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State of PlayContemporary 'High-end' TV Drama$
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Robin Nelson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073106

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073106.001.0001

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Singularity sustained

Singularity sustained

Blackpool, Casanova, State of Play

(p.189) 8 Singularity sustained
State of Play

Robin Nelson

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses some instances of a sustained singularity in British TV drama to reflect upon how traditions may successfully adapt to new circumstances without altogether abandoning cultural heritage. It considers three examples of recent British TV drama which reflect notable strands in British television and develop them for new times—Blackpool, Casanova and State of Play. Though each drama is distinctive, there are some links between them in terms of the personnel involved. The three examples suggest that, despite the pull of global marketing in TV3, British TV drama sustains a distinct identity. None of these would have been made in the USA and, although they are potentially exportable, their production has not been led primarily by transnational commercial imperatives. With the worldwide industry tending towards quality programming, particularly at the ‘high end’ of TV drama, and with the key restraints on the dissolution of British television identity in place, the prospect for the future of drama on television looks reasonably bright.

Keywords:   sustained singularity, British TV drama, Blackpool, Casanova, State of Play, global marketing in TV3

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