Lez Cooke
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Drama serials
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With the decline of the single play on British television during the 1970s and 1980s, authored television drama increasingly took the form of the serial, or mini-series. Series and serial drama provided an opportunity to spread the costs of production, while building and retaining audiences. The single play, on the other hand, was not only expensive to produce, it could not guarantee audiences in the way that series and serials could. This chapter shows that Troy Kennedy Martin had experimented with the drama serial in the early 1960s with Diary of a Young Man and the unproduced Macheath, it was Masterspy and the transitional drama Fear of God that bridged the gap between his contributions to drama series in the 1970s and the more sustained drama serials of the 1980s. This drama provided him the opportunity to explore some contemporary concerns, within a drama serial format.

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