History of british tv drama (1936 1970)


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History of british tv drama (1936 1970)

  1. 1. History of British TV Drama (1936-1970)
  2. 2. Unit aims: Preparation for Section A of the exam. • Develop knowledge of media language and ability to use it appropriately • Engage with a broad range of television drama in order to critically recognise conventions • Develop knowledge of media theory - in particularly theories of representation and genre.
  3. 3. BBC - Birth of Television • The British Broadcasting Company started daily transmissions on November 14th 1922, by which time more than one million ten-shilling (50p) licences had been issued. • In 1927 the company was restructured as a public corporation -the BBC that we know today- by its founding father, John (later Lord) Reith, but by this time an even newer technology was being developed -television.
  4. 4. BBC - Birth of Television • The BBC was broadcast from Alexandra Palace and availability was limited to: • a) those who could actually afford a television • b) those who lived within a 25 mile radius of the Alexandra Palace. • Very little exists from this era as they had not developed the technology to record the programme.
  5. 5. 1936-39 • Early television drama were stage plays reworked for television. • They earned the nickname 'photographed stage plays' because of the simplicity with which they were shot. • However they were hugely popular, with fourteen out of twenty- two hours of transmission time being dedicated to dramas. • They were mostly broadcast in the morning and afternoon. Why do you think this was? • The most anticipated viewing event was the Sunday night play.
  6. 6. Post-war Drama 1945-1950s • In the years after the war, television struggled to gain popularity. Radio never had to shut down, so audiences were reluctant to invest in television. • Plays continued to feature heavily - George Bernard Shaw, J.M Synge and J.B Priestley were popular at the time.
  7. 7. Post-war Drama 1945-1950s • In 1952 Michael Barry was appointed Head of Television Drama. He held strong beliefs about the visual power and potential of television drama. • It was under Barry's vision that television drama started to develop . . .
  8. 8. Quatermass Experiment • Six-part serial, transmitted between 18 July and 22 August 1953. • Written by Nigel Kneale. • This was a landmark moment in television drama. Not only was it an original script, but the science fiction genre signified the departure from naturalist drama. • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Lln3FaVPuR4
  9. 9. Nineteen Eighty Four • The other most significant drama of the post war period was Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's '1984'. • It was a two hour live drama. • It was one of the first two be 'telerecorded', meaning we can still watch it today! • They combined live drama with fourteen filmed sequences. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hATC_2I1wZE
  10. 10. ITV - Independent Television • ITV began its launch in 1954. • Much to the BBC's dismay, ITV proved to be incredibly successful. • As well as launching gameshows, quizzes and variety programmes, ITV went much further than the BBC had done in targeting new audiences, i.e. working-class audiences, with its popular drama programming.
  11. 11. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-59) • This was one of the most popular early dramas on ITV. Initially targeted at children, it was scheduled before the 'toddlers' truce', a one hour gap in transmission from 6-7pm which was designed to allow younger children to be put to bed and older children to get on with their homework. However, commercials soon overrode these concerns and the show was moved into this slot! • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zMcpbMOZYK0
  12. 12. Coronation Street - Social Realism • Coronation Street was by no means the first soap opera on television, but it is the longest running one. • It offered (arguably still offers) a representation of the working-class of north-west England. • In its iconography, character types and storylines, Coronation Street tapped into new modes of social realism, or 'kitchen sink' drama, that had been popularised in the theatre, and in literature since the mid-1950s, and which was also emerging in the 'new wave' of British cinema. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_7Z3046_dg