Module Identifier TF33520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Glen Creeber  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Kevin J Donnelly  
Pre-Requisite TF10420  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours  
  Lecture   30 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 60%
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay - deadline 30.04.03  40%

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:

Discuss contemporary television drama using and applying critical methods gained from current and past academic sources.
Examine the textual construction of a televisual narrative.
Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, institutional and political context in which the chosen progammes are both made and received.
Create a coherent and sustained written argument.

Both the written essay and exam will test the student`s ability to discuss, examine and contextualise a piece of contemporary television drama as outlined above and will assess their capability of creating a coherent and sustained written argument. Assessment criteria will be published on the module database and in the module handbook.

Brief description

This module will concentrate on contemporary television drama, particualrly TV drama`s move away from the single play towards more long form drama. As such, it will focus on the power of the television serial or mini-series to provide a breadth of canvass rarely found in the cinema or theatre. The module will explore and examine the way that relatively recent television drama has incorporated elements of the serial form to explore issues as complex and as diverse as historical representation (Roots), gender and sexuality (Prime Suspect, Queer As Folk), national identity (The Kingdom) and the re-invention of genres (Twin Peaks, The Sopranos). As such, the chosen texts will also be examined as individual examples around which larger areas of theoretical debate and discussion - including issues of modernism, postmodernism, feminism and sexual/national identity - can be examined and explored. Consequently, the module intends to be `contemporary` not only in the programmes it chooses to examine, but also its examination and exploration of the programmes themselves.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Brandt, George ed (1981) British Television Drama Cambridge University Press
Brandt, George ed (1993) British Television drama in the 1980s Cambridge University Press
Caughie, John (2000) Television Drama: Realism, Modernism and British Culture Oxford University Press
Day Lewis, Sean (2001) Talk of Drama: Views of the Television Dramatist Now and Then BFI
Holland, Patricia (1997) The Television Handbook Routledge
McQueen, David (1998) Television: A Media Student`s Guide Arnold
Rucker, Allen (2000) The Sopranos: A Family History London: Channel 4 Books/Macmillan
Selby, Keith & Ron Cowdery (1995) How To Study Television Macmillan
Self, David (1984) Television Drama: An Introduction Macmillan
Nelson, Robin (1997) TV Drama in Transition: Forms, Values and Cultural Change Macmillan
Lavery, David (ed) (1995) Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks Wayne State University
Holden, Stephen (ed) (2000) The New York Times on The Sopranos New York: ibooks
Creeber, Glen ed (2001) The Television Genre Book London/New York: BFI

Brundson, Charlotte (Autumn 98) Structure of anxiety: recent British television crime fiction` in Screen, vol 39, no 3


This module is at CQFW Level 6