Derek Johnston deposited Hybrid Time in ‘The Living and the Dead’ – IGA August 2018 in the group Television Studies on Humanities Commons 9 months, 2 weeks ago
The ghost story typically presents an interaction of the past with the present, often in the form of ‘stone tape’ type repeats of an event from the past. The 2016 BBC series The Living and the Dead went beyond this to show the merging of multiple time streams, so people made choices in the ‘present’ because of influences from past and future, and past, present and future interacted, affecting each other. This breaking down of linear time breaks down concepts of rational cause and effect. Simultaneously it emphasises interconnectedness across time, the way that decisions made in the past influence the present, and the way that choices made in the present will influence the future. The series emphasises this temporal hybridity within its narrative, showing traditional life encountering modernisation and the modern finding the value of the traditional, but also making use of familiar imagery and narrative tropes from period dramas to remind the viewer of other texts. By collapsing time in this way, at a time of choices over the future of Britain in Europe, and over the future of the environment, this haunted pastorale interrogated the ways that decisions made now are tied up with our (mis)understanding of causes and consequences, and our fears of what went wrong in the past, and what may happen in the future.