The Digital Media Services team at BBC Studios and Post Production has digitally restored and remastered over 30 hours of The Jewel in the Crown film for ITV Studios Global Entertainment, 30 years after it was first broadcast on British TV.
The original series was shot on 16mm film, much of it on location in India, yet the BBC S&PP team was able to integrate the 1980s source footage with a wide variety of variable quality archive and historical footage, with the aim of achieving a consistent look and feel throughout the 13 restored episodes.
Kevin Shaw, lead technologist at BBC Studios and Post Production Digital Media Services, explained: “No two remastering projects are ever the same and they all pose their own particular challenges. But ultimately our job is to extract the finest possible images from whatever material we’re working with. This is always tricky when combining many different sources of footage of vastly differing quality. It’s a painstaking process to manually check and restore each image frame-by-frame but it means that we can ensure that every single detail is optimised for the viewer.”
The Digital Media Services team worked from the original A/B roll negatives held in ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s archive, and began by scanning and conforming all the source material to produce one complete timeline. After a visual check, the team ran the negatives through an ultrasonic film cleaner before passing it through their SCANITY film scanner for output to 2K.
They conformed and graded the 2K scans on Nucoda FilmMaster, before completing an automated dust pass. The team manually checked every frame of the 14 episodes and corrected any details that the automated process had either missed or over-fixed. A final grade in FilmMaster completed the restoration before output to HDSR masters for ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
“With The Jewel in the Crown celebrating its 30th anniversary,” commented Rod Carter, head of operations at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, “what better way to enjoy this enduring classic?"