This chapter explores how the mobile camerawork of Z Cars (BBC, 1962–1978), compared to the conservative visuals and ideology of Dixon of Dock Green (BBC, 1955–1976), enabled the programme to uncover the emerging cracks in the postwar consensus. It argues that establishing the British police series as a permanent fixture of the television schedule was underscored by a new candid form of social realism devoted to the stresses of working-class men’s experiences.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers memory as a specific framework for the study of popular film, intervening in growing debates about the status and function of memory in cultural life and discourse. It examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The book explores the political stakes of cinematic discourse in its production of national memory. It also examines the discursive and institutional apparatus that has come to support the memory of Classic Hollywood in British cultural life. The book also considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory.