Screenwriter Willy Russell had a major disagreement with the producers, mainly because he objected to the casting of David Morrissey and Spencer Leigh whom he thought looked too mature for the roles of 16 year olds Billy and Icky, and so he insisted that his name be removed from the credits. However, when the series was repeated in 1985, Russell's name was restored in the credits. See more »
I can't begin to describe the effect this series had on me when it first aired in the mid-80's and has continued to have on me since.
Having recently purchased on DVD and re-watched a whole wave of thoughts and feelings (old and new) raced through my mind. Many things in this world don't age well but I feel 'One Summer' (With the obvious exception of the 80's clothing) is certainly not one of them. Is just as realistic, funny, sad, touching and ultimately rewarding as I remember it. Only this time watching through the eyes of a 35 year old it seems even more poignant.
The Story of Billy and Icky, 2 Liverpool lads from the wrong side of the tracks who escape to Wales one summer, seemed almost embedded into my life over the last twenty or so years. It seemed to be one of those series that the kids who saw it got to grips with very easily and often chatted about at school and yet it seemed to address some very adult and serious subjects possibly for the first time for many of us.
Reading the other comments on this site, its interesting to see how much of an impact it had on everyone of a certain era. TV dramas like these come along once in a blue moon and its bizarre how certain things (Jumping off the train when they reach Wales, Icky's plate-skimming antics, or the lads shear horror at being taking to the village country dance) were stuck in my memory. But there were many very touching and genuinely sad moments I had forgotten, like when they fed the mars bar to the baby birds, or when Kidder gave the boys the books he has written for them.
Now re-watching this series through the eyes of an adult I can see the various subjects and themes that were important but perhaps I didn't fully understand when I was 11....that now make more sense. For example I simply thought the character of Kidda wanted a life of solitude but in light of the pain he has been through in his past life you can practically see the anguish on his face that he doesn't want the boys to live there when Billy begs him to stay, because he knows the implications it will bring. Or the way Icky hangs on everything Billy says and does, as if he were his guardian angel, we all knew kids a bit like Icky growing up.
I had seen David Morrissey (Billy) in a number of things over the years and knew he had gone on to big things in Hollywood etc. but I had often wondered what happened to Spencer Leigh (Icky). It was a real pleasure watching the interview with them both on the special features. I actually found I was smiling to myself when I got to see Icky in the flesh - as he did finally get to grow up.
I am sure I am not alone in the tremendous feeling of sadness with what happens to Icky half way through the final episode. That had a profound shock then and still does now.
So in a way I felt comforted to see Spencer Leigh well again and laughing with his old pal. This might sound 'soft' as the boys would say but it indicates the lasting effect this series had on my psyche and growing up in general.
As one other reviewer on this site comments, they don't often make TV as good as this anymore - and indeed they hardly don't. See it again.
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