An Inspector Calls (lost television adaptation of play; 1948)

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The article with the surviving image of the film.

Status: Lost

An Inspector Calls is a drama play written by British playwright and dramatist J.B Priestly in 1945. The play is a compact story of the upper-class Birling family in the fictional town of Brumley, in 1912. The family celebrates the engagement of daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, a family friend and son of father Arthur Birling's business rival. The evening is disrupted by the arrival of "Inspector Goole", a strange, ironically ghoulish figure who begins to interview the family individually on the grounds that they may be somehow related to the death of a young girl by the name of Eva Smith, who has multiple alter egos. The film expands on the ideas of Socialism versus Capitalism, leaning in favor of the former according to Priestly's views.


The film has had multiple adaptations over the years, including the 1954 film adaptation and the 2015 film adaptation, yet the BBC's 1948 televised production, is completely overlooked and lost. Nothing of this production is available to the public, except for a single still image and a television listing from Radio Times, Issue 1281.[1] This performance would have starred George Hayes as the titular Inspector Goole, Alastair Bannerman as George Croft, Julian Mitchell and Mary Merrall as Mr. Arthur Birling and Mrs. Sybil Birling respectively, and Joy Shelton and Derek Blomfield as Sheila and Eric Birling, and the play would have aired on May 4th at 8:30 at night.[1] Not much else is known.


It's unlikely that this film will ever be salvaged considering BBC's reputation for handling and preservation of film, and it was most likely a live broadcast so there may not have been anything to preserve in the first place. All that is available for the general public is a single image, an article detailing the play (not mentioning anything about the specific televised performance but the story itself), and a cast listing with show times.


See Also

Early BBC Television

Early BBC Sports Television

External Links