George More O’Ferrall

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BBC television’s first drama: Murder in the Cathedral (1936)

I have been pleased to discover recently that we can add a new “first” to the early productions of theatre plays for television. According to a short report in the Manchester Guardian the BBC television service mounted scenes from T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral on 19 October 1936. A test broadcast some three weeks before official transmissions began, this production should, I think, be recognised as BBC television’s first identifiable drama. Not only that, it was apparently also the first studio broadcast in which scenery was used. Continue reading

‘Love from a Stranger’ (BBC, 1938)

I want today simply to highlight a remarkable review by Grace Wyndham Goldie for The Listener at the end of 1938. Ms Goldie’s regular reviews for the magazine at this period are among the most insightful reflections on the new medium of television, and she had a particular interest in drama. In her column published on 15 December 1938, Grace Wyndham Goldie celebrated a television production of Frank Vosper’s stage thriller Love from a Stranger, which was itself adapted from the Agatha Christie short story Philomel Cottage. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace