Upstairs, Downstairs
Behind the scenes
Shooting 2

The VT countdown clock on the beginning of the master tape for Woman shall not Weep. The episode is referred to by its internal LWT production number (1704) and its recording date (17th May 1974) but, strangely, not by its actual title. As well as identifying the contents of a tape, these slates would (courtesy of the clock on the left) allow the episode to be cued in for replay accurately.

A letter from LWT to a member of the public whose house was shown in the location filming in Joke Over. Click to read it. (Thanks to David Barton.)

3rd August 1973 – LWT cameras close in on a shot of Alfred (George Innes) from the third season's Rose's Pigeon. The cameras here are EMI 2001s, which were widely regarded in the TV industry as the best tube cameras ever made.

19th November 1973 – Rose leaves Eaton Place for her new life with Gregory. These tiny little video cameras (Philips LDK13s) had a tendency to lose focus and exhibit a blue tinge near the edge of the picture (more down to the lens system than the camera electronics) and the technical quality of such material is noticeably inferior if you compare it to the studio shots in the same episode. Compare the camera with the size of the huge EMI 2001s used in the studio (see the picture above).

More Eaton Place location work for A Perfect Stranger. The day's shooting seems to have had the luxury of two cameramen (cf. picture above). Though these video cameras were not of a dissimilar size to 16mm film cameras (the usual alternative for shooting location work like this), the video option did involve several large outside-broadcast "scanner" trucks (containing the two-inch video recorder – about the size of a kitchen cabinet – and other control equipment) parked just down the road. The camera was linked to these trucks by an umbilical (which you can see in the picture passing over the back of the seat and out through the car window). Though 16mm film was usually the TV companies' preferred location option (on cost grounds), OB work like this provided a better picture match with the studio material.

Freddy Shaughnessy and John Hawkesworth oversee one of the series' biggest OB excursions – the railway station sequences in Women shall not Weep. These were shot at Marylebone station on 12th May 1974.

Taping Edward's leaving scene in Woman shall not Weep.

Gordon Jackson in conversation with John Hawkesworth, the producer.

Rehearsals – toasting the last episode of the season. Left to right: Gordon Jackson, Meg Wynn Owen, Angela Baddeley, David Langton, Jacqueline Tong and Simon Williams. All the ladies shown would wear wigs when actually performing for the cameras.

"If you wouldn't mind, m'lady, getting your weight behind this." Between takes, there was always time for a quick gag, as here from The Property of a Lady.

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