Gah. Not the best news to start off October with. We’ve got an answer as to BBC 7’s scheduling of Cliché and Son of Cliché. Their transmissions were rather odd: Episode 5 of Cliché was missed out, and only four eps out of the sixteen made of Son of Cliché was broadcast (Series 2 Episode 2, and Series 1 Episodes 1, 4 and 5).
As suspected by certain people, it’s an archive problem, not BBC 7 being useless. “We do try and broadcast series in chronological order, and in their entirety, when possible”, BBC 7 explained. “However the BBC Archive is far from complete – and programmes are not always catalogued (making them harder to find).” Many thanks to BBC 7 for their reply.
This situation isn’t unusual for programmes broadcast in the early eighties; and we also hasten to add that it does not mean the programmes are gone for good. It’s likely that (as BBC7 say) the original tapes are languishing around in the archives, just not catalogued. Even if they aren’t, we know that copies exist of all the episodes of Son of Cliché in private hands; currently mine, as I’m holding a CD of them. (Cappsy of The White Hole will be hosting them shortly, so you can all get a copy – they are avaliable elsewhere on the net if you search hard enough.) Obviously they aren’t nearly as good quality as the original tapes; part of the reason everyone was getting excited about the repeats was to get a really nice copy of them. But they’re far better than nothing, and they’re not bad at all really, considering the age of the programme.
As for Cliché episode 5, we don’t know of any copies out there, although more likely than not it’s around somewhere, and will turn up eventually. (Surely at the very least, someone who worked on the programme recorded it.) At least five out of the six exist in the archives. It’s all a great shame, but it could be far worse. So many programmes of a certain period are lost for good: wheras at least 21 out of the 22 programmes exist in some form or another…