A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends - Nicky, Geordie, Mary and Tosker - from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal ... See full summary »
Michael Murray is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson is a much loved headmaster of a local school for disturbed children. When the paths of these two men cross, things are ... See full summary »
Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »
Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned ... See full summary »
Gentle Colin 'Col' Lawes happily lead a quiet life, running a news agency with his spoiled-rotten wife Sandra and playing competition darts in the Atletic Arms team. Colin catches her ... See full summary »
A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends - Nicky, Geordie, Mary and Tosker - from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal years (1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1995) the personal lives of the characters become intertwined with the political struggles of their home town of Newcastle, and the capital, London. We also see the machinations behind the scenes that affect their lives, often for the worse: slum housing projects, police corruption, the rise of Thatcherism, political sleaze, and specific events like the 1984 Miners' Strike. Written by
Alasdair Mackenzie <email@example.com>
The production could only afford Malcolm McDowell for three weeks, as he was living in The United States. Therefore, all of his scenes were shot by Stuart Urban as part of the first block of filming, as opposed to the rest of the production which was filmed roughly chronologically. See more »
When this was broadcast in 1996 it was really important. Britain was tired of the Tories and they were incompetent but also the soul of what drives political ideals was gone. A year after this series was shown the Labour party swept to power. Not that there is a correlation there but the mood of the country had changed.
Fourteen years later - in 2010 - there is so much to admire here, even if the political urgency has past: the writing, production, casting, and threads to the long story, but there also parts that don't work anymore: the sex and corruption theme stands out here. As this is a single writer's work it has great features in character and in the human play that covers 40+ years. It also tends to fall into dirge over the miner's strike - as important as that was but like some other elements it is a bit close to agitprop-theater of the 1970s.
The biggest impression made now is that we have lost this type of story on TV. We are too involved with reality TV rubbish and contest shows of dubious merit and consuming more junk than stories about how people live. And finally, in an era of spin politics it reminds us that politics starts from simple things like housing and respect.
It's over 9 hours to watch the whole series and it's worth the time.
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