By JOAN NEWTON
RADIO AND TV. In the days before Independent Television had really got going and before Pope Pius XII had written his encyclical Miranda Prorsus about the cinema. sound broadcasting and television, the Radio Centre had been started at Hatch End.
This is a place where Catholics connected with broadcasting can meet and exchange ideas and also where Catholic broadcasters, lay and clergy, can be helped to understand the implications of talking to thousands or even millions of listeners at a time.
It is now most interesting that A.B.C. Television have taken up the idea for all denominations and that they will be sponsoring courses in television technique for religious broadcasters. Catholics have reason to be proud here, that they were first in the field. The results are visible week by week when we watch and listen to the great variety of religious programmes on the air. We no longer hear the simple broadcast of Mass or Benediction, which are often quite meaningless to the many listeners outside the Church.
_AST Sunday evening, on the Home, for example, we heard a meditation on dying. If we had not known in advance that it came from the Catholic section of the B.B.C. religious department, we would have just listened to it as a
Christian broadcast. Needless to say it was beautiful radio beautifully produced and should have laid a few ghosts about death. This subject is one so rarely touched on by the B.B.C. that this particular programme was a triumph in every sense.
Then over a week ago, I.T.V. and Fr. Michael Hollings took us
to St. David's Home, Ealing, for a short service in one of the wards. This was a homely and informal service with a nice cuppa tea for everyone afterwards and the Sistcrs of Charity looking their good practical selves just as they do to very many non-Catholics all over England.
I DON'T know what it is but the ▪ Television. lately, has palled
very much on most days. In that irritating manner, however, there have been occasions when the only interesting programmes on either side have clashed.
This happened last Wednesday when the B.B.C. had "Sportsview", unmissible in the house. and a fascinating programme on spaceships and rockets to follow.
Associated-Rediffusion, on the other channel, were showing us David Boisseu's presentation of
"The Enchanted April" by Elizabeth (of the German Garden). "The Enchanted April" won over the Rockets because Elizabeth has always been a great favourite, though I must confess, that I think this book of hers is by no means her most delightful.
It is a shame, too, that this was yet another play that has been heard on radio and seen on the cinema within the last few years.
All the same the costumes and much of the acting were delightful, though Delena Kidd seemed miscast as the spoilt Lady Caroline. It was a happy coincidence, too, that this play was produced just as the latest life of "Elizabeth " appeared in print.
pRIDAY, too, was a day for sac
rifices and very reluctantly, we had to forgo Hugh Ross Williamson's "Various Heavens" in order to see the whole of the second episode of Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend". It is extraordinary how well the B.B.C. render Dickens and how difficult for the critic to find many faults in this direction. Other classics have not been so well transferred to the little screen.
Children's television are running a version, on Sundays, of Rafael Sabatini's "The Lost King", which is all about the little Dauphin and the French Revolution.
This story seems to leg and I have been able, quite easily, to tear myself away from the screen in order to get tea. The same, too, for Patricia Lynch's 'The Mad O'Hara's". I have heard so Much about the enchantments this author has to offer in the way of magic and mystery that I am finding this story bafflingly dull.
I wish we had more magic on the children's television. Their programmes are all so very downto-earth and do-it-yoursellish all the time that they are quite depressing to watch most days.