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Statistics time!

Does anyone know approximately how many episodes of Countdown still exist in the ABC archives? Also, were 563 episodes actually made?

The numbering system appears to have a certain logic, generally working towards no. 563 (is this show many were officially made?), although episodes 4, 5, and 6 are from 1977 and 17 JAN 1982 is also listed as no. 5 (????). Show No. 300 seems to correspond. ALthough the show is missing, the shows around episode 200 appear to infer that it was indeed around mid 1979 (as mentioned in the Sunday Spectrum special).

Are some of the early numbers right? Some seem to follow a general order (ie. 31 AUG 1975 is no. 36 and 5 Dec 1976 is listed as No. 90).

Re: Statistics time!

Hi Kyron

The numbering of Countdowns were all consecutive - there were 563 episodes made. Those Episodes 4,5,6 from 1977 refer to parts 4,5,6 of the Top 100 Countdown of 1976 (part of the regular Summer Specials) - also 17/01/82 is Summer Special No. 5 from that series of Summer Specials which were not Top 100s but themed shows shown over the Summer Break when regular programmed Countdowns went into recess. The Specials were not part of the regular numbering system.

What has survived year by year

1974 – Nothing – except a couple of clips from the 1st show (Sherbet, Skyhooks)
1975 – 4 (Including a Sherbet Special)
1976 – 3 (One is a Sherbet Live at Festival Hall Concert which seems to have been allotted a show number in the regular numbering)
1977 – 8 – 4 are 1976 Top 100 shows, one is a Summer Special at the end of the year, one is the 100th show, 1 is the Silver Jubilee show meaning just ONE is a regular episode – the precious John English-hosted show shown on Rage just finished up for the current retro season)
1978 – 10 – 1 is a segment compile from the 1977 Top 100 (incomplete), 2 are in too poor condition to broadcast – 19/03/78 (Damaged Audio), 16/07/78 (very poor quality off a Betamax tape and incomplete)
1979 – 25 – just over half (1 is an end-of-decade special) – there are also segments of a September John St Peters hosted missing episode on a U-Matic tape – some show performances only – no host links or non-music segments.

From 1980, only the following episode Numbers have been misplaced in the archives
1980 – Eps 240,241 (262 not made due to industrial dispute) 1981 – Ep 303 1983 – Ep 307 1984 – Ep 432 (Jacksons Dance Competition – Domestic Copy may exist), 1986 - Ep 515, 520

One would assume some domestic home recordings of some of the later shows may exist hidden in someones cupboard?

Re: Statistics time!

That's a brilliant summary - thanks a million.

I get the separate numbering now for specials. When I don't get something I tend to ask questions.

Amazing to think some 1984 episodes are missing. I was well watching the show on a regular basis myself then and very into music.

All the 70's shows now seem depressingly familiar except for the bits not broadcast on RAGE. What a tragedy. My Mum would sometimes sit me in front of the TV of an evening in the 70's and beleive it or not I do have memories of 'Fernando' and what I think may have been 'They Way that you Do it' playing. How sad.



Re: Statistics time!

Hi Brett, that's amazing the wealth of information you have there! Thankyou for answering a lot of my unanswered questions too. I didn't realise that almost half of the 1979 episodes got wiped. I find it interesting that the 1979 shows that are missing are random in selection, i.e. not just Jan. to June. I wonder why that is? Also, how come you are so well informed on Countdown's archives, do you work at the ABC?!

Re: Statistics time!

Would there be about 200 episodes missing then?

Re: Statistics time!

fantastic info here...thanks to all involved

Re: Statistics time!

It's a crime that half of the 1979 Episodes got wiped!

1979 Countdown's are the only 70s Episodes I really get into.

A pity there ain't any left to play on rage!

Re: Statistics time!

I'm hearing you all the way on that comment Jason, I too love 1979 Countdown's, and music from 1979 onwards!

Re: Statistics time!

I love all the Countdown years -except 1987 where it became a tad sterile- but 1979 is a particular favorite.

It's horrible that some were wiped but at least there are a good number remaining compared to 75-78.

Re: Statistics time!

I must be one of the few who'd love to see more 1987 episodes.While I didn't like the "Pirate TV" concept,I still maintain 1987 was a great year for music and of course,it was a also a year that changed my life on a personal level-they're my reasons for wanting more 1987 episodes.
Another thing-even though a fair chunk of 1974-78 episodes got wiped,am I still allowed to agree with everyone who's said that 1979 was the best year for Countdown in the 70's?

Re: Statistics time!

To be fair when you look at them, the majority of the 1987 episodes aren't that bad.

I think when people refer to the '87 shows they perhaps are thinking of the eps down from Feb - April, which adhered to the 'Pirate TV' format.

From May onwards when it reverted back to its original format it became watchable again - I certainly think the shows from that period are very good.

But unfortunately by then it was too late and Countdown was finished...although as I've said before I could imagine it lasting until the end of the 80's had Molly continued - Bros, Rick Astely or Yazz hosting Countdown isn't too hard to imagine.

Re: Statistics time!

I too would love to see some more 1987 episodes, as it was the year that I really got into music. I also thought it was a great year (probably the best) for pop.