There is a media consolidation bonanza under way, with no let-up in sight. The boom is sucking in big legacy media companies, including Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros and MGM, as well as broadcasters, production companies and global tech platforms. With its world-class creative talent, the UK is not immune, and the rush by companies to scale up and secure access to premium content is happening worldwide.
32-year-old Frank Marron (Brian Gleeson) is single, unemployed and still lives at home with his mother Mary (Pom Boyd) in Dublin. A misanthropic and narcissistic fantasist, he claims to be a musician despite neither writing nor performing in over seven years.
It’s also been over seven years since Frank split with his ex-girlfriend Aine (Sarah Greene), and yet he’s struggling to come to terms with her new relationship with Peter-Brian (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor).
Dr Death follows the true story of sociopath and former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, who’s gross malpractice resulted in the deaths and severe maiming of numerous patients.
Dornan will star as the twisted doctor during his rise in the Dallas medical community, as Duntsch enjoys the booming success of his neurosurgery practice.
This success soon changes as patients who enter for complex but routine surgeries are left severely maimed or deceased.
It seems only a few short years ago that the BBC and ITV were thought of as the titans of British media. But all of us in the UK’s traditional media solar system are getting smaller and smaller in the Apple, Amazon and Netflix universe.” Thus said Lord Hall, Director-General of the BBC, in March, as he unveiled the corporation’s plans for its new financial year.
“We need to find new ways to adapt to the changing needs of our audiences, and we need to be able to do it in real time to keep pace with our global competitors,” he continued.
As TV producers, we’re facing more global competition than ever before. Whenever they wish, viewers can watch one of many programmes from around the world on Netflix or Amazon, rather than one of our shows. Or they can stream or download dozens of feature films available via their TV sets.
I genuinely believe that the best response to this difficult situation is to embrace the creativity of the whole country, and not just rely on Londonbased programme-makers.
Smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home accelerated their prodigious rate of adoption in the UK in the last quarter of 2018. Forecasts suggest that they will shortly be in a fifth of British homes.
But this trend of rising adoption could soon hit a wall. Surveys suggest that the majority of Britons fear that their privacy may be compromised if they invite voice-activated speakers into their homes.
The announcement follows the launch of BBC Kids skill on Amazon Echo devices earlier this year.
By simply saying “Open CBeebies”, parents and children are able access a selection of bedtime stories with a variety of adventures to enjoy.
Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…
Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)
Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)
Fear (“We’re doomed”)
Panic (“I just need to do something”)
Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)
Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)
British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.
Sometimes, a single show can change the way a broadcaster or a platform is perceived. For the US streaming service Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale – based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel – has been one such show.
The 10-part series was made for Hulu by MGM Television (Hulu does not have in-house production capabilities) and quickly became water-cooler viewing on both sides of the Atlantic. It went on to win multiple awards, including a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series and a brace of Golden Globes.