In 1985, against the backdrop of Thatcherism, Brian Jackson enrolls in the University of Bristol, a scholarship boy from seaside Essex with a love of knowledge for its own sake and a childhood spent watching "University Challenge," a college quiz show. At Bristol he tries out for the Challenge team and falls under the spell of Alice, a lovely blond with an extensive sexual past. He's smitten, and he carelessly manages to hurt the feelings of Rebecca Epstein, a friend whose politics and wit he admires. The Challenge finale is coming up; maybe Brian can redeem himself and still avoid being a prat. Written by
The producers of this film may have dug a pit for themselves by choosing to set it in 1985. The 1985 competition (which was not broadcast for a year) was a brief return for the series after a short hiatus. Granada had decided to pep it up by modifying the format. In round 1 teams played each other over two programs, the first of which comprised of a "baton relay". Competitors were pitched one-against-one and had to answer two questions correctly before passing the baton on to the team-mate to the left. None of this was reflected in the film. In addition, the set was completely redesigned in red and black, unlike the more recognizable scheme employed in the film. See more »
[trying to talk to Rebecca at a political rally]
Could we go somewhere... less angry?
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I really really enjoyed this film. No, it wasn't an in-depth "gritty" drama, probing the dark side of the mundane, nor did it hold any strong political or social message. But this is a sweet, touching and, most of all, funny film.
Starter for Ten relies heavily on the charm and comedy of the characters in the film to carry it over a fairly weak plot, but seeing as the outcome is such a cheerful and good natured film, i have no complaints! My own favourite character was Patrick, the oh-so serious leader of the team, but all of the cast were strong and the characters all likable in their own ways.
S.for.Ten left me with a big smile on my face- a silly, feel good British comedy which doesn't take itself too seriously. Enjoy!
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