Sunday, 2 March 2008

Sense & Over-sensitivity.....

Recent headlines have seen a question mark hung over when one of BBC Three's drama pilots will be shown. The programme in question, 'Dis/Connected' has been temporarily moved to a new air date, which the heads of the digital channel have yet to decide upon. The issue of suicide is something of a minefield, emotionally, but that doesn't mean television drama shouldn't tackle these subjects. The risk of being insensitive is not a good enough reason to re-schedule, or even ban, a drama that deals with an important issue. Most of the TV critics who were allowed to see it have concluded that the subject matter was handled in a responsible way; so why has it been postponed?

Being bold and daring has helped to create some of the greatest television drama in the BBC's seventy-two year history. The need for sensitivity is all well and good, but imagine if 'Cathy Come Home' had not been broadcast because there was an item on the news about a mother who was homeless, and had seen her children taken into care. The result would have been that nobody would've seen it, and a shift in attitudes wouldn't have taken place. Too much sensitivity can be counter-productive, in terms of issue-led dramas, and the BBC should bear that in mind.

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