Anyone else enjoy this as much as I did? Well, I say "enjoy", I found it very sad being reminded about how the heart was ripped out of so many communities in the mid 1980s. William Ivory is one of my favourite writers for TV, I thought he did a good if slightly formulaic job of showing life on both sides of the picket.
It was filmed in my village just before Christmas!!!
Had a hell of a job one lunchtime getting to the Post office cos the police had closed off all the roads, there were cops in riot gear and horses and vans everywhere - I thought there was a bomb scare - they were filming a picket scene!!
Many of my friends and relatives were involved in the miners strike in 84/85. Caused a big rift in our family, as brother was a militant picket and dad completely disagreed with all the violence. We were lucky - mum was a teacher and bringing in money, but DH remembers queuing for food parcels at the local miners welfare office. A lot of men went picketting because they were paid for doing picket duty.
Irony is that DH best friend now is a retired policeman. During the strike they were on opposite sides. It truly was a Civil War.
I thought the acting was excellent, but that it would have been more powerful if they had resisted the temptation to lapse into melodrama. The shock that Michelle had when she discovered that her friend was an agent provocateur was dramatic enough, without making her go home to discover her husband's affair with her sister and then see him killed the next day!
I wonder whether the melodrama is piled on because it's thought more difficult to make the politics itself the main source of drama. A plotline including people whose emotional ties lay with the miners, but who also distrusted Scargill, would have been pretty intense, too. This was my father's position, an ex-miner working for NCB management and living in a mining village. He found the whole experience excruciating.
I find it difficult to feel anything other than hatred for Arthur Scargill, OM. It seemed to me (softy Southerner at university in Sheffield in immediate aftermath of strike) he was every bit as much to blame as Thatcher's government. His policies allowed her lot to demonise ordinary working people.