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Swords, sandals, blood and sand

TV antiquity explores representations of ancient Greece and Rome throughout television history. It is the first comprehensive overview of the genre in television. More specifically, the author argues that serial television set in antiquity offers a perspective on the ancient world quite distinct from their cinematic counterparts. The book traces the historic development of fictional representations of antiquity from the staged black-and-white shows of the 1950s and 1960s to the most recent digital spectacles. A key argument explored throughout the book is that the structure of serial television (with its focus on intimacy and narrative complexity) is at times better suited to explore the complex mythic and historic plots of antiquity. Therefore, the book consciously focuses on multipart television dramas rather than made-for-TV feature films. This enables the author to explore the specific narrative and aesthetic possibilities of this format. The book features a range of insightful case studies, from the high-profile serials I, Claudius (1976) and Rome (2005–8) to lesser-known works like The Caesars (1968) or The Eagle of the Ninth (1976) and popular entertainment shows such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995–99) and STARZ Spartacus (2010–13). Each of the case studies also teases out broader issues of the specific decade under consideration. Consequently, the book highlights the creative interplay between television genres and production environments and illustrates how cultural and political events have influenced the representations of antiquity in television.

The BBC and popular television culture in the 1950s
Author: Su Holmes

This book focuses attention on a particular aspect of the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) remit. It examines how the concepts of both 'public service' and the 'popular' were interpreted by the BBC. The book also examines how their relationship changed over time, moving across the early history of radio and television, up until the advent of Independent Television (ITV). It explores The Grove Family, which has secured a certain visibility in British television history due to its status as "British television's first soap opera". By focusing on a number of programme case studies such as the soap opera, the quiz/game show, the 'problem' show and programmes dealing with celebrity culture, the book demonstrates how BBC television surprisingly explored popular interests and desires. The book details how the quiz or game show, or to use the dominant term from the time, the "give-away" show, has been used to map sharp differences between the BBC and ITV in the 1950s. It focuses on the BBC's 'problem' or 'private life' programme, Is This Your Problem? ( ITYP?), in which members of the public asked the advice of an expert panel. The book explores television's relations with fame in the 1950s. It details how This is Your Life (TIYL) became a privileged site for debates about television's renegotiation of the boundaries of public/private, particularly with regard to audiences' cultural access to famous selves.

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Regional British television drama, 1956–82
Author: Lez Cooke

This pioneering study examines regional British television drama from its beginnings on the BBC and ITV in the 1950s to the arrival of Channel Four in 1982. It discusses the ways in which regionalism, regional culture and regional identity have been defined historically, outlines the history of regional broadcasting in the UK, and includes two detailed case studies – of Granada Television and BBC English Regions Drama – representing contrasting examples of regional television drama production during what is often described as the ‘golden age’ of British television. The conclusion brings the study up to date by discussing recent developments in regional drama production, and by considering future possibilities. A Sense of Place is based on original research and draws on interviews by the author with writers, producers, directors and executives including John Finch, Denis Forman, Alan Plater, David Rose, Philip Saville and Herbert Wise. It analyses a wide range of television plays, series and serials, including many previously given little attention such as The Younger Generation (1961), The Villains (1964-65), City ’68 (1967-68), Second City Firsts (1973-78), Trinity Tales (1975) and Empire Road (1978-79). Written in a scholarly but accessible style the book uncovers a forgotten history of British television drama that will be of interest to lecturers and students of television, media and cultural studies, as well as the general reader with an interest in the history of British television.

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Su Holmes

the context from which these programmes emerged, but the focus is on the BBC. The BBC and popular television in the 1950s (Surely you mean ITV?) The BBC has dominated the writing of British television history, and work on ITV has only more recently come to the fore (Holland, 2006, Thumim, 2004). Cathy Johnson and Rob Turnock’s illuminating collection ITV Cultures opens by explaining that: ITV has not been readily understood as a producer of “quality” programming, instead being popularly associated with lowbrow quiz and game shows, light entertainment and action

in Entertaining television
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Author: Lez Cooke

This book provides a full-length study of the screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin, whose work for film and television includes Z Cars, The Italian Job, Kelly's Heroes, The Sweeney, Reilly—Ace of Spies and Edge of Darkness. With a career spanning six decades, Kennedy Martin has seen the rise and fall of the television dramatist, making his debut in the era of studio-based television drama in the late 1950s. This was prior to the transition to filmed drama (for which he argued in a famous manifesto), as the television play was gradually replaced by popular series and serials, for which Kennedy Martin, of course, created some of his best work.

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James Chapman

those chivalric heroes of old: knights bold and good, dashing swordsmen, gentleman outlaws, daring sea captains and fearless masked avengers. Swashbucklers have been produced in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, and the genre has provided some of the most successful exports in television history. For example The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955–60) – which more than any other series can be said to represent the origin of the television swashbuckler – was the first British telefilm series sold to an American network and remains to this day one of the biggest

in Swashbucklers
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Darrell M. Newton

3658 Paving the empire road:Layout 1 30/6/11 08:45 Page 1 Introduction A multitude of publications on British television history have both hailed and deconstructed the policies and influences of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Since 1922, the organisation has attempted to serve audiences with an intention to inform and acculturate them on every subject deemed acceptable. Within its development, a public service agenda was an essential part of programming practices, influenced greatly by Sir John Reith, who, despite his extreme dislike for both

in Paving the empire road
Brian Hanley

8 ‘But then they started all this killing’ In February 1981, RTE screened the final episode of Robert Kee’s Ireland: A Television History. It featured an interview with Dubliner Vinny Byrne, a veteran of Michael Collin’s ‘Squad’. In a previous episode, Byrne had described in detail how he had ‘plugged’ a British officer on Bloody Sunday in 1920. But now he asserted that the Provisionals had ‘destroyed the name of the IRA’ and that ‘they should never have been allowed call themselves IRA men at all’.1 Byrne’s argument was a common one during the 1970s. School

in The impact of the Troubles on the Republic of Ireland, 1968–79
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Modernity and the cinematic past
Peter Buse, Núria Triana Toribio, and Andy Willis

. Each actor brings to her or his role an audience’s memory of these previous roles, but it is not any single allusion which is fundamental to La comunidad. Instead, it is the presence of these actors as a group which is important. The publicity material for the film – in effect the logo of La comunidad – implies as much, showing all fourteen members of the comunidad arrayed in an impassable line. Collectively, they embody a continuum of Spanish cinema/theatre/ television history, as sources of autochthonous themes, types and genres. 4795 CINEMA - PT/gk.qxd 124 12

in The cinema of Álex de la Iglesia
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Telling the truth
Stephen Lacey

most influential plays/films of British television history. His first play as producer was Cathy Come Home (BBC 1966), which was the first television drama that was also a social and political event (possibly one of the most auspicious debuts in television history). It is still regarded as part of the essential iconography of the decade. In the 1970s, he was part of the team that produced Days of Hope (BBC 1975), a four-part series on the 1926 British General Strike, which, despite its historical theme, created a strong contemporary political resonance. In the 1990s

in Tony Garnett