AI NO DERRIDA

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Number Lady



Title sequence to never-broadcast TV series. Filmed by Southern TV in 1975, and abandoned for reasons that have never been fully explained (though all sorts of rumours abound). Even the subject of the series is unclear, some claiming it is a straightforward drama about shortwave number stations, and others that it's a supernatural story about a a boy who can communicate with ghosts that have been trapped by pylons in a field near his home.

If anyone can find more on this, please let us know!

11 comments:

  1. Marvellous. Didn't Les Waters also write 'Boy In A Coracle' for HTV?

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  2. Very interesting--and very mysterious. I can't find a thing about this series using Google or Wikipedia. Hmm.

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  3. My favorite episode was the one when Patrick ate a cricket and was suddenly transformed into a block of flats. Genius.

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  4. As I understand it, it was the subject matter itself that caused the cancellation of this programme. By 1975, 'straightforward drama about shortwave number stations' was ten-a-penny on commercial TV, and it was decided that there was no room for another one.
    Looking forward to the remastered DVD release of 'Boy In A Coracle'.

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  5. Gregory - Bollops was quite right in saying that 'The Number Lady' was never broadcast. If I'm not much mistaken, you're thinking of the short-lived ATV series 'Dr. Jiminy and Patrick Hyde' which Les Waters also wrote.

    I seem to recall reading in Waters' sardonic critique of the TV industry 'End of Job Cuts' (does anyone have a copy they could scan?) that the arithmetical incantations of the polyglot Number Lady seemed (it was never made totally clear) to relate to exorcism of the pylons. The series of novels continued till about 1987 and inspired a lot of fans to send each other arithmetical puzzles to solve, usually via odd little radio broadcasts.

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  6. You are correct, Phantom. My error. I'm a bit off lately, the old synapses misfiring at an alarming rate.

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  7. What about the story that Les Waters was a pseudonym of Jack Hargreaves? I think it's plausible. He did after all fall out with his producer at Southern for not allowing him to take Out of Town in "a more sci-fi direction".

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  8. enjoying this surreal wander down alternative time lanes...

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  9. This is fantastic. I wish we could find more about this series. Is there a pilot hiding somewhere in some cave that we can find?

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  10. I found out more...

    Here is the original posting of this video:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bollops/5368708032

    It turns out that it was made by the original poster in Windows Movie Maker. It's just a personal hauntology vid. He's talking about making others, although a full episode would be beyond his capabilities/interest.

    It's too bad, because an actual show, with some haunting and mysterious elements, about a numbers lady would be awesome.

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  11. As far as i Know one of latests episodes of Fringe series is about Numbers Stations. And a link to some interesting facts about it: http://www.simonmason.karoo.net/page30.html

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