Arena Animal Night (BBC2).

TITLE CARD: 'Animal Night' appears in glowing pink text against a stormy night sky backdrop

An early example of a BBC2 theme night (pre-dating A Night From TV Hell by three whole years), the long-running documentary strand teaming up with Spitting Image Productions to introduce an evening of films of various animals, closing off with a debate programme on animal rights. The framing device: Noah’s Ark, except the beardy sailboat proprietor isn’t as nice to the animals as legend would have it.

SCREENCAP: A stormy night sea, atop which is an ark. Probably a very famous ark.

The full evening isn’t online, but the first couple of minutes are on the Ravensbourne BBC Motion Graphics Archive, and if that’s anything to go by, it’s a hell of a lot of effort they’ve gone into for some linking material.

SCREENCAP: A group of terrified (puppet) animals huddle together

It being on Ravensbourne’s BBC Motion Graphics Archive – a project used to highlight processes used in the formulation of TV title sequences through the decades – there’s also some background information on how it was put together by designer Pete Wane. And if you’ve not been through that site before, go take a look. It’s absolutely marvellous resource.

SCREENCAP: A (Spitting Image puppet) hand throws the famous Arena bottle out of a porthole
Spitting Image beasties introduce an entertaining night of films on our furred or feathered chums followed by a serious debate on animal rights. 
7.30 Smashing Pigs. 
8.0 Truth is Stranger Than Fiction. 
8.10 Sacred Elephant. 
8.55 Great Wildlife Presenters . 
9.25 John Daniel the First. 
10.0 Day in the Life of Sam the Dog. 10.25 Trials of Animals. 
11.0 Debate.

Arena Animal Night: Opening Title Sequence

2 responses to “ARCHIVE TV ADVENT CALENDAR DAY SIXTEEN: 16 December 1989”

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