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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for anyone who ever watched the BBC serial 'Tenko'
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.
Published 21 months ago by Sophie Neville

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not what i expected
not really sure what i expected but this was a lot of money for a book that didnt really say much apart from what we already knew
Published 1 month ago by lindap


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for anyone who ever watched the BBC serial 'Tenko', 22 Oct 2012
By 
Sophie Neville (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering Tenko, 19 Oct 2012
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
5.0 out of 5 stars What a surprise, 6 Nov 2012
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book - I read this in a weekend!, 4 Nov 2012
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.

But with 'Tenko', it's evident that Lavinia Warner had a major hand in the storylining and character development of all of Tenko's three series. 'Remembering Tenko' successfully shows this, and duly gives her the credit that she deserves without, in turn, undermining the massive contribution of Jill Hyem, Anne Valery and the other production team members that were crucial to Tenko's success.

The book contains detailed episode reviews that whilst highlighting an episode's strengths, is also unafraid to point out any weaknesses in scripts and performances. A large number of photographs taken by cast and crew are also included, making the book feel personal and inclusive to the reader.

If you're a fan of 'Tenko', or even just interested in learning about how a television drama develops from script to screen, then PLEASE buy this book - it's a must-have. You will gain insights and thoughts not only about 'Tenko' itself, but also into the acting, writing and production processes. In essence, 'Remembering Tenko' is informative, engaging and beautifully-written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, 31 Oct 2012
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. One of my favourites was Stephanie Cole saying how she was a little surprised to discover herself a gay icon and how Beatrice "would never have done anything about it but emotionally she was attracted to women rather than men".

The author was very quick to pick up on the nature of not just Nellie's relationship with Sally but also Beatrice's much more subtle feelings for Nellie throughout the three seasons. The only think I felt he missed was the nature of the relationship between Joss and Monica. After reading the Well of loneliness "serving in the ambulance corps" to my mind is nothing except shorthand for lesbians. To me Joss and Monica's relationship seemed full of subtext, down to her looking upon Steven as a rival for Monica that she "had to live up to" when they first met in series 3. Of course as he had full access to the writers and creator I am saddened to think that perhaps I was reading too much into that relationship.

What also came across was the strong bond the actresses in the series had. Not only did I cry for the tragedy of the real women prisoners but also when I heard how generous the actresses were to each other even years after the show had ended.

Reading this book was a remarkable insight not just into a tv show but into history as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to everyone who has seen Tenko and loved it. If you haven't seen Tenko yet I would recommend that you watch it now, then get the book. I can assure you that 30 years later this show is just as amazing as it was when it first aired.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering Tenko is a labour of love, 31 Oct 2012
Tenko evokes so many fond memories of watching its original broadcast in the 80's. To own this book is re-live those treasured memories. Andy Priestner has written a magnificent companion to this classic TV drama. It contains hundreds of photos and so much background info about Tenko. Many of the people involved in Tenko during the 80's have also contributed their memories. I'm currently watching Tenko again on DVD and reading the episode summaries/commentary side by side. 740 pages of painstaking research by the author, a true labour of love. A gift of gold to all Tenko fans. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 20 Mar 2014
By 
Wilhelm Snyman "Wilhelm Snyman" (Cape Town, W Cape South Africa) - See all my reviews
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Lovely that a book has come out on this wonderful TV series and the great actors in it. If you're interested in the plight of the civilian internees in the Far East, this book is well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My opinion on "Remembering Tenko"!, 22 Jan 2014
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This book truly meets all my expectations.It gives a detailed account of the preparations for making the series and also of each character of the cast and his or her personal impressions during filming.Furthermore it offers a captivating description of each episode which makes watching the series anew 'with knowledge' a delightful experience...............As for the pics in the book,they are of course quite wonderful......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book with all the background you'll ever need!, 19 Oct 2013
By 
Jersey Customer (Jersey, Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Remembering Tenko: A Celebration of the Classic TV Drama Series (Kindle Edition)
If you loved, or still love, the TV series Tenko this is a "must have" book. l watched for the first time in my early-mid teens when it was originally broadcast in the early 80s (my great-uncle was a Japanese POW, so I already had some idea of what had happened, although he never talked about it much) and I watch it now whenever it is repeated - now with my own teenage daughters, who love it as much as I do, and also knowing as they do the familial links they have to this subject. They have also read the book (the benefits of the Kindle version is that it's installed on 3 devices so we can all read it at the same time if we want to!) and it takes you all the way through the Tenko story, from the first germ of the idea, the research behind the real-life inspiration for characters and events, to the filming up to, and including, the Reunion episode. There are many photos taken by the cast themselves as they filmed, many personal anecdotes, and a very real sense of the very bond the actors shared in real life which mirrored that of the real women POWs. l cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 5 May 2013
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The book was all I hoped for full of new facts and some brilliant pictures along with comments from many of the Tenko cast.
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