The Story Of Bohemian Rhapsody
First broadcast on the digital channel BBC 3 on 4 December 2004, and repeated extensively throughout December on the same channel.
First broadcast on terrestrial TV on BBC 2 at 9:40pm on 31 December 2004.
Length 57 minutes.
Narrated by Richard E. Grant
Executive Producer : Emma Worthington
Produced and directed by Carl Johnston
This is a new documentary focusing entirely on the track, exploring the recording, the video, its success and its meaning. It features brand new interviews with Brian and Roger, and takes them back to Monmouth Studios in Wales where the track was recorded. It also features some rare excerpts from the 24-track tapes, although many of these feature interviews over the top, or are mixed with other versions. Some of these excerpts (not all) appear on the bonus feature on 'Greatest Video Hits I'. The documentary is not divided into sections (nor advertisement breaks) so I have divided it appropriately below, with rare footage highlighted in red.
- General dialogue outlining the content of the programme, with short clips from many of the interviewees, including footage from the video and footage of Axl Rose and Joe Elliott performing with Queen at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
- Narration about how ground breaking the song was, and footage of the video
- A brief history of the band, including very rare footage of 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' on 'Top Of The Pops', an interview with Zandra Rhodes, and numerous audio extracts and photos from the time
- Interview with Roy Thomas Baker (producer), footage of 'Ogre Battle' live at the Rainbow, and footage of 'Killer Queen' from 'Top Of The Pops'
- Shots of Queen's original managerial contracts and interview with Norman Sheffield (former manager)
- Interview with John Reid (Queen's subsequent manager) about the groups managerial problems and Freddie's early life and musical tastes, including slow piano excerpts
- Vintage footage of Monmouth Studios, which then cuts to footage of Brian and Roger arriving at the studio complex
- Interviews with Brian and Roger about their memories of the recording, footage of them looking round the studio, a previously unheard out-take , further interviews and a further out-take
- Footage of 'One Vision' from Wembley 1986 and narrator asks 'what is so special about Bohemian Rhapsody?'
- Introduction to Roy Thomas Baker, footage of him trying to find missing 'Galileos' on the 24 track recordings, and some shots of the original 24 track tape and Freddie's doodles on it
- Interview with Roy Thomas Baker about the mixing and recording of the track, and he plays various excerpts including the backing track, percussion, lead vocals, bass, backing track (again) and Brian's solo (which features the original recording which jumps to a new re-recording), followed by Brian talking about his guitar input to the track.
- Excerpts of various vocal parts, and interview with Roger about harmonies
- Audio excerpts of a-capella vocals from the Opera section, which cuts to the album version, then cuts back to a-capella vocals for the rock section and continued interview with Roy Thomas Baker
- Instrumental excerpts of the Opera section (no vocals) with timpani overdubs, then live footage from Budapest 1986, an interview with Roy Thomas Baker about Freddie's organisation, and further live footage
- Footage of a 2 minute jam by Brian and Roger in the studio, featuring parts of 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'Tear It Up' and 'Dragon Attack'
- Footage of Brian and Roger looking around the accommodation and studio complex in general, discussing their memories, followed by a short interview with Roger about how the album got its name
- Another excerpt from the backing track, and an interview with assistant engineer Gary Langan
- Footage from the video, and interviews with Noddy Holder, John Reid and Roy Thomas Baker about the track being planned as a single and then leaked to Kenny Everett
- Interview with Brian explaining why the video was made, and an interview with Roger about the production facilities
- Footage of 'Now I'm Here' from the Rainbow, interview with director Bruce Gowers about the video, and interviews with Brian and Mick Rock about the 'Queen II' album cover
- Audio excerpt of 'Another One Bites The Dust' and interviews with Jim McCutcheon (assistant director) and Barry Dodd (cameraman) about the effects in the video, and they practice the video set-up. They then recreate parts of the video using tribute act Ga Ga, which is followed by further interviews with Bruce Gowers and Jim McCutcheon about the kaleidoscope and feedback effects.
- Interview with Brian about seeing the video for the first time, footage of an introduction on 'Top Of The Pops', footage of the 'flames' version of the video, and interviews with Slash, Joe Elliot and Noddy Holder
- Interviews with Jer Bulsara and Kashmira Cooke (Freddie's mum and sister) about the video and public recognition, and interview with Roger about hearing the song was number 1.
- A selection of worldwide picture sleeves and an interview with Peter Hince (former roadie) about his blue vinyl record
- Extracts from a Melody Maker review of the record, and an interview with Anthony DeCurtis (of Rolling Stone magazine)
- Footage of Richard E. Grant reading the lyrics, and footage of a group of Oxford lecturers discussing the meaning of the track
- Interviews with Justin & Dan from The Darkness, Roger, Noddy Holder and Bob Geldof
- Footage of 'Now I'm Here' from Hammersmith 1975, interview with Bob Harris, and footage of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' from Hammersmith
- Footage of Abba's 'Mama Mia' and an interview with Bjorn Ulvaeus
- Footage of Queen receiving an Outstanding Contribution award at the Brits in 1990, extract from Top Of The Pops revealing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was number one again, and interview with Brian
- Footage of 'I Want To Break Free', narration about their fall in popularity in the USA, and interview with Brian
- Footage from Waynes World, and interviews with Anthony DeCurtis, Penelope Spheeris (director), Noddy Holder, Joe Elliott, Slash, and Brian again.
- Audio excerpt of 'Let Me Entertain You' from Live Killers, and footage of the Dominion Theatre, London
- A compilation of footage of the track from the promo video, Wembley 1986, Roger and Brian's studio jam, the musical, a classical performance and a jazz combo, intercut with some of the programme's interviewees and Richard E. Grant reading the lyrics, followed by some archived interview comments from Freddie