As Halloween approaches, the BBC’s season of programmes exploring the Gothic genre in art, architecture music and literature begins tonight on BBC Four. The season has been produced in partnership with the British Library and its exhibition, ‘Terror and Wonder: the Gothic Imagination’ as a celebration of all things Gothic and the enduring fascination with the genre.
Tim Pye, Lead Curator, explains,
“The Gothic imagination with its love of the awe-inspiring, the wondrous and the uncanny has cast long and beautiful shadows across all aspects of our lives for hundreds of years.”
Gothic Literature is an option in a number of GSCE and A Level syllabuses and Romantic Literature an important feature of English Degree courses. The season includes specially commissioned programmes on both radio and television, classic films as well as a selection of programmes and clips from the BBC Archive. Full details of the programmes can be found on the BBC website but highlights include:
The Art of the Gothic: Britain’s Midnight Hour, BBC4 20th October 9pm
A three part series presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon looks back at 19th Century Britain and its obsession with all things gothic, from architecture to art and literature.
Dracula,BBC4 20th October 10pm
The Classic Hammer interpretation of the Dracula story, starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Dan Cruikshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain, BBC4 21st October 9pm
Dan Cruikshank explores how one family, the Scotts, were responsible for the creation of the greatest icons of British Gothic Architecture such as St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial.
A Dark and Stormy Night: When Horror Was Born, BBC2 transmission time tbc
An exploration of one of the most significant moments in Gothic history, this documentary brings together historians and writers to discuss the night Mary Shelley created Frankenstein.
A wealth of archive material is also available including the 1986 documentary “The Strange Affair.. of Frankenstein” in which Robert Sykes investigates the background to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece.
The Castle of Otranto, Radio 4 Extra Sunday 26th October
Dramatisation of what is considered to be the first gothic novel, written in 1764.
Also worth noting: In addition to this BBC Season, “Frankenstein: a Modern Myth” is still available on 40D. This programme explores the many interpretations of this gothic masterpiece across the generations.