Having recently finished all of the remaining episodes of the early 1970s BBC series, Doomwatch, I had the strange feeling that I had slipped into a parallel world; one where the BBC had worked closely with the writer, J.G. Ballard, to make a series that addressed his themes. Though the series largely resembles Ballard’s earlier novels with their constant post-civilisation eco-disasters similar to The Drowned World … Continue reading Doomwatch, J.G. Ballard and High-Rise
This article contains minor spoilers. It has taken a while for the traditional BBC ghost story to make a fully formed return in the 21st century. This is surprising considering the popularity of the return of other genre television traditions from Doctor Who to Battlestar Galactica, but the singular ghost story at Christmas has taken some time to get right. Before this recent M.R. James … Continue reading The Tractate Middoth – Mark Gatiss (BBC Ghost Story at Christmas).
The BBC experienced a real golden age for television horror during the late 1960s and 1970s. Almost every year seems to have produced an array of horror delights, ranging from ghost stories of all types to full blown, psychological nightmares. Though now over half of the series is missing from the archives, 1972’s horror anthology Dead of Night and its surviving three episodes represent a … Continue reading BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI
This articles contains minor spoilers. Holding the record at the time for being the only play in the BBC Play For Today series to be repeated, James MacTaggart’s Robin Redbreast has an aptly cult aura surrounding it. First broadcast in the “spooky” slot (a December time tradition since Dickens’ era) in 1970, it manages to foreshadow a number of interesting movements in film and television … Continue reading Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).