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Old 06-04-2014, 04:14 AM   #1
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Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
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Default Preservation Of Old TV

It is well-known that a lot of the early Doctor Who episodes from the early 1960s are lost. Of the first series of The Avengers from 1961, where John Steed has a male sidekick, just one episode remains. This is because the BBC recorded these on videotape, which was fiendishly expensive at the time, so it had to be wiped and reused.

By contrast, the ITV-produced Danger Man, dating from 1959/1960, survives in its entirety to this day. I think this was because it was shot on film, which you couldn’t reuse anyway.

I wonder, did this make that much difference to production costs? Back then, black-and-white British TV used a 405-line system (predating even 625-line PAL!); given that the tape was so expensive, was it really that much cheaper to use it for shooting instead of film?
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