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Moments in television

In television scholarship, sound and image have been attended to in different ways, but image has historically dominated. The chapters gathered here attend to both: they weigh the impact and significance of specific choices of sound and image, explore their interactions, and assess their roles in establishing meaning and style. The contributors address a wide range of technical and stylistic elements relating to the television image. They consider production design choices, the spatial organisation of the television frame and how camera movements position and reposition parts of the visible world. They explore mise-en-scène, landscapes and backgrounds, settings and scenery, and costumes and props. They attend to details of actors’ performances, as well as lighting design and patterns of colour and scale. As regards sound, each chapter distinguishes different components on a soundtrack, delineating diegetic from non-diegetic sound, and evaluating the roles of elements such as music, dialogue, voice-over, bodily sounds, performed and non-performed sounds. Attending to sound design, contributors address motifs, repetition and rhythm in both music and non-musical sound. Consideration is also given to the significance of quietness, the absence of sounds, and silence. Programmes studied comprise The Twilight Zone, Inspector Morse, Children of the Stones, Dancing on the Edge, Road, Twin Peaks: The Return, Bodyguard, The Walking Dead and Mad Men. Sound and image are evaluated across these examples from a wide range of television forms, formats and genres, which includes series, serial and one-off dramas, children’s programmes, science fiction, thrillers and detective shows.

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Sound / image
Jonathan Bignell, Sarah Cardwell, and Lucy Fife Donaldson

rather than as a medium of transformation and artistry. In response, one of the key motivations in television theory and criticism has been to expose and challenge this assumption about the medium. As Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska ( 2012 ) have argued, media can be regarded as processes of mediation, rather than established representational systems through which a rendering of reality might pass transparently. The chapters in this volume focus on the artistry of television images, sounds and their combinations in specific moments in programmes, paying attention to

in Sound / image
Diary of a Young Man
John Hill

step removed” from the drama’.30 In this regard, Kennedy Martin’s argument appeared to be that it was not simply a particular camera style (‘naturalist’ or otherwise) that was responsible for this effect but the very qualities of the television image itself. In his original essay, Kennedy Martin presents this as if it were almost some kind of ‘essential’ feature of television. In a later account of his position, however, he suggests that it may also have been a product of the technology then available. Thus, while he continues to argue that a ‘distancing effect’ is

in Experimental British television
Open Access (free)
Julian Murphet

. Voigts-Virchow is thus right to insist that ‘Beckett's late TV plays address the ontology of TV images’ (211); a claim that echoes Steven Connor's assertion to the effect that, just as the TV image relies upon ‘the retinal persistence of the interrupted lines of light which shuttle back and forth across the screen’, so ‘ Quad is made up from the repeated movements of the players’ (Connor, 1988 , 72). And Elizabeth Klaver writes: ‘Writing across the screen, [the four players] outline for a brief moment the trace of their own progress in photons of light and replicate

in Beckett and media
Britain’s ‘bad blonde’
Andrew Roberts

After reflecting on the screen and television image of Diana Dors towards the end of her career, this chapter goes on to contend that her dramatic abilities were visible from the outset of her film career. In addition to a discussion of the limitations of the Rank Organisation and the British film industry when confronted by such an individual talent, there is a further examination of attitudes towards female sexuality during the 1950s. Yield to the Night is evaluated as a key film in both Dors’s career and prurient societal attitudes towards those film stars who apparently revelled in their publicity. The latter section of the chapter describes how Diana Dors created some memorable performances amid some of the worst efforts of exploitation in the film industry.

in Idols of the Odeons
Open Access (free)
Beckett’s television plays and the idea of broadcasting
Jonathan Bignell

performance status and the possibility of conjuring up an image of the absent other (visually presented, for example, in the image of the woman M1 desires in . . . but the clouds . . . as a superimposed television image). Drawing attention to absence becomes equivalent to drawing attention to presence, in the context of the simultaneous presence and absence of the signified in television. There is an ambivalent temporality produced in the relationship 128 Beckett and nothing between image and voice in Beckett’s television plays, since there is potentially a temporal

in Beckett and nothing
Abstract only
Lez Cooke

screens, a prediction which has come to pass twenty years later with the ability of mobile telephones and iPods to receive television images. Researching and writing this book has been a voyage of discovery, an adventure in television historiography involving the examination of a wide range of original material, drawn from a variety of sources. One source has been the television programmes themselves, where they exist and are available for viewing. Much of the early history of British television, extending in some cases right up to the 1970s, has disappeared as a result

in Troy Kennedy Martin
Abstract only
Jonathan Bignell

to theories of visual meaning in Television Studies discourses. It also requires a discussion of the prevalent motif identified by Beckett critics of increasing formal simplicity or minimalism in his theatre, prose and media works. It has been argued that Beckett’s persistence with the unfamiliar and problematic television and film media was a way of moving towards a ‘language’ of pure visual form, through the spatial and abstract qualities of the television image, and its manipulability by technological means (for instance superimposition, exaggeration or paring

in Beckett on screen
Open Access (free)
Beckett and television technologies
Jonathan Bignell

chapter. As Lucy Donaldson puts it: ‘Evocation of feeling by means of visual illusion or, to put it another way, the association of sight and touch and their sensory mingling, is at the heart of texture's uniqueness’ (Donaldson, 2014 , 18). Such effects are difficult to both describe and analyse, but are at the heart of how television images (often in association with speech or music) produce their affective as well as intellectual response. Surface and depth In both the 1983 and 2013 versions, Asmus fades

in Beckett and media
A ‘post’-script
Steve Redhead

youth culture and youth subcultures. But Acid House was not a new subculture in this sense, nor was it the long-​desired ‘new punk’. Previous theorists of post-​ war pop and deviance had tended to look beneath, or behind, the surfaces of the shimmering mediascape in order to discover the ‘real’ subculture, apparently always distorted by the manufactured press and televisionimage’. Such explanations, however, can now finally be laid to rest. The problem for pop history is that they throw into the melting pot the accepted theories and histories of the connections

in The end-of-the-century party