Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries

Research Seminars 2011/12

5-6pm, Wednesday 14 March

Zen Room, The ATRiuM, 86-88 Adam Street, Cardiff CF24 2FN

Dr Lez Cooke (Royal Holloway University of London) – The Forgotten History of British Television Drama

Abstract: In recent years there has been a return to an empirically-based television history that seeks to revise the ways in which television’s past has been traditionally understood. In part, this is a result of discoveries of material long thought lost, and partly a result of an increased interest in ‘cult’ television, often driven by the interests and activities of ‘fans’ rather than academics. It is also a consequence of an interest in regionally-produced drama, material produced by BBC production centres and ITV companies in the regions and nations of the UK.

Having undertaken research on television drama produced in the English regions (soon to be published as A Sense of Place: Regional British Television Drama, 1956-82, MUP, 2012), and having co-edited an issue of Critical Studies in Television on ‘Television Archives’ (5.2, 2010), I’ve become interested in combining research on regional television drama with archival research on television drama produced from 1946-82 (up to the arrival of Channel 4) which has been overlooked in histories of television drama in the UK.  Such drama may have been ‘forgotten’ because it was broadcast live and not recorded, or recorded but subsequently junked or wiped – in either case programmes have not been available for viewing, which may explain why they have been forgotten.

Yet there are many television dramas that do survive but which have still been overlooked in histories of television drama. The research project I’m currently putting together is designed to explore the reasons why television dramas, especially if they still exist, have been forgotten. In doing so it seeks to produce an alternative history of UK television drama that will add to our knowledge of television history, challenge ideas concerning the television drama ‘canon’ and encourage awareness of the regional diversity of television drama production.

This seminar is open to all.  Please RSVP: