This text explores the formative period of British television drama, concentrating on the years 1936-55. It examines the continuities and changes of early television drama, and the impact this had upon the subsequent "golden age". In particular, it questions the caricature of early television drama as "photographed stage plays" and argues that early television pioneers in fact produced a diverse range of innovative drama productions, using a wide range of techniques. It also explores the often competing definitions about the form and aesthetics of early television drama both inside and outside the BBC. Given the absence of an audio-visual record of early television drama, the book uses written archive material in order to reconstruct how early television drama looked, and how it was considered by producers and critics, whilst also offering a critical examination of surviving dramas, such as Rudolph Cartier's "Nineteen Eighty-Four".