Experimental British television

Edited by Laura Mulvey and Jamie Sexton

Experimental British television


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7555-1
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: May 2015
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Television, Popular culture, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism, The arts / Television, Society & social sciences / Popular culture


Throughout its history, British television has found a place, if only in its margins, for programmes that consciously worked to expand the boundaries of television aesthetics. Even in the present climate of increased academic interest in television history, its experimental tradition has generally either been approached generically or been lost within the assumption that television is simply a mass medium. Avaible for the first time in paperback, Experimental British television uncovers the history of experimental television, bringing back forgotten programmes in addition to looking at relatively more privileged artists or programme strands from fresh perspectives. The book therefore goes against the grain of dominant television studies, which tends to place the medium within the flow of the 'everyday', in order to scrutinise those productions that attempted to make more serious interventions within the medium.


Introduction: Experimental British television - Laura Mulvey
1. 'Creative in its own right': The Langham Group and the search for a new television drama - John Hill
2. 'And now for your Sunday night experimental drama.' Experimentation and armchair theatre - Helen Wheatley
3. A 'New Drama for Television'?: Diary of a young man - John Hill
4. 'The very new can only come from the very old': Ken Russell, national culture and the possibility of experimental television at the BBC in the 1960s - Kay Dickinson
5. From art to avant-garde? television, formalism and the arts documentary in 1960s Britain - Jamie Sexton
6. An experiment in television drama: John McGrath's The Adventures of Frank - Lez Cooke
7. Don't fence me in: The Singing Detective and the synchronicity of indeterminacy - Catrin Prys
8. Visions: a Channel 4 experiment 1982-5 - John Ellis
9. Experimenting on air: UK artists' film on television - A.L. Rees
10. Experimental music television - K.J. Donnelly
11. 'Yes, it's War!': Chris Morris and the boundaries of comic acceptability - Brett Mills


Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. Jamie Sexton is Lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth

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