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Period Drama Politics

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Steven Fielding, professor of Political History at Nottingham University, sets out to determine whether the portrayal of class relations in popular TV dramas might have had an effect on viewers' political alliances. Using Noel Coward's play Cavalcade, and ITV's Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey as examples, he reveals how all three portray the upper classes as benevolent overlords to grateful servants, and all three also first appeared during times of national crisis - namely the 1930s, the 1970s and in the 2008 financial crash respectively. In each case, a Conservative government was voted into office around the time of each show debut, and Steven wonders whether the idealistic vision of a genial worled divided by class might have subtly influenced voting habits. Includes archived interviews with Julian Fellowes, Noel Coward, Sheridan Morley, Jean Marsh, Eileen Atkins and John Gielgud.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Professor Steven Fielding
Producer Nick Holmes


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