
1) What happened to the English title versions of the Belvision Tintins, last seen in 1984 on BBC1? Every screening since has seen French title sequences.
2) Why did the post 1984 screenings of Red Rackham's Treasure cut out the closing vocal, as indicated above, and cut short the closing music by a weird cropped edit, when the visual content remains as original?
3) Never having seen the 60's Peter Hawkins narrated versions, do these still exist in any shape or form, audio recordings or otherwise?

And another question for Tintin experts, can anyone name the closing music of episode 17 of Red Rackham's Treasure, which is unique to that episode?
Like most Belvision Tintins the incidental music seems to have been lifted from classical music sources, and I would love to know what this piece is. Actually, would love to identify many of the works used in Belvision Tintins, such as the flute piece in episode 12 of Red Rackham's Treasure, where Tintin and Haddock are on the deck of the Sirius in the moonlight and spot the Eagles cross...
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 3 Dec 2011 19:53 · Edited by: jock123
All I can say to that is – Wow! Fantastic research there!

I doff my hat to you - this is a gold(en-fleece)-mine of info, and certainly the most comprehensive work we have on the subject, so many, many thanks for sharing! That's very generous of you.

I can't say for certain that I came to Tintin through the Belvision cartoons in the Sixties, but it was at least simultaneous with my discovery of the books, and I understand why you're a fan, as I am one too!

Rocky is another of our resident fans, and perhaps he'll be able to answer some of your questions.

Harrock and I have been talking for a while about the need for more Belvision reference material on the site, so I'm sure we'll be in touch with you (if you don't mind) to pick your brains further...!

goldenfleece:
Why did the post 1984 screenings of Red Rackham's Treasure cut out the closing vocal, as indicated above, and cut short the closing music by a weird cropped edit, when the visual content remains as original.

For technical reasons the soundtrack and the pictures associated with it don't run side-by-side on the piece of film - this is because the sound is read in one part of the machine, while the frame is projected at another.
The characteristic result of a film being cut or broken and then spliced is that you get a jump in the film (as the edit passes the lamp), a brief gap, and then a blip on the soundtrack as the same edit goes through the playback head. (NB - It is some time since I read up on this: forgive me if I have got the vision/ sound relationship back-to-front!)
My guess is that some change has been made to the film to edit out something (perhaps a credit which no longer applied, or even to add the French titles to an English print for some reason), resulting in an obvious audio drop.
Harry Hayfield
Member
#3 · Posted: 3 Dec 2011 21:49
The Channel 4 1991 one rings a bells (so that was probably the only Belvision I saw)
goldenfleece
Member
#4 · Posted: 3 Dec 2011 22:30
Happy to answer any questions. I have long been a fan of the Belvision material and realize for example how rare it is to find the EPISODIC versions complete.

What I have posted is but a fraction of the material I have on the screenings, as was not sure if anyone was going to be that interested. But I made copious notes of the screenings, plus audio and later video off airs, and have built up a very good library of the episodes.

I had clean forgot about the original film English titled versions that must have been released in the early 60's along with the French versions, (not post production VHS releases) until I went thro my VHS archive. It is strange that later screenings have resorted to the French titles, suggesting that the English titled film prints no longer actually exist. Maybe in fact, my 1984 off-air from BBC1 recordings are pretty much unique these days.

Any light that can be shed on those would be very interesting, as too would the fate of the Peter Hawkins narrated film prints of the 60's too.
jock123
Moderator
#5 · Posted: 3 Dec 2011 22:52
goldenfleece:
What I have posted is but a fraction of the material I have on the screenings,

Another “wow!”…

goldenfleece:
was not sure if anyone was going to be that interested.

I’ve got say I am very interested! There has been some discussion of the VHS releases, and about the possible voice casts and dubs used, but nothing as detailed as this!

goldenfleece:
I made copious notes of the screenings, plus audio and later video off airs, and have built up a very good library of the episodes.

Well done you! You’ve done us Belvision enthusiasts proud!

goldenfleece:
I had clean forgot about the original film English titled versions that must have been released in the early 60's along with the French versions, (not post production VHS releases) until I went thro my VHS archive.

It’s been a bit of a wake up call for me; I’d been pretty sure that they had once had English on-screen titles, but had clearer memories of only seeing the French ones, so had begun to doubt myself.

goldenfleece:
It is strange that later screenings have resorted to the French titles, suggesting that the English titled film prints no longer actually exist.

Certainly it suggests that whatever library held them had been reduced to the French versions.

goldenfleece:
Maybe in fact, my 1984 off-air from BBC1 recordings are pretty much unique these days.

They will certainly be rare; however, we know of at least one collector in the states who has the majority of episodes on film (I’m not being coy here, I just can’t find his post at the moment. If I do, I’ll add it in!), and hopefully Belvision has them in its archive, as might Larry Harmon Studios in the States. But do treat them with care!

goldenfleece:
the fate of the Peter Hawkins narrated film prints of the 60's too

It has yet to be established that he worked on more than the B&W semi-animated Belvision serials the BBC showed in the fifties. Those had Gerald Campion as Tintin, and Peter Hawkins as everyone else, as far as can be made out. Enquiries made through the BBC archive suggest that they don’t have them any more, and it’s entirely possible that they were recorded over (much audio and video tape was re-used due to cost).
Until we can find some off-air recordings of these (a holy grail if ever there was one) they are presumably gone for ever. Likewise, it will take a bit more research to see if the BBC really did do any over-dubbing of the fully animated series using Hawkins, but until then it would have to be said that it will remain mythical.
Rocky
Member
#6 · Posted: 4 Dec 2011 10:14 · Edited by: Rocky
Fantastic to have this information, Goldenfleece! I never knew Channel 4 had broadcast so many Belvisions; I'm annoyed that I only caught their broadcast of Star of Mystery.

BBC1 1983 Secret of the Unicorn
: I've just found my 1983 VHS and can confirm that the on-screen titles are French.
Rocky
Member
#7 · Posted: 6 Dec 2011 21:49 · Edited by: Rocky
jock123:
It has yet to be established that he worked on more than the B&W semi-animated Belvision serials the BBC showed in the fifties.

Slightly off-topic, but I've just realised there's a clip of the original French version of one of these (Le Sceptre D'Ottokar), narrated by Jean Nohain, in the documentary Moi, Tintin.
goldenfleece
Member
#8 · Posted: 7 Dec 2011 21:04
Rocky
Great news to hear that. I was wondering if anyone had the original 5 min episodes at all, since only double length formatted episodes were transmitted in 1990 on ITV. Be great to see them, as cant remember the cliffhanger voice-overs or the recaps of all of them now.
goldenfleece
Member
#9 · Posted: 7 Dec 2011 21:11
Rocky
Yes Channel 4 broadcast all the episodic Belvision apart from (strangely) Secret of The Unicorn, which is annoying as I really wanted the original 5 minute episode format for that series.

Note though that the quality of the prints they used for masters was dubious for some series to say the least, for example the Black Island prints were dirty and scratchy, with muffled audio on one episode, but Red Rackham's Treasure was lovely and crisp and great colours, compared to ITV's very washed out prints they used the year before for their broadcasts.

I still have yet to find a source for the original 5 minute episodes of Red Rackham's Treasure that are not 'audio cropped' during the closing titles, as I described in an earlier post.

And also, can I again request if anyone can identify any of the classical music used as incidental music for the Belvision Tintin series?
Difficult task indeed, I think, as most pieces used are quite short and mix swiftly one into another as the action changes...
number1fan
Member
#10 · Posted: 8 Dec 2011 07:14 · Edited by: Moderator
Thanks Goldenfleece for all that you have done. Good show.

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