Affair, The (BBC-1 1995, Kerry Fox, Courtney B Vance)

In strong and very intense period drama The Affair we are taken back to the height of world war two when a platoon of black GI’s are stationed in a small English village. They are shown a huge amount of initial racism and mistrust but one of them, Travis, becomes friendly with married housewife Maggie. Before too long they have become lovers. Matters come to a head when Maggie’s husband Edward returns home from the war.

Edward discovers the pair inflagrante delecto and at first believes that Maggie was being forced against her will but it soon becomes obvious to him what is going on, he is determined to make Travis pay and has him arrested for rape. Meanwhile he tells Maggie that if she doesn’t go along with it he will make sure he files for divorce and that she will lose custody of her son. She agrees but then she learns that the offence is actually a hanging matter….

Some fine performances and a mesmerising plot make the Affair well worth watching, it was hard enough for GI’s when they arrived in Britain as it was, but at that time a black platoon would have come in for a huge amount of trouble. We won’t reveal how it ends but the final 20 minutes is heart rending stuff indeed. This was actually a co-production between the BBC and HBO and was broadcast in the US first on 14 October 1995.

This was intended to be part of the Screen One series of individual dramas but ended up being broadcast as a stand alone.

production details
UK / BBC-1 – Smithsom / 1×101 minute episode / Broadcast 3 December 1995

Writers: Pablo Fendves, Bryan Goluboff / Story: Pablo Fenjves, Walter Bernstein / Military Advisor: Darren Dewbre / Choreography: Jo Sexton, Carol Fletcher / Music Consultant: Roz Colls / Dance Hall Music: Chris Dibble / Music: Christopher Gunning / Costumes: Frances Tempest / Production Design: Hugo Luczyc-Whyowski / Executive Producer: Harry Belafonte / Producers: David M. Thompson, John Smithson / Director: Paul Seed

Courtney B. Vance as Travis
Kerry Fox as Maggie
Leland Gantt as Barrett
Ciaran Hinds as Edward Leyland
Beatie Edney as Esther
Ned Beatty as Colonel Banning
Bill Nunn as Sergeant Rivers
Rory Jennings as David Leyland
Adrian Lester as Ray
Fraser James as Sonny
Martin McDougall as Howard
Nicholas Selby as Mr Leyland
Anna Cropper as Mrs Leyland
Rolf Saxon as Captain Marks
William Russell as Doctor Hastings
Eamon Boland as Police Sergeant
Todd Boyce as Captain Carlton
Michael J. Shannon as Captain Ford
William Roberts as Clerk
Burnell Tucker as Bailiff
John Fitzgerald-Jay as Guard

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.