• Stephen Frears – A Day Out (1972)

    1971-1980BBCDramaStephen FrearsTVUnited Kingdom

    Michael Brooke wrote:
    Alan Bennett’s debut play for television shows a day in the life of the members of a Halifax cycling club in 1911, following them from the town to the ruins of Fountains Abbey and eavesdropping on their conversations, which range from the inconsequential, to the reflective, to the ruefully ironic.

    The most telling example of the latter comes when Boothroyd explains why there will never be another war, as the play is set three years before World War I cut swathes through a generation – and, as the 1919 coda implies, many of the club’s members as well.Read More »

  • Duncan Wood – Hancock (BBC version) (1961)

    1961-1970BBCComedyDuncan WoodTVUnited Kingdom

    Comedian Tony Hancock stars, in this BBC situation comedy TV series, as Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock, a down-at-heel comedian living in East Cheam.Read More »

  • Jonathan Miller – Othello (1981)

    1981-1990BBCDramaJonathan MillerTVUnited KingdomWilliam Shakespeare

    As with most of Miller’s productions, the visual inspiration came from sixteenth-century Mediterranean painters, in this case Tintoretto, El Greco and Velasquez. At 205 minutes, this is one of the longest BBC Shakespeare productions, and the text is duly presented almost complete, with only minor trims to material rendered redundant by small-screen restaging.Read More »

  • Jonathan Miller – Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968)

    1961-1970BBCHorrorJonathan MillerTVUnited Kingdom

    A university professor, confident that everything which occurs in life has a rational explanation, finds his beliefs severely challenged when, during a vacation to a remote coastal village in Norfolk, he blows through an ancient whistle discovered on a beach, awakening horrors beyond human understanding.Read More »

  • Moira Armstrong – A Christmas Carol (1977)

    1971-1980BBCDramaFantasyMoira ArmstrongUnited Kingdom

    Miser Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas, but then gets a visit from his companion Jacob Marley, who has been dead for seven years. He urges Scrooge to change his life.Read More »

  • Andy De Emmony – Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010)

    2001-2010Andy De EmmonyBBCHorrorTVUnited Kingdom

    A chilling new single drama, Whistle and I’ll Come to You is the thoroughly modern re-working of the evocative Edwardian ghost story Oh, Whistle and I’ll come to You, My Lad by MR James, adapted for BBC Two by Neil Cross. Cross’s adaptation delves into themes of ageing, hubris and the supernatural, with a horrifying psychological twist in the tale.Read More »

  • Julian Jarrold – Crime and Punishment (2002)

    2001-2010BBCDramaJulian JarroldTVUnited Kingdom

    This acclaimed BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment remains faithful to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel. Set in St Petersburg in the second half of the 19th century, the psychological thriller tells of a desperate young murderer caught in a web of his own guilt. Rodya Raskolnikov is a poverty-stricken student living among the fetid alleyways and crumbling tenements of St Petersburg. Intense and highly intelligent, Raskolnikov believes he is among a class of men destined for greatness and as such is permitted to breach ‘normal’ moral values. He decides to test his courage and integrity by killing a pawnbroker, a mean old woman whom he is sure nobody will miss. The murder, however, only serves to draw Raskolnikov into a nightmare world in which he is dogged by guilt, paranoia and alienation. Faced with the wily investigator Porfiry, who sets up a complex series of traps, encounters and conversations, can Raskolnikov escape his own conscience or the seemingly inevitable punishment?Read More »

  • Amanda Rubin – Roland Barthes: 21st Century Mythologies (2020)

    2011-2020Amanda RubinBBCDocumentaryUnited Kingdom

    BBC Four Website Description
    Art historian Professor Richard Clay explores how Mythologies, written in 1957 by French philosopher Roland Barthes, laid bare the myth-making at the heart of popular culture. Now, following in Barthes’s footsteps, Richard Clay dissects some of the everyday myths we still take for granted in the 21st century, revealing the hidden meanings in everything from money, Wi-Fi and race to the Madonna.Read More »

  • Michael Whyte – Your Cheatin’ Heart (1990)

    Drama1981-1990BBCMichael WhyteTVUnited Kingdom


    Scottish playwright John Byrne’s follow-up to the great Tutti Frutti of 1987, was another distinctive, music-themed series. But, whereas Tutti Frutti was about rock ‘n’ roll, 1990’s Your Cheatin’ Heart revolved around the country music and rockabilly scene. The tale contains all the traditional ingredients of the archetypal Western: a defiant woman alone with her husband in gaol, a guileless stranger who finds the courage enough to help save the day, murders, and a series of down and dirty bad men. There’s just one thing…it’s set in modern day Glasgow. But don’t forget it was Celtic music played by the Scottish and Irish immigrants in the frontier towns of the new world that helped shape American country music.Read More »

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