The Catacombs Production Guide
Storyboards Guardian Of Piri

When Christopher Penfold completed his script for Guardian Of Piri, on 29th April 1974, copies of the script were sent to Brian Johnson and Nick Allder at Bray Studios to begin planning the special effects. Here, Nick Allder's script has a small sketch of the Guardian.

Johnson and Allder marked up all the effects shots in the script, sometimes annotating them with production notes. Here we see scene 68 was filmed with 72 and 48 frames per second, and the motion would be R-L, right to left. The 22 may mean they would use the 22 inch Eagle (rather than the bigger 44 inch), while the 3/6 was the filming date- 3rd June 1974.

The next step was for Brian's secretary, Jill Larkin, to retype all the effects scenes into a special effects script. This was dated 6th May 1974. Containing only the effects scenes, this was a shorter document to use, and would be marked up with further comments and sometimes quick sketches to plan the shots. The Piri effects script is 9 pages long, reflecting an effects heavy episode. All the scenes are marked A (for space shots) or B (for planet Piri shots). It is possible the effects crew worked in two units, A and B, because of the number of shots required.

Brian would then draw a storyboard, using a photocopied A4 template. The drawings are quick sketches, sometimes very rough. Colour is unusual, and Piri is one of the few year 1 episodes where some of the storyboards were coloured. Unusually there are two different versions of the Piri storyboards. The filming date is written on some of the later storyboards. Here the later version is coloured, although many are black and white in both versions. There is an odd example here of a completely freehand storyboard sheet. This is actually a late addition- the shots of the planet and plateau replaced some of the other shots seen in the two versions of the storyboards here.

The storyboards are generally in story order, but for Piri the shots were split by subject. Space and planet shots were on different sheets, and some similar shots were brought together.

The storyboards that follow are rearranged in story order.