20 December 2009 | jhtch
Good news about bad news.
I welcome the release, at last, of the series on DVD in February of 2010. When I first saw it on ITV in 1971 it struck me as a continuation of the tradition that included such as the novel and film 1984 and, albeit in a lighter vein, the later series House of Cards.
It paints a desolate picture of Britain at some point in an unspecified near future where dystopia is the new civilization, and resistance to it is apparently futile. Although I recall that the grim image looked unlikely to be resolved into a happy ending, I missed the final few episodes. So, like me, you will have to watch it to find out. Another good reason for buying the DVD set when it is released in Feb 2010.
Sadly, drama created in the USA seems incapable of reaching sufficiently deep to create such a powerful description of desperation and squalid futility.
Finally, comments prior to this one.... draw parallels between this work and the Labour Party's "unofficial' manifesto, whatever that might be. The suggestion of such a connection is partisan and ill-founded.
The series was aired in 1971, at which time Edward Heath was Prime Minister - leading the Conservative Party in its majority government.
No political party these days seems immune from allegations of manipulation and control that this series portrays.
It's likely that the public perception of politics is jaundiced, not only by Watergate, Iran-Contra, Patriot Act, and so on and so forth, but also by exposure to fictional drama such as this one.
In that, also, it is powerful.