The Body in Question

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The Body in Question
Created byJonathan Miller
Written byJonathan Miller
Presented byJonathan Miller
StarringJonathan Miller =
Composer(s)Peter Howell "The Greenwich Chorus" (BBC Radiophonic Workshop)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producer(s)Karl Sabbagh
Producer(s)Patrick Uden
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)ABC (Aus.), BBC, CBC, OECA, KCET-TV
Original networkBBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC Television, KCET-TV (PBS), OECA
Picture format4:3
Original release6 November 1978 –
26 May 1979

The Body in Question is a British-based, internationally co-produced medical television series first aired in the UK in November 1978.


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 examination or autopsy).

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.[1]


The series was primarily produced by the BBC, with international co-production support from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC Television, Ontario Educational Communications Authority, and KCET-TV.


This hour-long series was first aired by the BBC on 6 November 1978. It was first broadcast in Canada on CBC Television Mondays at 11:45 p.m. (Eastern time) from 26 February to 28 May 1979. It was rebroadcast on CBC in mid-1981 (3 June to 2 September).


  1. Naming of Parts
  2. Try a Little Tenderness
  3. How Do You Feel?
  4. Breathless
  5. Blood Relations
  6. Heart of the Matter
  7. Shaping the Future
  8. Sleight of Hand
  9. Native Medicine
  10. Balancing Act
  11. Brute Machine
  12. Heads and Tails
  13. Perishable Goods

Production team[edit]

This list is extracted from the ending credits of all the shows:

  • Lighting Cameraman: Ken Lowe
  • Rostrum Camera: Ivor Richardson
  • Camera Operator: Tony Mayne
  • Sound Recordists: Martyn Clift, Barrie Tharby
  • Dubbing Mixer: Stan Morcom
  • Film Editor: Simon Hammond, Pauline Dykes
  • Music: Peter Howell (BBC Radiophonic Workshop)
  • Research: Jon Palfreman, Jane Callandar
  • Graphic Design: Charles McGhie, Barbra Flinder
  • Design: Colin Lowrey
  • Production Assistant: Fisher Dilke, John Palfreman
  • Production Team: Mary Phelps, Pamela Smith, Avril Stewart
  • Assistant Producer: Jonathan Crane
  • Executive Producer: Karl Sabbagh
  • Producer: Patrick Uden


External links[edit]

  • Allan, Blaine (1996). "The Body in Question". Queen's University. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  • "People Magazine 26 March 1979: Jonathan Miller's 'Body in Question' Contains a Man of Many Talented Parts". People Magazine. 1979.
  • The Body in Question on IMDb