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Edge Of Darkness (BBC Drama, Bob Peck, Joanne Whalley)

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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 its broadcast.

Bob Peck plays Detective Inspector Ronald Craven who finds his life unravelling when his daughter Emma (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 (Joe Don Baker) – 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 its 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.

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

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

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