UK tv serial (1977-1978). BBC TV. Produced by Prudence Fitzgerald. Regular cast included Edward Woodward, Barbara Kellerman, Robert Lang, Tony Doyle, Lisa Harrow. Most episodes written Wilfred Greatorex, who devised the series, or Edmund Ward. 16 55-minute episodes. Colour.
Reflecting the fears of the middle classes in the 1970s, this serial, set in a socialist UK of 1990, warns of what could happen if the welfare state continued in its present direction. The country is run by the PCD, an all-powerful bureaucracy that incorporates the trade-union movement within its machinery; the only people free of its control are a select elite possessing Privilege Cards. The story concerns the efforts of a lone journalist (Woodward) to outwit the system in such ways as helping people to escape to the USA, still a bastion of freedom. 1990's political statement, which George Orwell made much more powerfully in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), plays second fiddle to the thriller elements. The novelization by Maureen Gregson (with Greatorex also credited) is 1990 (1977). [JB]
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