June 20, 1964 in Doctor Who: The Sensorites

The Sensorites was the seventh story of the first season. Though ‘The Keys of Marinus‘ and ‘The Daleks‘ had both been clear examples of science fiction Doctor Who adventures, neither had specifically stated they were in the future (although ‘The Edge of Destruction‘ retroactively said ‘The Daleks’ was set in some undisclosed period in the future). By contrast, ‘The Sensorites’ was the first story to flatly claim a setting more than a century after the broadcast.

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The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive in the TARDIS on board a spaceship. Their initial concern is for the ship’s human crew, who are suffering from telepathic interference from the Sensorites, but Susan communicates with the Sensorites and finds the aliens fear an attack by the humans and are just defending themselves. Travelling to the Sense Sphere (the Sensorites’ planet) the Doctor seeks to cure an illness to which the Sensorites and Ian have succumbed but finds it has been caused by deliberate poisoning. The political manoeuvring of the Sensorite City Administrator poses another threat to the TARDIS crew as he seeks to discredit and implicate them.

Find out more at tardis.wikia.com.

The Doctor doesn’t make threats on the Doctor Who YouTube Channel.

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June 20, 1977 on UK TV: Alternative 3

TV-UK-06-20-1977Alternative 3 is a television programme, broadcast once only in the United Kingdom in 1977, and later broadcast in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as a fictional hoax, an heir to Orson Welles‘ radio production of The War of the Worlds. Purporting to be an investigation into the UK’s contemporary “brain drain”, Alternative 3 uncovered a plan to make the Moon and Mars habitable in the event of climate change and a terminal environmental catastrophe on Earth.

The programme was presented as an edition of an Anglia TV series called Science Report. The intended transmission date was April 1, but it seems that Anglia was unable to obtain an ITV network slot for the programme on that date due to strike action/labour disputes. While its broadcast was delayed until June 20, the credits explicitly date the film to April 1. The script was written by Chris Miles and David Ambrose. Music was supplied by Brian Eno, a portion of his score being released on the album Music for Films (1978). Apart from the presenter Tim Brinton, all the characters in the programme were played by actors who were explicitly credited at the end.

Within minutes of the programme ending, Anglia Television was flooded with telephone calls demanding more information. Callers were told the programme was a hoax. The Times on 21 June reported that “Independent television companies last night received hundreds of protest calls after an Anglia programme, Alternative 3, gave alarming facts about changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. It was a hoax, originally intended for April 1st.” It also pointed out that several of the characters in the programme were played by well known actors. [Wikipedia]

June 20, 1956 on UK TV: Opportunity Knocks

Opportunity Knocks presented by Hughie GreenOpportunity Knocks is a British television and radio talent show originally hosted by Hughie Green, with a late-1980s revival hosted by Bob Monkhouse, and later by previous winner Les Dawson.

The original radio version started on the BBC Light Programme, where it ran from 18 February to 29 September 1949, but moved to Radio Luxembourg in the 1950s. It was shown on ITV from 20 June 1956 to 29 August 1956, produced by Associated Rediffusion. A second run commenced on 11 July 1964 and lasted until 20 March 1978, produced first by ABC and then by Thames. Hughie Green presented a single episode of Opportunity Knocks for RTÉ in 1979. It was revived by the BBC from 21 March 1987 to 2 June 1990, hosted initially by Bob Monkhouse from 1987 to 1989 (under the title Bob Says Opportunity Knocks!) and subsequently by Les Dawson in 1990.

Unlike its rival New Faces, the winning acts on Opportunity Knocks were decided not by a panel of experts but by the viewing public. In the ITV version this took the form of a postal vote, the winner of which was announced the following week. The BBC revival was notable for being the first TV show to decide its winner using the now-standard method of a telephone vote. In both versions the studio audience reaction to each act was measured by a clap-o-meter, but this did not count towards the final result.

The programme was recorded the Friday before transmission, so votes had to be in by Thursday. They also, according to host Hughie Green, largely to ensure fairness, had to be in “your own handwriting”.

Although Opportunity Knocks did produce a number of talented acts, the method of putting the contest to a public vote did sometimes result in victories for novelty acts, in particular those involving children or animals. On one notorious occasion the young Su Pollard was beaten into second place by a singing dog.

For the Monkhouse-fronted revival, the voting system was radically changed, making it the first British TV show to use telephone voting in order to get a more immediate result (although an updated electronic “clap-o-meter-style” on-screen indicator, using stars, was used during the show). The telephone voting system is now common on British TV.

Entertainers who appeared included Freddie Starr and the Delmonts, Su Pollard, Paul Daniels, Darren Day; Pete the Plate Spinning Dog, Los Caracas, later to become Middle of the Road, Mary Hopkin, Bonnie Langford, Les Dawson, Maureen Myers, Barry Cummings, Royston Vasey (later to find fame as Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown), Little and Large, Bobby Crush, Berni Flint, Tony Holland, Millican & Nesbitt, Neil Reid, Peters and Lee, Lena Zavaroni, Frank Carson, Max Boyce, Pam Ayres, Gerry Monroe, Debra Stephenson, Tammy Jones, Paper Lace and Tony Monopoly. Several winners of Opportunity Knocks (notably Tammy Jones, Champagne, Tony Monopoly) later attempted to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, taking part in the A Song for Europe competition. Lee Evans appeared in 1986 but was rejected and did not make it past the initial audition. [Wikipedia]

June 20, 1960 on UK TV: Nan Winton is first woman to read news on BBC TV

TV-UK-06-20-1960Nan Winton is a British broadcaster, best known for being the first female national newsreader on BBC television.

She was a BBC TV continuity announcer from 1958 to 1961 and also an experienced journalist, who had worked on Panorama and Town and Around. She was given the job of reading the 6pm news and weekend bulletins on Sunday evenings, in response to rivals ITN, who had a female newscaster, Barbara Mandell, since its launch in 1955.

She began on 19 June 1960, but BBC Audience research concluded that viewers thought a woman reading the late news was “not acceptable” and she was removed from the role in March 1961. She remained the only woman to have read the national news on BBC TV until 1975, when Angela Rippon began a much longer spell as a newsreader.

After stepping down from reading the news, Winton remained a TV and radio news reporter and interviewer. She was also a regular panellist on the radio panel game Treble Chance. She was formerly married to actor Charles Stapley who had appeared as Ted Hope in Crossroads.

June 20, 1983: Iron Maiden release “The Trooper”

The_Trooper_song_cover“The Trooper” is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released as the second single from the band’s fourth studio album, Piece of Mind (1983). It was one of only a few songs to get much radio airplay in the US, thus peaking at No. 28 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. It also achieved success in the UK, peaking at No. 12 in the UK Singles Charts as well as gaining a much better reception than the band’s previous single, “Flight of Icarus“. [Wikipedia]

Watch the video on the Iron Maiden YouTube Channel.

June 20, 1974 in UK cinemas: Horror Express

“A nightmare of terror travelling aboard the Horror Express!”

Horror_Express-1974Horror Express, a.k.a Pánico en el Transiberiano in Spain (Panic on the Trans-Siberian Express), is a 1972 Spanish-British science fiction-horror film produced by Bernard Gordon and Gregorio Sacristan, directed by Eugenio Martín, that stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa and Telly Savalas. The screenplay was written by Arnaud d’Usseau and Julian Zimet (credited as Julian Halevy). It was loosely based on the RKO Pictures film The Thing from Another World (1951), adapted from the 1938 Astounding Science Fiction novella Who Goes There? written by John W. Campbell, Jr. [Wikipedia]

An English anthropologist has discovered a frozen monster in the frozen wastes of Manchuria which he believes may be the Missing Link. He brings the creature back to Europe aboard a trans-Siberian express, but during the trip the monster thaws out and starts to butcher the passengers one by one. [IMDB]

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Watch the trailer on the NEVER FORGET FILM SERIES YouTube Channel.

June 20, 1980 in US cinemas: Brubaker

“The most wanted man in Wakefield prison is the Warden.”

Brubaker-1980Brubaker is an American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It stars Robert Redford as newly arrived prison warden Henry Brubaker, who attempts to clean up a corrupt and violent penal system. The screenplay by W.D. Richter is a fictionalized version of the 1969 book, Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal by Tom Murton and Joe Hyams, detailing Murton’s uncovering of the 1967 prison scandal.

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The film features a large supporting cast including Yaphet Kotto, Jane Alexander, Murray Hamilton, David Keith, Tim McIntire, Matt Clark, M. Emmet Walsh, Everett McGill, and an early appearance by Morgan Freeman. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 1981 Academy Awards. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the theparallaxreview YouTube Channel.

 

June 20, 1986 in US cinemas: The Karate Kid Part II

One more lesson to share. The price of honour. The glory of friendship. And the way you must fight when only the winner survives.”

The_Karate_Kid_Part_II-1986The Karate Kid Part II is an American martial arts drama film and the first sequel to The Karate Kid (1984). Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita reprise their respective roles as young karate student Daniel LaRusso and his mentor Kesuke Miyagi. Like the original film, the sequel was a success, earning even more at the box office than its predecessor, although it received mixed reviews from critics. [Wikipedia]

It’s summer, Daniel just broke up with his girlfriend and was told by his mother that her job needs her to move to Fresno for the summer which Daniel doesn’t like. Mr. Miyagi was going to let Daniel stay with him until he receives a letter from Okinawa telling him that his father is dying. So Miyagi leaves to go there and Daniel joins him. Miyagi tells Daniel that the reason he left Okinawa was because his best friend, Sato whose family is the most affluent in Okinawa, was promised Yukie whose the girl Miyagi loved. So Miyagi asks her to run away with him and when Sato learned of this, he challenged Miyagi to a fight to the death. So Miyagi left. Upon arriving Miyagi discovers Sato still wants to fight him and his nephew and best student Chozen has it out for Daniel. [IMDB]MSDKAKI EC034

Watch the trailer on the SonyPicsHomeEntWorld YouTube Channel.

June 20, 1997 in UK cinemas: Private Parts

“Never before has a man done so much with so little.”

Private_Parts-1997Private Parts is an American biographical comedy film produced by Ivan Reitman and directed by Betty Thomas. The film is an adaptation of the autobiographical chapters from the best selling 1993 book Private Parts by radio personality Howard Stern, developed from a script written by Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko. It follows Stern’s life from boyhood and his rise to success in radio. Stern and several of his radio show staff star as themselves, including newscaster and co-host Robin Quivers, producers Fred Norris and Gary Dell’Abate, and comedian Jackie Martling. The film also stars Mary McCormack, Alison Janney, and Paul Giamatti.

After a proposed film featuring Stern as his superhero character Fartman fell through, development for a new film began in 1994, several months following the release of Private Parts. Stern signed with Rysher Entertainment, who agreed to fund it, and teamed with producer Ivan Reitman who thought a biographical take on Stern’s life was best suited for a film. Production was delayed after Stern rejected 22 scripts from several screenwriters until he accepted one developed by Blum and Kalesniko in late 1995. Filming took place in the New York City area and Washington, D.C. from May to November 1996 with a budget of $28 million, during which Stern continued to host his radio show each weekday morning. Numerous celebrities and family members of the radio show staff make cameo appearances in the film. The soundtrack is formed of songs from several rock bands as well as two original tracks featuring Stern performing with Rob Zombie and the Dust Brothers.

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Released by Paramount Pictures, Private Parts ranked at number one on the US box office in its opening weekend with a gross of $14.6 million. It grossed a domestic total of $41.2 million at the end of its theatrical run. It received mostly positive reviews from film critics, a group whom Stern made a conscious effort to please, including the public who did not listen to the radio show or were not fans of his. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Paramount Movies YouTube Channel.