The 1980s British Conspiracy Thriller
Terror Struck by Shadows
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In this book, Paul Lynch explores the genre of the British conspiracy thriller, a confrontational and dark response to what novelists and filmmakers perceived as an increasingly Orwellian secret state in the political landscape of the time. Through analyses of a variety of film and television productions, Lynch examines the ways in which they were influenced by their Hollywood and European counterparts and the work of John le Carré, conveying the real-world practices of the British intelligence services that served as inspiration and evaluating the genre’s effectiveness in providing meaningful political commentary to mainstream audiences. Lynch draws on extensive interviews with novelists, film producers, screenwriters, and directors to form the basis of detailed and original case studies about films such as Defence of the Realm (1986), The Whistle Blower (1986), and The Fourth Protocol (1987). In addition to these case studies, Lynch also includes declassified intelligence material and interviews with former members of the intelligence community to reveal the extent to which popular television and cinema accurately reflected the inner workings of the security services at that time. Scholars of film studies, cultural history, political science, and adaptation studies will find this book of particular interest.
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