Great Britain, 1990. The population is now governed by an increasingly corrupt bureaucracy headed by the Home Secretary and backed by the tyrannical Public Control Department (PCD), who have done away with the rights of the individual and maintain control through ID cards, rationing, censorship and electronic/audio/physical surveillance. Free speech is forbidden. The rule of law no longer protects the weak and defenseless. Emigration is impossible. But escape is not, thanks to rebels like Jim Kyle (Edward Woodward), a journalist and secret dissident who battles the forces of the Establishment, but constantly faces imprisonment or death (or worse) at the hands of the PCD and its ruthless controller Herbert Skardon. Written by
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series when it first graced our screens in the late 1970's. However, it seems that it is not well known, as many people I talk to who were around in those days, claim not to have heard of it. It's a pity it only lasted for 16 episodes - I would love to watch them all again, perhaps if and when they are put out on DVD.
Obviously now, with hindsight, the Great Britain of the future which we see portrayed in this series, has not (yet) eventuated. This 1990 depicts a distinct "ruling class" and an "under-class" consisting mostly of "non-citizens" as they are called. It is virtually impossible to do anything "anonymously", and society is, to all intents and purposes cashless, with currency (ie notes and coin) non-existent. Everything is paid for with "credits" (not pounds or dollars) from one's account. Transactional anonymity is only possible if one is able to pay with gold (assuming the seller is prepared to accept payment in gold). Not surprisingly, something of a black market and underground movement develops. This series is very much about "big brother", and whilst most of it has not come to fruition (yet), who knows what might happen in the future? It is for this reason that I highly recommend watching the series, if given the chance. Don't let its mere title deceive you by making you think that it lacks topicality - what it has to say may yet come to pass!
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