Part II: Pepla and politics: the emergence of a television genre (1960s)
in TV antiquity
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This part explores how early television dealt with representations of antiquity and the significant differences in the structural framework between the commercial broadcasting system in the US and the dominance of public broadcasting in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. It also argues that, while specific shows dealing with antiquity were rare, many other shows, especially science fiction, contained episodes set in the ancient world. The two case studies that feature in this part, ITV’s The Caesars and RAI’s Odissea/The Odyssey (both 1968), offer examples of two very different approaches to TV antiquity as well as diversity of aesthetic styles. In addition to the case studies, the introduction to this part also discusses the BBC’s remarkable six-part series The Spread of the Eagle (1963), and a number of other shows featuring ancient world episodes.

TV antiquity

Swords, sandals, blood and sand

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