Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness)

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Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness)

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:53 pm

Yes but this is one of my favourite shows ever...
and it was produced by Jonathan Powell (boo! hiss!! the b*stard - couldn't he see Time & the Rani was every bit as good as Tinker Tailor/!? etc :floorroll: ) on 16mm film ...

It's been available for years on a rather bog-standard BBC DVD - but this month it's been released in the *USA* on BluRay, re-telecined and doubtless looking much much better -

but in a turn of events that can only make me yell "ARSE CANDLES!" the BluRay is the abridged US version, which is only 6 instead of 7 episodes, which lots of pruned scenes :(

So near, and yet so far........... :(
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness)

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:59 pm

I love it! The performances, the direction, the dialogue, the incidental music (same bloke who did Seeds of Doom, innit?), the costumes, everything! brilliant! BERYL REID is FANTASTIC in it too - which shows up the production values of Earthshock for the tack that they are!
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness)

Postby ianj » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:34 am

Iwatched it when it was first on,alec guiness is great in it, thought it caught the book well.
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness)

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:04 am

Been rather non-plussed by this release -
it's by "Acorn Media US" - their website says it's an "7 episode" disc, but all the reviews online says its the abridged (6 episode?) version....
The reviews also say that, rather than being rescanned in HD from the original film elements, the BluRay is just a re-encoded upscaling of the video transmission tapes (same ones used to make the DVD).
...in which case, it will look like crap, pretty much!

Particularly annoying is that I emailed Acorn Media US about 5 times for clarification on the nature of their release, and all they basically said was "it's region locked for the US anyways, go away!" wtf?!?
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby StarQuake » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:43 am

I re-watched this recently and it didn't disappoint. I think I've seen it seven or eight times by now, having first watched it when it was repeated on the BBC in the early nineties.

I love how many of the characters get to shine with episodes almost built around them: Hywel Bennett as Ricki Tarr gets practically a mini-movie which in itself is better than most spy movies, Beryl Reid gets a short but totally engrossing and heart-breaking turn as Connie Sachs, Ian Bannen's ill-fated Jim Prideaux gets that horrible mission at the beginning, and we see him existing as a horribly damaged and broken ex-agent afterwards; even minor turns from people like Joss Ackland as Jerry Westerby are wonderful. And of course Alec Guinness owns the character of George Smiley totally (no offence to Garry Oldman).

It's got to be one of the top miniseries the Beeb have ever produced (along with I,Claudius and Edge of Darkness), imo.
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:03 am

It is just superb, and without doubt one of the finest pieces of television ever produced in this country, end of.

And yes, every single cast member who comes on the screen just shines, even if they only have one or two scenes. It was said at the time that they "emptied the National [Theatre]" to make it.

I would love to find out if the BBC retain any of the original film of this... if they do, then it is absolutely crying out for a proper BluRay release.
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:26 pm

So, the BBC are finally releasing the PROPER UK episodic version of this on BluRay.

I *presume* it's been redigitised from the original film, but we shall see...
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby StarQuake » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:50 pm

That will be a must buy for me.

I listened to the audiobook the other day. The Beeb's adaptation is very close, and on the whole I like their interpretation best (though Sian Phillips' Ann was much harsher than the book's, imo - I'd rather they'd kept to the source on that one occasion).
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:44 pm

Got my new BBC BluRay of this today.

Was slightly trepidatious as there'd been no info on the provenance of the restoration, but I was not disappointed!

I stuck my old BBC DVD on, just to remind myself how awful the picture quality was (basically just an uncorrected transfer of the PAL transmission video, which was a grubby telecine of dirty soft 16mm film).

The new BluRay is clearly digitised from cleaned-up film elements (I'm guessing from prints, not negs, as it's not *amazing*) - but it's orders of magnitude better in terms of image detail/picture resoution, contrast and colour - still grainy, but no obvious dirty, splatters or hairs. Slightly 'scrubbed' with noise reduction, but very watchable.
The title sequence has been remade from clean negs with new captions put on (the closing credits still wobble a bit so must be the originals)

The sound is still the original mono but the dialogue is clearly (and there's subtitles now too - although the Czech dialogue just says 'They speak Czech" ;) )

Only re-watched the first episode so far but I honestly thought there were a couple of (non-dialogue exterior) scenes I didn't remember from the DVD. Not impossible they were cut from that cos of video-tape damage, although I could just be misremembering (they were only shots of a road or sthg...)

Fantastic stuff, I demand you all go buy a copy :)
BluRays like this really make things like Pertwee Season 10 seem a bit silly (given that it offer such meagre picture improvements) - whereas this Tinker Tailor realease is waaay better than this has ever looked before, even on original transmission
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby StarQuake » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:51 pm

Just a question of buy now or wait until Christmas for me.
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:08 pm

There's a mild hoo-hah on Roobarb's about 'OMG TEH MISSING SUBTITLES' on these disc.

Episode 1 in particular features some lengthy scenes where that Jim Prideaux goes to Czechoslovakia, and all the dialogue is authentically spoken in Czech.
On my BBC DVD from 2002 (or whatever), there's no subtitles for these scenes, and I always just thought it was 'meant to be like that' and you're supposed to get a sense of mystery and just guess what they're saying...
so I saw nothing amiss when the BluRay did the same.

However apparently on original transmission on BBC1, there were English captions on these scenes (which makes sense, to be honest, cos they're a good 10 or 15 minutes of pure Czech!)

Looks like when they went back to the original film materials, they forgot they needed to stick captions on those scenes. Ooops.

I wonder if BBC Video will offer corrected replacement discs?
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby The Ginger Cat » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:46 pm

Might be of interest:

From the Archive Ep.1 UK Edit: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Blu-ray Review & Comparison

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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:22 pm

I got am email today from the Beeb's 'DVD Support', offering a free replacement disc for Tinker Tailor, with the missing captions for the Czech dialogue fixed.
Which is obviously very nice, but I also note it's the third time this year I've had to get a replacement disk on a BBC release! Why does no-one check these things! :)
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby LizR » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:36 pm

'teleportNOW!' wrote:Why does no-one check these things! :)

Or Czech them... :roll:
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Re: Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (BBC serial with Alec Guinness

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:40 am

LizR wrote:
'teleportNOW!' wrote:Why does no-one check these things! :)

Or Czech them... :roll:



GET OUT!! :lol:
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