Friday, January 21, 2011

Robinson Crusoe

Back in 2006, I waxed lyrical on the beloved, endlessly repeated TV series that were such a feature of the endless summer holidays of my youth.

Robinson Crusoe was shown every year from 1965 to 1981 in the UK. BBC Radio 4 presents a tribute, history and investigation. The story so far:

Some claim the BBC prints were simply dumped, and others maintain that they were returned to a vault in France in 1982. When, after almost two decades, interest was expressed in a video release, the only surviving copies proved to be this 13-part English edition, in material requiring extensive restoration. Crusoe was rescued only from this single, fragile source and subsequently released on VHS and, more recently, DVD. Of the original French version, nothing remained but the first episode, rendered useless by Portuguese subtitles. It did, however, reveal that the French original had a different, and inferior, music score, fortunately replaced by the music of Robert Mellin - formerly a hit songwriter in Britain - and Gian-Piero Reverberi.

More detail perhaps than you need, but food and drink to me. "Of the original French version, nothing remained, " is as good a summary of the 20th century as you can get.

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