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Plays for today
Representing ‘managed dissensus’
in Tony Garnett
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This chapter shares some excerpts of Garnett's acting and production career. After revolutionary forces, left-wing teachers, union activists and television producers all found themselves branded, in a much-quoted phrase, as the ‘enemy within’. In this climate, conspiracy theories abounded; indeed, conspiracy, and its twin, betrayal, run through much discourse off both right and left in the decade. It is not surprising that they also surface in television drama, both on and off the screen. Kestrel Productions was the first independent drama production company in British television, and had its origins in the shake-up that followed the re-franchising of commercial television in 1967. The chapter also briefly discusses Kes—the development of a political aesthetic. However, radical television drama did not go uncontested, and there were high-profile cases of dramas being challenged across the media and other public discourses, and in some cases, withdrawn from the schedules before screening.

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