Television Drama offers an account of British television drama from its origins in live studio drama in the prewar and immediate postwar years, through the Golden Age of the single play in the 1960s and 1970s, to its convergence with an emerging British art cinema in the 1990s. It relates the development of television drama to movements which were going on within the culture. In particular, it is concerned with a series of arguments and debates about
politics and form which centred around issues of immediacy and naturalism, realism and modernism in public culture. The book addresses contemporary television in the form of the television film and the classic
serial, and raises new questions about such issues as adaptation and acting. The importance of the book lies in its attempt to place television drama at the centre of late twentieth-century British culture and to relate the criticism of television drama to a wider history of aesthetic debates and arguments.
`a valuable overview of the history of British television drama ... highly recommended.'
CHOICE, Oct 2000, Vol.38, No.2.
`Wise and illuminating book... Caughie's long-awaited contribution... Caughie is particularly adept at identifying the characteristics of television drama during this extraordinary quarter of a century... His book is a thorough examination of trends and influences in television drama, conducted with an eye to exposing myths... Caughie's consideration of teh well-trodden paths of aesthetic theory both surprises nad enlightens.'
John Ellis, Sight and Sound May 2000
Introduction: 'serious drama'
Early television and television drama
The making of the 'Golden Age'
The rush of the real: an aesthetics of immediacy
Art television: authorship and irony
Modernism, or, Not non-naturalism
Television drama and the art film: the logic of convergence
Small pleasures: adaptation and the past
Epilogue: the return of value