Dramatising intelligence history on the BBC : the Camp 020 affair

Murphy, CJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5056-7879 2019, 'Dramatising intelligence history on the BBC : the Camp 020 affair' , Intelligence and National Security, 34 (5) , pp. 668-702.

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While there is a considerable literature that considers post-1945 British intelligence historiography, little attention has been given to non-print media, such as factual depictions of intelligence affairs broadcast on television or radio. Using previously closed material from the British Broadcasting Corporation’s written archives, this article explores how factual intelligence and security issues were represented by the BBC as the 1970s drew to a close, through an examination of the Spy! television series, which approached episodes of recent intelligence history in a drama-documentary format. The second episode of the series, seen by millions of viewers, proved controversial owing to its depiction of a physical assault during interrogation at an MI5 facility, Camp 020, during the Second World War. The article explores the fallout from this episode, as numerous Camp 020 veterans made great efforts to point out that such physical violence had never taken place. For the most part, this struggle was played out in private correspondence with the BBC, while the general public was left with little reason to question what had been shown, thereby allowing the association of wartime British intelligence with physical abuse to go unchallenged.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Intelligence and National Security
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0268-4527
Related URLs:
Depositing User: CJ Murphy
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2019 12:43
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 01:16
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/50417

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