Dennis Potter Between Two Worlds: A Critical Reassessment by Glen Creeber

By Glen Creeber

Dennis Potter is the main famous, revered and arguable tv dramatist Britain has ever produced. performs and serials reminiscent of The making a song Detective and Pennies From Heaven got large serious acclaim while regularly attracting audiences of their hundreds of thousands. This ebook will significantly examine either the strengths and the weaknesses of Potter's oeuvre, while investigating his prestige as either an 'author' and a 'celebrity'. Re-examining the drama, it foregrounds its ambiguities and contradictions, when clarifying the complicated mix of topics, types and strategies that produced its targeted and infrequently provocative appeal.

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While slightly less polemical than the documentary, similar ground was covered in his second book, The Changing Forest: Life in the Forest of Dean Today (1962). It is not surprising therefore that when Potter turned to television drama in the mid-1960s social class became one of his central themes and obsessions. The two Nigel Barton Plays dramatised a scholarship boy's painful rise from clever, working-class schoolboy to aspiring and disillusioned Labour politician. In Stand Up, Nigel Barton (1965) we see the anguished protagonist trying desperately to balance his working-class roots alongside his newly acquired life at Oxford.

Ibid. Ibid. 128. Edward Buscombe, 'Creativity in Television', Screen Education, No. 21. 70. 36. 27. For an account of the history of British television drama see Carl Gardener and John Wyver, 'The Single Play: From Reithian Reverence to Cost-Accounting and Censorship', Screen, Vol. 24, nos. 4-5. 123. More recently, however, Jason Jacobs has tended to modify this interpretation of television history, suggesting that although early television drama was inherently 'theatrical' it did still have some aesthetic properties of its own.

39. 32-33. 40. : The Singing Detective', in George W. 234-57. Also see W. 267-70 and John Cook, 1995, 219-22. 41. The BBC One O'clock News, 7 June 1994. 42. George W. ), 1993, p. 244. 43. Jon Amiel in interview with Derek Malcolm, 'Home defeat, away win', the Guardian, 22 April 1993. 44. Ibid. 45. As Amiel told Joost Hunninger, ' ... what Dennis's writing does, rather than insist on or direct you to do something, is to inspire you to do something with the same passion and same specificity. That's what's so remarkable about his scripts', George W.

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