BBC Studios Production is completing a new feature documentary, David Bowie: The First Five Years, to air next year. Its the third in director Francis Whately's trilogy that has included "David Bowie: Five Years" (2013) and "David Bowie: The Last Five Years" (2017). The film will cover the Bowie's formative years as an artist, starting in 1966 up until the birth of Ziggy Stardust. According to the BBC, the 90-minute doc "traces his interest in everything from Holst to Pinky and Perky, from Anthony Newley to Tibetan Buddhism, and how he used all these influences to create not only Ziggy Stardust, but the material for his entire career."
The film also unearths a report, deep from the BBC Archives, following a BBC audition on Tuesday 2 November 1965 of a band called David Bowie and the Lower Third. Their audition material included Chim-Chim-Cheree as well as an original number called Baby That’s A Promise. The BBC’s ‘Talent Selection Group’ describe him as having “quite a different sound”, but also “no personality”, “not particularly exciting” and “will not improve with practice”. The BBC later appears to have changed its mind...
Contributors include Bowie’s first cousin and lifelong-friend Kristina Amadeus and former girlfriend and muse Hermione Farthingale - both of whom have never before been filmed talking about him; the late Lindsay Kemp in his last filmed interview, lifelong friend and producer Tony Visconti, former girlfriend and friend Dana Gillespie, lifelong friends Geoff MacCormak and George Underwood, Bowie's producer Mike Vernon, Bowie's early producer Tony Hatch, and Woody Woodmansey, the last remaining Spider from Mars.
Further highlights in the film include a deconstruction of Bowie classics including Space Oddity and The Man Who Sold The World through the eight track masters and previously unheard demos, alongside master tapes from songs that Bowie wanted to forget, such as The Laughing Gnome - a song that has a surprising link to the Velvet Underground; plus never before seen footage of Bowie’s journey through Siberia in 1973, just before he kills Ziggy off at the Hammersmith Odeon later that year.