This research theme is concerned both to evaluate the impact of the original BBC series and to consider how a similar project might be conceived and produced today.

It will ask what can be learned from the success of and reaction to the original Sea of Faith BBC TV series, first aired in September-October 1984 and what assumptions lay behind the planning and production of the series. It will explore what audience responses to the series might tell us about changing patterns of religious belief, understanding and affiliation.

It will compare the production values and presuppositions behind The Sea of Faith with other possible approaches to ‘religion and philosophy on TV’, before and since.

It will examine what the series tells us about the role of public service broadcasting in exploring philosophical, moral and religious issues for a popular audience, and how academics and media professionals might collaborate today to produce material appropriate for contemporary audiences in a cultural climate very different to that of the 1980s.

All six episodes of the original BBC TV series are available on YouTube: