'Conditions of time and space': a re-enactment experiment with the British TV series Doctor Who.

Ireland, A., 2012. 'Conditions of time and space': a re-enactment experiment with the British TV series Doctor Who. PhD Thesis (PhD). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to provide a contribution to knowledge in two areas. Firstly, it seeks to further our understanding of the historical conditions of British television drama production; in particular the constraining and liberating influences of production space on the role of the director, and their decision-making process to bring script to screen. Secondly, the work develops the concept of re-enactment as a practice-based augmentation for archive-based textual reconstruction. As such, the thesis offers deeper discussions on the human context missing from current historiographic approaches to broadcast research. The thesis develops a re-enactment methodology that, via practical realisation, allows researchers to gain insight into the production dynamics of a particular era in history to learn about ‘in the moment’ directing decision-making. This is applied to a practice based experiment that includes creating a simulation of 1960s production conditions in order to explore the following research question: how would the decision-making process of producing contemporary television drama be affected by the conditions of 1960s production space? I argue that contemporary location-based production is as constraining as the studio it purports to rise above, yet without the same possibilities for creative reaction to counteract the limitations that historical conditions allowed. As a flagship BBC series reflecting contemporary industry practice, Doctor Who is used as the vehicle for analysis. The experiment focuses on a historical re-enactment of a 2006 episode of Doctor Who, “Tooth and Claw”, written by series executive producer Russell T Davies. The re-enacted audio-visual text is provided on DVD along with artefacts that encapsulate the process of production, informing analysis and reflection.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Subjects:Arts > Film and Television
Group:Media School
ID Code:20444
Deposited By:Mrs Jill Burns
Deposited On:19 Sep 2012 12:09
Last Modified:19 Dec 2012 11:02

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