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Title: Gothic television
Author: Wheatley, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 2424 5019
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis examines forms of Gothic fiction on television, and defines the ways in which television produces Gothic drama which is medium-specific (e.g. formally distinct from versions of the genre in other media). This work employs a textual analysis to explore Gothic television, and combines this with archival research and an examination of the changing climate of television production in a range of national and historical contexts. The thesis is organised into four case studies, each dealing with different national industries during different periods: British anthology drama of the 1960s and 70s (e.g. Mystery and Imagination (ABC/Thames, 1966-70), Ghost Story for Christmas (BBC1, 1971-78)); Danish art television in the mid-nineties (Riget (Danmarks Radio/Zentropa, 1994)); British adaptations of female Gothic literature, (e.g. Rebecca (BBC2, 1979), The Wyvern Mystery (BBC1/The Television Production Company, 2000); and big-budget, effects-laden series from North America in the 1990s (e.g. American Gothic, CBS/Renaissance, 1995-96), Millennium (20th Century Fox/10:13, 1996-1999). I argue that Gothic television plays on the genre's inherent fascination with the domestic/familial, to produce television drama with an overt consciousness of the contexts in which the programmes are being viewed, a consciousness which is locatable within the text itself; as such, the thesis defines the Gothic as a genre which is well suited to presentation on television. Furthermore, an examination is offered of the 'model' viewer as presented within the television text, enabling an understanding of the ways in which conceptions of television viewership are inscribed into television drama at the moment of production. I also interrogate the notion that television is an 'uncanny' medium by locating the precise sources of uncanniness with Gothic television, and delineate the ways in which innovations in television production have been showcased through the representation of the supernatural and the uncanny with Gothic Television.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1990 Broadcasting