Style, Space And Seriality In Early Children’s Television Drama: Puck Of Pook’s Hill, Five Children And It (BBC, 1951) And Man In Armour (1951–1954)

Byard, Victoria (2014) Style, Space And Seriality In Early Children’s Television Drama: Puck Of Pook’s Hill, Five Children And It (BBC, 1951) And Man In Armour (1951–1954). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 34 (3). pp. 345-356. ISSN 1465-3451

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Abstract / Summary

In 1948, BBC producer Cecil Madden speculated in the BBC Quarterly about ‘where television drama is going, whether it aims to be a photographed stage play, a competitor to the film, or an illustrated broadcast. The truth probably belongs somewhere between them all’ (John Caughie, Television Drama: realism, modernism and British culture; Oxford, 2000, 41). Madden’s construction of early television drama as an innately hybridised form of media was arguably not borne out of a desire for radical experimentation but, rather, a logical extension of his long-standing association with theatre, show business and television. His motto, ‘A play a day,’ also suggested his approach to drama as both popular form and part of the foundations of the BBC schedules. Two years later, Madden was made acting Head of the new Children’s Programmes department, remaining in post for only eight months before being replaced by Freda Lingstrom. This article will argue that, during the brief period of his administration, Madden’s ‘expansive’ and popular approach to drama significantly influenced the drama output of the Children’s Department. It will analyse the form, style and spaces of Puck of Pook’s Hill (BBC, 1951), Five Children and It (BBC, 1951) and Man in Armour (BBC, 1951–1954) and situate them within Madden’s own explication of television drama as hybridised and spectacular. Using archival research, it will compare the approaches to children’s television drama articulated by Madden and Lingstrom and
examine how these affect the discourse of children’s television within British public service broadcasting.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/01439685.2014.937180
ISSN: 1465-3451
Subjects: Film & TV > TV > British TV
Communication > Media
History > UK
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Television
Depositing User: Victoria Byard
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2019 12:25
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2019 12:25
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3309

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