The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Screen Daze: Television and The Internet


Written By: Liam Walters

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for one of my Modules, named ‘Television Vs The Internet’. As the title would suggest, I discussed which was the better medium; television, or the internet. The answer that I came up with was along the lines of: In all, the internet is better, due to offering more services, such as social interaction, information gathering, as well as being able to use it to watch some television programs on.

I made a point, however, for the purpose of broadcasting television shows (which was the focus of the argument), then the television would win, due to giving you a much wider range of choice and freedom in what you watch, whilst the internet gives you a much smaller and more limited selection.

Although one would argue that if you were to search long enough, you could probably find what ever program you wanted, although since these are through illegal means, it could not really go towards one answer or the other (The fact that you can do something illegally on one does not make it better).

More importantly, however, I addressed a certain issue that the television and the internet are starting to overlap each other. Instead of one winning over the other, the much more likely outcome will be a conversion of the two into one medium. We have already started to see the beginning of this, with people using televisions as monitors, and using picture in picture, so they can surf the web and watch TV at the same time.  We can also see the move with some television shows, though I will focus on two BBC shows in particular. ‘Being Human’ and ‘Doctor Who’.

So I talked about the first two series of Being Human in the last edition of Screen Daze, also taking a brief look of the first couple episodes of series 3. The next edition of the paper will include a review of the series (which at the time of release for this paper, will only have its last episode to air). But, I wont be going into the Series 3 for now… Well, I will be a little, as you will read.

Episode 2 of Series 3 introduced a character named Adam, a 40something year old vampire, who due to the age of when he was turned, looks like a 16 year old. The character was both introduced in the start of the series, and then had left before the episode ended. But that wasn’t his last appearance… No, he went on to star in a Spin Off webseries named Becoming Human (also written by Toby Whithouse).

Becoming Human follows a Vampire, a Werewolf and a Ghost. Now you would be forgiven for having Déjà vu  from this concept, although some changes have been made, such as the setting is in a school, and as such, the 3 main character are all (or at least 2 of them) 16, whilst the other just looks 16.  As this isn’t a review of the webseries (which will probably be added in with the main series review) I’ll leave that there.

The point is that the main show had created spin off material for exclusive web usage. This isn’t the first time in the series’ history as well, as during the lead up to series 3, you could view short video named ‘Annie Broadcasts’.

Doctor Who, in its 6th series (under executive producer Steven Moffat), provided us with another example of web exclusive spin off media, as it released ‘Doctor Who: The Adventure Games’. These games (4 to date) loosely tie into the story of the 11th Doctor, although as with most spin off material, are not considered canon.

With more and more shows creating material for the web, the two mediums are slowly building a bridge between one another. In enough time, that bridge will attach the two permanently, with the television and the internet living side by side as one medium. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Will it result in the death of television? How will it effect programming and spin off media? Well, only time will be able to tell us the answer to those questions.

I guess we just sit back… And watch.

If the Internet and Television were to combine, what would it be called. Intervision? Televisualnet? If you have any idea’s, post them in the comments section below, along with any other thoughts you may have on the subject.

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