Children’s maritime television in Britain: Environment, representation and identity

Fryers, Mark (2022). Children’s maritime television in Britain: Environment, representation and identity. In: Olson, Debbie and Schober, Adrian eds. Children, Youth and International Television. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 91–110.



As an island nation, with so much of its success, safety, and prosperity linked to the sea, Britain has long held a cultural fascination with the maritime sphere. Since its inception, television in Britain aimed at children has continued this tradition. This chapter will explore the manner in which children’s television, with its inherent connotations of education and cognitive stimuli, has represented the marine environment to young audiences in the formative stages of their development and also as citizens of a particular nation state with its own specific cultural, historical, military, and economic relationship with the sea. It will focus on the case study of Old Jack’s Boat as a conduit through which to analyse the construction and dissemination of the natural environment in children’s TV. Through analysis of this persistent strain of maritime television in the history of British children’s televisual programming, this chapter will address larger questions of how children’s television works to construct juvenile and adolescent conceptions of these environments and, concomitantly, their positioning as national citizens.

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