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Posts: 80



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
13/08/2018 14:22 GMT

This is all excellent evidence ... pinky promise you're doing this all from memory, not sneakily looking it up?

OK, problems with the 1976 time frame ...

You recall seeing it in high school, 1978 to 1981.
You recorded it on Betacord; introduced in 1975 but later is more likely.
(If the listings are to be believed) it cannot be 1978 as there were no Goodies, leaving 1979, 1980, 1981.

Problems with the 1979 to 1981 time frame ...

Every year later makes it less likely; there would be more memories and even domestic video recordings by 1981.
Late night A rated Goodies.
Listings improve across this era, episode titles are more common by 1981.

Here's The Canberra Times Christmas Eve 1976 listing for Cunning Stunts (AKA Fleet Street Goodies, The Goodies Clarion and Globe), example of A rated evening episode, and the last one played after 6.00pm that I've found.

--, the South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club, Inc.

Posts: 13



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
13/08/2018 13:13 GMT

Just to clarify. In the unedited series broadcast, the black and white version of the original Kitten Kong was broadcast first .The colour Montreux version was then broadcast a few weeks later. We had no idea at the time why there were two versions. We were just high school kids enjoying the show. We also had no idea why the first version was in black and white. We were just happy that it was rebroadcast in colour a few weeks later, with different scenes to what we first watched. We all agreed the singing dogs were a lot more entertaining than the babyface song. If memory serves me correctly, I think one of the versions had Bill or Tim saying Bloody Hell and the other had them saying Ruddy Hell. I don't remember which version was which though. And this was all broadcast sometime between 1978 and 1981. The entire series most definitely was screened unedited after 6pm but before 7pm weekdays finishing with all of season 8 before channel 7 took over. As mentioned, this was the only time that the ABC broadcast the series unedited.

(I recorded the original Kitten Kong onto Beta video tape from a rare TV broadcast of it in 1979, but then I wiped it. NOBODY TOLD ME!!!!!)
Last modified: 13/08/2018 14:29 GMT by NubglummerySnr

Posts: 80



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
13/08/2018 12:11 GMT

Second slab of Matthew.

12 September 2005.

The syndication package to the USA only included Series 3-5 and the remake of Kitten Kong, so there's nothing of any use to be found in that direction.

The episodes that only exist in b/w were never played in colour in Australia; indeed that's why the b/w film prints still exist. When the ABC upgraded to colour tapes in 1976, those episodes were already wiped and unavailable, so they kept the b/w films and played them up until 1980. (In 1980 the contract with the BBC was renegotiated, and as those few episodes were considered not to exist by the BBC, they weren't included in the new contract.) The films hung around in Oz for another ten years or so before someone realised what they were and had them returned to the Beeb.

The original version of Kitten Kong was part of the package of episodes available for purchasing by overseas stations, with the remake offered seperately later. The ABC didn't take the series until 1973, so they would have only bought one version of the episode; it's not clear which version they did buy, but as the film no longer exists it's pretty much academic anyway.

The remake of Kitten Kong, incidentally, is a new production with extra film sequences and an altered ending, but reusing some of the film inserts from the original version. There's a comprehensive breakdown of the script changes compiled by the legendary Andrew Pixley in one of the newsletters from the Goodies Rule OK fanclub which is on the web somewhere.

--, the South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club, Inc.
Last modified: 13/08/2018 12:12 GMT by MartinAgain

Posts: 80



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
13/08/2018 12:03 GMT

I'm adding Matthew K Sharp's two longest posts from Missing Episodes here, I've quoted so much that you may as well get the original text, plus link.

25 July 2003.

The two series 2 episodes that exist in B/W were returned from Australia. The ABC had bought the first 2 (possibly 3) series on 16mm for transmission in 1973/4. They re-purchased colour tapes for a repeat run in 1976, but by that time several of the colour tapes had been wiped/lost/mislaid/eaten, and so the ABC continued to show b/w prints of those episodes.
The ABC's contract was re-negotiated in 1980 for a reduced package of episodes (based on what the BBC themselves still had on offer), and all repeat runs from May 1980 onwards omitted these and several other episodes.

When Channel 7 bought the rights in 1986, all the Goodies material held by the ABC was shipped to Seven. In the process of checking the shows, three of the shows were found to be on 16mm b/w and were deemed untransmittable (and were probably not contractually licenced anyway). These were put to one side, and when the ABC regained the rights in 1987, these were not sent back with the rest of the tapes.

These three episodes, incidentally, were "Army Games", "Commonwealth Games" and "Come Dancing". "Caught In The Act" has not been screened in Australia since 1974.

A Goodies fan working at Seven found the films, realised what they were, transferred them to tape and then had them returned to the BBC.

"Come Dancing" is not edited as far as I can tell; "Commonwealth Games" is. Potentially, as noted above, the excised bits may still exist in the Australian Archives, but it has not, to my knowledge, been checked. I would, but I'm 1000kms away and have never had the time available to hang around in Sydney for a couple of weeks to do so.

"Army Games" of course exists in colour anyway. Quite why it wasn't supplied to the ABC in 1976 is unknown.

A b/w videotape recording of "Come Dancing" was located a few years back, which would be better quality than the 16mm print.

The fault with the "Caught In The Act" print is apparently audio distortion, although it doesn't sound too terrible to me.

The whole show of Christmas Night With The Stars '72 exists in its entirety. Clips of the Goodies segment have been featured in several Xmas shows over the years and a roughly edited compilation of these clips has been traded about.

Of the 13 inserts for the Englebert show, 5 exist in "A Collection Of Goodies". There were only 1 or 2 unique sequences that have gone missing; the remainder of the inserts were extracts from actual Goodies episodes. The BBC have one Englebert show, the Goodies insert of which is in "Collection". The Englebert show was a co-production with ZDF in Germany; whether they have copies of the shows has not, to my knowledge, been confirmed.

And finally, Kitten Kong. Both versions were available to broadcasters on 16mm b/w film and colour VT. It is thought that ABC only bought the Montreux remake on 16mm. Certainly they only had the remake on colour tape.

I have seen a reference on BBC paperwork to a screening of the original Kitten Kong in Wales in May 1972 - after the Montreux version had been made - but this may not be correct as the list was quite vague in other areas.

I hope this is of some interest.


--, the South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club, Inc.
Last modified: 13/08/2018 12:03 GMT by MartinAgain

Posts: 80



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
13/08/2018 11:58 GMT

This is awesomely good, NubglummerySnr.

Our best chance at sorting this was Matthew K Sharp. Unfortunately, Matthew died in 2015. Here's his memorial service.

OK, let's get on to the question at hand. ABC have shown themselves to be indifferent to this sort of research, so we can't expect any help there. Published listings don't generally give the episode names.

According to Matthew, the first lot of ABC episodes were 16mm B&W and either included the first two or three series, including a single Kitten Kong. However, it is likely they were offered 'Kitten Kong: Montreux '72 Edition' instead, as the sale took place in late 1972 or 1973. Clear so far?

Colour is introduced in March 1975, ABC buys a new batch of colour episodes in 1976. This definitely includes Montreux '72. ABC also retains the B&W prints, notably Commonwealth Games, Army Games (AKA The Greenies) and Caught in the Act. Commonwealth Games continues to be played in the repeats, apparently as it was initially rated G. These are not offered on tape and go on to be the recovered copies. We'll return to this. Tim comes to Australia on a promotional tour, however episodes are still played in odd short runs (as little as two) and often rated A, hence are broadcast regionally in late evening slots on a weekly basis. Apart from odd school holiday repeats, this year sees a series of repeats and new G episodes weekdays at 5.30pm.

In 1977 ABC had a mid-year run of weekday repeats at 6.25pm. The Goodies were skipped in 1978, but national broadcasts unified schedules. Tellingly for Australian viewers, Doctor Who began a weekday run at 6.30pm ... on Tuesday to Friday. It was paired with My Favorite Martian at 6.00pm.

1979 is the first year we get The Goodies at 6.00pm and Doctor Who at 6.30pm, Monday to Thursday. The broadcasts are national, making compiling this much easier. And according to Matthew and behind the scenes in 1980, a third batch of new Goodies, albeit of limited number. This tees up with a memory of mine; Tim in the studio wishing us a pleasant night's viewing. If this follows the previous batch, it would have been another promotional visit. I've gone through newspapers looking for any more on this, no sign of it so far.

Back to Kitten Kong. As I've never seen Goodies listings from 1978, NubglummerySnr's time frame makes it 1979, 1980 or 1981. The later, the less likely. The last late night ones were played in 1976, but as you say, that's when you were in primary school. The memory cheats ... but only so much. Your memories of the syringe being dropped on the cat is too specific to dismiss. Yet your scenario has one revealing point: late night A rated episodes.

So, allow me to suggest this modified version. ABC buys 16mm B&W prints of The Goodies in late 1972 or 1973, and are offered ... the original Kitten Kong. They may have repeated this over the following years, but in 1976 it is augmented with ... a colour video tape of Montreux '72. Identifying it by production number or title, ABC seem unaware it is a modified version of an episode they already have in rotation. They play the new episodes which are A rated out in a mid-evening time slot, and G episodes at 5.30pm. Then they play the repeats. This incorporates both the "new" episode Montreux '72 and a few weeks later the repeat Kitten Kong. The only things are 1. this puts the run in 1976, and 2. doesn't explain what happened to Kitten Kong.

The final point Matthew informs us about is on the recovery of the odd B&W prints. In 1986 Channel Seven bought the rights to The Goodies, and had all the various ABC material transferred. This included the B&W Commonwealth Games, Army Games and Caught in the Act. They were spotted by a Goodies fan and returned to the BBC. If so ... what happened to the B&W Kitten Kong?

--, the South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club, Inc.

Posts: 13



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
03/08/2018 17:16 GMT

I most definitely remember watching the original version of Kitten Kong in black and white on the ABC in Australia during my high school years, which were from 1978 to 1981. I can't give you the exact year though, but it was also during that one time that the ABC played every episode that had been made to date uncensored, much to the delight of my male friends at school who would happily recount the bare breasts or nipples that were shown the night before in some of the earlier episodes.

It's possible that the time slot was bumped up a bit later to allow for the uncensored editions to air. It was such a long time ago now I can't remember the exact details concerning the time slot.

When it came time for Kitten Kong to be broadcast, at school we couldn't for the life of us figure out why it was shown in black and white when all the other episodes were in colour. We were all rather disappointed about that. Then a few weeks later they played Kitten Kong again, but in colour AND with different scenes, which caused even more confusion for us all. We were happy that the Baaaa-by face scene had been replaced by the singing dogs, and that Twinkle got injected in the arm instead of having the syringe dropped on it from above, but we were a bit divided about the change made to the final scene. Some of us liked the footage of the real mice from the black and white version while some of us preferred the fake mouse head smashing through the walls in the colour version.

I know I was recording the shows via my brother's Betacord video recorder at the time and I also know that I taped over the black and white copy once the colour copy had been broadcast. No idea what happened to the tapes I recorded on as they were lost over the years. Probably ended up as landfill after the demise of Beta for the home video market when we reluctantly changed over to VHS.

So I can confirm that the ABC in Australia did have a black and white copy of the original Kitten Kong sometime around the 1980 mark lurking amongst the colour copies of the rest of the series. I think the ballroom dancing episode was in black and white too, and possibly one other. In all instances of black and whiteness there was a brief overlay superimposed by the ABC to inform the viewers that the episode being shown was indeed a black and white transmission, which is one of the other reasons why I taped over the black and white version of Kitten Kong. The brief overlay annoyed me. 

(I recorded the original Kitten Kong onto Beta video tape from a rare TV broadcast of it in 1979, but then I wiped it. NOBODY TOLD ME!!!!!)
Last modified: 03/08/2018 17:25 GMT by NubglummerySnr

Posts: 80



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
01/08/2018 13:16 GMT

Just saw the same thing on the Missing Episodes forum. I was sceptical, but my incomplete list of Goodies on ABC has series two playing on a regional basis from December 1972. If so, it could well have been a B&W Kitten Kong rather than a B&W Kitten Kong: Montreux '72 Edition. Anyone have a complete list of ABC screenings?

I also have incomplete National Archive of Australia records relating to the censor cuts, sorry, can't recall from those if it indicated which version. I'd assume John Williams checked on any physical clips held. There is a box relating to series four which has been opened as of 2009, great opportunity if anyone's based in Sydney.

Matthew K Sharp derived his most excellent list of censor cuts not by documentation, but comparing VHS off air copies to uncut versions. As I suggested at the time, the National Library initiative Pandora have archived his site. Good.

There are a couple of holdings at the National Film and Sound Archive, despite its brief being Australian media. Funky Gibbon and Nappy Love appear on a 1976 LP compilation called Fun Stop. Any more information on this is welcome.

Many Australians remember seeing the original version of Kitten Kong in black and white, which was later replaced with the Rose D'or colour version, so we know that a black and white telerecording was made of it, along with the rest of the second series, before the original video was wiped. It's just frustrating that a series that the BBC deemed important enough to submit to Rose D'or, wasn't properly archived in the first place...

--, the South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club, Inc.
Last modified: 01/08/2018 13:18 GMT by MartinAgain

Posts: 268



 Subject:  Re: The Original Kitten Kong episode.
18/07/2018 08:40 GMT

If they had a 'Betacord' VCR  (which was a Sanyo model), this only first came out in 1977, so that would put the time line post 1977

I watched The Goodies on the ABC in the 70s & 80s alot and don't recall ever seeing the original broadcast - but may have missed it?

I didn't have a colour TV until 1982 so all episodes were B&W to me until then anyway. Finally got to see them in colour, with the final LWT series.

Australia national colour broadcasts began only in March 1975 so there would have been no reason to get a colour copy in 1972 for broadcast -hence the B&W copy.

Bill: "I used to have a pet rabbit once.......and at no stage did he ever strap me to the couch and stick carrots in my ears!"

Posts: 1050




 Subject:  The Original Kitten Kong episode.
17/07/2018 16:34 GMT

I remember watching this in the late 1970s or early 1980s when ABC TV in Australia decided to do an unedited broadcast of the entire series for once (There was much discussion at school the next day about any episodes that involved naked ladies bits). TV Week had Kitten Kong listed one night and I was very disappointed when it was broadcast in Black and White while all the other episodes shown were in colour... Well, almost all the other episodes. There was much more discussion at school about it when the Montreux 1972 edition was shown a few weeks later in full colour, but with quite a few changes made to it from the original. I think I had recorded the series via my brother's Betacord VCR and not knowing about the wiping of the original version ended up recording over it after getting the colour version instead. Alas, none of those recordings exist anymore after all these years. But it does go to show that the ABC did have a Black and White copy of the original Kitten Kong mixed in with their repurchased colour catalogue of the series sometime just before or after 1980.   
Posted by:NubglummerySnr


date: 16-07-2018 14:53 GMT +1

I spotted this comment in the Episode guide pages.

This a very interesting idea about the ABC having a copy of the original Kitten Kong episode...

'So full of cow, it almost moos'
Last modified: 17/07/2018 16:39 GMT by Jenny_Gibbon

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