A11: BOUNTY

 

RADIO TIMES: President Sarkoff is a prisoner of the Federation. While Blake and Cally are trying to rescue him the Liberator answers a distress call and runs into trouble...

BROADCAST: Monday 13th March, 1978: 7.15pm-8.10pm, BBC 1

Writer: Terry Nation

Director: Pennant Roberts

"Political assassination I can ... live with. To be murdered would be the final, sordid indignity."  Sarkoff

GUEST CAST: T.P. McKenna (Sarkoff), Carinthia West (Tyce), Marc Zuber (Tarvin), Mark York (Cheney), Derrick Branche (Amagon Guard)

FACT FILE

 

  • Bounty was watched by 9.6m viewers.

 

  • Terry Nation was commissioned to write Bounty on Friday 22nd April, 1977. Nation took inspiration from real life events when he wrote about a peace-keeping force that turns out to be an occupying force. This was based on the Syrian ‘peace-keeping’ force that had entered the Lebanon. He revealed his thinking in an interview with Starburst in 1979. “Syria. It’s a political device that happens all the time. That’s what was happening at the time with Syria. But I guarantee that 99.9% of people in the world who see the show won’t see any political significance at all. Though, God knows, I’ve got to get all these people to relate to some truth, some honour or some dignity somewhere. It is not just about people tearing around in spaceships, although that may appear to be what it is.”

 

  • Nation’s script suggested that Sarkoff could listen to some Elvis Presley from his record selection.

 

  • By this stage, the strain of writing the whole first season was starting to tell on Nation and he was struggling to come up with new ideas. He recalled his problems in an interview with TV Zone in 1991. “During those thirteen weeks, I ran entirely out of ideas, and I’d sit around and walk for days, saying, ‘There are no more ideas, that’s it! I’ve shot it all and it’s gone.’ But then something comes up and you get an opening scene, and then you get the feeling that something’s there…” 

 

  • Chris Boucher was often required to do additional work on Nation’s episodes in the latter half of Series A.  Speaking to TV Zone, Boucher recalled his input into the scripts. “Terry made it clear that the only thing he would do was the first drafts. He actually said, ‘Fine, you can have rewrites or you can have the next episode; which do you want?’ We had to have the next episode, so the rewrites were sent down to me, which was fun as well. I loved doing it, I learned a lot in the process, but I’m sure I must have hurt Terry’s feelings enormously on a number of occasions.”

 

  • Boucher created the additional character of Tyce and worked closely with director Pennant Roberts in order to stretch out the script. Pennant Roberts recalled the problems with padding out the under-running script in an interview with Terminal in 1990. “Terry delivered a twenty-six minute script and Chris and I had to scratch our heads, because Terry certainly had no time to do any more, because he was already involved in writing episodes twelve and thirteen. Thirteen was the one that would guarantee the next year’s series. next year’s audience had to have priority, so Chris and I sat down and said, ‘What can we do with episode eleven?’ Chris asked how long I could make it run, and I said, ‘It runs twenty-six minutes.’ We introduced the tall girl played by Carinthia West as the lady chauffeur, and we extended them. At least with the new element we had something going for us.”

 

  • Nation was quite pragmatic about the rewrites. “As I’ve said before, I delivered something into the hands of other professionals, now let them go ahead with it. Chris Boucher did a splendid job overall. I would not have approved of every single change he made, but that was what he was being paid for. I think he did terribly well. If I had been able to find the time, I might have been there saying, ‘No, this is what we’ve got to do’. Some of the things I came away thinking, ‘Oh, he blew that one, he shouldn’t have done that’, but ego comes into that as well. Under the circumstances, I think we did get a very smashing series.”

 

  • Location filming commenced at Waterloo Tower at Quex Park, Birchington in Kent on Wednesday 1st February 1978. This represented Sarkoff's "authentic 20th century residence". The Waterloo Tower is a Bell Tower containing 12 bells hung for change ringing. It was built in 1819, by John Powell. The doors of the Waterloo tower were painted white and gold for the episode, and they remained that colour for many years afterwards, although they were later painted over. Only Jan Chappell and Gareth Thomas were required from the regular cast.

 

  • In an interview with Horizon in 1995, Gareth Thomas revealed that he particularly enjoyed Roberts’ style of direction. “Pennant was…he wasn’t what I’d call one of the ‘old school’ because in those days he was one of the young school of directors. I don’t know how many years he’d been in the business, but it couldn’t have been more than ten. He was very keen and great to work with.” 

  

  • Stuntwoman Roberta Gibbs was injured while doubling as Cally and was hospitalised for three weeks.

 

  • To avoid wrecking the vintage car, the crash happened off-screen. Stunt driver Stanley Hollingsworth was hidden out of view for the driverless sequence.

 

  • Studio recording commenced on Monday 20th February, 1978 in TC1.

 

  • CSO was used for the shots of the Federation ships approaching for an attack.

 

 

 

EPISODE GALLERY

Please click on the image for larger view and details.

 

 

Vila, Avon and Jenna

Vila, Avon and Jenna

Vila (Michael Keating), Avon (Paul Darrow) and Jenna (Sally Knyvette) consult with Zen (voiced by Peter Tuddenham). BBC copyright image.

Tyce and Sarkoff

Tyce and Sarkoff

Tyce (Carinthia West) and Sarkoff (T.P. McKenna on the Liberator flight deck. BBC copyright image.

Tyce and Sarkoff on the Liberator

Tyce and Sarkoff on the Liberator

Tyce (Carinthia West) and Sarkoff (T.P. McKenna on the Liberator flight deck. BBC copyright image.

Blake and Sarkoff

Blake and Sarkoff

Gareth Thomas and T.P. McKenna rehearse for the episode. BBC copyright image.

Blake

Blake

Publicity shot of Gareth Roberts (Blake). BBC copyright image.

Rehearsals for Bounty

Rehearsals for Bounty

The cast during rehearsals for Bounty. BBC copyright image.