The BBC has announced plans to produce a web-page for every episode of every television show it has ever made, as part of an online archive that will span nearly eight decades of broadcasting history.
“From Dixon of Dock Green to David Attenborough’s finest, Hancock’s Half Hour and Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC has vowed to create a home on the web for all its programmes past and present, in an attempt to exploit the “long tail” of its archive,” the Guardian reports. “Spanning 81 years of radio and television, the project will create a web page for every episode of every single programme ever broadcast on the BBC, and be the basis of a future plan to introduce a searchable vault of archived shows.”
The Telegraph notes that the BBC has already created more than 160,000 individual web pages over the past three months for the project, with developers looking to create content for shows going back to the 1930s.
The plan would we expect also include SF shows such as A for Andromeda, Day of the Triffids, Doctor Who, Quatermass, Survivors and the many other shows produced by the BBC.
Each web-page will include basic information about each show as well as where it could be seen, either on television, the iPlayer broadband catch-up service or elsewhere on the internet, as well as video or audio clips, but the Daily Mail says the corporation hopes eventually to make whole programmes available.
The BBC does of course hold a huge amount of additional information on the making of many of its programmes, used by researchers such as Andrew Pixley in the writing of his archive pieces for Doctor Who Magazine in the past. Whether any of that would be included – such as details of music used in the show, location shooting details etc. – has not been stated.
The project, set in motion last year under director general Mark Thompson’s plan to overhaul the BBC for the digital age, was outlined in detail by the director of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett (pictured here at a Media Masterclass she gave at Bournemouth University on “Changing Media”), at the Banff Television Festival in Canada, where Thompson also talked about the BBC’s future after the broadcaster received an Outstanding Achivement Award.
• Read the Daily Mail article (which includes an image from Doctor Who: The Aztecs)