Magazine article The Spectator

Friends Indeed

Magazine article The Spectator

Friends Indeed

Article excerpt

Jarrow playwright Peter Flannery's superb television serial Our Friends in the North started life as an RSC production in Stratford in 1982 and has finally been re-released on DVD. The £8 million, tenhour adaptation that reached the small screen after 14 years used the overlapping lives of four Geordies to explore the country's changing political climate between 1964 and 1995. It was delayed in part because of the BBC's caution over subsidiary characters clearly based on real people, not least the late former home secretary Reginald Maudling.

Our Friends in the North's feel for how communities far outside the capital struggle with societal change earned it legitimate comparisons to German film-maker Edgar Reitz's similarly ambitious Heimat.

Flannery's chronicling of socialism's failure is all the more in sightful because it comes from a man of the left. …

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