27 February 2014 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

John Mortimer's socialist riposte to Thatcherism is beautifully acted and simply oozes nostalgia for a bygone Britain

Paradise Postponed was part of the wave of heritage drama that engulfed Britain during the Thatcher years. John Mortimer had recently adapted Brideshead Revisited and now threw himself into this panoramic history of postwar Britain, anchoring it in the goings-on in the fictional home counties village of Rapstone Fanner, and placing two mysteries at its core: why did leftie vicar Simeon Simcox leave his brewery millions to wealthy local Tory MP Leslie Titmuss, and why doesn't his wife seem to mind? "I was never all that concerned about the New Jerusalem," murmurs Mrs Simcox, played by Annette Crosbie long before One Foot in the Grave. "I suppose I've always had far too much to do in the garden."

The plot flashes forward and back over 40 years, taking in the postwar Labour government, »

- Toby Manning

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