|Index||5 reviews in total|
Have to say I loved the drama. The story itself is well laid out and doesn't let go of you till the end. So in terms of dramatization have a say a job well done. The direction of this kind of work can be a tough job but has been very well handled. The constant shift between the past and the present can be tough to portray but here occurs quite seamlessly. The use of historical events does tend to give us a time line to follow and keep things in perspective. The actors have to say do a wonderful job especially the ones from the past, who tend to have most of the screen time. The actors in the present are seasoned and didn't have any problems with acting out their parts. Was hooked onto it from the first episode and it culminates well in the last, though it does leave you with the feeling like wanting a bit more. If it did continue then it'd become a soap hence thankfully it doesn't. All in all, an emotional drama which will hold sway with most of us and will manage to pull on a few heart strings too
Couldn't disagree more with the previous reviewer. I found the
characterisation to be subtle, the plot engaging and the denouement
moving. I was an undergraduate in the early sixties so am a
contemporary of the protagonists. Apart from the occasional idiomatic
anachronism - nobody said 'A big ask' in the sixties - I found its
depiction of the period convincing.
Given that tastes differ - some people enjoy reading Jeffrey Archer - don't write the series off without giving it a try: one episode should be enough to see whether it grabs you or whether you find, like GTBarker, it's not your cup of tea.
Like at least one of the other reviewers I lived through this period, the characters commencing at university in 1965 and I commenced in 1966 so the events against which their lives were played out are the same as mine. I found the period very well created, and the dynamics in the household were very true to life. British universities were full of 'Jacks' in the 1960's, usually little rich boys who dreamed of being Che or Marx who unlike the Alan's and Orla's of that world had no real principles. I recall my school senior year voting (in a mock election)overwhelmingly Labour - at a public school in Christopher Soames' constituency (Soames was Winston Churchill's son in law and a staunch Conservative). As part of a sit-in group which evicted the Vice-Chancellor from his office at Birmingham University, and as a fringe participant to the Grosvenor Square 'riot' portrayed in Episode 2, I believe that the series captures the period well, including the attitude of the various parents depicted in episode 1 who had no concept of the aspirations of their children, often the first generation to even contemplate a university education and the subsequent events. It was a time of change and the series depicts it well.
"White Heat" begins quietly and remains low-key, but it grows on you and the final episode yields a captivating surprise. Its strengths stand in contrast to the failings of "The Hour", another recent drama situated in recent British history. "The Hour" starts out looking like a thriller somehow related to the Suez invasion and Hungarian uprising of 1956; but the thriller plot fades into an inconsequential side-show and all that is left at the end is period soap-opera. "White Heat" follows its characters from 1965 to the present day, with public events mainly occurring in the background and serving as chronological markers, although they do impinge on the lives of two of the characters. Some aspects of the plot are stereotyped, but the drama scrupulously eschews soap-opera glitz, and the characters show plausible development--that's why it grows on you. The actors are generally excellent, but I did feel that the casting of Juliet Stevenson as the present-day avatar of Claire Foy's character was ill judged, since the appearance, styles and diction of the two actors are all strikingly dissimilar. It might have mattered less had the drama been chronologically divided between "then" and "now", but there is no way that the character portrayed by Foy over 35 years could have turned, in another 20, into the character played by Stevenson.
I like to support original drama that isn't entirely period, but I have to say that if this is the best script the BBC had in the offering recently the future of original programming in this country is in big trouble. The characters not only don't gel they are as dull as dishwater, which at least matches the storyline, much as there is one. It's as if someone born in the 80s was commissioned to write a story about the period and advised by someone who may have been around then but who didn't go out much nor pay any attention the contemporary culture that was going on outside their firmly bolted front door and blacked out windows. And then we are asked to believe the dreary characters who all have nothing in common and lead dreary lives have actually formed lifelong friendships which had one miraculous effect on them: by the time we reached the present day they all look at least one decade younger than they would in reality. So boring characters, zero storyline and managed to make the 60s look dull. Ridiculous dumbed-down nonsense dressed up as drama for the dumbed-down generation.
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