The Vampire Diaries began life as a series of novels before being adapted into a television series screened on the CW channel in the US and ITV2 in the UK. This article explores how the show contributes to debates over genre and authorship within the context of the TV vampire via its status as a teen horror text. It also investigates how the show intersects with debates over quality television via the involvement of teen-TV auteur Kevin Williamson. In exploring genre and authorship, the article considers how The Vampire Diaries functions as a teen drama and a TV vampire/horror text.
This book explores the history of the spy and conspiracy genres on British television, from 1960s Cold War series through 1980s conspiracy dramas to contemporary 'war on terror' thrillers. It analyses classic dramas including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Edge of Darkness, A Very British Coup and Spooks. The analysis is framed by the notion that the on-screen depiction of intelligence services in such programmes can be interpreted as providing metaphors for broadcasting institutions. Initially, the book is primarily focused on espionage-themed programmes produced by regional franchise-holders for ITV in late 1960s and 1970s. Subsequently, it considers spy series to explore how many standard generic conventions were innovated and popularised. The relatively economical productions such as Bird of Prey demonstrated a more sophisticated treatment of genre conventions, articulated through narratives showing the collapse of standard procedure. Channel 4 was Britain's third and final broadcaster to be enshrined with a public service remit. As the most iconic version of the television spy drama in the 1960s, the ITC adventure series, along with ABC's The Avengers, fully embraced the formulaic and Fordist tendencies of episodic series in the US network era. However, Callan, a more modestly resourced series aimed more towards a domestic audience, incorporated elements of deeper psychological drama, class tension and influence from the existential spy thrillers. The book is an invaluable resource for television scholars interested in a new perspective on the history of television drama and intelligence scholars seeking an analysis of the popular representation of espionage.
This book provides an institutional case study of the BBC Television Service, as it undertook the responsibility of creating programmes that addressed the impact of black Britons, their attempts to establish citizenship within England and subsequent issues of race relations and colour prejudice. Beginning in the 1930s and into the post millennium, the book provides a historical analysis of policies invoked, and practices undertaken, as the Service attempted to assist white Britons in understanding the impact of African-Caribbeans on their lives, and their assimilation into constructs of Britishness. Management soon approved talks and scientific studies as a means of examining racial tensions, as ITV challenged the discourses of British broadcasting. Soon after, BBC 2 began broadcasting, and more issues of race appeared on the TV screens, each reflecting sometimes comedic, somewhat dystopic, often problematic circumstances of integration. In the years that followed, however, social tensions, such as those demonstrated by the Nottingham and Notting Hill riots, led to transmissions that included a series of news specials on Britain's Colour Bar, and docudramas, such as A Man From the Sun, which attempted to frame the immigrant experience for British television audiences, but from the African-Caribbean point of view. Subsequent chapters include an extensive analysis of television programming, along with personal interviews. Topics include current representations of race, the future of British television, and its impact upon multiethnic audiences. Also detailed are the efforts of Black Britons working within the British media as employees of the BBC, writers, producers and actors.
In this edited collection, scholars use a variety of methodologies to explore the history of stage plays produced for British television between 1936 and the present. The volume opens with a substantial historical outline of the how plays originally written for the theatre were presented by BBC Television and the ITV companies as well as by independent producers and cultural organisations. Subsequent chapters analyse television adaptations of existing stage productions, including a 1937 presentation of a J. B. Priestley play by producer Basil Dean; work by companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stoke-on-Trent’s Victoria Theatre and the Radical Alliance of Poets and Players; the verbatim dramas from the Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland; and Mike Leigh’s comedy Abigail’s Party, originally staged for Hampstead Theatre and translated to the Play for Today strand in 1977. Broadcast television’s original productions of classic and contemporary drama are also considered in depth, with studies of television productions of plays by Jacobean dramatists John Webster and Thomas Middleton, and by Henrik Ibsen and Samuel Beckett. In addition, the volume offers a consideration of the contribution to television drama of the influential producer Cedric Messina who, between 1967 and 1977, oversaw BBC Television’s Play of the Month strand before initiating The BBC Television Shakespeare (1978–85); the engagement with television adaptations by modern editors of Shakespeare’s plays; and Granada Television’s eccentric experiment in 1969–70 of running The Stables Theatre Company as a producer for both stage and screen. Collectively, these chapters open up new areas of research for all those engaged in theatre, media and adaptation studies.
1985 : 57)
Academic studies of British police
series broadcast in the 1970s often grant too much significance to the
programmes that utilise 16 mm film cameras on location and the
transformative impact they had on the genre. Whilst The Sweeney
(ITV, 1975–1978) incorporated high-octane action sequences into
the iconography of the British police series, such a programme is not
Rethinking quiz and game shows on 1950s British television
humiliation, and others to gloat over
it. They represent knowledge as something with an immediate – and grossly
disproportionate – cash value. They are a symptom of the disease of a sensation-loving, money-mad society which reckons all values in terms of possessions. (Maurice Wiggin, The Sunday Times, 24 March 1957)
More so than any other genre explored in this book, the quiz or game
show has been used to map sharp differences between the BBC and ITV
in the 1950s. The quiz and game show, or to use the dominant term from
the time, the “give-away” show, is used to represent
identity, and becoming more like their commercial
rivals. In Britain and elsewhere, 1960 is still clearly early in this process.
The Pilkington Committee (report published in 1962) famously contrasted
the BBC and ITV, accusing ITV of failing to provide a fair and balanced
repertoire of programmes, of screening a preponderance of “trivial” fare,
and for failing to realise the social and cultural effects of the medium. In
contrast, the BBC, who “know good broadcasting; [because] by and large,
M1380 - HOLMES TEXT.qxp:Andy Q7
Public service and the
documentary she welcomed the arrival of
ITV and offered the broadcaster the advertiser’s salutations. Dunning then
introduced the children from Persil’s press advertising. As she acknowledged to
the audience watching, they were probably familiar with these characters ‘but
here they are on television for the first time’. The commercial then cut from
her live-action presentation to an animation of the Persil children. The animation was whimsical and simple in its narrative, with two girls shown sitting on
a bench. One of them becomes caught up in a large soap bubble which
. Since its establishment as a public corporation, the BBC had seen itself primarily as a national broadcaster, with
its headquarters in London, and its regional broadcasting activities,
especially in television, have always been determined by institutional
policy devised in the metropolis.
When ITV was introduced in 1955 its federal constitution and
regional structure were fundamentally different from these of the
BBC. The fourteen regional ITV companies operated out of regional
production centres from all over the UK with a degree of autonomy
which the BBC regional
being drawn into the consumption of these advertised goods.
Mrs B.’s contradictory response to TV commercials – at once drawn to them
and anxious about their effects – signalled a more widely shared ambivalence
among the viewing public. As such it offers us a way into considering how
viewers responded to television advertising in the first decade and a half of its
existence, the period from the inception of ITV in 1955 through to the first
major reorganization of the service in 1968 and the introduction of colour
transmissions in 1969. These developments ushered in a