The Body in Question (1978)

Concept and creative process

The Jonathan Miller series ‘The Body in Question’ was a kind of philosophical mystery tour of the human body, combining anatomy, psychology, philosophy and anthropology into an intriguing 13-part one-hour series. The brief for the title sequence was to find an engaging way to suggest the often hidden aspects of the human body that were brought into sharp relief by this medical science series. The inspiration for the sequence was a performance by Martha Graham that Charles McGhie had recently seen on stage, in which she moved inside a bag. Extrapolating from the idea of that dance performance, he stretched a sheet of white latex rubber taut over various parts of the human body in motion and filmed the result. This created the interest and intrigue in a semi-abstract sequence of live action shots, culminating in the whole human body being revealed as the background to the series title.