Wednesday, November 03, 2010


So far, I have managed to keep abreast of my favourite programme of the moment, Downton Abbey, by watching it on the internet. Scotland's equivalent of Independent Television, decided, it was said, that people who live in Scotland were not interested in costume drama (aren't we? ....what about all those hairy legs taking flight from under Scottish kilts) and that we should be fed a diet of all things culturally Scottish.

We are being treated to Taggart, a police detective character. This says a great deal about how Scots are supposed to learn about and view Scottish culture, that is, Lowland and Central Belt culture, I hasten to add.   Is not the Scottish TV (STV) studio based in the central belt city of Glasgow?  Prior to Grampian TV, which was based in Aberdeen, being merged with STV, the North East of Scotland was better served with a range of quality programming to suit many tastes. 

My view is, that if, as we are told, the Scots want to be fed a dramatic diet of drug-fuelled violence, murder, and mayhem, dressed up as Scottish culture, it is sad and reflects badly on Scotland, its people and its culture. 

If the current TV service cannot afford to buy a programme in from its sister company, which is more like the truth of the matter, it should come clean, not spuriously waffle on about what we want to see in Scotland under the thin veil of 'culture'. It's definitely the other way round, it is what STV want to churn out to us to watch. Customer interest does not figure a jot!

Meantime, I continue to watch, via the internet, the gloriously clever costume drama series of Downton Abbey, with its sharp wit and well presented historical context, a context which affected the whole of the UK, (war memorials of the 1914-18 war attest to it) a day or two after the scheduled TV screening, and tune into anything but what is advertised for Scottish viewers in the Sunday time slot, on Scottish Television.


Anonymous said...

thank heavens for the internet!

i'm slowly warming to Downton but still find it a trifle starchy at times but wouldn't dream of missing an episode which is the acid test.

ZACL said...

I Think the starchiness of the series, that you mention Ax, is reflective of the echelon of society that the series currently focuses on, in comparison to the 'downstairs' society of the household. There is clever introduction of imminent social issues and changes which, no doubt we will see developed upon, within life's woven tapestry.

Your acid test is a good one.

I did not see a great deal of a previous costume drama which worked through generations and major change; I think it was called The Pallisers. It was a very long time ago, in the early days of TV.

Anonymous said...

i remember the name of that series but don't think i ever saw it as it was probably past my bedtime in those days!

despite my occasional daydreams regarding nobility and aristocracy, i know for a fact that i'd be much happier and at ease downstairs.

ZACL said...

Your happiness downstairs may be linked to the serving wenches you might have daily contact with, I doubt it would be anything to do with the extreme hierarchies that the lower quarters imposed upon their work and workers.