It's only a Play for Today. Just today.

But so dour! So bleak, so brown, and literally every single play seemed to be about trade union meetings. (Or, in one case, “the expansive tale of a clash between the state and a housing association trying to resist rent rises”.)

Christ! Who were they for? If you actually had the sort of life that involved 1970s trade unions and housing associations trying to resist rent rises, wouldn’t you want to go home and see a bit of Disney? A bit of Morecambe and Wise with Shirley Bassey putting her foot through a step?

Victoria Coren-Mitchell there, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt how far the BBC has fallen. “Who were they for?” Why, the millions and millions of people that tuned in every week to watch them, of course. And the condescension of just assuming that the general public wouldn’t want to watch them…Further, what is the problem with a drama focusing on things like ‘rent rises’, as opposed to ‘the life and times of a complaints department’, anyway? Why is the latter something to be plastered all over the BBC schedules and social media, but,, say, a drama based around similar events of Leeds — United! anathema?

Anyway, Drama out of a Crisis was a great celebration of the Play For Today strand. Some great moments all around, but I had a soft spot for the producer of Brimstone & Treacle explaining the plot in a paragraph completely deadpan, pausing for a beat, and then saying to camera “do you still wonder why it was banned?”1

In local news, Stranger Cat is now known as Nemesis Cat. Helvetica has decided that Nemesis has hung out on the patio for too long now, and is starting to make her feelings on the matter known, resulting in a hilarious afternoon where both cats chased each other around all the windows trying to attack each other through glass. Stay tuned for further updates!


  1. In fairness, it might have been even more useful to explore how a play could have been commissioned, written, rehearsed, filmed, and edited without somebody in the hierarchy saying “you know, this is the literal Devil sexually assaulting a handicapped woman and it makes her gets better…maybe we should run this by somebody?” But I get with 300+ plays to cover, you have to skip over some of the details… [return]