On V.E. Day in 1945, as peace extends across Europe, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed out to join the celebrations. It is a night full of excitement, danger and the first flutters of romance.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
This is TV drama at its best. The plot is tightly constructed, involving seven linked house moves. Jack Rosenthal's writing is exceptional, blending comedy and pathos in just the right proportions, and the very realistic London settings are an integral part of the drama.
The script is delivered to perfection by a team of top-quality actors, led by Warren Mitchell and Bernard Hill as the linking furniture removers. The introduction suggests an overall 'seven deadly sins' theme, and on reflection that can be picked out. But the stories intertwine and grip the viewer so effectively that broader messages are of little consequence. The recent revival of Rosenthal plays on BBC's arts channel is a reminder of the high quality of TV drama in the 1970s and 1980s, now sadly diminished. And the overall IMDB rating is a complete mystery, given the votes actually cast for The Chain.
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