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The Hill and Beyond: Children's Television Drama - An Encyclopedia (BFI Modern Classics) [Hardcover]

Mark J. Docherty , Alistair D. McGown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 72.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2003 BFI Modern Classics
The variety that is children's television drama is recalled in this book; shows such as: "Grange Hill"; "Stig of The Dump"; "The Railway Children"; "The Magician's House"; "The Chronicles of Narnia"; and "The Box of Delights". It lists entries on every British-made children's drama to have been shown on UK screens since 1950. Critical appraisals assess the kind of stories told for children, along with all the technical data and trivia. Programmes from the BBC and ITV are assessed, whether they were adaptations of literary classics or new, contemporary dramas, adventure, fantasy or science fiction.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing (1 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851708781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851708782
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 18.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,661,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

The Hill and Beyond is an encyclopedic reference book covering 50 years of television drama made for children between 1950 and 2000 - whether you want to look back or learn more about Grange Hill, The Chronicles of Narnia or beyond this is the book you need.

Hopefully it gives just the right balance of coverage and data to both classics and obscurities. BBC and ITV, black and white and colour, period or contemporary or futuristic science-fiction, adventure or issues-based, 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s ... it should all all here.

300 series are covered, from single plays to long-running series, hopefully including all remakes and sequels from down the years. The vast majority of these are receiving their first printed coverage anywhere.The page also contains links to various positive online reviews. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alistair McGown is a Web Designer and has written articles in Dreamwatch magazine and Doctor Who magazine. Mark J. Docherty works in the Financial Services industry and has written for and edited a number of amateur magazines within sci-fi fan circles. He is also the moderator of Century, a discussion forum devoted to the discussion of children's television in Britain.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive work on British children's drama 14 Nov 2003
There have been plenty of books on classic children's TV that are the literary equivalent of a pub conversation - often trivial and riddled with inaccuracies, but here's the real deal. With The Hill and Beyond we have full episode guides for every British children's drama series from the '60s onwards, with a wealth of additional information, and lavish illustrations from stills of the shows to period delights like Look-In magazine front covers and paperback adaption covers. British TV has produced a wealth of gems in children's drama. Here the genre gets the unique and highly readable book it so richly deserves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book we've been waiting for 9 Jan 2004
This wonderful volume is to be treasured: there is not one fondly remembered children's television drama I have not been able to locate within its pages; many others have suddenly resurfaced like long lost friends; and plenty of arguments have been settled as a result of its authors' meticulous research. For once,here is a serious study of a genre often mocked by today's cynical generation, The enthusiasm and dedication of Messrs McGown and Docherty in compiling this book is as great as that of the people who made the programmes in the first place.Unique,informative and entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Every enthusiast of television drama should own this book. It works as an ultimate guide for absolute researchers, a diet of unprovoked nostalgia for adults and a stark reminder for all that drama for children was once a rich and challenging kingdom of creative grit and imagination.

The Hill and Beyond covers every British Children's drama from 1950 through until 2001, discussing them in depth through individual entries that offer a story synopsis, brief critique, transmission dates and cast and production credits.

The calibre of writing is top-drawer, demonstrating strong structure, a sound grasp of each drama's intent and a wry and dry sense of humour that doesn't sacrifice the authors' professionalism. In fact my only complaint is that I feel that the authors have tried just a little to hard to sell the positives of each and every drama regardless of its actual merit. Nevertheless, the book shines through the desire and zest of its authors and the best writing by far can be located in the drama entries. Must read examples include The Paper Lads, Sky, King of the Castle, The Snow Spider, Grange Hill and The Ginger Tickler.

The book also comes complete with unique quality stills not just from a plethora of dramas throughout the years but also of rare Radio Times, Look-In and videocassette covers, further demonstrating the scale of the authors' research and the hard graft involved in constructing The Hill and Beyond.

What else can I say? The individual who considers this book to be dull is missing the point. The hill and Beyond eclipses the rather lazy Encyclopaedia of British Children's Television and stands tall as one of the must-buy books for television enthusiasts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully detailed, if a little dry. 28 July 2014
This is a very full encyclopaedia of british children's television, with entries arranged by year, and an analysis of the programmes based on recent viewings if the programme still exists.

I enjoyed this a lot. Being a child of the 1970s it was nice to confirm programmes that nobody else remembers, and have memories jogged of ones I had forgotten. As a grown up now with an interest in actors of the time, the cast lists provide a fascinating look at british acting talent from the 1950s onwards.

My only quibble is the rather dry tone of the reviews. The "patronising-Auntie-Beeb" and "Right-on-Hip-ITV" gets a bit wearing as well. There seems to be no recognition that there was an audience for the children's classics which the BBC did so well - I was one of the ones who enjoyed them! The fact they are still being published, shows they are good stories with a market.

Some colour pictures would have been nice.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes TV sound a bit boring 6 Aug 2004
By A Customer
There's no faulting these guys credendtials. Sadly the overall tone is rather dull and tends to take itself just a little too seriously. Not how I remember the telly from when I was a kid !! I found myself getting bored, even when they were talking about my favourite shows. Perhaps the stuffy old BFI was trying to claw back some straight-faced sobriety [and revenue] from the overly irreverent nostalgia market. But it means this book fails to differentiate itself from the various other extant dry TV tomes, such as the Penguin TV Companion or the established Lewis/Stempel series. I suspect this is yet another one for the anoraks only [plenty of us out there, but still]. It's v. useful for research but unlikely to cross over beyond the cliquey fact-collecting 'hobby'. Shame.
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