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Graeme Armstrong Hannah Clifton. What is Scottish TV Drama? History of Scottish TV Drama Three Scottish Discourses & Examples River City Psychos Gaelic.

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Presentation on theme: "Graeme Armstrong Hannah Clifton. What is Scottish TV Drama? History of Scottish TV Drama Three Scottish Discourses & Examples River City Psychos Gaelic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Graeme Armstrong Hannah Clifton

2 What is Scottish TV Drama? History of Scottish TV Drama Three Scottish Discourses & Examples River City Psychos Gaelic TV Drama Conclusion

3 Three ring circus - About Scotland - By Scotland - For Scotland Television drama may be about Scotland but that does not necessarily mean, always, that it has been produced by Scotland, or that Scottish interests and influences have been paramount in shaping the resulting images and representations. (Cook, 2008)

4 Television first came to Scotland in 1952. First Scottish Television Drama aired on 19 March 1952. The Old Lady Shows Her Medals by J.M. Barrie. Televised from Glasgow Citizens Theatre. James Bridie Pharic Mclaren

5 Tartanry: -Garish symbols -Portrays a romantic Scotland -Usually how the rest of the world sees Scotland Kailyard: -Rural life in the highlands Clydesideism: -Hard working Scottish males -Concentrates on the West of Scotland – typically Glasgow -It can show a darker side of Scotland

6 BBC series that first aired in February 2000 and ran for 7 series until 2005. Mainly tartanry, although Zumkhawala-Cook says its Kailyard.

7 About Scotland? Yes, its set and filmed in the Scottish highlands with mainly Scottish characters. By Scotland? Commissioned by BBC Scotland, but produced by Ecosse Films, who are based in London. The creator Michael Chaplin in also English. For Scotland? It was broadcast on BBC 1 to the whole of Britain. It doesnt deal with particularly Scottish issues such as politics, the issues it does deal with tend to be more stereotypically Scottish and for entertainment purposes.

8 Its full of stereotypical Scottishness. Clothes: Duncan wears a kilt Molly often wears a tartan sash. They live in a picturesque castle in the highlands surrounded by hills, lochs, and deer. Opening credits. Classic episode. Nice stereotypical accents which appeals to a wider audience.

9 Creator Michael Chaplin says that viewers will like to visit Glenbogle because its a place where bad things dont happen. Its a magical place that many will see as a paradise. Head of drama at the BBC agrees: youre welcomed into a world you want to spend time in. Viewers have to think it would be fun to live there. Id like to be part of that extended family.

10 Monarch of the Glen does raise interesting issues. I just came back from Australia where its playing on a Saturday at 7.30 and getting record audiences. And you have that kind of feeling like is this what they think contemporary Scotland is like?...Im kind of ambivalent to Monarch. Its a tremendous success, international success. It earns revenue for the BBC which comes back into Scotland. Of course, if you could get 8 million viewers for a gritty contemporary social challenging drama at 8 oclock on a Sunday night on BBC1, then you may feel more creatively satisfied. (Interview with McCormick, 2004)

11 Ran from 1980 until 2003. Originally started broadcasting to the entire United Kingdom but in its latter years, solely broadcasted in Scotland. Clearly exhibits the discourse of Kailyard.

12 About Scotland- Not specifically. It was mainly a show about people living in a rural town in Scotland, but not specifically about Scotland itself. By Scotland – Yes, it was produced by STV Productions. For Scotland - Not at first, it was originally broadcast throughout Britain until 1993, from 1994 it was broadcast solely in Scotland.

13 STV drama first aired in 1983 and its still going today. Its the longest running current drama on ITV. Had its highest audience in 1992 with 18.3 million viewers.

14 About Scotland? Yes, set in Glasgow. By Scotland? Yes, its produced by STV Productions and created by Glenn Chandler who was born in Edinburgh. For Scotland? Maybe. It is broadcast on ITV. There was a dispute between STV and ITV about whether ITV would show the new series. As for Scottish issues, it could be any city, theres nothing particularly Scottish about it.

15 The accents are Scottish, but not very strong. They occasionally say a Scottish word or phrase: Grow up ya daft bugger! Mainly Scottish Standard English they speak.

16 We thought, if it had to be put into one of the discourses, it would Clydesidism. Its about hard working detectives It shows a darker side of Glasgow, the detectives are solving murders.

17 Began broadcasting in 2002. BBC Scotland Could this be considered an accurate representation of Scotland/Glasgow?

18 About Scotland – Not really. It is just a show about people who happen to be Scottish. There is no special significance that Scotland is the setting. By Scotland – Yes, it is produced by BBC Scotland in the Dumbarton Studios. For Scotland – Currently, it is broadcast for a Scottish audience, but it can be viewed on digital cable channels out with Scotland.

19 With its small-scale industrial heritage and its residually working-class feel, with its kenspeckle local personalities and at times somewhat claustrophobically parochial range – characters seldom venture furth of Shieldinch – River City combines some residual elements of the Kailyard with a somewhat larger dose of watered-down Clydesideism. (Hugh ODonnell, 2008. P130-131)

20 Broadcast in 1999 A Kudos Production (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) Broad Scottish accents, probably because the cast are predominantly Scottish. Can it be classed as any one of the 3 Scottish discourses?

21 About Scotland – No, it is about the psychiatric unit of a Glasgow Hospital. No special connection to Scotland or its heritage. By Scotland – No, it was produced by Kudos Productions, based in London. For Scotland – No, it was broadcast throughout the UK and maybe even overseas given it was distributed by Channel 4 International

22 The Gaelic Television Committee (CTG) was established by the 1990 Broadcasting Act to provide funding and back-up for Gaelic based programmes. Its aim of providing an additional 200 hours of Gaelic television effectively trebled the Gaelic output, and at the time it was estimated that up to 200 jobs would be created either directly or indirectly by the initiative. (

23 Produced by Scottish Television Enterprises Created, Developed & Written by Peter May and Janice Hally Ran from 1993 until 1999 (ODonnell, 2008, p124) By the most recent census in 2001, the figure for Gaelic speakers was down to 58,652, although 92,000 claimed some Gaelic skills (for example, reading). (Cormack, 2008, p216)

24 Primary objective is to entertain. Greatest crime is to stereotype characters. Do they ever consider the representations of Scotland they are giving?

25 There is clear evidence that some shows fit into some of the discourses, but it is not always clear cut. Some may be more prominent than others. Tartanry can be a good thing as it helps keep Scotland globally popular. If the writers of River City dont see Scottish representation as an issue, should we?

26 Anon. (2010). The Rise and Continued Success of the Gaelic Media. Available from: Accessed 17 March 2010. Accessed 17 March 2010 BBC (2008). Monarch of the Glen. Available from: Accessed 15 March 2010. Blandford, Steve (2005). BBC drama at the margins: the contrasting fortunes of Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Television Drama in the 1990s. In Bigness, Jonathon and Lacy, Stephen (eds.). Popular Television Drama: Critical Perspectives. Manchester University Press. Cook, John (2008). Three Ring Circus: Television Drama about, by and for Scotland. In: Blain, Neil and Hutchison, David (eds.). The Media In Scotland. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. Cormack, Mike (2008). Gaelic, the Media and Scotland. In: Blain, Neil and Hutchison, David (eds.). The Media In Scotland. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. Ecosse Films (2010). Ecosse Films. Available from: Accessed 16 March 2010. Godwin, Robert, Godwin, Valerie and Pope, Jackie (2004). Taggart Fan Club. Available from: Accessed 16 March 2010. IMDB (2010). High Road. Available From: Accessed 17 March 2010. IMDB (2010). Machair. Available From: Accessed 18 March 2010. IMDB (2010). Psychos. Available From: Accessed 17 March 2010. IMDB (2010). River City. Available From: Accessed 18 March 2010. ODonnell, Hugh (2008). Nae Bevvying, Nae Skiving: Language and Community in the Scottish Soap Opera. In: Blain, Neil and Hutchison, David (eds.). The Media In Scotland. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. STV (2010). Taggart. Available from: Accessed 17 March 2010. University of Glasgow (2010). James Bridie. Available from: Accessed 16 March 2010.

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