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Disappointed with their lack of enthusiasm, Messina went over the departmental heads, forwarding his proposal directly to Director of Programmes, Alasdair Milne and Director-General, Ian Trethowan, both of whom liked the idea.
Although there were still reservations within the BBC, and although Messina's decision to bypass the accepted hierarchy would not be forgotten, with the support of Milne and Trethowan, the series was greenlighted, with its daunting scope championed as part of its appeal; "it was a grand project, no one else could do it, no one else would do it, but it ought to be done." The BBC had screened many Shakespearean adaptations before, and by 1978, the only plays which they had not shown in specifically made-for-TV adaptations were Henry VIII, Pericles, Timon of Athens, Titus Andronicus and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
The vast majority of these transmissions were broadcast live, and they came to an end with the onset of war in 1939. After the war, Shakespearean adaptations were screened much less frequently, and tended to be more 'significant' specifically made-for-TV productions.
In 1947, for example, O'Ferrall directed a two-part adaptation of Hamlet, starring John Byron as Hamlet, Sebastian Shaw as Claudius and Margaret Rawlings as Gertrude (5 & 15 December).
1964 also saw the broadcast of Hamlet at Elsinore, directed by Philip Saville and produced by Peter Luke.
Starring Christopher Plummer as Hamlet, Robert Shaw as Claudius and June Tobin as Gertrude, the entire play was shot on-location in Helsingør at the real Elsinore Castle.
In particular, the Drama/Plays division felt the series could not possibly be a financial success without international sales, which they did not see as likely.
Furthermore, they argued that Shakespeare on television rarely worked, and they were of the opinion that there was simply no need to do all thirty-seven plays, as many were obscure and would not find an audience amongst the general public, even in England.The complete set is a popular collection, and several episodes represent the only non-theatrical production of the particular play currently available on DVD.The concept for the series originated in 1975 with Cedric Messina, a BBC producer who specialised in television productions of theatrical classics, while he was on location at Glamis Castle in Angus, Scotland, shooting an adaptation of J. Barrie's The Little Minister for the BBC's Play of the Month series.Featuring nine sixty-minute episodes, the series adapted the Roman plays, in chronological order of the real life events depicted; Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.The fourth series was not an original TV production, but a made-for-TV "re-imagining" of a stage production; The Wars of the Roses, which was screened in both 19.Other 1937 productions included two different screenings of scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream; one directed by Dallas Bower, starring Patricia Hilliard as Titania and Hay Petrie as Nick Bottom (18 February), the other an extract from Stephen Thomas' Regent's Park production, starring Alexander Knox as Oberon and Thea Holme as Titania, aired as part of the celebrations for Shakespeare's birthday (23 April).Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating