David Attenborough: Zoo Quest for a Dragon | Seeking the Komodo dragon in Indonesia
25th May 1956
My dear David,
Many thanks for your albeit melancholy letter which we read aloud at Talks
Meeting to the schadenfreude of your colleagues. I do hope that things are
improving now and that you are able to get on with the job. Donât hesitate to
move on somewhere else, possibly under the protection of the British flag, if
you are not getting anywhere fast.
I had a gay time in Moscow, where the Television Service is perfectly
appalling but the people were kind to us, and in an Imlay Watts' like way, I
touched down in London for a day or two before setting off again for Italy.
You are quite balmy to go off in search of sun-kissed isles. Here the sunshines
every day, there is no rain at all, and we are even facing a drought, the
temperature is in the 70s and the television programmes are splendid. Moreover,
we have had only one Party Political since you left, and that was all on film -
which is just another way of saying we donât miss you at all.
D. Attenborough, Esq.,
c/o The British Consulate,
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Document Type | Letter
25 May 1956
In his reply to David Attenborough's letter detailing the bureaucratic obstacles in Indonesia, Head of Department Leonard Miall sends a light-hearted response in which he ironically contrasts the 'idyllic' situation back in London with Attenborough's increasing travails.
Leonard Miall had been to Russia as part of a seven-man BBC delegation, partly to try to stop Soviet blocking of the Corporation's external broadcasts there. Imlay Watts was a production manager at the BBC and in 1955 was the organisation's representative on the European Broadcasting Union's Programme Committee, a role that presumably meant a lot of time out of the office.
The first episode of a six-part series in which David Attenborough searches for the Komodo dragon.
David Attenborough's search for rare animals in Borneo continues.
David Attenborough travels through Java on his journey towards Komodo.
David Attenborough's search for rare animals reaches Bali.
The 'Zoo Quest' team wander off the beaten track on the beautiful island of Bali.
David Attenborough arrives on the island of Komodo hoping to discover its secrets.
David Attenborough shares his memories of 'Zoo Quest'.
David Attenborough proposes that the BBC should collaborate with London Zoo to make a natural history series filmed on location.
The costs and expenses of a major TV series in 1956.
David Attenborough's clothing budget on Zoo Quest.
Attenborough shares his frustrations over bureaucratic red tape in Indonesia.
An amused Head of Department replies to Attenborough's recent correspondence.
David Attenborough recounts his experiences so far, including malaria and cracked ribs, in the quest for a dragon.
A letter of thanks from David Attenborough to an associate in Indonesia.
David Attenborough sends a personal letter of thanks.
David Attenborough provides a formal review of the expedition for his boss.
The Monkey House at London Zoo sees an influx of visitors as a result of an episode of 'Zoo Quest'.
A report showing how viewers reacted to the last episode of 'Zoo Quest for a Dragon'.
Correspondence from David Attenborough explaining why he didn't bring back a Komodo dragon.
Photographs of David Attenborough from the 'Zoo Quest' years.
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