The Body in Question is a British-based, internationally co-produced medical television series first aired in the UK in November 1978.可參考You Tube
This is a 13-part series (1 hour episodes) on all aspects of medicine and health science, written and presented by Dr Jonathan Miller.
Miller considers the functioning of the body as a subject of private experience. He explores our attitudes towards our bodies, our ignorance of them, and our inability to read our body's signals. The first episode starts with vox populi asking where various organs in the body are located. By the final episode we are left in no doubt, as the show became the first in television history to depict the dissection of a human cadaver (i.e. post-mortem orautopsy).
Taking as his starting point the experience of pain, Dr. Miller analyses the elaborate social process of "falling ill", considers the physical foundations of "disease" and looks at the types of individuals humankind has historically attributed with the power of healing. The series was nominated for two 1979 BAFTAs: Best Factual Television Series and Most Original Programme/Series.
The miller’s tale
A British director and his many talents
Dec 15th 2012 | from the print edition
SIR JONATHAN MILLER is a remarkable man. As one of the great egocentrics of his generation, he would not question this judgment. A famous performer in “Beyond the Fringe”, where the British satire boom began, he became a theatre, opera and television director capable of memorable productions. He is also a qualified neurologist. Kate Bassett says hers is the portrait of a contradictory man who still feels guilt about abandoning medicine. More contradictions recur throughout his 78 years. Sir Peter Hall, with whom Sir Jonathan (there are a lot of knights in British theatre) fell out when they worked together at the National Theatre, calls him a genius and a fool. He certainly has a genius for vituperation, dismissing Sir Peter as “a vulgar mediocrity”. A critic of immense hauteur, he enjoys dishing it out, but is acutely sensitive to any whiff of criticism.
Ms Bassett, the theatre critic of the Independent on Sunday, lingers over Sir Jonathan’s upbringing. His father was a distinguished child psychologist who alienated his own son. As a boy Sir Jonathan was a noisy attention-seeker; at school he was a talkative and entertaining wit; as a Cambridge undergraduate he liked to turn heads by walking barefoot through the streets carrying a large marrow. He performed with the Footlights and was admitted to the intellectual elite known as the Apostles. By the time he qualified as a doctor in 1959, he was already married. A contemporary remarks that Rachel, his wife, was the only person who could turn him from a loony genius into a functional human being.
“Beyond the Fringe” led Sir Jonathan away from medicine to his first work as a stage director at the Royal Court and the editorship of Monitor, then the BBC’s main arts programme. His version of “Alice in Wonderland” for television was a brilliant success. He directed Laurence Olivier as Shylock and developed a style of direction, liked by many but not all actors, that consisted of telling jokes, having roundabout chats and scoffing at authority. When Sir Peter succeeded Lord Olivier as head of the National Theatre, he promoted Sir Jonathan; but they fell out after his work was heavily criticised. The story of their feud is told with admirable detachment by Ms Bassett, who found evidence in the National Theatre’s archive that when they were running the National, Lord Olivier and his sidekick, Kenneth Tynan, also had doubts about Sir Jonathan’s ability as a director.
But he was never short of work: three Lears and three Hamlets by the age of 50. Then he turned his talent to the opera, especially at the English National Opera. He specialised in updating sturdy favourites such as Verdi’s “Rigoletto”. Sir Mark Elder, who conducted it, says the productions work because they combine the eccentric and the traditional, and “Rigoletto” is still in the repertory 30 years later. But Sir Jonathan eventually fell out with the ENO; he ran the Old Vic for a couple of years, but tired of that too. He regularly expressed in public his profound disenchantment with England and its arts critics, and became a favourite of opera houses in Florence and Zurich. When his ego clashed with that of a fiery Italian soprano, Cecilia Bartoli, however, the Metropolitan Opera chose to stick with her.
Ms Bassett’s first-class authorised biography does not mask Sir Jonathan’s weaknesses, but she says that, “in conversation, his flaws seem more tragicomic than intolerable—the bile and bitterness never quite obliterate the man’s warmth.” And she demonstrates, too, that he has done enough excellent work to be forgiven his failures.