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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.

Two Edwardian dramas 1: ‘Play of the Month: An Ideal Husband’ (BBC1, 11 May 1969)

Edwardian drama on television Between 1967 and 1985 (the period when the BBC regularly transmitted adaptations of classic theatrical plays in mainstream slots) 120 television adaptations of stage plays were transmitted by the BBC as either Plays of the Month, other similar series,[1] or as one-off productions broadcast in the Play of the Month slot.

Play for Today: Red Shift (BBC1, 17 January 1978)

This BFI release of the 1978 Play for Today, Red Shift, joins 2013’s DVD of John Bowen’s Robin Redbreast (from the same series) as an unlikely beneficiary of commercial interest in cult TV titles.

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