‘Who is Sir Curtis Seretse?’: A Re evaluation of Black Representation in Sixties British Television

  • Michael Ahmed Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier 3, France

Abstract

This paper re-evaluates the significance of Sir Curtis Seretse, a black character from the 1960s television series Department S (ITV 1969-70) which has largely been ignored. While earlier critical and academic discourse of Department S has primarily centred on the flamboyant Jason King, the importance of Seretse’s character has been overlooked. Seretse, as the head of Department S, is in a position of authority and power over the other (white) characters of the show. Furthermore, he represents a highly educated character that converses on equal terms with Prime Ministers and Presidents, a unique representation of a black character on British television at that time. Seretse’s appearance on prime time television, at a period when black performers in the media were invariably confined to little more than token characters, is therefore worthy of further attention. This paper examines how Seretse represents a different type of black character not previously seen on British television, when compared to the representations of racial problems on other television crime dramas.

Published
September 21, 2014
How to Cite
Ahmed, M. (2014, September 21). ‘Who is Sir Curtis Seretse?’: A Re evaluation of Black Representation in Sixties British Television. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 7(3). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.31165/nk.2014.73.346