YSTV Drama

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Unlike other genres, Drama has never leant itself to regular programme productions, but a large number of one-off productions have either been filmed or produced specially for Television. At other points however drama has been seen as too much effort for too little return, or just not as interesting as producing fast-turnaround productions. Also, traditionally YSTV has held little in the way of proper location filming equipment, with most productions being made in the studio (unlike most recent television drama).

The station's second director, Michael Jeans-Jakobsson was also heavily involved with the Arts Centre in York, so YSTV filmed their productions of both King Lear (which transferred to the Oval House Theatre in London) and The Ancient Mariner which won the University Drama Competition at UMIST, adjudicated by Howard Hobson, the Times drama critic.

The story from here on is not very clear, but by the 1990s there was once again a surge of interest in drama. Owain Davies came up with a two camera cable system for filming productions in Central Hall with reduced effort. This was followed by a string of dramas produced for TV by first Graham Quince and then Helen Rix. There was also 2000's Lolita and Vanbrugh Paradise, both well-made fully-fledged productions, but according to those taking part ones that took a long time to make the journey from script to the finished product.

In the early 2000's Nik Morris filmed a number of Drama Soc productions using YSTV equipment for the benefit of those taking part, but these were never aired on the station in full, and drama was never a big part of YSTV apart from the single episode of Whose YSTV is it Anyway. However clips from these productions frequently found their way into drama barn round-ups on the second incarnation of The Review. The existence of the separate Drama and Film Making Societies on campus by this point tended to filter off people with a strong drama focus to those directions, and the large amount of production and post-production needed for drama fitted badly with a live-TV based station output.

This caused a steady decline in the interest in producing dramatic material for YSTV. Various One-offs were produced, notably Learning Curves, but most were short experiments that never followed through to greater things.

And then Checkmate changed everything.