The series was originally produced in the 1950s by renowned documentary maker Peter Baylis. The episodes worked their way chronologically from the late Victorian era through until 1945. The series employed quite romantic titles that roll off the tongue like a list of post-war novels – “The Tough Guys”, “Teenage Flapper” and “Edwardian Summer” to pick three at random.
BBC4 have re-worked the episodes so that they are now thematic. Tomorrow night’s episode is called Pioneers of Aviation, and will showcase fantastic British Pathé footage, from a jazz band performing on the wings of a flying aeroplane to a gentleman who sits himself in a bath and straps it to a giant, ascending hot air balloon.
Originally each episode had a famous narrator, usually a well-known 1950s actor, including everyone from Michael Redgrave to Anthony Quayle. “Teenage Flapper” was narrated by the famous comedienne Joyce Grenfell, “The Tough Guys” was narrated by John Ireland (perhaps most famous for his role as Crixus in Spartacus, or for dating a teenager Tuesday Weld!) and film legend Sir Ralph Richardson provided the commentary for the beautiful and elegant “Edwardian Summer”. Links to all three of these episodes are below.
In the new Time To Remember series, each episode will offer an exotic medley of these various voices but with the additional gloss of a contemporary narrator to navigate the audience from clip to clip.
With the fascination and depth that only an archive like British Pathé can offer, and with the bite-size beauty of You’ve Been Framed, the return of Time to Remember promises to yet again captivate audiences of all generations and demonstrate its wide and enduring appeal.
BBC4 is a great channel to screen the thirteen part series. Each episode is only half an hour, so make sure to jot Tuesdays 8.30-9.oo as a Time To Remember in your busy diaries. (We’ll let you know about repeat screenings soon)
To watch episodes from the original series, see below. It may be fun to compare the new series and see how the historiography might have changed. We love the sombre introductions:
To see footage from the British Pathé archive of Joyce Grenfell, Sir Ralph Richardson, Michael Redgrave and Anthony Quayle, see below. It seems they all found time out of their busy voiceover schedules to attend parties and premieres!
Joyce Grenfell at Noel Coward’s 70th birthday, in a fetching bright green dress – WATCH NOW!
Michael Redgrave at a star-studded Daily Mail Film Awards event – WATCH NOW!
Sir Ralph Richardson with Rita Tushingham at the premier for ‘Doctor Zhivago’, and shaking hands with Princess Margaret – WATCH NOW!
Make sure to tune in for the brand new series Time To Remember, Tuesdays on BBC4, at 8.30pm.