Archive for July 7th, 2018

by Adam Ferenz

The funniest and saddest political scheme gone wrong in tv history. When Michael Murray becomes leader of his local city Council, he attempts a “Day Of Action”, a shutdown of all vital city services, including schools, as part of a plan to show force, by his hidden masters in the militant wing of his party. After one of his underlings goofs, allowing a single school to remain open by forgetting to send picketers, the local media makes an unwilling hero out of the schoolmaster, who immediately becomes the object of much rage by Murray, and an attack on his very sanity. Murray, however, is not without his own enemies, having a mysterious and potentially violent past in grammar school. As the series unfolds, truths will be known and lives forever altered. You will also laugh and cry in equal measure. You will also see the ways in which people who serve the public-or themselves-are often led astray by forces beyond their reckoning.

Michal Palin and Robert Lindsay are sensational, and utterly convincing, as the Schoolmaster and Politician. Neither actor had played anything quite like these characters. Of course, the series has intrigues, double dealings, gas lighting’s and more, but never descends to the level of soap or melodrama, but it is the characters, particularly the co-leads, that one will remember. Jim Nelson standing up to the bullying of Michael Murray, and Michael Murray looking for a condom when a Doctor Who convention breaks out, are classic scenes. One might appear to be well suited while the other likely has you scratching your head. It works, and if you want to see why, watch the series and find out for yourself.

This is one of those series that is among the best ever made for the medium-I personally rank it as the 10th greatest program ever aired on television, and the greatest achievement in British television history-yet few talk about it outside of those really in the know, or those who were around to watch it when it was first aired. A series that seemed to both take aim at residual Thatcherism and caution against arrogance in having unseated Thatcher, this is a program that requires viewers to think, to feel and to remember. Both Left and Right, which have different meanings than in the United States, come across looking foolish and petty. (more…)

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