In 1955 a brand new television series, "Dixon of Dock Green", came to Britain's screens, whose eponymous hero had featured in "The Blue Lamp" (1950). Although it has traditionally been assumed that the uniform police series begins with the Ealing film, this book, based on original archive research, challenges this assumption, proposing that in fact these series were shaped by changes in television's social role from the relaying of news to the replaying of stories. Susan Sydney-Smith demonstrates how the development of the British television police drama - and indeed British television in general - was more complex than accepted accounts allow. She traces numerous lineages, from inter-war public service films, live studio crime reconstructions and story documentaries such as 1942's "Target for Tonight" through to the mix of public service and entertainment values embodied by the BBC Television Light Entertainment's "Dixon of Dock Green".
Showing how the genre mapped new social and regional geographies, from Dixon's metropolitan policeman to the gritty northern realism of "Jacks and Knaves" and "Z Cars" with its irascible "Barlow", the author follows the increasing commercialization of television in the sixties, investigating how the BBC set about restoring the values of southern England in the 1966 "Z Cars" spin-off "Softly, Softly", with its more palatable protagonist. The book also offers insights not only into the relationship between early British television and its cinematic forebears but also early radio.
Buy Beyond "Dixon of Dock Green" book by Susan Sydney-Smith from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 156mm x 22mm)
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
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Author Biography - Susan Sydney-Smith
Susan Sydney-Smith is Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at the University of Central Lancashire.