Whilst browsing through the local library at the weekend. I was lucky to come across Our Friends In The North on DVD. Which I have spent the week watching.
For those not familiar with Our Friends it was a 90′s BBC drama starring a pre-fame Christopher Eccleston, Daniel Craig and Mark Strong.
It centred around the complex lives and relations of four friends (Ecclestone, McKee, Craig and Strong) from 1964 to 1995, from the North East but also featured a huge ensemble cast in the 9 parts spread over 30 years.
It also featured a who’s who of BBC acting talent : Alun Armstrong, Peter Vaughn, Jullian Fellowes, David Bradley, Danny Webb and Malcolm MacDowell.
Its central theme was the sweeping political and socio-economic changes and the effects on the central cast.
Mainly, the unfettered corruption within the councils, police and government of the time. Which is something of a resemblance to more recent events.
It also covers some of the big events of the time : the rise of Soho as a premier centre of smut with its fly by night stores. The three day weeks of the 70′s, the rise to power of Maggie Thatcher and the miners strikes of the 80′s.
They don’t really make drama of this scope and imagination these days, which is sad because even 15 years after it came out it still ticks all of the right boxes.
It still captures a snapshot in time of a country undergoing massive upheavel – just like now.
Christopher Eccleston and Daniel Craig are brilliant in it and Gina Mckee deserves a mention as she won a bafta for it.
So if you haven’t seen it I would recommend it over and above a million things on TV at the moment.
A definite epic.