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Anglo Saxon Attitudes (ITV Drama, Richard Johnson, Douglas Hodge)

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Anglo Saxon Attitudes ITV Drama, Richard Johnson, Douglas Hodge

The always steady hand of Andrew Davies guides Anglo Saxon Attitudes, a very good 1992 mini series based on the acclaimed novel by Angus Wilson.

Richard Johnson (quite the leading man back in the day, he moved rather stately into quality character parts in later years) plays getting on in years archaeological historian Gerald Middleton who as a young man in 1912 (where he is played by Douglas Hodge) was party to a find (a highly controversial phallic idol) that not only made his name but also led to a damaging affair with the wife of his best friend. Years later the facts surrounding the find haunt both Middleton and his dysfunctional family.

Like the brilliant Malcolm Bradbury, Angus Wilson uses the academic world to satirise class and social mores of the time and in particular the hypercritical nature of the Academia of the time.

A top script, powerful playing from the leads (not to mention a blink and you’ll miss it performance from a young Kate Winslet and an early role for Daniel Craig) make this period drama a very entertaining watch indeed.

Cast: Richard Johnson as Gerald Middleton; Douglas Hodge as Young Gerald; Elizabeth Spriggs as Inge Middleton; Briony Glassco as Young Inge; Tara Fitzgerald as Young Dollie; Nicholas Jones as Robin Middleton; Deborah Findlay as Kay Consett; Simon Chandler as John Middleton; Simon Mattacks as Donald Consett; Amanda Mealing as Elvira Portway; Paudge Behan as Larrie Rourke; Edna Doré as Mrs Salad; Oliver Ford-Davies as Professor Stokesay; Daniel Craig as Gilbert Stokesay

Writer: Andrew Davies / Novel: Angus Wilson / Music: Colin Towns / Executive Producer: John Hambley / Producer: Andrew Brown / Director: Diarmuid Lawrence

UK / ITV – Thames – Euston / 3×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 – 26 May 1992