Scene: James Is Our Brother

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started20th Feb 1975
last rpt19th Jun 1987
13 school years
duration20 mins & 30 mins
subject ⚖️Citizenship
age rangeAge 13-16
languageenIn English
Scene James Is Our Brother title.jpg
SceneHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: To Stand and Stare Next unit: Because I Say So HierarchyNext.gif
Scene documentariesHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious documentary: To Stand and Stare Next documentary: The Hospital HierarchyNext.gif

James Is Our Brother is an episode of the BBC schools TV series Scene from the 1970s and 1980s, covering citizenship for secondary school pupils.

Documentary following James Thompson, a teenager with Down's Syndrome, as he attempts to adopt to independent life, and how his family supports him.

The programme originally ran for 20 minutes and was shown several times in the 1970s. A further special repeat was organised in spring 1981 to mark the International Year for the Disabled, including an additional 10-minute interview catching up with James in 1980 in which he shows the bronze medal that he won at the 1980 Paralympic Games. The new version proved very popular and was repeated for a further six years, making this by far the most enduring, and most-repeated ever episode of Scene.


  • Spring 1975
  • Autumn 1976
  • Spring 1977
  • Summer 1979
  • Spring 1981
  • Summer 1983
  • Summer 1987

Also broadcast for a general audience, in the evening on BBC2 in July 1981.



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