Michael Murray is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson is a much loved headmaster of a local school for disturbed children. When the paths of these two men cross, things are ...
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Paul Finchley is a bona fide "national treasure", one half of a popular, long-running comedy double act. However, the famous comedian's world is thrown into chaos when he is accused of historic sexual abuse.
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Michael Murray is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson is a much loved headmaster of a local school for disturbed children. When the paths of these two men cross, things are destined never to be the same again.Written by
Alan Bleasdale originally offered the role of Michael Murray to Michael Palin. At that time, Robert Lindsay was busy working on a film in the USA and was not available. When Lindsay became available a few weeks later because his US project had fallen through, Bleasdale offered him the role of Michael Murray, saying that it was the part that he (Bleasdale) had always wanted Lindsay to play. Rather embarrassed, he asked Palin to play Jim Nelson instead. Michael Palin freely admits that Robert Lindsay portrayed Michael Murray far better than he (Palin) would have done. See more »
This is British drama at it's ultimate. There has been little to touch it since it's release. Bleasedale's script is full of twists and turns taking you from outright hatred and revulsion of the main characters through pity, sympathy and finally on to adoration.
The story is truly mesmerising, on the face of it a plain story of extreme left-wing politics in local government. So very typical of the late 70's and early 80's Britain and led to the phrase "Loony Left".
As the story progresses we learn that not all is quite what it seems. Michael Murray (Robert Linsay) is shown to be just as much of a pawn of the system, as the wretched Jim Nelson (Michael Palin) who he tries to take down in the first few episodes.
The acting is powerful, and way beyond what is expected of a TV drama. Look out for many of Bleasedale's favourite actors throughout the story.
Sadly this was one of the last real dramas produced and funded by UK Channel 4 before they were forced by the UK government to produce more 'popular' programming. A move that eventually forced C4 from becoming the major source of funding for British film, into nothing more than a proud sponsor.
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