Theatre 625 (1964–1968)
7.3/10
122
9 user 21 critic

The Year of the Sex Olympics 

Set in a future when the world is dominated and run by television, where language has become almost redundant and all "tensions" - love, war, hate, loyalty - have been removed. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Co-Ordinator Ugo Priest
...
Deanie Webb
Tony Vogel ...
Nat Mender
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Lasar Opie
Vickery Turner ...
Misch
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Grels
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Kin Hodder
Lesley Roach ...
Keten Webb
Hira Talfrey ...
Betty
Patricia Maynard ...
Nurse
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Custard Pie Expert
Brian Coburn ...
Custard Pie Expert
...
Custard Pie Expert
Wolfe Morris ...
Custard Pie Expert
Braham Murray ...
Custard Pie Expert
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Storyline

Set in a future when the world is dominated and run by television, where language has become almost redundant and all "tensions" - love, war, hate, loyalty - have been removed. Overpopulation is a problem, so there are gluttony programmes to put people off food and pornography programmes to put them off sex. There is artsex and sportsex, and now this - the year of the Sex Olympics. Audience attention begins to wane, however, until TV executive Ugo Priest works on a new concept - a reality-based programme in which a couple is stranded on a bleak island, without the aid of any modern technology, and their efforts to survive filmed twenty-four hours a day. A concept which may sound familiar in the age of reality TV... Written by UK DVD blurb

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television | futuristic | See All (2) »

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Drama

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29 July 1968 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leo Mckern was offered a major role. See more »

Quotes

Lasar Opie: Old days, I think they called that _despair_. Right, Coordinator?
Misch: She cross, too. That Deanie.
Lasar Opie: You see? The danger force of these bad feelings? We seen fear and anger, worry and pain and so on... Soon, I think, one called _grief_.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Martians and Us (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Both Prophetic And Dated But Most Of All Disappointing
5 January 2011 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

There's no doubt in my mind the most influential dramatist in the history of British television is Nigel Kneale . He was the script writer who defined that television drama should be as ambitious as cinema while remaining as intimate as theater . He will always be synonymous with his QUATERMASS serials but has also contributed other great pieces of drama over the decades . One of them THE YEAR OF THE SEXUAL OLYMPICS has steadily become something of a legend in itself in that it predicts a future obsession with what is now described as " reality TV " , so does the teleplay live up to its legendary status ?

In my opinion not really . OLYMPICS does have some very clever concepts but somewhere along the line the ideas seem somewhat badly executed . The story itself seems to owe a lot to Orwell's 1984 telescreens aren't used to spy on people but to rather control them . People are natural voyeurs and if you give them what they want via the telescreen they'll eventually become desensitized to their desires . You can understand the point behind Kneale's logic but you're also left with the feeling that Kneale has failed to bring a bigger subtext to his subject . Certainly in his 1979 QUATERMASS serial you recognise a wonderful subtext of science vs faith with science at its most dangerous and destructive eventually saving the human race but there's a spark of genius missing from this 1968 drama

The production values do not help either . I for one am grateful that it's preserved on monochrome . Can you imagine how garish and gaudy everything would have looked in colour ? It's a constant problem of late60s/early 70s film and television where the future tends to look too futuristic to remain credible . Kneale doesn't help his cause either by having everyone talk in a trans-Atlantic " Newspeak " . Again you can understand the thinking behind this - the World has become assimilated by American pop culture - but combined with Michael Elliot's rather weak direction it's like listening to a parody of American film moguls and makes for a rather ridiculous acting style not helped by deliberately written idiosyncratic speech patterns where

" Does he know what he's saying ? " becoming

" He know what he say ? which soon becomes irritating . It's not helped either by the casting of Leonard Rossiter and Brian Cox whose future well known roles become more of a hindrance than an advantage

All told THE YEAR OF THE SEX OLYMPICS is a massive disappointment . As many people here have said it shows sign of prophecy but this is heavily negated by rather poor production values , weak directing but most of all a lack of streamlined storytelling on the part of the writer . One can't help thinking how well this drama would have been remembered if it wasn't for the birth of reality TV at the turn of the century


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