The Westcountry Tales, The Beast

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#1
Shown in the early 80s by the BBC The Westcountry Tales was a sort of rural Tales of the Unexpected. However they proported to be based on real life accounts that viewers had sent in to the producer. The most memorable was The Beast. Though the creature itself is poorly realized the whole episode has a real air of eeriness about it. One wonders if the account writer is still alive and if so just what was it he saw? I've been meaning to try and track down the producer and see if he still has the orgional letter.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,936
Likes
1,318
Points
159
#2
Just watched this. I really enjoyed it. I realised quite quickly though that I'd seen it before.
 

AgProv

Master of Uncertainty and Doubt
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
527
Likes
681
Points
99
#3
Nobody's picked this up yet? one of the standard explanations for ABC's in Britain is "if they exist, they're animals which escaped from zoos or private collections". And yesterday... this happens.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-36763583
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-36763583
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-36763583
One explanation nobody seems to have considered for the animal escaping: what if it sensed a potential mate nearby, an ABC already established in Dartmoor? This is a big motivation for an animal. And... odd strange thought - what if the Missing Lynx was "sprung" from imprisonment by a wild animal living outside? Aided and abetted...
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,271
Likes
8,908
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#7
I just watched it too, familiar westcountry scenes. The film opened with him on a train in Cornwall, but maybe his family's farm was near the border with Devon.

Only yesterday I was looking at the OS Map, trying to locate a bridge over the River Plym that had featured in a local newspaper story. I first found the River Meavy, but then I found the Plym and the bridge. (Both rivers flow down roughly SW from the western slopes of Dartmoor - the Meavy becomes a tributary of the Plym further down...)

Now, back to the film. I thought the boy had mentioned heading towards Meavy with his gun, so I had to replay that part to check what was said. It was something like "I headed towards a weir on the far side of Meavy" (although it sounded more like Mevvy).

So this is probably just me putting two and two together and getting five. And assuming the film accurately follows the original story, and that that wasn't pure fiction to start with... but it still seemed a bit spooky that the name of a river on a map should closely echo the name of a place in the film. (There's also a village called Meavy, and another called Hoo Meavy in the river valley, along with other Meavy's.)

Probably just coincidence, as the assorted Meavy's are a longish walk from Denham Bridge, the lowest crossing of the Tamar north of the two bridges at Saltash.

Still, it's kept me out of mischief for a couple of hours!
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,936
Likes
1,318
Points
159
#11
Nobody's picked this up yet? one of the standard explanations for ABC's in Britain is "if they exist, they're animals which escaped from zoos or private collections". And yesterday... this happens.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-36763583
One explanation nobody seems to have considered for the animal escaping: what if it sensed a potential mate nearby, an ABC already established in Dartmoor? This is a big motivation for an animal. And... odd strange thought - what if the Missing Lynx was "sprung" from imprisonment by a wild animal living outside? Aided and abetted...
I can't remember where it was, but I do recall an interview with a zoo keeper in which he said he'd approached the puma enclosure, only to find a second puma standing on his side of the fence. The assumption was that it was eyeing up the captive animal as a potential mate.

As I say, I can't recall where I saw it, or where the zoo was, but I do recall it was quite a small affair. And I think it was in the Westcountry, though I'm really not sure. Lordmongrove will probably be well aware of the story though.
 

AgProv

Master of Uncertainty and Doubt
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
527
Likes
681
Points
99
#12
I see i'm on not quite the right thread here. Apologies. I did a search for any threads on "Alien Big Cats" and got directed here...
 

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#13
I can't remember where it was, but I do recall an interview with a zoo keeper in which he said he'd approached the puma enclosure, only to find a second puma standing on his side of the fence. The assumption was that it was eyeing up the captive animal as a potential mate.

As I say, I can't recall where I saw it, or where the zoo was, but I do recall it was quite a small affair. And I think it was in the Westcountry, though I'm really not sure. Lordmongrove will probably be well aware of the story though.
That was Dartmoor Wildlife park. The guy, now retired, told me the same thing when I was filming there in the 1990s.
 

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#14
Unfortunatly the producer died in 1999 so I won't be able to contact him short of getting a medium! I've tried to dfind a Foxhollies Farm or Bennet's Wood on maps of Cornwall but failed.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,499
Likes
12,428
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#15
Unfortunatly the producer died in 1999 so I won't be able to contact him short of getting a medium! I've tried to dfind a Foxhollies Farm or Bennet's Wood on maps of Cornwall but failed.
West Country Tales consisted of viewer-submitted stories that were translated into TV scripts by the production staff.

Could it be that these location names were fictional labels inserted by the staff writer(s), and they aren't the actual locations the submitter cited (if the submitter was that specific at all)?
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,499
Likes
12,428
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#17
Unfortunatly the producer died in 1999 so I won't be able to contact him short of getting a medium! ...
Was this the overall / executive producer - John King? If so ...

You might try locating one of the series' assistant producer, named Kevin Crooks. In addition to serving as assistant producer on 4 episodes (other than 'The Beast'), Crooks is credited as both sole writer and director on 'The Beast'.
 

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#19

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#20

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#21
Was this the overall / executive producer - John King? If so ...

You might try locating one of the series' assistant producer, named Kevin Crooks. In addition to serving as assistant producer on 4 episodes (other than 'The Beast'), Crooks is credited as both sole writer and director on 'The Beast'.
Thanks, i'll give it a go.
 

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#22
In another odd twist Milton Rutherford Reid who played The Beast (his last roll) vanished whilst visiting India. His body was never found and his family never found out what happened to him.
 

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#23

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#24
The producer John King died in 1999 but he is the father of TV naturalist Simon King whom i'm about to try and contact.
 

lordmongrove

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
2,465
Likes
1,613
Points
169
#25
Tried the BBC website but its a nightmare. BBC Southwest have a FB page but its down.
 
Top