Missing Believed Wiped returns to BFI Southbank on Sunday 8 December to present another thrilling
programme of recent TV rediscoveries, with a focus on original TV dramas and single plays. BFI are excited to
screen extracts from a previously unseen filmed interview with Dennis Potter as well aslong lostsingle plays,
Freedom in September, a Cold War era story starring a pre-Doctor Who Patrick Troughton, psychological
hostage drama No Harm Done starring Coronation Street’s Helen Worth and missing sitcom pilot Porterhouse
Private Eye starring Carry on… regulars Peter Butterworth and June Whitfield.
As part of a BFI season of his work, the quintessential British TV dramatist Dennis Potter was interviewed by
TV Critic Philip Purser for The Guardian Lecture series at the NFT (now BFI Southbank), on 30 October, 1980.
When BBC editors at the time made a last minute decision not to film the event for broadcast, Potter and his
producer Kenith Trodd filmed the lecture themselves with the idea of selling it to a broadcaster. Missing
Believed Wiped offers an audience the first glimpse of the interview since the event almost 40 years ago.
Kenith Trodd, who held the rushesin his personal archive, will introduce extracts from this revealing interview
which captures a pivotal moment in Potter’s prodigious TV career. Filmed on the back of Brimstone & Treacle,
Pennies From Heaven and Blue Remembered Hills, the interview covers the playwright’s thoughts on the value
of television drama in the UK as well as nascent ideasfor The Singing Detective, 6 years before the fully realised
series hit TV screens.
BFI are delighted to announce that the digitised rushes are being brought into the BFI National Archive for
long term preservation. On the rediscovery Producer Kenith Trodd says, “The Guardian Lecture was missing
from the archive and from Dennis’s history.. There’s no good account of it anywhere, or that we took it on
when the BBC dropped him from their series because he wrote for “television not film”. The echoes of this
peculiar mindset still resonate today. This 1980 lecture gives Dennis the chance to lay waste indignantly,
satirically and very memorably across a thinking-aloud landscape of entertaining and creative responses in
vintage style. I’m delighted the BFI is facilitating this ‘Unwiping’ and that this material will be preserved for
future admirers of a great talent”
In No Harm Done Avenger’s writer Roger Marshall delivers a tense family hostage drama, (ITV 1974), that
unexpectedly evolvesinto something psychologically far more compelling. Made for the Sunday Night Theatre
slot on ITV, No Harm Done was directed by Don Leaver, the award-winning television producer and director
behind Prime Suspect and A Touch of Frost and stars a young Helen Worth, just months before she joined
Coronation Street as Gail Platt.