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1990 (BBC-2 1977-1978, Edward Woodward, Robert Lang)

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A Scifi drama series that was set in the year 1990 where Britain is controlled by a government that suppresses all opposition, with the country being run by The Public Control Department.

Newspaper reporter Jim Kyle is involved in a growing resistance movement helping people get out of the country.

An excellently prescient series with a strong central performance from Edward Woodward as Kyle. In the first season we discover that the newspaper Kyle works for is one of the few dissenting voices in the country and that Kyle also works with import/export official Dave Brett to get people out of the country. The PCD, especially head of the unit Herbert Skardon and his number two Delly Lomas, try and track Kyle’s every move. If they can gather evidence of his subversive activities they can stop him. Skardon has a real hatred for Kyle but Delly seems more than a little sympathetic. Kyle also meets regular with one of the key members of the government – we never see him clearly and he is known only as Faceless – who always has key information to give to Kyle.

The first season builds towards Kyle having all his rights taken away by the PCD, making him a non-citizen – essentially a vagrant with little hope of long term survival. However Kyle is helped by Brett and Faceless and a plan is hatched to do the PCD some serious harm.

Season two saw a few changes, Delly Lomas and Henry Tasker at the PCD were gone. Delly’s place was taken by Lynn Blake. She had had an affair with Kyle a decade before is genuinely sympathetic towards him. Faceless reveals himself to be a high up official called Maudsley and the first few episodes are built around the PCD trying to out him. There is a tough new female home secretary, Kate Smith, who is distinctly hardline.

production details
UK | BBC Two | 16×55 minutes | Broadcast 18 September 1977 – 10 April 1978

cast
Edward Woodward as Jim Kyle
Robert Lang as Herbert Skardon
Lisa Harrow as Lynn Blake
Barbara Kellermann as Delly Lomas
Tony Doyle as Dave Brett
Paul Hardwick as Faceless

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