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BillyH1,309 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
Excellent to see this back after another seven years, first one on last night with the next two tonight and tomorrow.

As well as the life stories unfolding, it's interesting to see the improvements in technical filming quality over each installment - entirely on either 16/35mm film all the way to 1998, with that year’s 42 Up presented in widescreen for some of its scenes - maybe all but it was difficult to always know when each clip was from as on several occasions the captions were incorrect, showing '42 Up' on clips clearly from seven years later.

56 & 63 Up were filmed in HD and look fine, but oddly the worst quality footage was of 49 Up, filmed on SD video but seriously lacking in picture resolution compared to every other installment, as if it was taken from a low quality DVD copy instead of the original source. Or did it look that bad when first shown in 2005?
Member since 26 May 2001
VMPhil9,528 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I noticed this when 56 Up was broadcast. All the footage had clearly been remastered from the original film for HD, and despite being cropped to 16:9 still looked very sharp. Then all the footage from 49 Up looked like crap by comparison. Big mistake for them to not shoot that edition on film.

How was the archive footage presented in 63 Up? Cropped or in original aspect ratio?
Jonwo (previously Jonwo87) 527 posts since 20 Sep 2007
I imagine it would have looked fine back in 2005 as HD wasn't mainstream yet but even something like the first series of Doctor Who also in 2005 which was shot on SD Digibeta does not hold up compared to later series.

I hope they're able to do 70 Up which might be a fitting way to end the series although if Michael Apted is still alive and wanting to more in 2033 then maybe they could do 77 Up.
Whataday9,876 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Has ITV made the previous documentaries available at all - would make sense I'd have thought to have them on the ITV Hub.


It would be nice, but each documentary includes a lot of footage from previous years so I'm not sure how much demand there would be to see them in their entirety.

63 Up comes with its own retrospective documentary as well.
Jonwo (previously Jonwo87) 527 posts since 20 Sep 2007
This may be a bit unfair but I can't help wondering if ITV look at 63 Up and either begrudge it as an obligation or whether they wonder how everything else went wrong...


I imagine there were points were they probably didn't want to show it but I think now they view it more fondly. If they really didn't like it, they would have dropped it years ago.
Whataday9,876 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Yes, quite odd to think they feel obliged to air it considering they chose not to one year (although they still produced it for the BBC)

There's a real sense they've embraced it this time around. And why wouldn't they? It's probably fairly cheap to make and still popular.
kernow1,232 posts since 18 Jan 2006
This may be a bit unfair but I can't help wondering if ITV look at 63 Up and either begrudge it as an obligation or whether they wonder how everything else went wrong...

It is unfair. Airing 4 nights at 9pm all week is hardly an obligation.


They could have buried it in a post-News at Ten graveyard slot, but instead are showing it in primetime.

They also showed a documentary on Monday at 9pm, 7 Up and Me, which again was unlikely to be an obligation.

I also seem to remember previous instalments being single episodes, rather than series, so if anything, they have actually increased their commitment to the series.
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