Euston Films is a British film and television production company. It was originally a subsidiary company of Thames Television, and operated from 1971 to 1994, producing various series for Thames, which were screened nationally on the ITV network. The most famous Euston Films productions include Van der Valk (1973), The Sweeney (1975–1978), Minder (1979–1994), Quatermass (1979), Danger UXB (1979), and Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983). The Sweeney had two feature film spin-offs, Sweeney! and Sweeney 2, which were also produced by Euston.
In 2014, Euston Films was revived as a production company by the owner of Thames, Fremantle.
The idea for Euston Films dated back to 1965, when writer Trevor Preston and directors Jim Goddard and Terry Green were working at ABC Television. They produced a detailed proposal for a specialist production unit that shot dramas on 16mm film, rather than standard videotape.
The company was founded in 1971 when three Thames executives, Lloyd Shirley, George Taylor and Brian Tesler realised there was a market for a new type of television drama. To facilitate this new-style of quick-changing action, Euston used two crews filming different scenes of the same programme at the same time, which ensured production times were quicker. Euston eschewed the studio videotape shooting more commonly used in British television drama at the time, and all material was filmed on location using the more expensive but higher-quality 16mm film stock.
Initial shows such as Special Branch gained reasonable praise, but it was The Sweeney that first gave the company critical and commercial success. Using a storyline style known as "kick, bollock and scramble", this formula continued in such shows as Fox and Widows . In 1979, the company created Minder as a vehicle for Sweeney star Dennis Waterman, giving the company its longest-running show. On 3 September 1986, Euston Films, which produced one theatrical film per year, is cranking up its theatrical film slate, with one feature currently shooting and with two in the wings, and it will serve as a joint venture with Film Four International.
With the demise of parent company Thames as an ITV broadcast franchise holder in 1992, Euston's output reduced. It continued to make Minder for ITV franchisee Central Independent Television, but when this series was axed in 1994, further work was not forthcoming.
Euston Films was based at Colet Court in Hammersmith, London.
In March 2014, it was announced that FremantleMedia, the current owner of Thames and its subsidiaries, was to revive Euston Films as a production company.Former BBC drama executive Kate Harwood was recruited to take charge of the company. In December 2015, Euston announced it had secured a commission of a new drama series titled Hard Sun , written by Neil Cross, the creator of Luther . Filming took place in and around London, and the series was transmitted in early 2018. In July 2017, Channel 4 announced a new crime thriller called Baghdad Central would be produced by Euston Films.
Euston Films launched a second production company called Euston North in January 2017. While the company carries on with their work in London and the South of England, the MediaCityUK-based Euston North focuses on productions in Manchester and the North of England.On 7 June 2019, Euston North was renamed Castlefield.
Verity Ann Lambert was an English television and film producer.
Thames Television, commonly simplified to just Thames, was a franchise holder for a region of the British ITV television network serving London and surrounding areas from 30 July 1968 until the night of 31 December 1992. It was also a production company. Thames Television broadcast from 9:25 Monday morning to 5:15 Friday afternoon at which time it would hand over to LWT. It continued as an independent production company until 2003.
The Sweeney is a 1970s British television police drama focusing on two members of the Flying Squad, a branch of the Metropolitan Police specialising in tackling armed robbery and violent crime in London. It stars John Thaw as Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Dennis Waterman as his partner, Detective Sergeant George Carter. It was produced by the Thames Television subsidiary Euston Films for broadcast on the ITV network in the UK between 2 January 1975 and 28 December 1978.
Ian Kennedy Martin is a British television scriptwriter who created the action drama series The Sweeney (1975–1978).
Quatermass is a 1979, British television science fiction serial. Produced by Euston Films for Thames Television, it was broadcast on the ITV network in October and November 1979. Like its three predecessors, Quatermass was written by Nigel Kneale. It is the fourth and final television serial to feature the character of Professor Bernard Quatermass. In this story, the character is played by John Mills.
Armchair Theatre is a British television drama anthology series of single plays that ran on the ITV network from 1956 to 1974. It was originally produced by ABC Weekend TV. Its successor Thames Television took over from mid-1968.
Fremantle is a British multinational television production and distribution company based in London. Fremantle takes its name from Fremantle International, acquired by predecessor company All American Television in 1994. Pearson Television was renamed FremantleMedia on 20 August 2001, following the 2000 merger of Pearson Television and Bertelsmann's CLT-UFA to form the RTL Group. Since 1994, Fremantle has distributed American game shows in the United States and internationally.
Talkback Thames was a British television production company, a division of Fremantle. It was formed by the merger of Talkback Productions and Thames Television. This merger was arranged in February 2003 and reversed in January 2012.
Teddington Studios was a large British television studio in Teddington, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, providing studio facilities for programmes airing on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky1 and others. The complex also provided studio space for channel continuity. The site was run by the Pinewood Studios Group.
Special Branch is a British television series made by Thames Television for ITV and shown between 1969 and 1974. A police drama series, the action was centred on members of the Special Branch anti-espionage and anti-terrorist department of the London Metropolitan Police.
Talkback is a British television production company established in 1981 by comedy duo Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones.
The 2004 British Academy Television Awards were held on Sunday 18 April at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London. The ceremony was hosted by Davina McCall and broadcast on ITV the following day.
ITV Studios is a British multinational television production and distribution company owned by the British television broadcaster ITV plc. It handles production and distribution of programmes broadcast on the ITV network and third-party broadcasters, and is based in 12 countries across 60 production labels, with local production offices in the UK, US, Belgium, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Israel, France, Spain and Scandinavia.
Albert Moses, KStJ was a Sri Lankan actor based in the United Kingdom. He is best known for the role of Ranjeet Singh in the sitcom Mind Your Language.
Ted Childs is a British television producer, screenwriter, and director.
Zenith Productions was a British independent film and television production company. Zenith created content for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and UKTV, including a number of series such as Inspector Morse for ITV and Byker Grove and Hamish Macbeth for the BBC. Through its subsidiary Blaze Television, Zenith produced the Saturday morning series SMTV Live and CD:UK for ITV featuring Ant & Dec. The company ceased trading in 2006.
Wimbledon Film & Television Studios is an English film and television production company and facilities provider, located in Colliers Wood, between Mitcham and Wimbledon in south London.
Jim Goddard was an English film and TV director who was born in Battersea, London. He directed episodes of many UK TV series such as Public Eye, Callan, Special Branch, The Sweeney, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, The Bell and Holby City. He may be best known outside England for the TV series Kennedy starring Martin Sheen or directing the film Shanghai Surprise as a vehicle for newlyweds Sean Penn and Madonna.
Richard Johns is a UK film and television producer. As well as producing many commercially successful and critically acclaimed films, he has helped discover and foster the next generation of directors and writers across the UK, Europe and the US.
This is a timeline of the history of the British broadcaster Thames Television and its predecessor Associated-Rediffusion. Between them, they provided the ITV weekday service for London from 1955 to 1992, after which Thames continued as an independent production company until 2003.