Michael Murray (Robert Lindsay) is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson (Sir Michael Palin) is a much loved headmaster of a local school for disturbed children. When the ...
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As the city erupts into flames, Jim confronts Michael, Michael faces those who plotted his downfall, and Barbara sees the light. When an old conspiracy is revealed, everything Michael ever believed ...
When the plotters raid the Nelsons' holiday home and steal Michael's school records, both men start to realize that they are pawns in someone else's game. Even scheming Barbara begins to sympathize ...
Jim plans a summer holiday that avoids bridges. Meanwhile, the beautiful Barbara Douglas seems more interested in Michael's past than in his advances, even visiting his mother. To make matters worse,...
Michael Murray (Robert Lindsay) is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson (Sir Michael Palin) 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.
Writer Alan Bleasdale originally offered the role of Michael Murray to Michael Palin. At that time, Robert Lindsay was busy working on a movie in the U.S. and was not available. When Lindsay became available a few weeks later because his U.S. 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 »
How can I be this strong - and tonight I'll be washing my feet in the sink?
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The series was originally broadcast in seven episodes of approximately 90 minutes each; however, for some repeat screenings, the series has been recut into 10 hour-long episodes. 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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