The entire series of the popular BBC Television series charting the lives of a group of four Geordie friends from their teens until middle-age Nicky is a radical socialist, determined to devote his life to the class struggle; Tosker a Jack-the-lad with dreams of pop stardom; Mary, courted by Nicky and Tosker, is eager to pursue her own professional ambitions; and Geordie, a drifter who runs away to London. The award-winning drama starts in 1964 in Newcastle and carries through the swinging Sixties to the recession ridden Seventies. By the late Seventies the friends find themselves together again, but the political climate and social changes mean that they are growing further apart. Tosker and Marys marriage breaks down, Geordie descends deeper into petty crime and alcoholism, and Nickys political protests manifest themselves by both illegal and legitimate means.
An epic saga stretching from 1964 to 1995, Our Friends in the North
follows the lives of four young people in North-East England. Nicky Hutchinson (Christopher Eccleston) is initially courting Mary Soulsby (Gina McKee) but the relationship cools when it takes second place to his campaigning for Harold Wilson's Labour Party. She weds Tory Tosker Cox instead, but their marriage is a miserable one, living in a rot-infested high rise block built following a dubious new housing scheme. Meanwhile, "Geordie" Peacock, finally tiring of his drunken, abusive father, headbutts him and hitches down to London, where he ends up working for a surrogate "family" led by Malcolm McDowell's flash Soho sex club baron.
Over the years, the paths of these characters intertwine, diverge then cross again, albeit occasionally stretching the bounds of plausible coincidence. The drama takes place against the backdrop of local authority and police corruption in the 60s, the radical far-left militancy of the early 70s, Thatcher's election, the 1984 miner's strike and the subsequent "murder" of Northern communities. What's brilliant about Our Friends is its melding of the personal and the political, with the soap opera of family estrangement played out against a backdrop of social decline. Peter Vaughn, playing Nicky's Dad as a former Jarrow marcher stricken by Alzheimer's, is especially poignant. If you didn't see this the first time, do so now.