TV UK TV

Edge Of Darkness (BBC-2 1985, Bob Peck, Joanne Whalley)

Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness was first broadcast in 1985 on the BBC’s second channel before being quickly repeated on the BBC1 the 6 part serial won practically every award going in the year following it’s broadcast.

Bob Peck plays Detective Inspector Ronald Craven who finds his life unravelling when his daughter (played by a pre fame Joanne Whalley) is shot down in cold blood in front of him. Initially Craven thinks that he was the target because of his recent involvement with terrorist informers in Northern Ireland.

As he investigates Ronald soon learns that his daughter (who makes ghostly type appearances throughout the serial offering Craven clues and signposts as to what is actually going on) was heavily involved with a group calling themselves Gaia, concerned environmentalists trying to close down a secret nuclear waste dump. Craven goes undercover (helped by Texan CIA agent Darius Jedburgh) inside the dump to try and get to the heart of the mystery.

Edge of Darkness really captured the downbeat, anti-nuclear feeling of the times with it’s inherent darkness contained not just in the title or in Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen’s truly atmospheric and award winning score but in every frame of the drama.

Edge of Darkness

Happier times for Craven and daughter Emma.

Besides Peck and Whalley there was a great cast that included Joe Don Baker as Jedburgh, Charles Kay as Pendleton, Tim McInnerny as Terry Shields and Zoe Wanamaker as Clemmy. Rightly recognised as one of the key pieces of television drama of the 1980s.

A well made US big screen version was made in the late 2000’s starring Mel Gibson in the Bob Peck role, it kept all the key elements whilst ramping up the action quotient a little.

Trivia: The serial was originally going to be called Magnox.

production details
UK / BBC-2 – Lionheart International Television / 6×55 minute episodes / Broadcast 4 November – 9 December 1985

Writer:Troy Kennedy Martin / Music: Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen / Cinematography: Andrew Dunn / Production Design: Graeme Thompson / Producer: Michael Wearing / Director: Martin Campbell

cast
Bob Peck as Ronald Craven
Joanne Whalley as Emma Craven
Joe Don Baker as Darius Jedburgh
Jack Watson as James Godbolt
Zoe Wanamaker as Clemmy
Tim McInnerny as Terry Shields
Ian McNiece as Harcourt
John Woodvine as Ross
David Fleeshman as Jones
Paul Humpoletz as Elham
Bill Stewart as Dingle
Kenneth Nelson as Grogan
Hugh Fraser as Bennett
Allan Cuthbertson as Chilwell
Sarah Martin as Polly Pelham
Paul Williamson as Bewes
Sean Caffrey as McCroon
Kenneth Kendall as Himself