Doubtless, you can think of exceptions to this general rule, but the rule still holds, and explains why contemporary American dramatists outshine their British rivals. There is a schoolmasterly didacticism about British television, and much of British theatre. Writers or their commissioning editors believe that the first priority is to repeat approved pieties or deliver the required moral uplift rather than provide convincing contemporary narratives.
The great Adrian Lester, who played Henry V and Hamlet on stage without the audience storming out in protest, once complained about writers of soap operas who wrote characters as "blacks" rather than individuals. "As soon as anybody ceases to see you as an individual, it's problematic," he said. "They stop seeing you as you."
His cry brought Russell's argument up to date. The point about ending prejudice is not to inject wholesomeness into the previously prejudiced mainstream by admitting allegedly virtuous outsiders, but to stop treating people as blocs by allowing women, gays and ethnic minorities to be like the rest of compromised humanity: corrupt or honest, shifty or straight, left wing or right wing according to the dictates of their characters.
British television is now an obstacle in the way of this modest advance. The wonder is that so many who work for it feel so good about themselves as they build barricades across the road to a better country.