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.
Don Taylor‘s production of Harley Granville Barker’s 1907 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.
BBC North East & Cumbria is not known for its drama productions, yet between 1971 and 1986 at least eleven dramatised documentaries were produced by this regional BBC production centre, two of them in three parts, making 15 half-hour programmes altogether.
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.
The science fiction single play anthology series Out of the Unknown (BBC2, 1965-71) has long been something of a holy grail DVD release for cult TV enthusiasts.
The Day of Ragnarok was transmitted as part of the BBC 2 series, Six, on 2 January 1965.
This article was first published as a blog post on the Critical Studies in Television site on 12 December 2014. I’ve re-posted it here in the light of the launch of the BBC Store last week, and added a postscript listing the Wednesday Play and Play For Today titles that have been added to the […]
“I believe that I am right in saying that the first complete recording of a play that may be regarded as a waymark of drama in the fifties, was that of Rudolph Cartier’s production of 1984.” (Michael Barry, From the Palace to the Grove, Royal Television Society, 1992, p.84)
As part of the History of Forgotten Television Drama project, John Hill has curated a mini-season of plays by Dominic Behan for the Belfast Film Festival.