Scene (British TV series)

Scene is a British television anthology drama/documentary series made by the BBC for teenagers. Featuring plays on topical issues as well as documentaries, sometimes of a controversial nature, and by leading contemporary playwrights,[1] programs were originally broadcast to a school audience as part of the BBC Schools strand. Dramas from the series were also regularly broadcast for a wider adult audience. The series ran episodically from 1968 to 2002 and some of the dramas went on to receive critical acclaim, nominations and awards including five in 1996–97 and a Prix Jeunesse in 1998 under series producer Andy Rowley (see below).

Scene was originally conceived as a series of 30 minute dramas and documentaries suitable for showing to teenage schoolchildren as part of the English and Humanities curriculum. It was envisaged that the dramas shown would stimulate discussion in the classroom about various contemporary issues relevant to teenagers (such as race, drugs, sex, disability etc.). Critical reaction was positive with praise for the high production standards.[2][3] Some of the actors featured in Scene went on to achieve varying degrees of mainstream success. e.g.: Jemima Rooper (Junk, 1999), Sarah Jane Potts, Jack Deam, Lucy Davis (Alison, 1996), Adrian Lester (Teaching Matthew, 1993), Sean Maguire (A Man of Letters, 1997), Peter Howitt (Stone Cold).

Award winners and nomineesEdit

  • Terry (1969) – BAFTA Flame of Knowledge Award.
  • A Collier's Friday Night (1976) – BAFTA Flame of Knowledge Award.
  • Loved Up (1996) – BAFTA for best schools drama. Series Ass.Producer Andy Rowley
  • Alison (1996) – BAFTA nomination for best schools drama. Series Producer Andy Rowley
  • United (1998) – BAFTA for best schools drama. Produced and directed by Michael McGowan.
  • Junk (1999) – BAFTA for best schools drama.
  • Offside (2002) – BAFTA for best schools drama.
  • Split game (2005) – BAFTA nomination for best schools drama.[4]
  • Stone Cold' BAFTA nomination 1998 Producer Andy Rowley Director Stephen Whittaker '

Selected episodesEdit

Terraces (1993). The residents of a street of terraced houses decide to paint them all in the colours of their local football team – all except one man who refuses to conform to mob rule. Written by Willy Russell.

Loved Up (1995). A young woman leaves home to live with her boyfriend and discovers the rave scene and ecstasy. Series producer Andy Rowley. A 2 x 30 minute abridged version of a BAFTA-winning drama.

Alison (1996): BAFTA-nominated Comedy-drama. Terry Kennett decides to return to his home town after a ten-year absence. He bumps into old mates and his former girlfriend Alison who shows him around their old haunts. They reminisce about their teenage romance, first sexual experience and the reasons for their eventual breakup. Terry is shocked to find that Alison is now a young single mother, but decides to rekindle their relationship in the hope that former mistakes are behind them. Written and directed by Al Hunter Ashton and produced by Andy Rowley. Starring Sarah Jane Potts and Jack Deam.

Teaching Matthew written by Al Hunter Ashton. A satire on Willy Russell's Educating Rita. Ashton acted in the film, playing Sergeant Conway. Adrian Lester played the eponymous lead character.

Stone Cold (1997) Starring Peter Howitt. Threat to runaway boy Link who becomes homeless after abuse at home and is prey to a street killer. Directed by Stephen Whittaker and produced by Andy Rowley. BAFTA nominated

Junk (1999): Bafta-winning drama. Following difficulties with her parents, teenager Gemma Brogan leaves home. She falls under the spell of a young woman who introduce her to the world of alternative youth culture and drugs. Initially her new life seems glamorous and exciting but she soon discovers its dark side as she slides uncontrollably into heroin addiction.[5] Starring Jemima Rooper.


  1. ^ Playwrights commissioned included Willy Russell, Fay Weldon, Tom Stoppard, Alan Plater etc. See Wheatley.
  2. ^ Wheatley, p188.
  3. ^
  4. ^ See BAFTA nominations database
  5. ^ Junk (English and

Further readingEdit

  • Wheatley, Helen. Re-viewing television history: critical issues in television historiography (I. B. Tauris & Co., 2007), p186 ff.

External linksEdit