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Nineteen Eighty Four (Open)

The most expensive TV drama production of its day, George Orwell's celebrated novel was adapted by Nigel Kneale and lavished with such a vivid production by Rudolph Cartier, that its original live transmission on 12/12/1954 lead to questions being asked in the House of Commons about its shocking content; one woman had apparently died watching it. This controversery was diluted once The Duke of Edinburgh announced that he and the Queen had seen it and 'thoroughly enjoyed' it. Peter Cushing (Winston Smith), Yvonne Mitchell (Julia), André Morell (O'Brien) and their fellow cast members acted it all out again live for its repeat four days later, to critical acclaim and the highest ratings since the Coronation. Taking up two whole TV studios, a full-size orchestra performing the incidental music live on cue and making imaginative use of pre-filmed inserts, this play transformed the face of British TV drama.