Varying Tastes and Opinions
Jill JOAN NEWTON
TV It is surprising how people's tastes and opinions vary. What I and the family have often raved over has turned out to be our neighbour's pet hate. What I have sometimes thought, as a critic, to he rather a poor performance. another has considered excellent.
This has been brought home to me especially since I have been enquiring into the workings of the B.B.C, "Brains Trust " and other very popular programmes. When I had thought lately that the Abbot of Downside had been, perhaps, a Little too calm and detached, the producer himself had thought him very good.
Then the other evening, when I thought the Abbot was really superb — in Dr. Bronowsk es " New Horizon " series for Associated-Rediffusion — another worthy priest had thought he did not shine sufficiently.
IN case some of you might think
that nothing very intelligent can come front Independent Television, I suggest you watch this series on Monday evenings at D. Dr. Bronowski comperes these scientific programmes with the skill we would expect of him, but a lot of enjoyment is spoiled by the interruption for commercials and by the way the poor doctor has to wander backwards and forwards about the studio.
Last week he had among his team the Abbot of Downside and Mrs. Knight, and 1 think he gave the Abbot plenty of rope in which to show bow religion and science can work happily together. Once
more, Mrs. Knight did not get enough proper opportunity to air her humanist views.
A pity. as I would really like to hear them. This is the kind of programme, like the B.B.C. " Brains Trust." which should not be taken as gospel but should lead to,discussion among viewers.
TO follow on to the correspon dence about what is or is not suitable for children to watch: there seem to have been rather a lot of • semi-unsuitables" lately. I call them " semi " because, though the story in cold blood was unsuitable, the plays were so amusingly or skilfully written
difficult to find fault with them, John van Druten's "'the Voice of the Turtle" on B.B.C. last Thursday; Emtyn William's " The Corn is Green " on Saturday; and Television World Theatre's "Amphitryon 38" adapted from the French by Jean Giraucloux by S. N. Behrman.
This last play on Sunday was delicious, and Googie Withers made a very attractive Alkmena, the faithful wife who did not want to be seduced by Jupiter. All most 'I unsuitable" but such fun that nobody was upset.
RADIO There is too much that is good on the old steam-radio for comment on it all. It is won
derful, • for instance, having a symphony concert every night on the Third Programme.
Equally enjoyable are those short talks nearly every morning on the Home Service. For many of us with gaps in our education — and even school-teachers seem to have gaps — there are the schools programmes every day to fill in the spaces.
The lessons most likely to cause discussion among older children and their teachers are the historical and religious series. I have heard comment that the lesson on the conquest of Peru did not present the Christians in a very good light.
THE conquest of South America, unhappily, is not one of the best chapters in the history of Christian Europe Perhaps the compiler of this programme could have pointed out — for the benefit of non-Christian children — that all that was done at that time was not entirely in accordance with Christ's teachings.
I must not forget to say that I listened with great attention to Fr. Gordon Albion's excellent talks in the " People's Service " broadcast from St. Edward's Church, Sutton Park, Guildford, last Sunday on the Light.
I must say, too, that I cheated during the hymns and switched back to the recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. being played by Schnabel on the Home Service. I think, there. I was trying to serve both God and mammon.