Stephen Bourne looks at some of the early black writers of British television drama. The recent losses of Michael Abbensetts (1938-2016) and Buchi Emecheta (1944-2017) are a reminder that they were among the early black writers of British television drama. When they began writing for television in the 1970s there had already been several … Continue reading
Our Forgotten Dramas season continues on Monday 13 February at 6.20 pm in NFT2 with a double bill of 1970s political dramas, made by Granada, at which we will be very pleased to welcome the director of The Nearly Man, John Irvin, and the script-editor of The Eagle Has Landed, Jonathan Powell. The Eagle Has … Continue reading
Our second ‘Forgotten Television Dramas’ season launches at 6.00 this evening with a screening of John Osborne’s ‘The Hotel in Amsterdam’, unseen since 1971. A full article about this play (and a later 2004 BBC production) can be found on our blog here. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the play’s … Continue reading
Stephen Bourne looks at how gay men were portrayed in British television drama from 1939 to 1979. Until Queer as Folk hit British television screens on Channel 4 in 1999, a television drama about gay men as revealing and sexually explicit as this would not have been possible. In Queer as Folk its openly gay … Continue reading
We are pleased to be able to announce details of the second ‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ season, held at BFI Southbank this February, curated by Lez Cooke, John Hill and Billy Smart as a part of the AHRC-funded ‘History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project at Royal Holloway College, University … Continue reading
When the film and television producer Barry Hanson died in June 2016 Christopher Hampton wrote an obituary for the Guardian which highlighted Hanson’s best-known productions: The Naked Civil Servant (1975) and The Long Good Friday (1980), referring also to Hanson’s work at the Royal Court Theatre and Hull Arts Centre in the late 1960s, but … Continue reading
Researching old television drama is often an archaeological process. When programmes don’t survive, a trained historian and theorist can sometimes pick up (and hopefully convey) some idea of what they might have been like through secondary sources.
“I want to say first that whenever I wrote a play, comedy or otherwise, I felt I must have an underlying theme which had something relevant to say about the times. Also to give women a fair crack of the whip.” (Julia Jones, 5 April 2005)
Don’t have nightmares. We decided to open our season – ‘Dramatic Spaces: The Imaginative World of the TV Studio’ – with The Exorcism (BBC2, 5 November 1972) for two reasons.
Today’s post considers the specific nature of performance in multi-camera studio television drama of the 1970s, through textual analysis and production context of Hunters Walk (ITV/ATV 1973-76), a now-forgotten ITV police series that was popular in its day.