Emily Whitwell (Letters 13
February) agrees with David Morrissey that there is too much period drama on television.
But nowadays the proportion of air time devoted to it is small compared with 30 years ago. From the late 1970s until the middle of the 1980s it seemed every new drama series was set in the 1920s and 1930s.
This was the era of Granada Television’s adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, which is still being shown today.
It was also when James Herriot’s cosy depictions of veterinary practice in the 1930s (All Creatures Great and Small) and Agatha Christie’s similarly cosy depictions of solving murders in the same era first appeared on TV. Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven, a bizarre celebration of the cheesy music of that era, was shown on BBC1 to much critical acclaim and Geraldine McEwan played Miss Jean Brodie on Scottish Television.
There was a strange nostalgia for the inter-war period in the late 1970s and early 1980s and there may be a significant number of period dramas on TV nowadays but they don’t dominate the schedules like those of yesteryear did and there doesn’t seem to be any cosy nostalgia in today’s period dramas.
Round Riding Road