Research Output
Raploch Stories: continuity and innovation for television documentary production
  This thesis provides an ‘insider account’ of the process of making contemporary ‘observational’ documentaries from within the broadcasting industry. Raploch Stories (2002) and Raploch Stories Revisited (2007) are seven television documentary programmes written, produced and directed by me for BBC Scotland. This critical appraisal examines the pathway from the formulation of the creative idea, through project research and development, filming, post-production, delivery and transmission, in order to assess and demonstrate the originality of these published works. This is supported by a reflexive commentary which examines the influence of the wider ‘community of practice’ on my development as a film-maker. The study identifies ways in which these films demonstrate innovation and progress in technology and production methods, and examines the development of new hybrid forms of programming in the television documentary genre. These new developments are placed in the context of the history of the documentary film, and the on-going academic debate about the definition of the genre and the question of whether it is possible to achieve an authentic record of real life. By comparing Raploch Stories with other examples of social documentary film-making, such as Housing Problems (1935), Lilybank (1977), Wester Hailes – the Huts (1985) and The Scheme (2010), the thesis analyses how films in this sub-genre have evolved and assesses the ways in which there has been continuity in content and in the approach to filming. Finally, the thesis seeks to establish the significance of the published works and to demonstrate how these programmes contribute to the development of documentary television production in Scotland, and to the representation of Scottish working-class communities by the media. Through the reflexive examination of creativity, practice, production, textual interpretation, cultural impact, institutional history, and policy and regulation, the thesis provides a critical perspective on these overlapping areas of knowledge.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 October 2013

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform


Scott, A. J. Raploch Stories: continuity and innovation for television documentary production. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Raploch; contemporary documentaries; project research; film-making; production methods; technology; documentary film; social documentary;

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