UbuWeb Film

BBC Radiophonic Workshop

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The Alchemists of Sound (2003)

Duration: 60 minutes

BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Director: Roger Pomphrey


Oliver Postgate ... Narrator (voice)
Mark Ayres ... Himself
Milton Babbitt ... Himself (archive footage)
John Baker ... Himself (archive footage)
Desmond Briscoe ... Himself
David Cain ... Himself
Wendy Carlos ... Himself (archive footage) (as Walter Carlos)
Malcolm Clarke ... Himself
Delia Derbyshire ... Herself (archive footage)
Maddalena Fagandini ... Herself
Brian Hodgson ... Himself
Peter Kember ... Himself
Paddy Kingsland ... Himself
Roger Limb ... Himself
Dick Mills ... Himself
Robert Popper ... Himself
Peter Serafinowicz ... Himself
Adrian Utley ... Himself
Frazer Hines ... Jamie McCrimmon (archive footage) (uncredited)
Peter Jones ... The Book (voice) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Wendy Padbury ... Zoe Heriot (archive footage) (uncredited)
Patrick Troughton ... The Doctor (archive footage) (uncredited)

The BBC's Radiophonic Workshop was set up in 1958, born out of a desire to create 'new kinds of sounds'. The Alchemists of Sound looks at this creative group from its inception, through its golden age when it was supplying music and effects for cult classics like Doctor Who, Blake's Seven and Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and charts its fading away in 1995 when, due to budget cuts, it was no longer able to survive.

There are interviews with composers from the Workshop, as well as musicians and writers who have been inspired by the output. Great archive footage of the Workshop and its machinery is accompanied by excerpts of the, now cult, TV programmes that featured these sounds.


Delia Derbyshire in UbuWeb Sound

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