Television TV

In The Looking Glass

Highly bizarre, surrealist series of six TV plays, that aired on BBC2 throughout 1978. Starring John Wells, John Fortune, Carl Davis and Madeline Smith, it was produced by Ian Keill and directed by Andrew Gosling. The same team had created 'The End Of The Pier Show' four years earlier, and both were written by Davis, Fortune and Wells.

The series used live action set against a still or animated background, each episode being a self-contained experiment in musical surrealist drama following a loose storyline. Influences of Samuel Beckett and Max Frisch were evident in some scenes, the whole thing being a kind of thinking person's Dadaism (which was the closest thing that the older generation of suburban middle-class Listener-readers ever got to the New Wave in the late 1970s).

Most episodes took the cosy, predictable, oh-so-English style of pre-War suburbia and catapulted it into an Alice In Wonderland world where nothing - but NOTHING- was at all predictable or even safe.

The cast usually sported 1930s fashions and hairstyles, spoke in RP BBC English, and were very obviously products of the Kippsian world of privet hedges, Dunroamin semi's and tea in front of the wireless.

The environment they soon found themselves in was the exact opposite- one series was set on an intergalactic space-liner, another focused on a next-door neighbour who was intent on digging a hole to the centre of the Earth.

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Do You Remember In The Looking Glass?

Do You Remember In The Looking Glass?

  • Anonymous user
    was one of them about the desert blooming again through the magic of an eyptian queen?