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New BBC Documentary: Frank Gardner’s Real Tintin Adventure

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jock123
Moderator
#1 · Posted: 2 Aug 2011 22:58 · Edited by: jock123
Just advanced advanced notice that the BBC are currently producing a new Tintin documentary, to be shown on BBC2 this autumn.
Frank Gardner’s Real Tintin Adventure sees the veteran BBC journalist take a trip in the footsteps of Tintin, following the journey taken by the boy reporter in the first album, whilst also looking at how the strip came to be.

Tintinologist.org were happy to be contacted by the producer some weeks ago, and we have been providing information and assistance to help in its creation.

I was flattered and privileged to be asked to go to Brussels to appear in the film, and I accompanied Frank on his first stage, leaving the Gâre du Nord just as Tintin did in 1929 by train. We discussed the impact of the strip on its audience, and the influences Hergé brought to its art.

The documentary is due to be screened in October.
number1fan
Member
#2 · Posted: 4 Aug 2011 12:29
This is great. However would this documentary have been made if it wasn't for the film coming out?
I pretty much doubt it.
Hopefully it won't be as awful as that Dom Jolly documentary, which aired about a year ago, I think.
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 4 Aug 2011 14:43 · Edited by: jock123
number1fan:
would this documentary have been made if it wasn't for the film coming out?

Yes, it would; if anything, the film coming out nearly did for the project, as the concept had to be approved by both Moulinsart and the film studios, which added to the pre-production period, and reduced the amount of time available to make arrangements.
It's part of a batch of programmes under the banner of Adventure, Exploration & History, and while the film no doubt had some bearing on the documentary being commissioned, it was tailored to Frank's interest in the subject, not as a movie tie-in per se.

number1fan:
Hopefully it won't be as awful

Well, I'm in it, so I can't promise you that it will be perfect... ;-)

However, the approach is thankfully nothing like the Dom Joly Black Island programme, and should be a nice in depth look at the creation of the first album.

Filming is currently taking place in Russia, and there were extensive interviews with a wide-range of contributors made before the journey started, to be included in the show. The BBC team cannot be faulted for the lengths they are going to to make this a high-quality item.
mct16
Member
#4 · Posted: 4 Aug 2011 19:00
jock123:
Well, I'm in it, so I can't promise you that it will be perfect... ;-)

If what you told them is anything like what you put on these forums, then it should be fascinating and very in-depth.

Curious that they chose "Soviets" as their main subject. Any particular reason for that? I would have thought that they would choose something closer to the film (like "Red Rackham's Treasure") or one of the books that were published when Herge was at the height of his powers: from "Lotus" to "Tibet" (which for me are the books at their best).

BBC website:
photojournalist Robert Sexe, on whom Tintin – created by Belgian comic artist Hergé (Georges Remi) – is allegedly based

First it was Herge's own brother, then some Danish schoolboy and we even had some far-right extremist reporter who claimed he was the model. Now it is a photojournalist. Like James Bond, the "original Tintin" appears to be one never-ending list.
jock123
Moderator
#5 · Posted: 4 Aug 2011 19:48 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
it should be fascinating and very in-depth.

Very kind! I'm anticipating about 90 seconds of screen-time (if that), so we'll see!

mct16:
Curious that they chose "Soviets" as their main subject. Any particular reason for that?

Yes! Quite simply it was a book which Frank, although a fan of the series (a love of Tintin led to him becoming a reporter) only discovered fairly recently.

Not having kept abreast of developments, he missed its late arrival in English in 1989, and when he finally saw it, it made him realize that he knew little about how the series came to be, or why Hergé would send Tintin on this particular trip.

It wasn't intended to have any relationship to the film, per se.

Frank also perhaps felt that very nature of the book, as an example of Hergé's juvenalia, if you will, made using it to track his progress to a master of his trade all the more interesting.

mct16:
First it was Herge's own brother

Undoubtedly the pattern for Tintin physically.

mct16:
then some Danish schoolboy

A spurious hypothesis to my way of thinking: Palle Huld was more like a coincidental copy of Totor than any inspiration for Tintin. I'm definitely not convinced.

mct16:
we even had some far-right extremist reporter who claimed he was the model.

That would be the self-aggrandizing Rexist leader, and erstwhile contemporary of Hergé in right-wing Catholic publishing, Léon Degrelle. He made all claims to this years after the event, and in contradiction to Hergé's assertions that Paul was his model.
I believe that Hergé had to take legal action when Degrelle used an image of his for a Rexist Party poster, so they weren't on good terms.
Degrelle was the leader of the Walloonian brigade of the Waffen SS, so he may have been aware of Lucien Peperman, who was the Soviets-era stand-in for Tintin on his return from Russia.
Quite frankly, a nutter.

mct16:
Now it is a photojournalist.

This has been around for a few years, and appears to have a bit of merit to it. It doesn't actually refer to him being a physical model. Sexé was a well-respected photo-journalist, who undertook major journeys by motor-bike. The claim is based on the fact that he made trips to the USSR, the Congo and America, in that order, accompanied by his mechanic (name of Milhoux). Photos from his trips appear to have served as reference for several of Hergé's drawings. Hergé's own reference library post-dates Soviets, and it is assumed he would have had access to material from the paper's collection; the programme will look at the claim, and seek evidence for it amongst Sexé's pictures.

mct16:
Like James Bond, the "original Tintin" appears to be one never-ending list.

It looks like he'll remain elusive, but at least the film makes an attempt at homing in on the sources!
mct16
Member
#6 · Posted: 4 Aug 2011 22:45
it should be fascinating and very in-depth.

And after all the answers you've given to my points above, I rest my case.
glendale
Member
#7 · Posted: 5 Aug 2011 02:16
This is brilliant news Jock, I would love to see this however I will need a very big antenna to get BBC 2 in Sydney, I hope they will make it available on DVD.
Tintinrulz
Member
#8 · Posted: 5 Aug 2011 03:46
This documentary sounds like an excellent watch.
Glendale, hopefully it comes to SBS just like Tintin and I did in the past. That said, Tintin and I was truncated by about 20mins when it came to SBS. Hopefully the same doesn't happen to Frank Gardner's documentary.
mct16
Member
#9 · Posted: 23 Oct 2011 16:21
Here's a Daily Mail article by Frank Gardner (some might know him from the BBC news when he presents his reports on security matters using a Zimmer frame, due to an incident in Saudi Arabia in which he was shot and paralysed in the legs).

Includes a meeting with Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper, one of the English translators.

Interesting comparisons between some of the scenes in "Land of the Soviets" and what was actually going on in Russia at the time.
jock123
Moderator
#10 · Posted: 30 Oct 2011 12:08 · Edited by: jock123
The documentary, which now appears to be called Tintin’s Adventure with Frank Gardner, goes out tonight at 20:00 on BBC2 - set your videos, or similar appropriate apparatus, now!

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