In Options, the final episode of the series, Christopher still finds the war over his constituency is not quite over. His new agent Maurice Wrigley, having replaced Ron Hibbert, makes it plain that if he wants the community’s backing he needs to speak up for their issues at the upcoming Labour Party Conference. Collinson has always held the conferences in a certain amount of contempt.
The party group Chris is involved with also want Collinson to be something of an apologist for the government when he does give his speech – if he won’t they will drop all support for him.
Meanwhile despite seeming to have moved forward professionally Collinson’s personal life is as downbeat as ever. Mistress Millie is starting to feel as though she is ready to move on. His family life is still in disarray. Caught between a rock and a hard place Collinson has some very tough decisions to make.
A fabulous downbeat end to the series, having seemed to be building up to a prominent new position Chris ends up right back to where he started. Throughout the series the dialogue and performances have been perfectly measured and played. The final moments see a Collinson, back at home with his wife, confronting his failings and finding something of a coming to terms with himself.
“My error, it seems, has been my sceptiscism. I’ve not actually believed in politics as a way of life.”
UK / ITV – Granada / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 16 December 1975 at 9.00pm
Writer: Arthur Hopcraft / Production Design: Chris Wilkinson / Director: John Irvin
Series: The Nearly Man Episode 7
Tony Britton as Christopher Collinson
Ann Firbank as Alice Collinson
David Wilkinson as David Collinson
John Leyton as Brian Griffin
Wilfred Pickles as Bernard King
Ian McCulloch as Peter Richards
Katherine Fahy as Millie Dutton
Ian East as Maurice Wrigley
John Tebay as John