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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Walk into the Parlour: The Spiders of Britain

Walk into the Parlour: The Spiders of Britain  (1966)

Webs of intricate beauty

A technically stunning account of a much maligned creature, Walk into the Parlour: The Spiders of Britain was first broadcast during National Nature Week 1966, on the newly formed BBC 2 channel.

An outstanding example of pioneering macro-photographic techniques, the show was the brainchild of Oxford Scientific Films (OSF) founders Gerald Thompson and Eric Skinner. Gaining inspiration from W.S. Bristowe’s book on spiders, they recruited leading arachnologist Dr. John Cooke, with the partnership producing a thoroughly entertaining glimpse into the world of these ruthless and efficient hunters.

Incredible close-up shots reveal a rich variety of behaviour, from the trapping of prey using strategically placed scaffolds and trip wires to the complicated silk tunnels produced by orb web spiders. With virtually no natural sound, the production was set to a score by Sidney Sagar, his music skillfully highlighting the specific movements and postures associated with the spiders’ elaborate and often comical courtship routines.

A unique insight into all things arachnid, Walk into the Parlour: The Spiders of Britain delves into an apparently unpopular species, its enthusiastic reception leading to a whole host of programmes on snakes, scorpions and other ‘undesirable’ creatures.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: Patricia Harvey-Thompson
Address: La Cour du Verger
87140 Roussac
Telephone: 0033 (0) 555602395

Film credits

Director: Gerald Thompson
Director: Eric R. Skinner
Film Editor: Betty Block
Film Editor: Phil Mutton
Music: Richard Adeney
Music: John Marson
Music: Kenneth Mobbs
Music: Stephen Whittaker
Music Composer: Sidney Sager
Narrator: Alan Gibson
Photography: Gerald Thompson
Photography: Eric R. Skinner
Presenter: Keith Hopkins
Production Organisation: BBC - Natural History Unit
Scientific Advisor: John Cooke
Series Editor: Anthony Isaacs
Series Editor: Christopher Parsons

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