Paul M. Cray (pmcray) wrote,
Paul M. Cray
pmcray

Play for Today

Talking of no-brainer commissions for TV executives: Play for Today. Reading about the kinds of things that were broadcast makes me weak with desire. The depth, breadth, seriousness (with the opportunity for comedy) and sheer ambition of what was produced is quite extraordinary. The past is another country and at least in so far as these kinds of things were broadcast a better one. To think, this is what was provided for primetime audiences. And ITV used to show opera.

And what he need isn't a single short series of one-off plays on BBC4 or even BBC2, but the proper thing: a five year commitment from the BBC to produce 26 new original plays to be shown at 9:00 on BBC1. The project would allow new writers, directors and actors to learn their trades through a BBC repertory company. Perhaps a new Mike Leigh or Dennis Potter might emerge. Imagine the places we'd go! Of course, there was much that by the numbers, plain dull or simply.nugatory. But at least people were given the chance to do something interesting and see something interesting - and very often it worked magnificently.

I know, I know. Television in the UK in 2011 just doesn't work like that. and the world is a poorer place for it.

See also http://www.britishtelevisiondrama.org.uk/?page_id=858.
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