Mark Thompson's legacy
Although the Director General is not a programme maker, he must have an influence on the type and tenor of programmes that are broadcast. The BBC has received some stick in the past week following the coverage of the jubilee river pageant, which may be symptomatic of the BBC management's thinking. But rather than criticise, what do you think is a programme or series that sums up the good side of Mark Thompson's eight year tenure as DG?
To start the ball rolling, I'll nominate The History of the World in 100 Objects (R4). A programme with the scope, authority and ambition to match those great series on BBC 2, Civilization and The Ascent of Man. Not only did it trust the programme to be written and presented by an expert rather than a media personality, but it was augmented by excellent on-line material where the objects could be viewed.
Some of the Adam Curtis documentary series, perhaps (though I think The Power of Nightmares was probably commissioned during the time of MT's predecessor)?
There have been a few good arts documentaries on BBC4 but all in all MT has presided over a period of real decline in the quality of programming, especially on TV.
Radio: I second the 100 Objects project.
Television: BBC4 and Doctor Who - although it is arguable that both these are (remarkably successful) "revamps" of 1960s BBC projects.
The 100 Objects programme showed that there are still some in the BBC who have both ability and artistic integrity - a great sequence that truely deserved all the praise lauded on it - R3 should have been in the possition to have an extended length program covering the topic (or a selection thereof) running in parallel which could investigate in greater detail without the what is now felt to be necessary 'dumbing down' (eg at level of a final year ug seminar in assuming some background) instead R3 has a generally low level discussion of too many topics in the 4 weekly slots with some presenters who seem barely to tolerate their guests for getting a few words in (esp in the case of one if they dare suggest that right wing capitalism might have some imperfections)
True right across BBC's broadcasting, vz this morning's Sunday Live on BBC1, in which the one contributer to the discussion who had anything thought through to say - the young author of a book on the chav phenomenon - was continually cut off mid-sentance... but the number of instances of this being so numerous makes it a considerable job for anyone trying to keep up. The Glasgow Media Group had a good stab at it back in the 1980s. In any case they trounce opinions sometimes expressed here of left-wing bias.
Originally Posted by Frances_iom
The BBC hasn't done too badly even though Mark Thompson has allegedly been in charge. Some might say he has been ludicrously over-expensive, complacent to the point of breath taking and the absolute epitome of aloofness cushioned in an ivory tower.