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Our Friends In The North BBC [DVD] [1996]

Christopher Eccleston , Gina McKee , Simon Cellan Jones , Pedr James    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Our Friends In The North BBC [DVD] [1996] + Boys from the Blackstuff [DVD]
Price For Both: £19.49

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  • Boys from the Blackstuff [DVD] £6.50

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Mark Strong, Daniel Craig, Peter Vaughan
  • Directors: Simon Cellan Jones, Pedr James
  • Format: HiFi Sound, PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Simply Media
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sep 2010
  • Run Time: 623 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003N7T6PW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,398 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Victor HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is a truly epic TV drama of the highest quality. Spanning 30 years in the lives of 4 friends from Newcastle, it shows them moving from idealistic teenagers with plans to change to world through their bitter confrontations with the realities of life and their settling into middle age. With a story woven around largely true events - the political corruption in the North East that lead to the building of so much substandard housing, the corruption in the Met and their close links with the late sixties gangland, the miners strike and the dubious tactics of police and government in fighting it, etc, etc, it's a captivating tale.

The four friends (Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Mark Strong and Daniel Craig) carry the drama well, and give believable faces to the events. It is, however, the supporting cast who really take the acting honours. Peter Vaughn (previously only known to me as genial Harry Grout in Porridge) is an absolute blowaway as Felix. A man who stood up for what he believed in by going on the Jarrow march, he is disillusioned by the lack of tangible change that resulted from his efforts. As his character gets older he slips into Alzheimer's, and Vaughn's portrayal of this terrible disease is intensely moving. His evolution of the character through the 9 episodes is a marvel to watch. David Bradley as Eddie Wells, local activist who becomes MP, is similarly memorable, as is Alun Armstrong in one of his best performances as Austen Donahuem. Donahue is an early spin doctor, an oiler of the machinery of local government. He has a conscience and truly believes in what he is doing, and the that bribes and money that change hands (and ends up in his own pockets) are a necessary and good thing as they bring about real improvements for the populance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great television drama at its best 8 Feb 2013
By Ringo
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched this first time round on television and have always wanted to watch it again. I have now done so.

I don't intend repeating what others have said, it is enough to say that it is superbly written, acted, directed and filmed. There have been adverse comments about the fashions, the drabness, and the significant events portrayed. All I can is yes, precisely that's the way they were. Obviously there have to be compromises because this is drama, but that's why we have writers

Incidentally the only one star comment is from somebody who placed 18 reviews of products the same day, so probably responsible for his completely differing comments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incomparable 14 Mar 2014
Format:DVD
Our Friends In The North is quite simply one of the finest television dramas that has ever been produced anywhere and offers a gripping and moving sweep over the history of Great Britain and the social upheavels that shaped the late twentieth century in our country through the eyes of Geordie , Nicky ,Tosker and Mary , four working class friends from Newcastle who we first meet as optimistic and energetic twenty years olds in 1964 and whose journey we follow through the decades until they reach their fifties in 1995 . None have an easy journey and the great political and social changes over the years are interspersed with our magnificent cast's encounters with love, tragedy , ambition , infidelity , mental illness , poverty ,death ,crime and redemption . The script is masterful and even handed from a political viewpoint in that it is candid about the failures of both left and right to help the ordinary working class person to advance themselves in a meaningful manner. If you have not watched OFITN yet then I envy you. If only I could experience this epic and masterful series for the first time again . Nine episodes , nine masterpieces.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb drama. but why is it cut? 27 Sep 2010
Format:DVD
I watched Our Friends is the north when it was first shown on BBC it was one of the TV highlights of the 90s but why have the BBC cut this version. edited 2013 Watched this again over the last week its still one of best drama's of the 80s but I still wonder why the BBC chose to cut it for dvd release. a couple of scenes make no sense because of the cut.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BBC at it's Best 29 Sep 2012
Format:DVD
This was one of the finest (and most expensive) series that the BBC ever commissioned for television. It is moving, poignant, brutally honest and gripping drama. Sadly the rubber-band powered drama that flits across our screens now is shallow, predictable and forgettable by comparison. This drama almost touches the dizzy, creative heights of Dennis Potter - but not quite...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical drama 27 May 2014
By huw
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was a TV series made looking at the history of the mid 60s to 80s. Its subject matter is political: corruption in local government and the police. It is based on a play and was not easy to put on for legal reasons (true events are depicted!). However, for me the most interesting thing is the recreation of the sounds, atmosphere and look of the 70s and 80s. Excellent acting with a star cast. See Daniel Craig as you have never seen him before! I missed it when it was first broadcast (I had young children and it was on late!), but always wanted to catch up. At last it is now out on DVD. Well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of British 31 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A stellar cast on top of its game. A script that thrums with a barely-supressed anger at corruption and social injutice. A shining example of what can be achieved when you give a gifted writer editorial control, a la HBO. A sobering reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad hair days.
Great series - watching it again on youtube. The guys' wigs are diabolical - also they stay the same from '74 to '79! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Arthurly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 16 days ago by Patrick Murphy
3.0 out of 5 stars A canny drama
I hadn't watched this on TV first time round but had heard good things so thought I'd try it out. It'd be hard to put together a better cast and they are all brilliant however I... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Daveytoon
5.0 out of 5 stars You must watch this.
First class drama.
Published 22 days ago by Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always did like this particular programme, so will enjoy the DVD. Well packed and arrived quickly. Thanks
Published 1 month ago by peggy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good package including booklet
Published 1 month ago by andrew spencelayh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Needed to watch again as it was great the first time
Published 2 months ago by joanna atkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a very good programme indeed, I enjoyed it, good acting etc.
Published 2 months ago by GarthP
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are a child of the 60 s thus is for you.
Could remember mist of the events in this series so made it even more interesting to watch. Great acting.
Published 2 months ago by Lorraine Baldwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really well done series and although dated still relevant today.
Published 2 months ago by music4thesoul
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