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Ancient Greece on British Television

Edited by Fiona Hobden, Amanda Wrigley

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Explores the cultural politics of televisual engagements with the history, literature and archaeology of Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece has inspired television producers and captivated viewing audiences in the United Kingdom for over half a century. By examining how and why political, social and cultural narratives of Greece have been constructed through television’s distinctive audiovisual languages, and in relation also to its influential sister-medium radio, this volume explores the nature and function of these public engagements with the written and material remains of the Hellenic past.

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Contents

Acknowledgements; Contributors; Illustrations; Tables; Abbreviations

Broadcasting Greece: An Introduction to Greek Antiquity on the Small Screen, Fiona Hobden and Amanda Wrigley

1. Are We the Greeks? Understanding Antiquity and Ourselves in Television Documentaries, Fiona Hobden

2. Louis MacNeice and ‘The Paragons of Hellas’: Ancient Greece as Radio Propaganda, Peter Golphin

3. The Beginnings of Civilisation: Television Travels to Greece with Mortimer Wheeler and Compton Mackenzie, John Wyver

4. Tragedy for Teens: Ancient Greek Tragedy on BBC and ITV School Television in the 1960s, Amanda Wrigley

5. The Serpent Son (1979): A Science Fiction Aesthetic? Tony Keen

6. Don Taylor, the ‘old-fashioned populist’? The Theban Plays (1986) and Iphigenia at Aulis (1990): Production Choices and Audience Responses, Lynn Fotheringham

7. The Odyssey in the ‘Broom Cupboard’: Ulysses 31 and Odysseus: The Greatest Hero of them All on ‘Children’s BBC’, 1985-6, Sarah Miles

8. Greek Myth in the Whoniverse, Amanda Potter

9. The Digital Aesthetic in Atlantis: The Evidence (2010), Anna Foka

10. Greece in the Making: From Intention to Practicalities in Television Documentaries. A Conversation with Michael Scott and David Wilson, Fiona Hobden

Bibliography; Endnotes

About the Author

Fiona Hobden is Senior Lecturer in Greek Culture at the University of Liverpool, where her teaching and research extends from the politics, culture and society of ancient Greece to the reception of Classical antiquity today. She is the author of The Symposion in Ancient Greek Society and Thought (Cambridge, 2013). Recent publications have examined the representation of ancient Greece and Rome on television, with a focus on documentaries.

Amanda Wrigley works in the Department of Film, Theatre and Television at the University of Reading. She specialises in the contextual histories of radio and television in 20th-century Britain, exploring issues of adaptation, intermediality, audiences and education as they pertain to imaginative programming which adapts and creates dramatic and literary forms. She is currently writing Greece on Screen: Greek Plays on British Television, a companion volume to her Greece on Air: Engagements with Ancient Greece on BBC Radio, 1920s-1960s (Oxford, 2015).

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