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1970s BBC drama Play For Today The Wednesday Play Writers

My Ten Plays For Today: Susanna Capon

This is the second of a series of posts in which we publish the  ‘top ten’ or ‘top five’ Plays for Today identified by  a range of writers, researchers and media professionals. The brief was that such lists should not necessarily consist of what were considered to be the ‘best’ Plays for Today but could […]

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1970s Angels Are So Few BBC Dennis Potter Only Make Believe Play For Today The Wednesday Play Writers

‘Tender Contempt’: Dennis Potter’s Love-Hate Relationship with Play for Today

by John Cook ‘The television play is virtually the last place on the box where the individual voice and the personal vision is central to the experience.’[1] ‘Play for Today !  Just for today !… Something easy, undemanding.  It’s all part of the commercial !  It’s all “pass the time”‘ ! How do we reconcile […]

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1970s BBC Gay drama Horror of Darkness Only Connect Stephen Bourne The Wednesday Play W. Stephen Gilbert Writers

Not in Front of the Viewers

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 […]

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1960s BBC Directors Dramatised Documentaries Forgotten Television Drama John Hill Ken Loach Ken Russell The Wednesday Play

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…

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1960s 1970s BBC Billy Smart Play For Today Play of the Month Radio Times Radio Times covers The Wednesday Play

BBC drama productions on the cover of the Radio Times 3: Single plays, 1965-74

To help clarify my thinking about what sort of television drama gets remembered and forgotten in Britain, I’ve been looking at how the Radio Times publicised BBC drama over 1946-82, the period covered by the ‘Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project.

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1960s 1970s 1980s BBC BBC Scotland BBC Store BFI Mediatheque Billy Smart Directors Forgotten Television Drama Play For Today The Wednesday Play Writers

The Wednesday Play (BBC1 1964-70) and Play for Today (BBC1 1970-84): canon formation and commercial availability

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 […]