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"... And the BBC Created Hammer": Examining the Interdependence of Public Service Broadcaster and Exploitation Film-maker
The connection between the BBC and the Hammer film company is not often commented on beyond the passing association with each of the films which Hammer adapted individually from BBC properties. Yet the number of such properties as a whole and the importance of their position within the development of Hammer as a company has received less attention. This paper will investigate the way that Hammer's films based on BBC radio properties helped the company to establish itself as a successful British exploitation film-maker, while the adaptations of the Quatermass television serials led to the establishment of the Hammer identity as a British horror film producer. The paper will also examine the BBC attitude towards Hammer, as revealed through files at the BBC Written Archives Centre, which expose some of the tensions of the differing corporate identities. However, this paper will argue that it was these very tensions which were at the heart of the success of these properties in both media, and that the differing approaches to the material taken by the BBC and Hammer are suggestive of differing aspects of British post-War cultural identity.