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I approached this TV film with distrust: TV is not usually very good at re-creating 1950s Britain, and I have to admit a prejudice when I say I think only the BBC can do it well. But this one was spot on. Of course, it comes from a first-class comic novel, and Jack Rosenthal's adaptation was as good as anything he has done. Stephen Tompkinson was outstanding as the very first of the 'angry young men' of the 50s. One other reviewer said he/she didn't empathise with the character and that he was wooden: what I believe he re-created to perfection was the 'square peg' syndrome of a young socialist, working-class Northerner at university in England in the 1950s. Tompkinson is an actor in a classic British tradition. Helen McCrory also gave the most delightful performance I have seen on the screen in ages. Much credit, too, to the designers, who re-created the period perfectly, even down to the poster for the dance, an affectionate echo of the Festival of Britain in that same year. A superb production that I wish I could get on DVD.
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