Tuesday, 1 January 2019


HERE IS OUR FIRST CUSHING TUESDAY TOUGHY of 2019! You'll be pleased to see, I haven't spared the trickiness 😏 When Peter Cushing's BBC 1954 drama of THE CREATURE was broadcast LIVE over two evenings back in January and February of 1955, it was ONLY just FIVE weeks after Cushing and the BBC had shocked the whole nation with their live broadcasts of George Orwell's 1984. With front pages of newspapers screaming the cries of a trumatised telly watching public and questions being asked by the government in the House of Commons about if Cushing and the BBC had gone too far, all eyes were on Cushing's latest 'nail-biting' SUNDAY evening BBC television drama. 

THE KNEES OF THE BBC must have been really trembling, but not enough to stop this planned drama to not only star the lead responsible for last year's controversial show, but also the same director, Rudolph Cartier! This production was also granted a larger budget, with exterior shots of the snowy mountains and hillsides of the Himalayas filmed on location in Switzerland, just two weeks before the live broadcasts. Surprisingly, the production was allowed a substantial amount of filming to supplement the modest BBC studio facilities available for the otherwise live transmission. Location filming was essential to establish the mountainous environment of the play, though the play's designer Barry was uneasy with Cushing’s involvement in this location filming, fearing for the star’s safety, and suggested a double be used instead. Typically, Cushing said he disliked the use of doubles and the loss of continuity of performance that this entailed, and wrote to Barry to personally assure him of his preference to take part in the location expedition!

GALLERY OF RARE IMAGES from the BBC production, Hammer films version and more besides! Catch up on our PCAS feature on Peter Cushing's 'The Abominable Snowman' elsewhere at this website or go directly to it HERE!

DESPITE ALL THE PRE PUBLICITY and advanced column inches in newspapers, this script and story by Nigel Kneal, was a quite different affair to 1984. No torture, but lots in the way of tension and a moral for all to think about later. Hammer films, never one to miss an opportunity, invited Cushing to play his role of John Rollason, for their big screen version. Sadly actor Stanley Baker was not invited along to join him and US actor Forest Tucker, played the role of Tom Friend, producers following their mantra of always casting actors from across the Atlantic, to improve the box office potential when the film was released overseas. Cushing's Rollason was also guven a wife in Hammer's revamping. She was also called Helen. Richard Wattis returned for gentle comic relief as Rollason's assistant Peter Fox. Arnold Marle also repeated his performance as the Lama, giving a very memorable and yet weird performance. 'Act in the name of Mankind and act humbly' the Lama warns Rollason, as he sets out in search of the YETI. 'For man is ndear to forfeiting his right to lead the world'. A message from over 60 years ago, that in today's world means more than ever . . 

YOUR ANSWER to our previous CUSHING TUESDAY TOUGHY! How did YOU do with YOUR answer?

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