In a dystopian future, Britain is under the grip of the Home Office's Public Control Department (PCD), a tyrannically oppressive bureaucracy riding roughshod over the population's civil liberties.




2   1  
1978   1977  




Series cast summary:
Edward Woodward ...  Jim Kyle 16 episodes, 1977-1978
Robert Lang ...  Herbert Skardon 16 episodes, 1977-1978
Tony Doyle ...  Dave Brett 15 episodes, 1977-1978
Paul Hardwick ...  Faceless 11 episodes, 1977-1978
Barbara Kellerman ...  Delly Lomas 8 episodes, 1977
Lisa Harrow ...  Lynn Blake 8 episodes, 1978
Yvonne Mitchell ...  Kate Smith 7 episodes, 1978


Great Britain, 1990. The population is now governed by an increasingly corrupt bureaucracy headed by the Home Secretary and backed by the tyrannical Public Control Department (PCD), who have done away with the rights of the individual and maintain control through ID cards, rationing, censorship and electronic/audio/physical surveillance. Free speech is forbidden. The rule of law no longer protects the weak and defenseless. Emigration is impossible. But escape is not, thanks to rebels like Jim Kyle (Edward Woodward), a journalist and secret dissident who battles the forces of the Establishment, but constantly faces imprisonment or death (or worse) at the hands of the PCD and its ruthless controller Herbert Skardon. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller







Release Date:

18 September 1977 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(16 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Yvonne Mitchell (Kate Smith), Paul Hardwick (Faceless) and the series' most prolific director Alan Gibson did not live to see the actual 1990. Mitchell died on March 24, 1979 at the age of 63, Hardwick died on October 22, 1983 at the age of 64 and Gibson died on July 5, 1987 at the age of 49. See more »

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User Reviews

DVD series 1 very interesting but also clichéd
30 March 2017 | by ib011f9545iSee all my reviews

I was 16 when this was shown on the BBC,Woodward was a star after Callan but this series is not well known. I hardly saw it when it was on. So I was happy to buy the series 1 DVD. It is both very good and very obvious and clichéd. 1970s Britain was a rough place,the country was split politically,there was much talk of anti democratic behaviour from left and right. There were strikes yes but Britain was a fairer place in 1978 than 1968 but the reaction was the election of the Tories in 1979.

1990 is a sort of Daily Mail readers worst nightmare of what the Labour government was like. There are many mentions of civil servants with good pensions and government bully boys. But all governments contain a danger of oppression and the bureaucrats often do behave badly in real life,the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This has some great writing and acting and the series hints at the truth that George Orwell revealed that bullies are bullies because they like doing it,not because of political commitment.

It is almost funny to recall that some people celebrated the victory of Mrs Thatcher in 1979 as a victory for freedom but soon miners were not allowed to drive from Kent to Yorkshire and the police were being well paid to restrict human rights during the sometimes violent miners strike.

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