Monday, 13 March 2017

Photographs taken Behind-the-Scenes on the BBC TV drama serial 'Tenko'


Before the advent of digital technology, Polaroid cameras were used extensively on television drama productions. They were the best way of keeping records for continuity. I found these shots taken on the set of the BAFTA nominated BBC TV drama serial, 'Tenko' in about 1981:


As children apearing in costume, we wouold ask for any surplus or reject photos. Somehow a few of these have survived as a record of life behind the scenes. Stephanie Beaucham, who played Rose Millar, can be seen chatting to other members of the cast behind my sister in this continuity photograph.


Now and again, a few shots would be grabbed for fun. This captured a real birthday on location celebrated with Kerry Tovey who played Suzy in nine episodes. She now runs a casting agency.


In 1981 there were no restrictions on taking personal photographs on set. Pennant Roberts, the producer, can be seen here, standing behind the wire on the day the internment camp caught fire. 


We got to know the three Ping brothers, who all played Japanese guards. Their family had a Chinese Resturant in Bournemouth not that far from the location used for the internment camp. Although not members of Equity, the British actor's union, they had crucial roles in the story.

Thirty four years later, I came across George Ping at the Curious Arts Festival in the New Forest holding a camera with a very long lens. He was the offical photographer. 


Andy Priestner has collected fascinating reminisences of working on this exceptionally popular classic BBC Drama in his book 'Remembering Tenko'. Copies, signed by the author, are available from Classic TV Press


The photographs featured here can be found in the ebook version of 'Rembering Tenko', available on Amazon Kindle

A cast list and infomation about awards won by the serial 'Tenko' can be found on the Imdb page

The series can still be watched today.

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