Timeslip has gained a certain status amongst UK telefantasy
fans, and with good reason. The production, although aimed
at children, was never condescending or trite and despite
its age - the show's now well into its third decade - it still
stands up very well to repeated viewing. Better still, the
release of the entire run of 26 episodes on DVD seems certain
to further enhance its reputation as intelligent programming.
lead actor Spencer Banks, who played time travelling Simon
Randall along side Cheryl Burfield's Liz Skinner, remains
very fond of the show as was prepared to crawl back through
the hole in the fence one more time for Sci-Fi-Online...
Clark: Timeslip has come back to visit you again on
numerous occasions and it's once again back in your life because
of its release on DVD. Does this surprise you?
Banks: The first inkling we got that interest was still out
there was something like 15 years ago when Cheryl and I were
contacted to attend a convention up in Liverpool. At first,
I have to confess, I thought it was some kind of wind-up.
The people organising it had to phone me a couple of times
to convince me that it wasn't.
Cheryl and I got up there we were both astounded. There was
a large group of people who seemed to know a lot more about
us than we did! Over the years, as time as progressed, this
level of interest has continued.
The show has developed a life well beyond its expected sell-by
date - something rare for something not a long-running series.
It's unusual in so much as there was only ever one 26-episode
strand. I can't think of many examples of one-offs that have
endured quite the way Timeslip has which is a tribute to the
programme in itself.
And the fact that it didn't get a lot of repeats makes this
even more surprising.
Yes. It got one network repeat two or three years later -
in 1972/73 - and then absolutely nothing. In fact, when ITC
first released the whole series on VHS several years ago we
were gob smacked because we'd been told resolutely, so many
times, that when ATV died the tapes were wiped.
AC: Although it all survives there's
only one episode in colour.
Yes, sadly just the one in colour. The rest are black and
white film recording that would have been used for overseas
sales. It's a big disappointment as stories like The Icebox
and Burn Up were terrifically colourful. There was also a
technicians strike during the making of the show which meant
that two episodes were originally only recorded in black and
white. That cost us a US sales which impressed us no end!
Was it ever intended that there'd be a follow-up?
There was initially some talk about a second season. However,
John Cooper, the producer, phoned us some months later to
say that after initial discussions it had been decided that
it wouldn't go forward after all. Obviously, being particularly
new to the business, I was bitterly disappointed as I'd thoroughly
enjoyed Timeslip, but perhaps with hindsight it was
a wise decision. It's better for it to be fondly remembered
than it continued, becoming stale.
AC: It's good to see Timeslip
finally getting a DVD release. This will certainly help ensure
the show's longevity.
People have been asking about a DVD release for some time
now and it looks as if Carlton's been listening. It'll be
interesting to see how it's received. Let's hope it's purchased
by the bucket-load.
Thank you for your time.
thanks to Yung Kha at Cathy Beck
is available to buy on DVD from 19 July from
Carlton Visual Entertainment
the DVD box set of Timeslip for £22.49 (RRP:
£29.99) by clicking