The last decade has seen a diffusion of the Gothic across a wide range of cultural sites, a relative explosion of Gothic images and narratives prompting a renewed critical interest in the genre. However, very little sustained attention has been paid to what we might term 'Gothic television' until this point. This book fills this gap by offering an analysis of where and how the genre might be located on British and US television, from the start of television broadcasting to the present day. In this analysis, Gothic television is understood as a domestic form of a genre which is deeply concerned with the domestic, writing stories of unspeakable family secrets and homely trauma large across the television screen. The book begins with a discussion on two divergent strands of Gothic television that developed in the UK during the 1960s and 1970s, charting the emergence of the restrained, suggestive ghost story and the effects-laden, supernatural horror tale. It then focuses on the adaptation of what has been termed 'female Gothic' or 'women's Gothic' novels. The book moves on to discuss two hybrid forms of Gothic drama in the 1960s, the Gothic family sitcoms The Munsters and The Addams Family, and the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Finally, it looks at some recent examples of Gothic television in the United States, starting with a discussion of the long-form serial drama, Twin Peaks, as the initiator of a trend for dark, uncanny drama on North American television.
In conclusion, Gothic television can be characterised by the meeting of two houses: the textual domestic spaces of Gothic television (haunted houses, decaying mansions, permeable family homes under threat from within and without) and the extra-textual domestic spaces of the medium (the homes in which Gothic television is viewed). This book has examined the dialogue between these
What is the Gothic? What is Gothic television? The last decade has seen a diffusion of the Gothic across a wide range of cultural sites, a relative explosion of Gothic images and narratives prompting a renewed critical interest in the genre. The attendant fields of study which engage with the Gothic are numerous: literary theory and history, musicology, history, art history
Vancouver is not necessarily the first topic that springs to mind when discussing the production of vampire television. In an attempt to remedy this, the vampire television series Blood Ties (2007) is considered in relation to its Canadian production context. I explore the series political economy within an international framework (its production and distribution in Canada and its scheduling/exhibition and reception in the UK), suggesting that the Canadian qualities of the series are often wilfully ignored in distribution and reception. The ultimate failure of the series (running for only one season) is then located in relationship to the recent explosion of vampire fiction on domestic screens, where I suggest that Blood Ties inspires a form of Gothic television distinct from the American vampire series True Blood (2008-).
(PMP Legacy Productions, 1996–99), Profiler (NBC, 1996–2000), Brimstone (Warner Bros. Television, 1998–99), The Others (NBC, 2000), Carnivale (HBO, 2003–5) and Kingdom Hospital (ABC [US], 2004), to name a few of the more high profile examples. For the sake of brevity, this examination of US Gothic television will focus on two further serials as case studies. The
American Gothic and the family narrative The concluding chapters of this book discuss Gothic television in the US context, exploring the notion that home and family are perhaps even more central in the American Gothic narrative than they are in the programmes discussed previously. By arguing that the Gothic genre on television transcends both historical eras and national
On first glance, M*A*S*H (1972–83) might not be the ideal text for Gothic analysis. Aesthetically, the traditional dark castles surrounded by black forests in the moonlight are replaced by muted khaki and green canvas Army tents, and the tinny canned laughter punctuating the sardonic jokes echo longer than the terrified screams in the night. Gothic and war are uneasy bedfellows; it is the inclusion of comedy, however, that determines just how horrific the result can be. Using M*A*S*H as a primary example to explore what I refer to as Khaki Gothic this paper will explore how, utilising Gothic tropes, comedy can disguise, diffuse and intensify the horrors of war.
through grand guignol theatre to the ‘blood and lust’ spectaculars of the Hammer and Amicus studios in post-war British cinema, has as strong a presence in British Gothic television as its more refined counterpart, the televised ghost story. This chapter seeks to delineate this opposing tradition by looking at two strands of anthologised Gothic drama. Firstly, we will begin by examining the effects
The female Gothic continuum The following chapter brings together many of the central concerns of this book, particularly the question of the Gothic drama’s awareness of its domestic viewing context and domestic viewer, and the centrality of domestic space within the image repertoire of Gothic television. It does this in relation to the female Gothic television adaptation
feeling that something is ‘not quite right’ about a particular place or character, the makers of Gothic television have to find some way of transcribing these senses or feelings on to the screen without ‘giving the game away’. As discussed in the introduction of this book, it is the feeling that television is too literal a medium, too obvious, too blatantly visual , which has challenged programme