When the Rain Comes.

Music  Hello. Listen to that! Just listen to it! Twenty-three years on from the release of One Touch, ten years since the release of anything by this line-up and here they are with more new music released near the time of its recording and it's amazing

Their voices have matured and deepened but that harmony which slowly ebbed away with each line-up change across the ensuing decade is back and just as glorious and unique as ever. Not to mention it sounds like a Sugababes song that meld of pop and R'n'B which other bands attempted but couldn't recreate the alchemy. This sound is steadfast. 

But so are the people. In 2009, Sioghan gave a semi-notorious interview in which she talked about her time with the Sugababes in less than glorious terms.  I'm putting this here to just to demonstrate just how broken everything was in the late-00s:

Was it your decision to leave?
SD: Hell, yes. Though there was no doubt that I was pushed out. It was clear that there was someone in that band who never wanted me in it and that’s Keisha. She never wanted me in that band and made my life a living hell. It’s funny... all these years on, I’ve grown up and I’ve left it all behind me and I’m not bothered by it. I think a lot of the memories, I have just blocked out because I don’t really like to think of the nasty stuff. I like to think about the good things in life, always focus on the positive, and Zen and all that shit. But I’ll never forgive her. Though no-one forgives that first bully in their lives, do they? No-one does. Even when you’re fifty. Though, on the other hand, it doesn’t matter. You meet so many people in the world. Why would I need to reconcile with that person? I don’t even know if she would want to.
Well, Siobhan did forgive her and as she's since said, it was a situation in which they were all manipulated by their management and whoever. Perhaps Keisha saw this and reached out?  Nevertheless, they're back it is indeed about time and again in a Doctor Who anniversary year.  Let me put it this way.  If Flatline was the TV Movie, this song and apparent album are the 2005 revival.  Hopefully they won't regenerate this time.

A History of the BBC in 100 Blog Posts: 1973.

Proposed by then BBC Two director David Attenborough as the scientific follow up the earlier, highly successful art series, Kenneth Clarke’s Civilisation, Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man (now available on the iPlayer) provides a history of science covering all of the big topics in a slow sweep across the development of civilisation in the past ten thousand years: archaeology, anthropology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, physics, engineering, evolution, particle physics, more physics, genetics and psychology.

These stories are played out across thirteen fifty-minute films shot in twenty-seven countries with Bronowski (pictured) constantly on screen, animated expressing each subject through densely packed lectures which were apparently improvised on the spot. The Dr. knew roughly what he was going to say and would relate it to the production team and they would then film him, either from the front of shifting about the location. The impression is of a Royal Society Christmas lecture in which the expert walks and takes a pew as the landscape shifts around him.

Bronowski is positively hypnotic, often grinning in the middle of sentences as the shear joy of having the opportunity to impart this knowledge overwhelms him and we hang on ever word. As Attenborough notes in the interview that accompanies the episodes on DVD, "Bruno" was the master of the dramatic pause and he does often stop in the middle of a sentence as though he's trying to find exactly the right word to express his ideas.

Unafraid to jump off into the detailed abyss of a subject and expecting the viewer to join him, there were occasions, especially during the episode about particle physics when I couldn't quite follow the narrative but that’s more likely to be a failure of my understanding than his clarity and that’s as it should be. Television is always slightly disappointing when it simplifies a subject to make it intelligible to everyone rather than challenging them to understand, especially now that you can rewind and try again.

Each film is beautifully rendered and often spectacular but often it’s the simplest imagery which has the most impact. The destruction of Hiroshima is minimised to a large bang, a melting clock, and shots of Japanese people in streets who because of this juxtaposition seem entirely bewildered by the oncoming fate. Contrast that with the modern recourse to offer a giant computer generate mushroom cloud and we see the dignity with which Bronowski is desperate to present his story.  Perhaps Christopher Nolan took notes.

Time and again Bronowski surprises us by not taking the obvious route to explaining a topic. His story of evolution is though the diaries of Alfred Russel Wallace the other scientist who discovered natural selection in parallel with Darwin. The trial of Galileo proceeds through a transcript read in voiceover by Joss Ackland against empty chairs in a room similar to the location for the original meeting leaving the audience to imagine the white heat of injustice within those musty walls.

The series is subtitled “A Personal View” and rather than presenting a dispassionate history, Bronowski is keen to explain how scientific thought and development are constantly under threat from the kind of dogma and cynicism, usually religious, that is unable to assimilate new discoveries and theories when a different set of absolute truths has already been established. Time and again we see work, from Gallileo through Darwin to Mendel, either deliberate suppressed or put in a drawer for fear of insulting the establishment.

In the final programme he predicts that scientists will increasingly be unable to do their best work, their life’s work, because political and business interests will take up so much of their time, presumably because theoretical science will not pay the wages. When the Large Hadron Collider was turned on the first time, questions were asked about why some would spend all of that money without there being some kind of practical use.  Well, because science isn’t always and shouldn't always be about that.

What would he feel about this slightly older version of the world were science is rarely undertaken unless there will be some kind of monetary outcome even within universities whose researchers and often departments are being funded by big business. He's adamant that The Ascent of Man stagnates when children aren’t taught the history of science isn't taught properly in school and society doesn’t take a keen interest in the whole of the subject.

The Ascent of Man

"First transmitted in 1974, Michael Parkinson's guest is Dr Jacob Bronowski, the presenter and writer of the 1973 documentary series, The Ascent of Man."
[BBC iPlayer]
"Roy Plomley's castaway is scientist and broadcaster Dr Jacob Bronowski."
[BBC Sounds]

Tim Radford finds Bronowski's history of humanity, The Ascent of Man – reissued with a foreword by Richard Dawkins – as compelling as ever.
[The Guardian]


"In 1965 the remains of Irish patriot Roger Casement were disinterred from the limepit at Pentonville and brought to Dublin. Casement, as this play shows, was a man of many conflicting parts. Is there a parallel between his history and Ireland's? Is there a lesson to be learned from it?"
[BBC Clips][BBC Programme Index]

"Themes examined include the benefits system, lack of social housing in the area, immigration and the changing culture of the area."
Includes film review by Clive James and Marty Feldman taking part in a studio discussion.
[Bridgeman Images][BBC Programme Index]

"Jokes about 'the operation' are all that most people know about transexualism. Tonight's group discuss their situation in a more serious and comprehensive way, and draw attention to the many difficulties they endure."
[BBC Clips][BBC Programme Index]

"Films that show the beautiful intertwinings of the living things on our varied earth.  A BP/BBC co-production."
The Living Woodland doesn't seem to have been transmitted on the BBC, but I'm including it here for completion sake.
[BP Video Library][BBC Programme Index]

"A documentary prepared by the BBC in 1973 about the migration of workers from Turkey to Germany."
[BBC News Türkçe via Pitt Rivers Museum][BBC Programme Index]


"1973 was not a good year to be in Britain, let alone to return there after six years in New Zealand. Return we did though, with very little money, no home and two lovely kids. My immediate priority was to get a job."
[Peter Dewrance]


"Whilst not strictly within the remit of this website, it is perhaps worth recording that during the time of the ‘three-day week’ in the winter of ’73/’74, the Questor’s Theatre in Ealing was taken over by the BBC and used as a studio."
[TV Studio History]

"This documentary chronicles the workings of BBC Bristol in the early seventies (just before I joined them). It covers filming trips to far-flung places, Animal Magic, Johnny's Jaunt, Points West, Any Questions."
[Keith Rodgerson]


"with Philip Jackson (PJ), Tara Prem (TP), Philip Saville (PS) and Jack Shepherd (JS)
chaired by Lez Cooke (LC)"
[Forgotten Television Drama]

"How the ground-breaking show That's Life entertained and educated Britain."
[BBC Clips]

"The Story of Pop was the title of a 26-part documentary series first broadcast on BBC Radio 1  between September 1973 and March 1974. The series was introduced by Alan Freeman and produced by Tim Blackmore. A 26-part "weekly encyclopaedia" was also published by the BBC to coincide with the series.  This page contains the 26 issues of the encyclopaedia."
[World Radio History]

""Television's most popular space series returns," was how the Radio Times described Return To Tomorrow the episode which launched 1973's mammoth 49 week repeat run of Star Trek. This could be viewed as slightly insensitive to the BBC's home grown series Doctor Who which was in the middle of its tenth anniversary story, The Three Doctors."
[Space Doubt]

"Doctor Who star Jon Pertwee glides into the Blue Peter studio for a chat with Peter Purves about the Whomobile, the Doctor's unique new mode of transport.  Originally broadcast 5 November, 1973."
[BBC Archive]

"Songwriter Mike Batt and voice actor Bernard Cribbins remember overdoing the accents and blagging it on to Top of the Pops"
[The Guardian]

"Central to the emergence of these series at this time was the ethos of the BBC's Light Entertainment Department under the successive leadership of Bill Cotton and James Gilbert. They espoused and developed attitudes of creative excellence, competitive success and benevolent patronage, and took a liberal, non-polemical, middle-brow approach to material."
[University of Westminster]

"Let’s take a look at the recording dates of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Series 1."
[Dirty Feed]

"This double-bill, the fourth screening in our ‘Dramatic Spaces’ season at the BFI, features two remarkable BBC television plays that take advantage of electronic ‘studio-trickery’: Howard Schuman’s never-transmitted Censored Scenes From King Kong (1973) and Caryl Churchill’s 1978 Play For Today, The After-Dinner Joke. Both used Colour Separation Overlay (CSO), an analogue form of blue or green-screen compositing, to create stylised backdrops for their action which function in different ways."
[Spaces of Television]

"It ran for a decade and infuriated the rightwing press, giving a voice to marginalised Britain. Now a new show is celebrating the extraordinarily prescient Open Door series."
[The Guardian]


"This is the first time I shall be putting my name to a foreword to the BBC's Annual Report to Parliament and Handbook, appearing together this year as a new combined publication."
[World Radio History]