10 September 2007 | siobhan-rouse
The previous long-winded review completely misses the point about this series.
Andrea Newman first wrote this story as a novel in the early Seventies, and she has written many other novels and TV series on the same theme - that of the "generation gap" being manipulated by sexually active teenagers. The author is not writing from a "male" or "conservative" point of view, she has simply observed a lot of families and individuals under stress and accurately described a lot of the social neuroses of the Seventies,
(As a matter of fact, I heard Andrea Newman on the radio a few years ago saying that she also wanted to mirror the classic Greek plays such as Oedipus, which would explain some of the more lurid activities in her stories - men jumping into bed with their mothers-in-law, etc.) Certainly the sexual content (without actual nudity) in this series went well beyond anything seen on British TV before this point, but the sex scenes are realistic, not absurd fantasies. Maybe this is why the series made such a huge impact on the viewers. To even hint at incestuous feelings makes most viewers feel uncomfortable, and this had never been implied on TV before (and, come to think of it, few 21st century dramas would dare do this now).
I was very impressed by the acting in this series; this was made back in the days when most TV drama resembled stage plays performed in front of video cameras, and most of the cast are very skilled theatre actors. An exception is James Aubrey, whose "American" accent is hopeless - shouldn't the director have told him not to bother?
The overall message of the series - or at least the message that I perceived - seems to be that sex makes everyone unhappy. Which is rather surprising for the Seventies, but then good writers are people who don't just copy their contemporaries, but have the guts to say what they really think.