Starwatch: A further glimpse

DWM #450In this month’s DWM (issue 450!) I’ve written a feature about Starwatch – a proposed TV science-fiction show from the late 1980s that was set to star Jon Pertwee. That clip above – that’s the promo video produced in 1988.

Writing the piece was a labour of love for me. Because of a vague family connection with the project, I’d always been interested in the story of Starwatch, and so a couple of years ago – yes, it’s literally taken me years to get this thing published – I tracked down Chris Leach, Starwatch‘s creator.

Chris was very generous with his time and resources, providing nearly all the imagery that made it into the finished piece (NB. My friend Alistair McGown supplied the scan from Look-in magazine). Of course, there wasn’t room in the issue to print all the visuals, so I thought I’d pop some of them online here. And so…

Jon Pertwee as Jason Havlin

Jon Pertwee as Jason Havlin

Screen grab from the behind the scenes video of the filming of the promo

Screen grab from the behind the scenes video of the filming of the promo

More behind the scenes

More behind the scenes

Jon Pertwee having hair spray applied

Jon Pertwee having hair spray applied

"With assistance from Business Seating"

“With assistance from Business Seating”

Pertwee wearing a jumper Mike Tucker claims was knitted by Chris Leach’s mum

Pertwee wearing a jumper Mike Tucker claims was knitted by Chris Leach’s mum

Model shots - behind the scenes (courtesy of Mike Tucker)

Model shots – behind the scenes (courtesy of Mike Tucker)

 

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2 thoughts on “Starwatch: A further glimpse

  1. The show had an interesting premise and I recall experiencing great excitement when reading coverage in Starburst and DWB. The reasons for it not being picked up are manifold but chiefly that it was pitched at the wrong time. The ITV regional companies were frightened to invest in new product due to the impending franchise auction. TVS was Leach’s preferred company if I recall correctly at the time they were proclaiming that in the event of a successful bid the amount they would pay for the licence to broadcast was far higher than any competing company was offering. This would be the companies undoing as they were unable to satisfy the quality threshold stipulated in the 1990 Broadcasting Act. Post franchise auction broadcasters hoarded cash in the hope that they would eventually be able to buy another franchise so a high budget SF show was never going to be commissioned, at least not at that stage. Once the ITV network settled down tastes in SF had changed and Starwatch may have been seen by any commissioning department as being somewhat old fashioned. Shame, this could have been an ideal show for family audiences but alas it was not to be.

  2. Pingback: STARWATCH- ein Spin-Off das es nie gab | The Sonic Newspaper

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