A clean version of the Vodaphone advert starring the Doctor and Agent Cooper has been uploaded to YouTube by VHS Video Vault:

The 231163 Diaries:
Harold Macmillan.

Politics Harold Macmillan was UK Prime Minister between 10 January 1957 – 19 October 1963 and so worked directly with JFK as he mentions in this entry.

The President spoke to him daily during the Cuban missile crisis and negotiated the purchase of Polaris missiles under the Nassau agreement in December 1962.

William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, the nephew of his wife Lady Dorothy Cavendish, married Kennedy's sister Kathleen.

26 November

All Saturday and Sunday; the Press, the Radio, and the TV has been devoted to the details of this terrible event. It has been a staggering blow. To the causes which he and I tried to work for, it is a grievous blow. For Jack Kennedy's acceptance - of Test Ban and of policy of detente with Russia were really his own - I mean, were not shared for any except his most intimate advisers. He took great risks for them - as he did with the policy of ending negro inferiority. I was pestered all the week-end to appear on Radio or TV but refused. It seemed to me better to speak in the HofCommons, wh. I did yesterday. I motored from Petworth to London; lunched with Katie Macmillan; spoke for 5 minutes (after the 3 official spokesman - Barber, Gordon Walker, Wade) and motored back to B.G. I was very exhausted but I got through without a break-down. Of course, the whole thing only 1/2 hour, wh. made it easier. The Press today is very complimentary about my speech and I have heard that Ambassador Bruce and his colleagues at the Embassy were very pleased ...

... I was represented at the funeral by Andrew Devonshire. It must have been a wonderful gathering in Washington. The loss to the Anglo-American system is enormous. Poor David Gore will now no longer have the priveleged position wh. he has enjoyed so long and used so well.

[Source: MACMILLAN, Harold. 1973. At the End of the Day 1961-1963 (Volume 6 of Memoirs). MacMillan Co.; 1st Ed.]
Detailed analysis of the sound editing in Olivier Assayas's Personal Shopper:
"The most effective tool in Assayas’ gilded box are the noises of indiscernible origin ginned up by his foley team. While most of the e-ink related to this film has been understandably spilt over the much-ballyhooed sequence in which KStew gets cyber-bullied over the course of one working afternoon, the most crucial scenes come a bit earlier, when she spends the night in Lewis’ former home. Here Assayas inserts sounds while only suggesting their point of origin to force us into surrogacy with Maureen as she futilely grasps at understanding. The hand of a director can be as light as any ghost—to the point of imperceptibility." [The AV Club]
Jessica Chastain hosted Saturday Night Live last night and although for the most part the material didn't live up to her commitment, this sketch pretty much captures how we're all feeling:

The 231163 Diaries:
Violet Bonham Carter.

Politics Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury was a British politician and diarist. She was the daughter of H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister from 1908–1916, and later became active in Liberal politics herself, being a leading opponent of appeasement, standing for Parliament and being made a life peer. She was also involved in arts and literature.  She was Sir Winston Churchill's closest female friend, apart from his wife, and her grandchildren include the actress Helena Bonham Carter.

Here is a photograph of the Requiem Mass she attended but what's of most interest is that she offers an opinion of that night's programmes.  The Kennedy documentary isn't listed on the BBC Genome's schedule so either it was broadcast on the other side or the schedule was changed.  This Independent article from 2003 is ambiguous on the point.  Please do let me know if you have any information.  This is the listing for the episode of That Was The Week That Was she's referring to.

Diary - Saturday 23 November - 21 Hyde Park Square, W.2

I went with Raymond & Elena to the Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 12.30. It was most moving - the vast Cathedral packed with people - mostly poor & humble bringing their children with them.  As Elena said to me 'C'est la base du peuple.'  They had a Communion Service with unaccompanied singing - no organ music until the end when the organ suddenly peeled out the 'Star-Spangled Banner' .... 'God Save the Queen' followed - rather flatly - then Beethoven's Funeral March.  Ray & Elena came back at 7.30 & we watched a Kennedy T.V. programme - not as good as yesterday's - & a late 'News-Extra' with rather touching man-in-the-street remarks.  Then, as I was about to switch off, a half-hour of T.W.T.W. which I did not feel in the mood for, but which was surprisingly good & had no single lapse of taste (the only flaw a sentimental poem about Jackie recited by Sybil Thorndike).  One good point made was that Death does not make all men equal.  On the news we had heard of the death of 60 poor old people burnt in an Old People's Home, which they were too crippled to get out of.  I was aware how stonily I took this tragedy compared with Kennedy's death.

[Source: POTTLE, Dr Mark. 2000. Daring to Hope - The Diaries and Letters of Violet Bonham Carter - 1946-1969. Orion; 1st Edition edition.]
Elizabeth Wurtzel on her cancer and lack of fear thereof:
"I have breast cancer as a result of the BRCA gene, so it was preventable. All Ashkenazi Jewish women should get tested for the BRCA mutation, we now know, because half the time there is no way to know that you have the gene, and one in forty Ashkenazi Jews carries it. At one time it bothered me that I have a disease I could have avoided through prophylactic mastectomy. I don’t feel that way anymore. I like the person I am with cancer and because of cancer. Yes, that thing happened. I evolved." [The Guardian]
Eleven female directors reveal the sexism they've experienced in the film industry, experienced professionals treated with less respect than newbie males:
"On my first assignment when I went by to meet the executive producer, he came out to the lobby, his hand outstretched to greet me. Then he stopped in his tracks, withdrew his hand, and said, “You’re a woman!” Guess the name “Marty” caught him off guard. He never did shake my hand. The next day, I was off the show and a guy was reassigned. Years later, I was having meetings regarding directing, and was often told by producers, “We had a woman director last season, and it didn’t work out too well.” I never asked if any of the men “didn’t work out.”" [The Wrap]
Patrick Stewart writes about auditioning for the late John Barton, co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company:
"On a cold, wet November evening in 1965, I plodded nervously across the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon. I had at last been accepted to audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company, although a Sunday evening would not have been my occasion of choice. I was in rep at the Bristol Old Vic company and Sunday was my only day off. I would have preferred the afternoon, but what the hell – they were seeing me and I had waited four years for this day to arrive." [The Guardian]
The BBC's new arts slate includes actual Shakespeare productions shot in a theatre setting:
"The trilogy comprised of Julius Caesar (first seen at the Donmar in 2012), Henry IV ( 2014) and a new production of The Tempest. All three plays were first performed together in a new purpose-built theatre behind King's Cross station in 2016. [...] Julius Caesar will air on BBC4 in 2018, with Henry IV and The Tempest available to watch on the iPlayer." [What's On Stage]

Romola on Measure for Measure.

TV Shakespeare Unlocked was a documentary series which ran on the BBC during the season of Stratfordian mayhem in 2012.  A later series was broadcast on Sky Arts and now a third run has been announced with the remarkable news that future Doctor Who Romola Garai will be presenting an episode about Measure for Measure (in which she played Isabella at the Young Vic in 2015):
"In addition to Hunt, Season 3 hosts and the plays they explore include F. Murray Abraham (The Merchant of Venice); Brian Cox (Julius Caesar); Simon Russell Beale (The Winter's Tale); and Romola Garai (Measure for Measure). A host has yet to be announced for an episode about Richard III."
The USA Today version of the story chooses to focus on Helen Hunt and Much Ado. It is a very good line up.

The 231163 Diaries:
Richard Nixon.

Politics Richard Nixon was President of the United States between 1969 and 1974. 

"That night I sat up late in my library," he says in his memoir, "Long after the fire had gone out I wrote a letter to Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Judging by the date, it was past midnight.

Richard M. Nixon
810 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10021

November 23

Dear Jackie,

In this tragic hour Pat and I want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

While the hand of fate made Jack and me political opponents I always cherished the fact that we were personal friends from the time we came to the Congress together in 1947. That friendship evidenced itself in many ways including the invitation we received to attend your wedding.

Nothing I could say now could add to the splendid tributes which have come from throughout the world to him.

But I want you to know that the nation will also be forever grateful for your service as First Lady. You brought to the White House charm, beauty and elegance as the official hostess for America, and the mystique of the young in heart which was uniquely yours made an indelible impression on the American consciousness.

If in the days ahead we could be helpful in any way we shall be honored to be at your command.

Dick Nixon.

Nixon's memoir then prints Jackie's reply (although no date is given):

Dear Mr Vice President -

I do thank you for your thoughtful letter.

You two young men - colleagues in Congress - adversaries in 1960 - and now look what has happened.  Whoever thought such a hideous thing could happen in this country.

I know how you must feel - so long on the path - so closely missing the greatest prize - and now for you all the question comes up again - and you must commit all you and your family's hopes and efforts again.  Just one thing I would say to you - if it does not work out as you have hoped for so long - please be consoled by what you already have - your life and your family,

We never value life when we have it - and I would have have had Jack live his life any other way - though I know his death could have been prevented, and I will never cease to torture myself with that.

But if you do not win - please think of all that you have.  With my appreciation and my regards to your family.  I hope your daughters love Chapin School as much as I did.

Jacqueline Kennedy.

[Source:  NIXON, Richard M.  1988.  RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon.  Easton Press.]

The 231163 Diaries:
British Pathe.

Media As a follow up to yesterdays detailed account from Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. of what happened inside the White House, here is the Pathe News account covering the three day period of the funeral including footage of the casket being brought back to the White House.

Here is unused footage from Pathe, including a shot of the General Assembly at the UN "standing in silent homage":

Various silent footage of the European reaction:

The 231163 Diaries:
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Politics Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr (1917 - 2007) was an American historian, social critic, and public intellectual who served as a Special Assistant to Kennedy, or as the President described a "sort of roving reporter and troubleshooter". That would account for why he was meeting with Newsweek and also have this access to events.

Schlesinger resigned his position in January 1964. He wrote a memoir/history of the Kennedy administration, A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, which won him his second Pulitzer Prize in 1965.

The following is a stunningly vivid of what it was like inside the White House in the hours following the assassination in the company of Jackie and Bobby and decisions taken concerning Kennedy's remains (which I think is important to forewarn you about).

November 23

I heard the terrible news as I was sipping cocktails with Kay Graham, Ken Galbraith and the editors of Newsweek. Kay and I had flown in from Washington; we were to discuss the future of the back of Newsweek's book. A man entered in his shirtsleeves and said, a little tentatively, "I think you should know that the President has been shot in the head in Texas." It took a few seconds for this to register. Then we rushed for the radio. The President's condition was unclear for a time. I said that we should go back to Washington immediately; so Kay, Ken and I went out to the airport. We reached the White House about 4:30. Sargent Shriver, composed and pale, had already taken charge of the funeral preparations. The plane was due in from Texas at six. I went out to Andrews Field. A small crowd was waiting in the dusk -- Averell looking hassard and old, Mac very intent, Bob McNamara stunned and silent. As I was standing on the side of the crowd, a man brushed by. It was Lyndon Johnson. I shook his hand and told him of course we wanted to everything we could to help him. Then I returned to the White House. Ken and I dined in the mess. Afterward I went back to O Street. Chrissie said, "Daddy, it was so hateful. I feel as if I do not want to live in the United States anymore."

Then I returned to the White House and helped Shriver and Goodwin and others work on the funeral lists. About midnight, I went up to the Mansion where Bill Walton was supervising things in the East Room. Jackie has sent a message that she wanted the President laid out as Lincoln had been. David Mearns, whom I called, had gone to the Library of Congress and found a newspaper article and drawing showing Lincoln lying in state in the East Room. It is now twenty minutes to two. The casket will arrive at the White House around 3:30.

It has been a day of shame and horror. Everyone is stunned. Fortunately the practical details of the funeral engage everyone's attention and sidetrack us from the terrible reality. I still cannot believe that this splendid man, this man of such intelligence and gaiety and strength is dead. The wages of hate are fearful.

No one knows yet who the killer is -- whether a crazed Birchite or a crazed Castroite. I only know that killer has done an incalculable disservice to this country and to all mankind. It will be a long time before this nation is as nobly led as it has been in these last three years.

5.15 A.M.

When I went upstairs again, at about 2 A.M., workmen under Bill Walton's direction were draping pillars and windows with black crepe.  After a time, a military guard arrived and took up its places.  The casket was expected first at 2:30 and then at progressively later times.  We sat or walked around, exchanging forlorn scraps of conversation, trying to fight off the appalling reality.  Walton and I walked through the rooms in which we had such happy times, filled with memory and melancholy.

Eventually the car arrived from the Bethesda Naval Hospital.  The casket was carried into the East Room and deposited on a stand.  It was wrapped in a flag.  Jackie followed, accompanied by BobbyJean Smith, Ethel, Kenny, Larry, Bob McNamara, and Dave Powers also came from the hospital.  Already at the Mansion were Walton, Shriver, Ralph Dungan, Dick Goodwin, Pierre, Chuck Roche, Andy Hatcher, Louis Martin and Frank Morrissey.  A boy appeared to light the tapers around the bier.  The third taper took a painfully long time to light; and, in lighting the fourth, he extinguished his torch.  He struck a match, rekindled his torch and then discovered the taper feebly flickering.  A priest said a few words.  Then Bobby whispered to Jackie.  She approached the bier, knelt in front of it and buried her head in the flag.  Then she walked away.  The rest of us followed.

Jackie went upstairs with Bobby, Ethel and Jean.  Bobby came down in a few minutes and disappeared into the East Room with Bob McNamara.  After a time, he came out and asked Nancy Tuckerman and me to go in, look at the bier and give our opinion whether the casket should be open or shut.  And so I went in, with the candles fitfully burning, three priests on their knees praying in the background, and took a last look at my beloved President, my beloved friend.  For a moment I was shattered.  But it was not a good job; probably it could not have been with half his head blasted away.  It was too waxen, too made up.  It did not really look like him.  Nancy and I told this to Bobby and voted to keep the casket closed.  When Bill Walton agreed, Bobby gave instructions that it should be closed, and I reassured him about the precedent by remembering that Roosevelt's casket had been closed.

After this we quietly dispersed into the mild night.  I drove Bob McNamara home.  He said that the country had suffered a loss which it would take ten years to repair, that there is no one on the horizon to compare with the President as a national leader.

Later.  I talked briefly with Bobby, Steve and Sarge.  All seemed composed, withdrawn and resolute.  Around noon I tool Marian and the children past the bier.  Afterward, we lunched at an upstairs room at the Occidental -- Bill Walton and his son Matt, Ken and Kitty, the Sam Beers, Paul Samuelson, Dick Goodwin, Walter Heller.  I left for a 3 o'clock meeting with the Bundy staff, in which Mac explained how the show must go on.

After the meeting he told me that my letter of resignation (which I had sent to the President the first thing in the morning) had arrived when Johnson was having his meeting with Eisenhower.  Johnson read the letter, thrust it at Mac and said, "Please take this letter back and have him withdraw it.  And send out instructions that I do not want any letters of resignation."  Eisenhower quite correctly demurred, saying that Johnson must preserve his freedom of action, and that he did not have to accept resignations right away.  So the present line is that the staff should resign, but that, "for the time being," Johnson plans to accept no resignations.

Mac said that he intended to stay on as long as Johnson wanted him.  He said that he was worried about Bobby, that Bobby was reluctant to face the new reality, that he had virtually to drag Bobby into the cabinet meeting, and that, if Bobby continued in this mood, he had probably best resign.  Mac said this a little more sympathetically than I have reported, but not a hell of a lot more so.

A telephone call from Ken reported that he had seen Johnson, and that Johnson had asked him to work with Sorensen on the message.  Ken seemed in high spirits.  Like Mac, he is a realist.  He would infinitely have preferred Kennedy, but he is ready to face facts and make the best of them.  Like Kenny and Bobby, I am a sentimentalist.  My heart is not in it.

[From: SCHLESINGER, JR., Arthur.  2007.  Journals 1952 - 2000.  Penguin.]

Months and months.

About After the films and seasons, this year's title bars on this blog will be months. So firstly it's ...

January Jones

The 311163 Diaries:
Lawrence K. White.

Politics Lawrence K. White., the CIA's Deputy Director for Administration. 

 Here is his report from inside the CIA written on the 23rd November and published through the agencies "reading room" website. White's biography can be found here.  

It's interesting to note how even in the midst of a national crisis, office politics is still at the forefront, even in the CIA.


November 23rd 1963

At about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, 22 November, I was notified that there would be a meeting of the Deputies with the Director in the East Building at 0830 hours on Saturday morning, 23 November.  The meeting was quite brief.

a.  There was a brief discussion of what changes should be made in our procedures to accommodate President Johnson.  The Director decided that we would make no changes unless told to do so, and he left 0900 hours to meet with President Johnson and to brief him personally.

b.  Shortly before the meeting ended, he said that he wanted to see General Carter alone for a minute. (General Carter had been away since Tuesday morning, 19 November.)  The Duties waited for General Carter, who immediately called a special Deputies meeting.  General Carter, who immediately called a special Deputies meeting.  General Carter, Mr. Kirkpatrick, and the four Deputies -- [omitted] Wheelon, and White -- were the only ones in attendance.  General Carter said that the Director had just "wire-brushed" him thoroughly, had expressed himself as being dissatisfied with the way the Agency was being managed, etc.  He went on to say that he, the Director, did not know that was going on, that people were not responsive to his requests, and that he was very dissatisfied with the whole situation.  He mentioned an NRO paper and the communication paper as examples of the kinds of things for which he had been waiting for some time without results.  General Carter admonished us to take and inventory of items which we owed the Director and to furnish him with a list of these items not later than Tuesday, 26 November.  He further put everyone on notice that he expected to be much more demanding in the future and that under no circumstances would he and Mr. Kirkpatrick be bypassed in keeping the Director advised.  As a result of this admonition, I advised General [omitted] and [omitted] that together we would produce the outstanding communications paper so that it could be delivered to the Director on Monday morning, 25 November. (This was done, and I handed the paper to Kirk at about 0900 hours on Monday.  He read it in my presence and in response to my specific question said that he found it entirely satisfactory and responsive and failed to see how the Director could react otherwise.)

The 231163 Diaries:
Noel Coward.

Theatre By 1963, Noel Coward was writing and directing shows for Broadway with The Girl Who Came to Supper running for three months in December.  

His 24th November entry describes events from the day before and also how they've impacted on the creative process, forcing him to drop one of the songs and into writing a replacement.  

When Coward himself later released a recording of songs from the show, he included Long Live the King amongst others.

Sunday 24 November


The most horrible and incredible catastrophe. On Friday President Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas, by a young man of twenty-four called Oswald apparently. Oswald himself was shot this morning while he was being transferred from one prison to another. The whole country is in a state of deep shock. Mrs Kennedy, who was with the President in the car when he died, has behaved throughout with dignity, grace and magnificent self-control. I watched her today on television accompanying the President's body from the White House to the Capitol and was moved to tears. The shooting of the suspected murderer by an exhibitionistic night-club proprietor is too idiotic to be believed. That the Dallas police should have allowed it to happen is so stupid that the brain reels. Now it will never be satisfactorily proved whether Oswald shot the President or not, and there will be a jungle of rumours.

I came back yesterday from Jamaica. Having had an urgent cable from Herman on Friday (before I knew of the assassination), I decided to come on Sunday because Joe is still in hospital and there is no one to command the ship. The moment I heard of the President's death - Friday afternoon - I decided to come yesterday. Coley and I made all arrangements and left Boscobel airstrip at ten o'clock - then Miami - then Newark - then New York. My apartment is still a shambles so I changed clothes, visited Joe, who is better, dined at the Drake Room and drove directly here.

I am now faced with the task of writing a new number - comedy - for Jo Ferrer because 'Long Live the King' had, of course, to be cut immediately as it deals exclusively with assassination. This is a dreadful job. I am genuinely upset over the President's death and the whole atmosphere is quivering. Hardly conducive to writing frivolous lyrics and music. However, I must go on trying. We are giving a performance tonight as there is to be a day of mourning tomorrow and nothing will be open. It is impossible to evade the general feeling of shock. It seems so desolately wasteful that a virile man in the prime of his life, to whom the whole world was looking for leadership and who, incidentally, was doing a gallant job of it, should be wiped out of life by the action of a zany delinquent with Communist tendencies. I feel that I am living through too much history and that my own life is becoming more and more hectic. However, I feel all right so far. Now I have to take charge, write the bloody song, rehearse the company and get on with the job. Still, I had a week in Jamaica and shall get some more over Christmas.

[From: PAYN, Graham (Ed). 2000. The Noel Coward Diaries. Da Capo Press.]

Doctor Who renewed for another five years.

TV ... if this press release published in Toy World Magazine and copied by the Merchandising site is a guide:
"The regeneration of the Doctor in the 2017 Christmas episode, as well as last year’s revelations about the new series, engaged with fans across the globe, as it was unveiled that Jodie Whittaker will play the first female Doctor in the show’s history. 2018 marks a true regeneration for the franchise, with a five year evergreen strategy built around a commitment to a solid content pipeline, delivered through platforms relevant to the BBC’s audiences."
Of course this isn't technically news. When the BBC made a deal in China last May, the company in question was given a first look at series 12-15 which implied the longevity. But this confirms the commitment.

The other nugget. Eleven or more new hours of content for 2018. So that's at least the 10 regular episodes announced (including ads presumably). Does that mean there will be a Christmas special next year? [via]

The 3000.

Life Yesterday I systematically went through and unfollowed three thousand people on Twitter. Since the change in US presidency and Brexit, Twitter had become unusable. Every time the pumpkin in chief tweeted, even having blocked him, my timeline would echo and re-echo every word, comment on it, offer some hot takes, some jokes and although that's fine initially with a chamber that large it became deafening drowning out everything else. Partly it's because of the number of "random"  journalists I followed on various publications for whom its their job (sort of) but at a certain point this tipped over into *everybody*. 

I had a few rules.  No one who was following me back.  If it was someone or something I genuinely liked or connected to, they and that remained.  So everyone Doctor Who.  Most people related to Shakespeare.  I pretty much dumped everyone film related but I expect a lot of those will creep back in, but organically, just the websites and magazines and YouTube channels I read and watch rather than as much as possible just in case I missed anything as was the case.  But all of the athletes went as did the literally hundreds at certain media organisations.  Twitter is a hoarders paradise, collecting feeds just in case there's something interesting.  Just in case.

My timeline is quieter, not updating as often.  But more importantly I don't feel any less informed than I did before.  So far.  I saw all of the Golden Globes news from last night (Go Natalie Portman!) and the few journalists and columnists who remain are the ones which I'd usually pay attention to anyway.  Slowly I'll probably follow back a fair few people, but it'll be organically rather than just opening up a list somewhere and add everybody to the point that there's so many of them in my timeline posting in-jokes I feel like an employee.  More's to the point, I'm less likely to miss what's written by friends.  Which was the original point of Twitter, wasn't it?

More Slings and Arrows.

TV Find embedded about the opening episode of the second series of Slings and Arrows, the Canadian comedy drama about a theatre company starring Paul Gross and as you can see from the in episode screenshot Rachel McAdams. This has been something of a unicorn for me, having bought and enjoyed the first series (which I reviewed here abouts over eleven years ago).  The rest of the series is available and been added to my watching list.

It's been published by Encore+ an effort by various media organisations in Canada to upload their content to YouTube to make it accessible to the country and around the world.  The various Degrassi series are already up there as is the whole of The Littlest Hobo and Due South.  There are also some feature films, although most of them are now blocked due to international rights issues but mercifully that doesn't include the superb Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould.

The 231163 Diaries: Samuel H. Reynolds.

That Day  This diary entry is hand written by Samuel H. Reynolds (1892-1977) found in a collection of photographs, letters, diaries, and other materials pertaining to the Quigley and Reynolds families of Bellefonte PA and Lancaster PA which is available at archive.org.  Glancing through the materials they don't seem to have been a particularly remarkable family.  Perhaps an author in their past.

We're beginning with this entry because it highlights what might be revealed as this entries are collected together.  That what seems like a seismic moment, the assassination, so often portrayed in film and television as a moment when the country and world stopped will have been for most people just something which happened in the background of what was otherwise a fairly routine day.

Mother died.

Party cloudy.  Rain. -

At N. Y.

Up at 7.35 after being up most of the night with Mary. Breakfast. Worked in apartment on accounts and dishes. Mary and I had luncheon in apartment. Worked on checks. Mostly on radio and tv about President Kennedy's death and memorial services. Paid some bills and shopped at A&P and got loaf at Delicatessen. Mary and I had dinner in apartment. Really quite nervous - anniversary of mother's death.

Except as you can see it wasn't a routine day, not really.  At the top, Reynolds has noted it was the day of his mother's death and in reading we realise its an anniversary and he's still taking it very hard so what looks like a routine day could be interpreted as someone getting on with things, keeping busy.  Most of the entries I've seen are just the incidents - this is a rare moment in which he records his emotional state.

The 231163 Diaries:

That Day The 311163 Diaries is a new blog project which will collect diary entries and other materials written by various people from across the world describing what happened to them on the 23rd November 1963, the day Doctor Who was first broadcast and the day after US President John F Kennedy was assassinated.

Watching a documentary about the photographer Cecil Beaton recently, a man who kept detailed diaries throughout his life and published them pretty unvarnished, I wondered what he might have written on various days about world events, given how outspoken he was about his own acquaintances.

That led me to consider whether any of those acquaintances did the same and if they'd also talk about meeting him. perhaps at parties in the same way.  That sounded like an interesting project, but would require me to read enough of these various diaries to find a correlation.  Plus I hate reading about other people's parties.

Which then led me to wonder if I shouldn't just arbitrarily choose a date and then find lots of diary entries for that date and see if any of the people wrote about the same thing.  But it had to be date which I had vested interest in which is why I ended up, less arbitrarily, choosing 23/11/1963.

Did any of them watch the original broadcast of Doctor Who?  Probably not.  But they might mentioned the seismic event which occured the day before, offer some insight into the successive hours, how it affected their families.  A day later will have given people time to consider their feelings.

Most of the material will be collected from published sources but if you have any family documents which you think might of interest do get in touch through the usual channels.  My email address is stuartianburns@gmail.com.  You might like to write your own explanatory text to go with it.  Let's see how far we get.  First entry tomorrow.

Think of one dramatic event from your life (an accident, a fight, a loss) and write the event backward.

462 The meal was fine, I think.

Was this something they did often?

Why me?

Describing what happened to her helped, especially since the whole incident seemed so strange.

I was still quite shaken when I met my friend in Warrington.

So when the bus came, I clambered on and continued the journey, on to the train too.

Even in the late 90s, I'd learnt to just carry on where possible.

But I didn't feel the need to cancel the evening.

The pain in my throat from sobbing didn't help.

My eye socket, lip and cheek were already beginning to hurt, the latter from my teeth scratching me on the inside of my mouth.

I cried as the shock overwhelmed me briefly.

I slumped against the inside of the bus shelter.

Across the road and up the street, I could hear them still laughing.


They ran away.

Which I wouldn't even know how to.

Perhaps they were expecting me to punch back.

Their turn to be surprised.

Then to make full use of my size at that time, which was considerable, and with arms stretched burst at them, roaring, making sure not to touch them.

My first reaction was shock.

He seemed surprised.


He'd punched me.

In the middle of my face.

His fist made contact.

Then one of them began shadow boxing with me as the wall, all three of them laughing.

I froze.

I'd been in similar situations of bullying at school and this took me right back there.

Despite being shorter and at least ten years younger than me and at least a foot or two shorter, they were intimidating, with their crew cut hair and tracksuits.

They stopped and stood around me, my back to the glass wall of the shelter.

Eventually they reached me, but didn't walk past as I'd hoped.

"Go on a diet."

"Fat bastard."

True it was most often people shouting at me from car windows, so brave, but sometimes it was passers-by in the street.

Usually in these situations and it wasn't unusual at that time, I simply ignored it.

"You fat bastard" that sort of thing.

They'd already begun cat calling me as they approached.

I'd watched them walking towards me from up the road, in the direction the bus was due to come.

Three teenage boys approached me.

So I waited and waited and waited.

It was the early evening, so the buses into town were infrequent and I must have just missed one although it was difficult to tell because the timetables in Liverpool are usually nothing more than an approximation of when the buses will arrive.

All on expenses.

She invited me along to be the shadow person who often appears in reviews and to justify ordering more food from the menu so she would have more to write about.

An old pen pal from college who had just begun working at a local newspaper, I think as part of her employment experience on a journalism course, had been given the opportunity to review a Greek Taverna in Warrington.

This is the story of the time I was punched in the face by a total stranger.


Blog! Zoe Margolis who back in the day was Abby Lee from Girl With A One Track Mind has uploaded her annual blog post. Parts of it resonate:
"Depression, and its close friend anxiety, are daily uninvited gatecrashers to the party that is my mind; whilst I generally do a good job in hiding my suffering in public, privately I’m struggling with it, and these impact my ability to get stuff done. This is nothing unique to me, I know."
My trick is to talk about it, but I know that's not always possible. Take care, Zoe.

Quatermass and the Pit, Take Two.

TV When watching dvd releases of programmes which were originally broadcast live, can we be sure that what we're enjoying is the programme as it was originally seen by the initial viewership?

Perhaps not according to this essay from Olive Wake at British Television Drama about the practice at the BBC in the 50s and 60s of rerecording material to replace fluffs and problems which may have crept in during the live broadcast to be edited into the mastertape for repeat broadcast and international sales.

So the dvd release of Quatermass contains a mishmash of live broadcast and rerecorded scenes:
"A document I uncovered in BBC files while undertaking unrelated research confirmed that Cartier practised re-recording on at least one episode of the next Quatermass serial, Quatermass and the Pit. A short letter confirms details of an extra payment due to actor AndrĂ© Morell for his participation in “retakes for the telerecording” of the fifth episode of the serial.3 In this case, there was no scheduled repeat of the production but in view of its prestigious status, following the success of the two previous Quatermass serials, there was a much greater chance of later repeats or of foreign sales than for most programmes, which would likely have been reason enough for re-recording to be practised. A repeat was eventually screened by the BBC a year later."