Until recently, little work had been conducted on television acting per se, let alone the various coalescing factors that underpin and help shape it. This book addresses that lack, utilising a selection of science fiction case studies from the world of BBC television drama to investigate how small screen performance has altered since the days of live production. This then-and-now comparison of performing for British television drama focuses on science fiction case studies to provide a multi-perspectival examination of the historical development of acting in UK television drama. By the mid-1970s, studio realism might be expected to have reached its apotheosis, yet it was by no means all-encompassing as a style of television acting. A new approach was therefore required, with much of the performance preparation now taking place on location rather than being perfected beforehand in a separate rehearsal space: the seeds of location realism. One of the most notable contrasts between early television drama and the modern day is the shift from multi-camera studio to single camera location filming. Comparing the original versions of The Quatermass Experiment, Doctor Who and Survivors with their respective modern-day re-makes, the book unpacks the developments that have resulted from the shift from multi-camera studio to single camera location production. Examining changing acting styles from distinct eras of television production, the book makes a unique contribution to both television and performance studies, unpacking the various determinants that have combined to influence how performers work in the medium.
television itself, its case studies offering a valuable index to the times
in which they were produced.
One of the most notable contrasts between early television
drama and the modern day is the shift from multi-camera studio
(initially transmitted live, and later pre-recorded on videotape) to
singlecameralocationfilming. The consequences of this were felt
only gradually, and due to various other contributing factors were
in a constant state of flux. However, studio and location provide a
useful starting point for analysing both the changing determinants
affiliated with a pseudo-political group, and the survivors make no last-minute stand. This sequence is entirely singlecameralocationfilm, and lasts just two minutes and five seconds;
extensive use is made of non-diegetic sound.
An example of music rather than performance being used as a
primary signifier is provided by the representation of the corpse’s
discovery in the two episodes. In ‘Gone Away’, Abby’s sharp intake
of breath is accompanied by a close-up of Carolyn Seymour covering her mouth with her hand (Figure 4.12), providing a clear signifier of shock at