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"1990" Tv Series (Edward Woodward)


'Bart'

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The TV series 1990 is probably one you've likely never heard of. Broadcast on BBC 2 (when BBC 2 was very much a minority channel) it came and went without much audience attention.

Some kind soul has put all 16 episodes on YouTube and it's fascinating to watch it again, especially after the events of the past 10 years.

Made in 1977, it envisaged a future Britain 7 years after going bankrupt in 1983. A more repressive regime of bureaucrats, technocrats and trade union leaders (hey, it was written in the late 70s) run things, mainly with the aid of the new government department the PCD (Public Control Department).

We have:

A bankrupt and impoverished Britain.

ID cards. You also need a union card, otherwise you can't work. Withdrawal of ID cards makes you a "non-citizen", forced to sleep rough and survive as best you can.

Private citizens may not hold gold.

Habeas corpus has been abolished.

Increasing bureaucracy and red tape strangling private businesses.

People can be arrested and placed in an ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Centre) without a trial.

Monitoring of conversations is commonplace for those suspected of dissent. Edward Woodward's character carries a jammer as a matter of routine.

The episodes can suffer a bit from budgetary restraints and the PCD sometimes seem a bit too incompetent or too easily outwitted by Kyle (Edward Woodward). The best episodes in my opinion are:

Health Farm

Non-Citizen

Ordeal by Small Brown Envelope

In the latter two the PCD does actually come across as a force to be reckoned with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEBSoxV184E

All the other episodes can be found here.

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For thousands of Free Poles and Free Czechs who settled in the UK after WW2 they too found that they could not work if they did not have a union card - the mines, steel works and other heavy industries being amongst those that basically blacklisted those nationalities.

It is not just in a fictional future - it actually happened in the past.

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So that would be near enough directly after 'Callan'?

Pretty much so I think.

For thousands of Free Poles and Free Czechs who settled in the UK after WW2 they too found that they could not work if they did not have a union card - the mines, steel works and other heavy industries being amongst those that basically blacklisted those nationalities.

It is not just in a fictional future - it actually happened in the past.

Wilfred Greatorex (the series creator) may have used that as an influence.

The details of how this society came about are very much of the time the series was created (union power was at its zenith, the economy was heading for the crapper) but if you watch all the episodes you'll notice a lot that seems to resonate with modern Britain.

A teacher in trouble for straying from the official stipulated syllabus for example.

Now of course we don't need paper ID cards, we could have a chip implanted that holds all your bank details too. A chip that could be switched off to make you a "non-citizen".

Imagine going back to 1977 and telling someone that, or about the lampposts with microphones built into them. They'd think you were crackers. "It couldn't happen here" is a phrase used several times in 1990, in somewhat ironic reflection.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Imagine going back to 1977 and telling someone that, or about the lampposts with microphones built into them. They'd think you were crackers. "It couldn't happen here" is a phrase used several times in 1990, in somewhat ironic reflection.

Go back to the 1960s and that kind of surveillence seemed very real. The era of the cold war, spy stories like James Bond and his gadgets, heros-and-villains stories of WW2.

As a 60s-born child I grew up with the expectation that anything I did might be observed by some Big Brother. From a much younger age than one to read Orwell's darker message.

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The TV series 1990 is probably one you've likely never heard of. Broadcast on BBC 2 (when BBC 2 was very much a minority channel) it came and went without much audience attention.

Some kind soul has put all 16 episodes on YouTube and it's fascinating to watch it again, especially after the events of the past 10 years.

Made in 1977, it envisaged a future Britain 7 years after going bankrupt in 1983. A more repressive regime of bureaucrats, technocrats and trade union leaders (hey, it was written in the late 70s) run things, mainly with the aid of the new government department the PCD (Public Control Department).

We have:

A bankrupt and impoverished Britain.

ID cards. You also need a union card, otherwise you can't work. Withdrawal of ID cards makes you a "non-citizen", forced to sleep rough and survive as best you can.

Private citizens may not hold gold.

Habeas corpus has been abolished.

Increasing bureaucracy and red tape strangling private businesses.

People can be arrested and placed in an ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Centre) without a trial.

Monitoring of conversations is commonplace for those suspected of dissent. Edward Woodward's character carries a jammer as a matter of routine.

The episodes can suffer a bit from budgetary restraints and the PCD sometimes seem a bit too incompetent or too easily outwitted by Kyle (Edward Woodward). The best episodes in my opinion are:

Health Farm

Non-Citizen

Ordeal by Small Brown Envelope

In the latter two the PCD does actually come across as a force to be reckoned with.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=lEBSoxV184E

All the other episodes can be found here.

and in episode 1, we have the comment "what would Sotherbys do without the public servant clientel"

saving the Polar bears

marvelous...

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Cool... I have the novelisation of the first series but I've never seen it on TV. I see that Kano from Space 1999 makes an appearance.

The sad part is that it seems quite utopian compared to where the government is heading today. 'The Guardians' and 'Quatermass' are two more dystopian views from the 70s that are quite interesting to watch today.

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saving the Polar bears

Yes, that one was very spooky.

I see that Kano from Space 1999 makes an appearance.

Yes, he's a semi-regular in series 1. Great voice, a touch of Don Warrington about it.

'The Guardians' and 'Quatermass' are two more dystopian views from the 70s that are quite interesting to watch today.

Never seen The Guardians, might treat myself to the DVD.

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The technology yes, but did people think that they'd be spied on themselves?

As a small sprog, yes I did! Well, not that I would in general, but that at any time I might be spied on. It was, perhaps, the bogeyman of that era, and it was baked into the culture.

Can't speak for older generations

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Did these feelings coincide with hitting puberty?

No. Much younger. I'd be exaggerating if I said ten years younger, but it can't be too far off!

My teenage self really was spied upon, but in a much more prosaic fashion. That is to say, I desperately wanted to be able to talk to my contemporaries, but of course couldn't try to have a meaningful conversation (especially with any girl) while my dad was listening in. The telephone was in the hallway of the house, immediately outside my dad's study. He'd sit there balefully, and observe all that went on, so I could never use the phone.

(I still have chipped teeth, from a time I jumped from my bedroom window just to get out of the house without having to explain to him. Second time I made that jump I'd learned to be more careful!)

Personally I found these feelings eased considerably if the door had a lock on it. ;)

:D

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this needs to be remade with a decent budget and no holds barred.

It would be one remake actually worth doing. The original didn't quite fire on all cylinders IMO, so a new version could easily be an improvement.

The title might be a problem though. 2020?

Or how about "We told you this would happen but did you listen? Oh no! And now look at the state of things."

WE could call it WTYTWHBDULONANLATSOT for short.

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It would be one remake actually worth doing. The original didn't quite fire on all cylinders IMO, so a new version could easily be an improvement.

The title might be a problem though. 2020?

Or how about "We told you this would happen but did you listen? Oh no! And now look at the state of things."

WE could call it WTYTWHBDULONANLATSOT for short.

how about 'Are you sure you want to vote for Labour?'

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I remember going to a play at the Yvonne Arnaud Theater Guildford, starring Patrick Mower and Suzanne Danielle (Destiny of the Daleks) when they were an item.

I remember them presenting some motoring program together (something involving trucks competing against each other?)

Patrick Mower went on from Callan to do the highly controversial BBC series Target. Auntie's attempt at a Euston Films/Sweeney type show. Mrs. Whitehouse did not approve.

Hackett.jpg

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