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Posted by blueoriel (U2810895) on Sunday, 27th June 2010
For every story in the Complete Smiley so far, ALL the individual parts for any one story have been available on Listen Again until 7 days after the transmission of the final part, as part of the 'Series catch-up trial'*.
But for the current (three-part) Secret Pilgrim story, part 1 has already disappeared. Yet part 2 was transmitted just yesterday (Sat 26/6/10) at 9:00 pm, and part 3 has still to be transmitted - this afternoon (Sunday) and next Saturday. Furthermore, the Programme Information section on the iPlayer page for Secret Pilgrim Part 2 states that this part will be "Available until: 10:02pm Saturday 3rd July 2010". So parts 2 and 3 will still be available 6 days after the first transmission of the final part - but no part 1?
This same thing happened with 'Tinker, Tailer, soldier, Spy'. But after I contacted the BBC and posted on the messageboard (see www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... part 1 reappeared. If I was churlish enough not to say a proper thank you then, please let me make amends by saying thank you now!
So, if the disappearance of part 1 of Secret Pilgrim is just a similar oversight, then could I please ask for it to be reinstated so that I can make sense of parts 2 and 3?
If, on the other hand, you (yes, I'm aiming this bit at someone at the Beeb) have stopped the catch-up trial and I missed any announcement of this, please can I beg you to have a change of heart for this, the last of the Smiley stories. You can't not do it just for this last one, can you? That would surely qualify as a something-interruptus, wouldn't it?
* This is what the BBC said about Series catch-up for 'The Complete Smiley - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' for example.
"[This] is part of a trial for a limited number of radio series which are being made available with series catch-up. Series catch-up extends the availability window for individual episodes beyond the usual seven days after their transmission, allowing you the chance to listen to an entire series until a week after the final episode is broadcast."
Posted by Russ (U2360818) on Sunday, 27th June 2010
Not all of the Smiley's were in the catchup trial. The Secret Pilgrim is not included in the list:
(the key phrase being "Most of the le Carré season will be included...")
Posted by blueoriel (U2810895) on Monday, 28th June 2010
Thanks Russ for this information and the blog reference, from which I see the 'trial' ran only until mid-January. It would have been nice to have known this without having to waste time reading BBC Blogs (I deplore this move to disseminate information via Blogs, whether private or corporate!)
My real complaint is that the BBC extensively trailed this series catch-up trial, particularly with regard to the Complete Smiley transmissions, in such a way that I definite got the idea it applied to all the multipart stories.
And certainly, on the occasions when I've needed it, it was always there (just lucky, it now appears). But I never heard anything about the trial ending. Obviously, when they said the Complete Smiley was in the catch-up trial, they didn't mean the complete Complete Smiley, but only some Complete Smiley.
For me the trial was misnamed. I care not one whit about SERIES catchup, but I do care about SERIAL catchup. I can't keep all the twists and turns of a Smiley plot in my head over three 1-hour episodes spread over three weeks. My practice, therefore, has been to listen to all three episodes, close together in time, via iPlayer, sometimes by listening to Parts 1 & 2 on the Saturday before the final part the next day (which, with hindsight, I now see works without catch-up, because of the Saturday repeat), or sometimes by listening to all three parts on the Sunday of the final transmission or shortly afterwards (which does need catch-up).
I'd also be interested to know how this trial was conducted. What survey? How do I provide feedback on Sarah Prag's Blog when I didn't know she'd written it?
I'm not a happy bunny!!
Posted by Russ (U2360818) on Monday, 28th June 2010
I have considerable sympathy with your position, blueoriel. I was lucky to catch Part 1 of the Secret Pilgrim a few days after broadcast, but I too was under the impression that all the Smileys would be covered by the 'series catchup' trial, and it wasn't until you rang the alarm bell and I trawled back through the small print of the blogs to see exactly what was said and exactly what was not said that I realised we wouldn't get 'the normal/expected treatment' for Secret Pilgrim.
I guess we both made an assumption on the meaning of 'series'. I do agree with you on the matter of serial listening. I dispensed with the 15-minute bites of Our Mutual Friend when that aired a while ago, and did the whole lot in a 20-episode five-hour single-session listen, which I found far more satisfying, and there's no doubt that the complexity of any le Carre deserves the series catch-up treatment.
Regarding the announcement and application of the 'series catchup' thing, I understand its initial application was in TV land, and that it took some arm-twisting of the BBC Trust to relax the 'only available for the next seven days' rule. To be fair, series catchup does indicate the BBC has recognised there can be a satisfying alternative to the straightjacket demands of the live schedule. I've made a point of endorsing it in Radio 4 website surveys whenever they pop up, and it's worthwhile making the point to the Trust in their current review of Radio 4 that series catchup is not only a Good Thing in deserving cases and that it won't cost much more if at all because it's Radio. If enough of us can convince the Trust of this principle, it could significantly alter the whole ethos and model for 4extra.
If it's any consolation, I understand the whole Smiley season is to be made available on CD. Meanwhile, I wish you luck with your letter to Feedback - I think you've made a very valid point.
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