Kaleidoscope Publishing

Cover of “Pilot Episodes Research Guide 1936-2015 – December 2015” by Chris Perry, Simon Coward and Richard Down

Pilot Episodes Research Guide 1936-2015
December 2015

By Chris Perry, Simon Coward and Richard Down

262 pages, 210mm x 297mm, softback; or PDF download.


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A new idea can become an expensive flop for TV executives. So from the earliest days of television, the concept of a pilot episode seemed like a good idea. Trying out new actors; new situations and new concepts before making a series was good economical sense. It was also tax deductible. Sometimes these pilots were shown on television; sometimes they were so awful they were hidden from sight in archives; and sometimes they were excellent one-offs, but a series seemed elusive and never materialised.

Chris Perry has always been fascinated by the pilot episode. So many pilots are made annually, but never seen by audiences. Only a handful appear on screen. It’s a hidden world of comedy, variety, drama and factual programming.

This volume attempts to lift the lid on the world of the TV pilot by revealing the many transmitted and untransmitted episodes made through the decades.

With thousands of titles waiting to be re-discovered in TV archives, it won’t be a complete list. This first edition is a pilot volume for a bigger series of second and third editions that are almost certainly going to follow as people join the journey, share their memories, and Kaleidoscope fill in the gaps.