2016 Winner - BAFTSS (British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies) Best BookWhat makes British television crime drama so perennially popular, both in the UK and internationally? What are the attractions and pleasures of these shows? How are detectives positioned in relation to viewers' national and collective experience of the 'everyday'? This book addresses these questions, examining the trends evident in a range of series - including A Touch of Frost, Lewis, Cracker, Life on Mars and the more recent Luther - in the context of their broader social meaning. Helen Piper develops a compelling argument regarding the cultural relevance of some of the more popular and powerful television detectives, claiming that theirs is a privileged role as the licensed voices of dissent. The discontented TV detective, she suggests, may serve to express a broader sense of cultural malaise.
Helen Piper is Senior Lecturer in Television Studies, based in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Bristol where she has been teaching into a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for over a decade. She is also responsible for numerous published journal articles on popular television drama and other genres. Previously, Helen Piper worked as a theatrical agent and held a number of senior management positions at BBC Worldwide and for the Entertainment Group at BBC Television.