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1950s 1960s 1970s Armchair Theatre BBC BFI Billy Smart Directors Events Forgotten Television Drama J.B Priestley Katy Manning Peter Nichols Ralph Richardson Writers

‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ Season at BFI Southbank: February 2015

We are pleased to be able to announce details of the ‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ season, held at BFI Southbank this February, curated by Lez Cooke and Billy Smart as a part of the AHRC-funded ‘History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project at Royal Holloway College, University of London.

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1960s BBC BBC 2 Directors Experimental drama John McGrath Lez Cooke

Six (and Five More)

One of the early BBC2 series in which I have long been interested is called Six, a series of six short films shown in the channel’s first year, from December 1964 – January 1965, on Saturday evenings, mostly in a 10.10 pm slot.

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1950s 1960s 1970s Actors BBC BBC Television Shakespeare Cedric Messina Directors Festival Play of the Month Producers Shakespeare Television World Theatre Tony Hancock

From Television World Theatre to the BBC Shakespeare: The fluctuating status of the classic play on BBC Television 1957-1985

In a recent lecture, Huw Weldon, managing director of BBC television said: ‘We feel that, like the theatre at large, we should be wanting if we did not ceaselessly recreate the classics – Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw and so on.’ (Dunkley, Chris, ‘Review’, Radio Times, 27 March 1975, p.74)

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1970s Actors Audience Research BBC BBC Scotland Billy Smart Conference paper Iain Cuthbertson Scotland Sutherland's Law Writers

Sutherland’s Law (BBC Scotland 1973-76): Presenting Scottish landscape to a UK audience

This post presents a forgotten BBC Scotland drama series of the 1970s and explains its historical significance and distinctive form. I’ll discuss its treatment of landscape before finally considering how the programme represented tensions between rural and city Scotland.

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1970s Actors Audience Research BBC Billy Smart Conference paper Edwardian Drama John Galsworthy Play of the Month Rudolph Cartier

Edwardian values, 1970s Television: John Galsworthy on BBC1

This post examines Edwardian drama for television through looking at three versions of plays by John Galsworthy made by the BBC in the 1970s.

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1960s BBC Billy Smart Doctor Who Forgotten Television Drama ITV The Plane Makers

50 Years Ago: How much old television is forgotten?

The first question that I necessarily ask myself when deciding upon case studies for the ‘Forgotten Television Drama’ project is, “Can I accurately call this programme forgotten?” Thinking about this too hard is often an invitation to indecision. A case can be made that almost any old television drama has been forgotten.

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1970s Audience Research BBC BBC drama Billy Smart Circle Line Play For Today W. Stephen Gilbert Writers

Audience hostility: ‘Play for Today: Circle Line’ (BBC, 1971)

 I’m spending much of the first two months of the Forgotten Television Drama project in the BBC Written Archives in Caversham, taking the opportunity to systematically go through all of the files of Audience Research Reports that the BBC compiled between 1950 and 1982 (well over 500 per annum for most of those years!).