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The Info List - Second City Firsts



Second City Firsts is a BBC drama anthology series of single plays, all lasting thirty minutes. Recorded at BBC Pebble Mill in Birmingham, or sometimes filmed on location, the series was broadcast between 1973 and 1978.

The series title referred both to Pebble Mill's location in England's so-called Second City, and the fact that the series commissioned an unprecedented amount of first-time writers.[1]

The 1974 episode Girl, about a homosexual relationship between two officers in the Women's Royal Army Corps, featured the first lesbian (and same-sex) kiss on British television, between Alison Steadman (as Jackie) and Myra Frances (as Harvey).[2][3] The recording of the episode was discovered in the Thames Television archives decades later, and digitized by the BBC. In 2016, it was added to the BBC Store's "Prejudice and Pride Collection" and made available for streaming.[4][5]

The 1975 episode Club Havana featured actress Julie Walters in her first role on British TV.

The 1976 episode Jack Flea's Birthday Celebration was written by Ian McEwan, his screen debut.

Series

  1. 15 October 1973 to 19 November 1973
  2. 15 February 1974 to 25 March 1974
  3. 28 October 1974 to 16 December 1974
  4. 20 March 1975 to 24 April 1975
  5. 25 October 1975 to 29 November 1975
  6. 13 January 1976 to 24 April 1976
  7. 14 November 1976 to 12 December 1976
  8. 5 March 1977 to 6 June 1977
  9. 8 April 1978 to 13 May 1978[6]

Archive holdings

Of the 53 plays in the series, 28 survive.[7][8]

References

  1. ^ Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography, ed. Helen Wheatley, pp.91-92
  2. ^ Howes, Keith (1993). Broadcasting It: An Encyclopaedia of Homosexuality on Film, Radio and TV in the UK 1923-1993 (first ed.). London: Cassell. ISBN 9780304327003. 
  3. ^ Blyth, Michael. "Girl (1974)". BFI Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (15 June 2016). "BBC to stream 1974 show with first lesbian kiss on UK television". The Guardian. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ Foster, Patrick (16 June 2016). "First gay kiss on British TV to be seen for first time in 40 years". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ BFI Listing for Second City Firsts
  7. ^ Lost UK Shows - Second City Firsts
  8. ^ "Kaleidoscope BBC Television Drama Research Guide, 1936, 2011", eds Simon Coward, Chris Perry and Richard Down, Kaleidoscope Ltd, 2011, pp.2175-2179

External links


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