Sunday 20 March 2016

The Year of the Sex Olympics

Here's something foe the weekend, and to mark the first day of Spring. The Year of the Sex Olympics is a BBC television drama from 1968, written by Nigel Kneale. It's currently available to view online (although you may not to be able to access this if you're outside the territory).

It really is some kind of masterpiece - a bilious assault on the kind of exploitative and degrading television 'reality show' format that is now a lamentable norm but was, nearly fifty years ago, a futuristic aberration-in-waiting. It features the great Leonard Rossiter and another actor who looks uncannily like the poet Ted Hughes.

Kneale is best known for the Professor Quatermass series (done for telly and a series of Hammer Studio films, notably Quatermass and the Pit). He is less well-regarded as a television writer than, say, Dennis Potter and this is probably because he worked largely within the science fiction and horror genres, about which critics were then (and remain) rather sniffy.

He was a troubled and troubling visionary, Swiftian in scope . Watch and wonder.

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