• Reading Past Reception: A Case Study of the BBC Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954)

    Author(s):
    Derek Johnston (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Group(s):
    Cultural Studies, Horror, Speculative and Science Fiction, Television Studies
    Subject(s):
    Culture, History, Television, Great Britain
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Critical Studies in Television Conference 2021
    Conf. Org.:
    Edge Hill University
    Conf. Loc.:
    Online
    Conf. Date:
    19 July - 6 August 2021
    Tag(s):
    Science fiction television, bbc, Cultural history, British history
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/j2fc-t517
    Abstract:
    This paper draws on the letters and messages and newspaper clipping held by the BBC Written Archives Centre in relation to the 1954 adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four as a case study for considering how we understand the historical reception of programming. This production is particularly useful in this regard because it achieved a certain notoriety in relation to its reception, with questions being raised in Parliament about the duties of broadcasters apparently as a result of its broadcast, and claims that the repeat performance only went ahead when the word spread that it had been enjoyed by the royal family. The paper will examine some of these stories and the truth behind them, as well as the way that a number of responses associated the production with 'horror comics' and what that suggests about the associations being made and the significance of this term in its context. These examinations will serve to support consideration of the challenges of interpreting past audience reception, and thinking about how we narrate the history of television and its audiences.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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