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Remembering Tenko: A Celebration of the Classic TV Drama Series Paperback – 22 Oct 2012

29 customer reviews

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Remembering Tenko: A Celebration of the Classic TV Drama Series + The Real Tenko: Extraordinary True Stories of Women Prisoners of the Japanese + Surviving Tenko: The Story of Margot Turner
Price For All Three: £45.06

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Product details

  • Paperback: 760 pages
  • Publisher: Classic TV press (22 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956100074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956100078
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Tenko, the BBC drama about women prisoners of the Japanese, was first broadcast in the Eighties to a regular audience of over 15 million viewers and is arguably one of the best-loved TV series of all time. This book, a comprehensive celebration of Tenko, explores how this groundbreaking drama came to be made, its filming in the UK and the Far East, and the real-life events which inspired its memorable characters and storylines. The series' cast (which included Ann Bell, Stephanie Cole, Louise Jameson, Stephanie Beacham, Veronica Roberts, Claire Oberman and Burt Kwouk) have contributed their memories of working on the show, as have creator Lavinia Warner and writers Jill Hyem and Anne Valery, who share their thoughts on working on one of television's first female ensemble dramas. In addition to the 'making of' story, every episode is reviewed in depth. Remembering Tenko is illustrated with more than 300 photographs sourced from the Radio Times, the BBC and the private albums of Tenko's cast and crew, including 20 pages of full-colour plates. With a front cover and internal illustrations by Tenko's graphic designer Ray Ogden. 'A fascinating and exhaustive book - there are things in it even I didn't know! A must for anyone who remembers Tenko' - Stephanie Cole. 'Tenko my favourite job of all time... this could well prove my favourite book of all time' - Louise Jameson.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr G Rose on 19 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
I think Andy Priestner has easily surpassed his earlier achievements, in my experience, SECRET ARMY and the partnership with Rich Cross on SURVIVORS, both excellent books in their ownright, but this one is the definitive one.

The sheer range,depth,variety,care to detail,brilliantly portrayed display of information is absolutely staggering.

Staggering in that all information relating to all three series and the reunion are included,production schedules,rehearsal schedules,location schedules,dates of filming,actresses' thoughts and comments, everything in fact. And the photos are fantastic as well.

I have to admit the book was exactly how I imagined it would be, but it contained other titbits of information about the production of the series that far exceeded my expectations.

Andy Priestner is definitely the greatest writer in this country on classic, archive tv programmes.

I thoroughly recommend this excellent book for both fans of Tenko and classic television. A must purchase. I spent hours of fun reading it and I am sure others will derive enjoyment as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janis Chambers on 6 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
I remember watching this TV series after putting my children to bed, and I remember how involved I became with the plots and characters. Years later I bought the DVDs on a bit of a whim as I hadn't seen it for so long, just to see if it had the same power. It did. Reading this book was the next, logical step - But I confess I was a little worried as "behind the scenes" books don't do it for me usually. I am delighted to say that my initial misgivings were wrong and I loved the book - it brought to life the stories of the real women, and the real situations which inspired the series, and the huge belief the creator and writers and cast etc had for the show. I loved hearing about the relationships which developed between the cast and the dramas which occurred in filming the series - the bus issues in singapore sounded horrific! Even to read about the episodes and what might have been was great. I raced through it! I also feel I have to mention the huge ammount of photos - portraits, behind the scenes, parties, locations, the real women - it reminded me that they just don't seem to make drama like this anymore.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sophie Neville on 22 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
A fascinating book about the BBC drama series 'Tenko', illustrated by numerous photographs, many of which were taken by the original cast. I loved hearing about how Lavinia Warner conceived the idea and instigated the incredibly popular wartime saga about female internees to the Japanese during WWII.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Joslin on 4 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
I cannot stress how excellent 'Remembering Tenko' is - it is truly faultless. It is impossible to pick out any negatives.

The striking thing about this book, is that it is an obvious labour of love for Andy Priestner, and the cast and crew who contributed to it. Their collective affection for the series is evident in every page. Whilst the cast and crew accounts add immense detail and colour, it is Andy Priestner's skillful and dynamic writing that brings these accounts together in an interesting and fluid manner. His writing is honest and complimentary, never resorting to hyperbole yet praising the series in a way that shows that he is a true Tenko fan. The structure is also excellent. It never feels bitty and incoherent, a real skill considering that the book is over 700 pages long.

Every question you may have about 'Tenko' is answered. It is a shame that Emily Bolton, Renee Asherson and Karin Foley did not contribute, only because every other main cast member contributes with such passion and detail. But their absence does not in any way affect the book's high quality. It details every aspect of production, from character creation, storylining, scripting, casting, direction, you name it, it's in there with flair and detail!

'Remembering Tenko' starkly reveals the uphill struggle that Lavinia Warner, Jill Hyem and Anne Valery had in convincing the male-dominated BBC that the show would succeed, as well as their talent as writers. Their strength, determination and wit is incredible, and I could happily read their views and opinions forever! The book also reveals the input that Lavinia Warner put into the programme. It's a common misconception that the Creator develops the initial idea before having little development in its future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By melanie strong on 31 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
I only started watching Tenko this year so it was great timing for me that this book came out when it did. At first I was a little nervous about reading it. I'm not really the type of person who enjoys "making of" documentaries and usually avoid them. I was worried that if I knew too much about the locations and filming and the women playing the roles it would seem less "real". That somehow the magic of the series would be gone. But this was not the case at all. I don't think I've ever read a non-fiction book that had me shedding as many tears.

The start of the book paid proper homage to the real life internees of Japanese camps during World War II. The true story and the inspirational women behind Tenko were really brought into focus. 15 pages in I was holding back tears. 24 pages in I bought Lavinia Warner's book about the real women prisoners. It was fascinating to read about her inspiration and the journey of the show from start to filming.

The book is set up so that it gives backgrounds on the pre-production of each series, including biographies of the main players, then location shooting, studio shooting and then detailed descriptions of each episode. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most was reading Lavinia's descriptions of the characters and some of the original storylines. It was also interesting to see how her original ideas were interpreted by the two writers, how creator, writers and actresses all worked closely together to give the characters so much depth. It was very insightful.

Another thing I enjoyed was how many quotes from the people involved there were.
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