Programme - TV Screenings

Loncon 3 TV

So you’ve travelled to London to attend Worldcon, where you have the opportunity to meet people and take part in activities and events you simply can’t get anywhere else. So who really wants to spend any of that precious convention time in front of a screen, watching something you can enjoy just as easily in your living room when you get back home?

This is a continuing dilemma when programming television and film material at any convention, let alone Worldcon. There is so much genre television available today, either in the form of the continuous stream of new material or via the growing availability of archive material, that we’re simply drowning in content.

There are many possible solutions to this dilemma, and we’re going to attempt to apply all of them when looking at TV-related programming for Loncon 3.

In order to allow Loncon 3 to celebrate the UK’s long heritage of science fiction and the fantastic on television, we have entered into a partnership with the BFI, who themselves will be celebrating science fiction film and television in their Days Of Fear And Wonder season from October through to December. The BFI have assisted Loncon 3 to secure rights to screen a variety of televisual material from lost archive classics through to modern (and sure to be future) classics:

Documentary

The Culture Show: “Raw Spirit” – A 2013 BBC profile, and the last television interview with Iain Banks.

The South Bank Show: “The Strange Worlds of Iain Banks” – 1997 profile and interviews from the earlier part of Iain’s career.

My Science Fiction Life – based on a project launched by the BBC in 2007, fans of all stripes talk about what science fiction means to them, and how it’s helped to shape their lives and make them the people they are.

The End Of The World As We Know It: “The Martians and Us” – The history of British science fiction is littered with apocalyptic visions of the end of civilisation as we know it, from late Victorian disasters like The Purple Cloud, through the cosy catastrophes of John Wyndham and up to TV series like Survivors. This BBC programme from 2009 takes a look at the very British preoccupation with the end of the world.

Moominland Tales: The Life Of Tove Jansson – BBC-produced profile on the fascinating life and work of Finnish writer and illustrator and creator of the Moomins.

Comics Britannia: “Anarchy In The UK” – Documentary on the British comics scene of the ’70s and ’80s, the rise of comics like

Action and 2000AD, and the “British Invasion” of UK comics writers and artists such as Alan Moore, Bryan Talbot, Neil Gaiman, and Brian Bolland who took the US comics scene by storm.

What Do Artists Do All Day?: “Frank Quitely” – A profile of the influential Scottish comics artist, known for his many collaborations with writer Grant Morrison.

Docu-drama

John Wyndham: The Invisible Man of Science Fiction – BBC-produced drama documentary about the life and work of John Wyndham, author of many classics including The Day Of The Triffids, The Crysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos and The Kraken Wakes.

Children’s/Family

The Changes – The first two episodes of the classic serial based on the books by Peter Dickinson (to tie-in with the BFI DVD release in August).

Yonderland – The first two episodes from the fabulous and hysterical fantasy series by the creators of the award-winning Horrible Histories TV series.

Comedy

How To Be Sci-Fi – Spoof acting masterclass, with Nicholas Craig (as portrayed by Nigel Planer).

Cruise of The Gods – Brilliant, knowing and affectionate comedy drama, starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, that examines the relationship between the stars of genre TV and their fans.

Drama and Archive Television

The Strain – presented in association with the Watch channel, who will be screening the series in the UK in the Autumn, a chance to see the UK premiere of the pilot episode of the new TV series based on the trilogy of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Vampire horror that owes as much to H P Lovecraft as it does to Bram Stoker, The Strain follows the lethal outbreak of a virus in New York following the arrival of a passenger jet with its lights off, doors sealed and only two survivors.

The Other Man - Another lost UK teleplay, also from 1964, about a parallel 1940 where Churchill is killed and a peace treaty is signed with Nazi Germany. An early TV role for Michael Caine as British army officer George Grant. Once considered a lost classic, and originally running to two and a half hours (a record length for a teleplay at the time), a substantial amount of footage – comprising the beginning and end of the story – was recovered in 2007, allowing an audience to see a version that gives a coherent narrative. Very rare indeed.

Out Of The Unknown: “No Place Like Earth” – The first episode of the classic SF anthology series, screening in advance of its imminent DVD release by the BFI.

Nineteen Eighty Four (1954) – A newly restored print of what is widely considered to be the finest dramatisation of the classic novel by George Orwell, scripted by Nigel Kneale and starring Peter Cushing.

Black Mirror: “Fifteen Million Merits” – Probably the best episode (to date) of one of the finest examples of current SF television from the UK. A very dark vision of the near future from writers Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq.

Other Events

In addition to BFI assistance with assembling our programme of television items, we will also be privileged to host a special ‘Missing – Believed Wiped’ talk by BFI archive expert Dick Fiddy. This will be a special Loncon 3 genre-themed version of the talk given by Dick at the annual BFI ‘Missing – Believed Wiped’ event, discussing the recovery of TV and film material thought lost from the archives, the significance of the material and some of the fascinating stories surrounding its recovery.

We are also thrilled to be hosting a talk about the restoration of archive material by The Doctor Who Restoration Team, a team of industry professionals who between them, and as a labour of love, have been responsible for the restoration of Doctor Who audio and video archive material for the BBC, as well as bringing their expertise to bear on other archive series in need of some loving care and attention, such as the Quatermass serials.

Alongside our TV screenings, Loncon 3 is also partnered with the Sci-Fi London (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film) to screen a host of brilliant independently produced international science fiction and fantasy films, including works from the UK, US, Malaysia, Sweden, Denmark and France – and at least one UK film premiere.

Mark Slater

Loncon 3 is a non-profit organisation. One pound of the membership price of Loncon 3 will cover admission to film and television screenings at the convention. Members of Equity, MU and the Writers Guild will be entitled to a 25% discount (25p) on this one part of their membership only.