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BBC Television asks Is This Your Problem? (1955–57)
Su Holmes

M1380 - HOLMES TEXT.qxp:Andy Q7 24/6/08 14:23 Page 117 4 The problem show “An . . . unmarried mother sat in a wingbacked chair on TV last night”: BBC Television asks Is This Your Problem? (1955–57) The previous chapter focused on the quiz/game show and its claim to offer a utopian television space – the promise of “wealth without work”, and what critics saw as a never-never land of consumer dreams. As Richard Dyer explains, light entertainment must provide an “alternative to the world of work . . . drudgery and depression” (1973: 23), a sphere in which the

in Entertaining television
Black Feet in the Snow (BBC, 1974)
Sally Shaw

Power movement, its visceral depiction of racial discrimination and its critique of Britain’s colonial past. However, the stage play’s radicalism also extended to its form—an innovative mix of Caribbean orature and Brechtian elements. Two years after its first stage performance, Black Feet in the Snow was filmed for BBC2’s Open Door community strand in 1974. The television adaptation was unusual

in Screen plays
Lez Cooke

The first episode of Clocking Off , the factory-based drama series created by Paul Abbott, was transmitted on 23 January 2000 at 9.00 pm on BBC1. A new drama series for a new century, yet Clocking Off was an unlikely success with its northern industrial setting, its focus on working-class relations in a Manchester textiles factory and its issue-based storylines. This description might, in fact, suggest a ‘serious’ television drama from the 1960s or 1970s, written perhaps by Jim Allen or Jeremy Sandford and directed by the likes of Jack Gold or Ken Loach, the

in Popular television drama
Paratexts of hope and care
Matt Hills

. So, despite scholarly caution around the branded periodization of Doctor Who (Hills, 2010 : 26; Booth and Jones, 2020 : 99), I’m going to analyse the Emily Cook era alongside official BBC Doctor Who responses to the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown. This official response involved making ‘public information films for the BBC’ (Chibnall, 2020b : 6), alongside the wider writing team creating new short stories, released online, which aimed to reassure Who fans of all ages. By contrast, the ‘Emily Cook era’ was

in Doctor Who – New Dawn
James Chapman

Arthurian legend that was notable for its insistence on realism, while the BBC produced a new and more realist version of the Robin Hood story in The Legend of Robin Hood (1975). However, the escalating costs of production in the 1970s – partly owing 103 104   Swashbucklers: The costume adventure series to colour and partly a consequence of inflationary pressure in the economy – generally meant fewer episodes than in the 1950s. While the episodic series persisted with Arthur of the Britons, and, towards the end of the decade, Dick Turpin, the trend was towards more

in Swashbucklers
The politics of ‘Crazyspace’, children’s television and the case of The Demon Headmaster
Máire Messenger Davies

We can use Crazyspace for that. No-one’s going to spot it so long as we keep the messages sounding like nonsense. (Gillian Cross, The Demon Headmaster Takes Over ( 1997 : 107)) Much of the ideology in and around children’s books is hidden. (Peter Hunt, Criticism, Theory and Children’s Literature ( 1991 : 142)) In a scene in the third of the Demon Headmaster television series broadcast on Children’s BBC in 1998, the mysterious ‘Demon Headmaster’ is once again attempting to achieve world domination by disrupting and then taking over all

in Popular television drama
Sound, horror and radio
Richard J. Hand

radio. Radio stations sprung up throughout the USA and across the world. In the United Kingdom, the British Broadcasting Company started broadcasting in November 1922 and in 1926 it evolved into the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). If the amateur world of radio gradually became formalised and institutionalised, what was the content? In the earliest days of radio

in Listen in terror
A test case on Noah
Peter Phillips

screenwriter, adapts the story for the BBC, we are taken geographically to the desert, but a desert populated by Mancunians (although the youngest son strangely seems to have spent too much time down the road in Liverpool), sitting at an elevated table to eat their food and engaging in so many anachronistic pastimes that well-known Exeter Hebrew Bible professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou’s Twitter feed almost went into meltdown during the show’s airing (BBC.co.uk 2015 ). Jordan’s Noah is full of teenage angst, family arguments, lectures on austerity and poverty, tirades

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
The case of Shoot the Messenger
Sarita Malik

4 Black British drama, losses and gains: the case of Shoot the Messenger Sarita Malik Shoot the Messenger is a reflection of debates which are ongoing within the black community, and questions some of the stuff that black communities tell themselves and their children. It’s like a fable. (Sharon Foster, writer, Shoot the Messenger)1 This chapter contributes to the range of debates around television drama and black representation presented in this volume. Shoot the Messenger (BBC2, 30 August 2006) was heavily promoted by the BBC as a ‘bold’ and ‘thought

in Adjusting the contrast
Basil Dean and the 1938 BBC outside broadcast of J. B. Priestley’s When We Are Married
Victoria Lowe

, so that we may add one more to the sum of cultural forces of which the world stands in such need today. 1 On the evening of 16 November 1938, the BBC television service aired its first live outside broadcast from a theatre of a full-length play. The production chosen for this pioneering event was J

in Screen plays