Follow the Yellow Brick Road: A Study of the Work of Dennis Potter

Cook, John Russell (1994) Follow the Yellow Brick Road: A Study of the Work of Dennis Potter. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis represents the first full-length academic study of the work of the late television playwright, Dennis Potter. Drawing upon a wealth of primary research, including unpublished Potter scripts, interviews with leading film and television practitioners, as well as a special interview with the writer himself, it examines the entire body of Potter's work, with a view to showing a consistency and progression of authorial themes. On this basis, it argues Potter successfully used the medium of television with the same degree of freedom and complexity as others have used the novel or stage play. The study is divided into six chapters, plus an Introduction and Conclusion. In addition, a special Epilogue has been written which reviews the extraordinary public events surrounding Potter's death in June 1994. In this way, the entire 'yellow brick road' of the writer's career is both followed and analysed: Chapter One examines Potter's television apprenticeship in the nineteen sixties as a writer for BBC TV's The Wednesday Play slot. Chapter Two focuses on Potter's nineteen seventies work for Play for Today and includes discussion of the banning of Brimstone and Treacle in 1976. Chapter Three is an extended examination of theme and style as it relates to certain key Potter works: in particular, the writer's first novel, Hide and Seek (published 1973). Chapters Four, Five and Six devote themselves principally to analysis of Potter's most famous television serials: Pennies from Heaven. The Singing Detective and Blackeyes respectively. Finally, the Conclusion and Epilogue draw the arguments of the preceding chapters together, advancing the view that all the clues to understanding Potter's final acts as a writer in 1994, lie in the body of past work which it has been the task of this thesis both to excavate and interpret.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Tony Pearson
Keywords: Mass communication, Biographies
Date of Award: 1994
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1994-76049
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 17:03
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 17:03
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76049

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