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The Key

BBC Two's forthcoming working class drama to be shown this month, in three parts.

This is a fists in a clench, tears in the eyes film right from the start. It is at once familiar territory these are scenes we have seen in our minds eye, this is our history, among the people and locations we know, or bloody well ought to. The recreation of post world war one Glasgow is a work of art in itself and totally believable. Some might question the use of monochrome but it works and very dramatically too.

The drama follows the lives , hard knocks, and fight back of three generation of Glasgow women. The film start with riots in George Square in 1919.

It follows the struggle in factories and mills against horrendous conditions and treatment. It follows shipyard and council tenancy and culminates in the miners strike of 84 and its aftermath.

This is also accurately a film about battles for ideology. Battles for souls and minds, as well as battles on the streets. We see here the crossroad's which divide socialist struggle and the emerging New Labour.

The doublespeak, sell-out compromiser's and careerists are all too but familiar. The illustration of real life consequences of Blair's Thatcherite schemes are compellingly believable.

I have seen nothing like this ever on TV, perhaps the first series of When The Boat Comes In, had something of its flavour, but little of its quality. Director David Blair ! (if he was he wont be after this comes out rest assured ) has it spot on, the accents are genuine ones, not that bliddy 'north of somewhere' acting school verbiage which has ruined so many previous working class drama's and films. At the preview, screened at BAFTA a middle-class lady said she had struggled to understand the dialogue, I was praying the director would reply "Sorry what was that ?" But he didnt. Just pointed out how empty the film would be using someone else's speech.

Donna Franceschild clearly is not just a great writer, she understands the class and its history and its ideological and critical dilemma's.

The series is scheduled to be screened at 9.00pm on Tuesday 16th September on BBC2, so stop in and watch it. You will not be disappointed, though I would put the cat out if you have a short temper.


David Douglass