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November air date for Wonderland Gothic on Sky Arts


November air date for Wonderland Gothic on Sky Arts

The fascinating Wonderland factual TV series returns to Sky Arts this month with, Wonderland Gothic.

The four-part series explores the phenomenon of “Gothic” and its themes of darkness, emotion, romance, mystery, and menace, and is filled with illustrations from literature, film, art, architecture, and performance.

Wonderland Gothic examines this highly visualised and persistent voice of a counterculture which has resisted and questioned rationality and authority. Represented by works as diverse as Dracula, Wuthering Heights, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Night of the Living Dead, Get Out and the extraordinary paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, Gothic has achieved mass popularity from its inception and feels as modern now as it did at its creation 250 years ago.  The legacies of slavery and colonialism haunt the Gothic and the worlds it portrays – the colonizer and the colonized, not least in the historic form of Imperial Gothic and the new emerging forms of Black Gothic.

The new four-part documentary series, Wonderland Gothic, combines biography, literary extracts, and interviews with leading academics and film director Tim Burton, together with excerpts from the many books and films made of Gothic work to explore what was behind these well-known Gothic stories.

In the first episode the series starts with the general characteristics of Gothic and the privileged racial position of the white race. It explores eighteenth-century Gothic which had its roots in a backlash against conformity from wealthy gay or bisexual young men including Horace Walpole, William Beckford, Matthew Lewis, with their renewed interest in both the medieval and in new forms of Gothic architecture.

It continues by looking at the influence and continuing traditions of the ‘Female Gothic’ notably Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Mary Shelley’s remarkable prescience and insight in creating Frankenstein is illustrated together with details of her biography and her interest in the conflicts between nature and nurture.

Illustration follows from the work of the three Bronte sisters, the extraordinary character of Heathcliff, the radicalism of Anne Bronte and the life of Rebecca du Maurier and the powerful depiction of Rebecca on film by Alfred Hitchcock. The episode concludes with the interest of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in spiritualism and the Gothic world of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Wonderland Gothic, Sky Arts, 9pm on 21st November

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