Page 9, 5th January 1962

5th January 1962
Page 9
Page 9, 5th January 1962 — IF YOU COULD PLAN TV

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Keywords: G, Ood


WHAT do people want from TV in 1962? More romance, fun, serious discussion? What about Westerns, crime series, and situation comedies?

Not one of the dozen or so people I questioned volunteered precise answers.

When Brian Widlake of the ITN News Room went out on Sunday to question people about their hopes for the New Year, five out of five

answered promptly and in almost identical words: "Peace, security, no more talk of war".

Where television was concerned. however, the impression was one of affectionate disapproval like fond parents speaking of an intractable child.


THF attitude of this type of viewer was made delightfully articulate by Bootsie and Smudge last week. One of them criticised TV programmes so the other said "If you don't like them throw the set out of the window."

There was immediate "No, no, no."

The truth is we all vastly enjoy television, and wouldn't be without it, but, all the same, we don't see why it shouldn't be better. This is not very serious criticism. On the whole I should say the public has been well served by production companies.


viewer has been attracted to a programme and likes to follow it each week. he is seldom let down: it is rare for standards to fall.

Progressive improvement has been particularly noticeable in two fields: One is a documentary where British TV excels. The other is the more remarkable as it is a renaissance in the least expected quarter -namely. the field of religious programmes. After years of watery uplift, the three main Sunday slots for religion have started to sparkle and grip.


IT seems that the producers of 1 seems "About Religion", the BBC's "Meeting Point", and ABC's "The Sunday Break" have taken a good look at themselves and come

Potted Dogma


by Thomas J. Higgins, Sel. (Bruce hablishing Co.' 83.95)T. HE publishers of this brief summary of dogmatic theology consider that "it will be handy to have her (the Church') dogmatic teachings summarized within the covers of one small volume ". While perhaps deprecating the modern trend for " potted" summaries, one cannot but admire Fr. Higgins' book, which does indeed give a useful explanatory synthesis of Catholic dogma in a form eminently readable and which, as was intended, will make excellent spiritual reading. to the conclusion that if they want to come to grips with the "tincomMined millions of neo-pugans" (as Fr, Bebb has put it), they must tackle religious broadcasting in a More realistic way. Of the three teams, it looks as if ATV has come nearest to achieving what all are trying to do, and that is to inject immediacy plus entertainment, plus a searching, forceful, visual interpretation of Christian Ideas. The BBC have provided in "Meeting Point" some of the liveliest discussions of the year, also some of the best news coverage. Who can forget their work over the Queen's visit to the Holy Father, or their documentation of "Brothers of the Desert" and "The Life of St. Teresa"?


BUT it is ATV who have made the experiment. The three religious advisers and their prodeeer Gordon Reece have gone all out for experimental drama, and though not all were as successful as ABC's "A Man Dies" (the event of the year in religious programmes) their achievement lies in the flexibility of their ideas, Of the three, "The Sunday Break" is the least satisfying, not because it tries less but because its format is so untidy. Serious discussion is again and again abruptly ended in favour of rock 'n' roll; this jars and tends to destroy the mood of the programme.

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