by Chara Kitsaki
An idiosyncratic yet intelligent detective and his dedicated sidekick. A lonely yet enigmatic night manager and a corrupt British gentleman. The Queen of England, Churchill and the experience that is being a member of the British Royal Family. A time traveller, police officers and midwives. Fiction, history, myth and reality, actors, directors, viewers and fans. There is only one place in London where the boundaries between all the above blend and become one. There is only one place where the line between what is real and what is not seizes to matter. A place where creativity and imagination take the lead. A place where we can let ourselves become immersed in make-believe worlds and take a peak at the people who made everything possible.
The BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2017….
It came and it passed. The annual BFI & Radio Times Television Festival brought to the city of London the most sought after names, revealed the secrets of the most viewed series of the year and made fans of different cultural backgrounds and ages squeal with indefinite joy. As a big fan of television, screenplay writing and cinema myself, I could not help but run to the box office and book my tickets in advance. Luckily, I was able to secure seats for what I perceived where two of the most worthy panels of the festival. It was indeed my joy to listen to a panel about the Netflix show ‘The Crown’ and the BBC hit ‘The Night Manager’.
In the words of the BFI hosts, we are living in the golden era of television. A time where with the single press of a button we unlock endless possibilities. Hollywood stars take their chances in the small screen and creative talents are writing, editing and directing works that have now become not only renowned across the world but also, admired and loved. Shows such as The Crown, The Night Manager, Doctor Who and Sherlock have kept audiences across the globe on the edge of their seats, have made thousands of people fall in love with Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Peter Capaldi and have us wishing for more. These shows have managed to immerse their audiences from 21st century London, to Majorca, to Morocco to 1950’s Great Britain and proved to us all, that the most common lie is definitely ‘I’ll just watch one episode.’
Whether it is a Netflix subscription or a BBC night in, people from different corners of the world have moved a step closer to the magic that is television. Yes, it is definitely a passive way of entertainment and yes, as a literature student, i’ll be the first to insist that books can in no way be compared with the way television and media spoon-feed your brain and mute your imagination. However, as rare as it is in our days, productions arise that truly prove that there are exceptions to every rule. Two of these for the past year proved to be ‘The Crown’ and ‘The Night Manager’. Albeit different in nature and plot, both shows share moving stories, remarkable cinematography, inspired directing and talented casting. One inspired by the true experiences of the Queen Elizabeth II and the other an adaptation of John le Carré’s espionage novel, both The Crown and The Night Manager are truly worth binging!