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Billy Smart, Forgotten Television Drama, John Hill, Lez Cooke, Royal Holloway, Uncategorized

About the Project

This is the official blog of the ‘History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project, Royal Holloway College, University of London.

This 3-year AHRC-funded project will explore why many television dramas made in the regions and nations of the UK between 1946 and 1982 have been ‘forgotten’ while others have been elevated to the canon of ‘classic’ British television dramas (where ‘British’ often means ‘English’).

While there may be good reason why some dramas have been forgotten, perhaps because they no longer exist, the project seeks to uncover a ‘lost history’ of UK television drama by bringing to light dramas that still exist but which may not have been seen since their initial transmission.

Part of the project is concerned to uncover dramas produced in the regions and nations of the UK which, in some cases, may only have been seen in their region of production, in order to bring them to a wider audience, perhaps for the first time. In doing so, the project aims to broaden our sense of television history and raise questions about what is regarded as ‘classic TV’.

 

Principal Investigator – Professor John Hill.

Co-investigator – Dr Lez Cooke.

Research Officer – Dr Billy Smart.

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Discussion

8 thoughts on “About the Project

  1. Do you know this play? As far as I know it was broadcast once. Thus : A married pensioner couple live in a flat with their cat, called Mr ??? The wife steals a tin of salmon whilst out shopping and goes home to her husband. Meanwhile a robber is on the loose being chased by police. The robber runs into the block of flats where the married couple live. The police make flat to flat calls incase the robber has gone in one. When they get to the married couple, the married couple think the police are there because the wife stole the tin of salmon and so the couple won’t answer the door, so the police think the robber must be in there. They ask the couple through the door if anyone else is in there, the couple say “yes” meaning their cat. The police ask the name and they say Mr ??? thus the police think this is the name of the robber and that he has the couple as hostages and they ask to speak to Mr ??? And the couple think they are mad and tell them that Mr ??? can’t talk to them, the police presume that the robber won’t talk to them and will only converse through the couple. The couple do not have a telephone so the police give them one so that they can talk to them, the couple think it’s great that the police have give them a free telephone !!! The story continues but I expect I’ve told you enough !! …unless you’d like to know the rest of it !! in which case just ask !!!! Its a great play and very funny but I’ve no idea what it’s called, maybe you can please help ? Knowing me I’ll probably track it down tomorrow after all this !!!!! Many thanks. Think it’s great what you’re doing !! 🙂

    Posted by Trish | October 12, 2016, 8:46 pm
  2. Queens Jubilee
    All bunting and street party prep. Mother with kids has break down. Poor and suffering mental
    Health makes hot chcolate for all and kills them all as is laced with poison.
    Can’t recall dramatist/ playwright 1980s

    Posted by Heather Symonds | November 3, 2016, 8:55 am
  3. The play that you are thinking of is ‘Spongers’, a 1978 Play For Today written by Jim Allen and directed by Roland Joffe.

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/spongers-35-years-old-fiercely-relevant

    Posted by billysmart | November 3, 2016, 9:03 am
  4. Hi.

    Are you accepting suggestions from the general public on tv shows which have sunk without trace?

    Posted by Bernie | August 1, 2017, 1:09 pm
  5. My reason for enquiring is that in the 1970s I watched a Scottish crime drama over 3/4 episodes called The Bloodletting which had me glued to the screen from start to finish. However, I have never seen it shown again and none of my friends or family remember it. I wonder if it has gone the way of many screenings and been erased/recorded over.

    Posted by Bernie | August 1, 2017, 5:57 pm
    • The Blood-Letting was a three part thriller shown over consecutive nights on BBC1 Scotland from the 31 December 1977 to January 2 1978. BBC Scotland made quite a number of such serials between the late sixties and the early 1980s, but this was one of the very few that appears never to have been broadcast outside Scotland. The series survives in the archives.

      Full details:

      Usual duration: 50 minutes

      Main regular credit(s):
      Written by Tom Wright; designed by Archie Clark; produced by Pharic Maclaren; directed by Bob McIntosh.

      Main regular cast:
      Donald Burton (Steven Marshall), Caroline Mortimer (Joan Henderson), Ian McCulloch (Henry MacNaughton), Bernard Horsfall (Inspector Macreadie).

      31.12.1977
      Episode 1

      With Anna Pitt (Marjorie Marshall), Prentis Hancock (Garry Walsh), David Gallacher, Wilma Duncan, Jake D’Arcy, Bill Paterson, Julie Agnew, Ian Halliburton, Peter Finlay, Shenah Douglas.

      01.01.1978
      Episode 2

      With Prentis Hancock (Garry Walsh), Frank Wylie (Newsvendor), Alec Heggie (Bagpiper Macnab), Ken Henderson, Martin Cochrane, Joan Fitzpatrick, James Kennedy, E. J. P. Mace, Shenah Douglas.

      02.01.1978
      Episode 3

      With Anna Pitt (Marjorie Marshall), Frank Wylie (Newsvendor), Alec Heggie (Bagpiper Macnab), Anne Kristen.

      Posted by billysmart | August 1, 2017, 6:45 pm

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