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This category contains 35 posts

Directed by Douglas Camfield: Z Cars 1967-69 (BBC1)

  A new biography written by Michael Seely, Directed by Douglas Camfield, is published this week by Miwk Books. Camfield (1931-84) was one of British television’s great directors, but the combined factors of his early death and the unavailability of many of his productions have left both the man and his works being only partially … Continue reading

Evan Jones, Christopher Ralling and ‘The Fight Against Slavery’ (BBC2 1975)

Guest post by Martin Stollery Evan Jones, author of the BBC series The Fight Against Slavery (1975) was one of the first writers of Jamaican descent to make a career in BBC television, in addition to establishing himself as a film scriptwriter, most notably for director Joseph Losey. Jones’ first televised script was The Widows … Continue reading

The BBC Television Audience Research Reports and BBC Scotland Drama, 1964-82: Recorded Opinions and Invisible Expectations

Between the 1950s and the 1980s, the BBC’s internal Audience Research Unit compiled up to 700 television Audience Research reports per year, attempting to cover the complete spectrum of BBC TV programming. What I’m going to do today is consider the value of this material, in relation to my own work on the development of … Continue reading

‘Forgotten Television Dramas 2’ at BFI Southbank: ‘Play of the Month: Loyalties’ (BBC 1976)

Our second ‘Forgotten Television Dramas’ season concludes at 3.15 on Sunday afternoon with a screening of John Galsworthy’s ‘Loyalties’, unseen since 1976. The screening will be introduced by actor Edward Fox. Along with his many film and theatre credits over the last fifty years, two of Edward’s television appearances made soon after Loyalties demonstrate his … Continue reading

‘Forgotten Dramas 2’ at BFI Southbank: ‘The Passionate Pilgrim’ (1953)

Our second ‘Forgotten Television Dramas’ season continues at 8.40 pm on Wednesday 8 February with a screening of one of the earliest surviving British television dramas, The Passionate Pilgrim from 1953. Only two earlier plays survive before The Passionate Pilgrim which was broadcast live in the same week as the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and has … Continue reading

‘Forgotten Dramas 2: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ Season at BFI Southbank: February 2017

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

Finding a fragment of a lost television drama: The last seven minutes of ‘Play of the Month: The Magistrate’ (BBC1 20 December 1972)

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.

Ken Russell, Ken Loach and ‘documentary’ as ‘forgotten TV drama’

By John Hill The directors Ken Loach and Ken Russell are usually considered to be operating at opposite ends of the aesthetic scale with Loach traditionally associated with documentary-realist sobriety and Russell identified with neo-romantic excess…

Dramatic Spaces: The Imaginative World of the TV Studio (Dead of Night: The Exorcism, BBC 1972)

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.

Two Edwardian dramas 2: ‘Play of the Month: Waste’ (BBC1, 4 December 1977)

Don Taylor‘s production of Harley Granville Barker’s 1907[1] play Waste approaches space and performance through different directorial techniques to Rudolph Cartier, further demonstrating the variety of visual methods which ‘Edwardian’ dramas could be realized in the television studio.

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