In the earliest days of television, the BBC used to look to the theatre for most of its drama productions.
As time went on television began to create its own series, serials and one off plays, written specifically for the television medium. In recent times soap operas have become the preferred way that the largest number of viewers watch drama on television.
However this Sunday evening at half past eight on BBC1, viewers will get an opportunity of watching a new version of what was originally a stage play. First performed here in 1946, it was written by J.B. Priestley. A film adaptation followed in 1954 with Alastair Sim in the main role.
The BBC made a television version in 1982 with Bernard Hepton playing the Inspector. Television drama for the most part in modern times – with the exception of most of the soaps – looks more like a film than a theatre production these days, as does this new version of An Inspector Calls.
While some viewers might question whether we need yet another version of this work, it has to be said that some of the themes explored in the play are still relevant to-day. The Birling family are celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft.
However the festivities are interrupted by the arrival of the mysterious Inspector who tells them that a woman called Eva Smith has sadly taken her own life. However she left behind a diary with some of their names in it. As the tale unfolds it seems as if some of the people there might have had something to do with her death.
This new version of the play was adapted by Helen Edmundson and stars David Thewlis, Miranda Richardson, Ken Stott, Chloe Pirrie, Kyle Soller, and Finn Cole.