In 1954 an artist, Jack Kine, and an engineer, Bernard Wilkie started a small department to create special effects for the then still fledgling BBC Television service. It grew over the years to become what was almost certainly the world's largest permanent,special effects department, (that was built into a broadcasting organisation). It worked across the board on all types of programmes, admittedly some more readily recognisable than others, such as Doctor Who, Blake's 7 or Red Dwarf, but many, many others that may not immediately be apparent as being 'effects heavy' - or containing any effects at all! This lasted for almost half a century - the Department eventually closed its doors 49 years later in 2003.

Now the story can be told, well it's been a few years, so probably about the right time. For some years my old (OK he's younger than me...) friend and BBC Visual Effects colleague (and one-time assistant!) Mike Tucker and myself have talked about compiling what we hope will be the definitive book on 'our' old Department - BBC Visual Effects. Now it's actually come about. In this brand new book over 240 pages we include the 49 years of history; take a look at the four basic types of special effects, and then - for the bulk of the book - showcase 50 iconic programmes - some of which will indeed be immediately recognisable (you'd be sorely disappointed not to find them here!) - but others perhaps less so - but they all illustrate some aspect of Visual Effects.

The book is published by Aurum Press.


Book cover