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The Guardians - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971]

Cyril Luckham , Derek Smith    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £20.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Guardians - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971] + It Happened Here [1964] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Cyril Luckham, Derek Smith, David Burke, Lynn Farleigh, William Simons
  • Format: PAL
  • 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: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Feb 2010
  • Run Time: 650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZJ1JOK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,911 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

All 13 episodes of the 1971 ITV sci-fi series set in a dystopian near-future England in which the country is ruled by a fascist military force called 'The Guardians'. Episodes are: 'The State of England', 'Pursuit', 'Head of State', 'The Logical Approach', 'Quarmby', 'Appearances', 'This Is Quarmby', 'The Dirtiest Man in the World', 'I Want You to Understand Me', 'The Nature of the Beast', 'The Roman Empire', 'The Killing Trade' and 'End in Dust'.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Multi-DVD Set, Scene Access, Uncut, SYNOPSIS: Following a period of mass unemployment, hyperinflation, social disorder and industrial unrest, democracy has been swept away amid a raft of security measures; law and order have been restored under a new regime, whose totalitarian rule is enforced by uniformed paramilitaries known as the Guardians. Behind the slogan `Make Britain Great', the outwardly benign regime suppresses all opposition, while the Guardians, taking orders from their shadowy leader, the General, have become the true holders of power. There are voices of dissent, however; a loose affiliation of resistance groups, collectively known as Quarmby, has begun a clandestine struggle against the regime. But opposing factions quickly emerge within the movement - and with them, the inescapable moral dilemmas faced by all those who must use force to achieve their ends. The Guardians' chilling vision of an Orwellian near-future has remained unseen since its original airing in 1971. Created by Rex Firkin and Vincent Tilsley, whose combined credits include "The Prisoner", "Manhunt", "The Death of Adolf Hitler" and "The Forsyte Saga", the series anticipated many more recent dramatisations featuring similarly dystopian landscapes, and has been praised for its insightful, intelligent handling of its subject; the grey area in which resistance tactics may disturbingly mirror those of the oppressor is acknowledged, and ambivalent, doubt-ridden characters exist on both sides. Available here for the very first time in any format, this release contains all 13 hour-long episodes. ...The Guardians - Complete Series - 4-DVD Set

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed shot at greatness 21 July 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Britain in the 1980s, a neo-Fascist dictatorship - no, not a(nother) broadside at dear old Mags but rather a pessimistic early Seventies look at the shape of things possibly to come. Just supposing that British Leyland, "Oz" magazine and the IRA had gone too far; democracy has been suspended and a superficially-paternalistic government of technocrats is in office, but kept there by "The Guardians Of The Realm" - known informally as "the G's" - a sinister paramilitary force, black uniforms and all, that has surpassed the regular military and the police. There is resistance from without, and conflicts within, as Prime Minister Sir Timothy Hobson (Cyril Luckham), initially little more than a puppet leader but gradually building in confidence and power, struggles to maintain a moral line in the face of the much more repressive, classically-dictatorial direction favoured by his Cabinet Secretary, the mildly repulsive Norman (Derek Smith), the channel between the PM and the real power in the land, the shadowy "General" (at least until he disappears from the story in a rather hurried manner, leaving one to wonder why he was there in the first place).
The quality of this LWT production is not in dispute; this is a careful examination of political repression and the means of challenging it - the opposing arguments, and the moral contradictions, are intelligently and thoroughly explored, and given equal time to present themselves to the viewer. A case-in-hand is the simple, effective drama of two old men - Prime Minister Hobson, and a friend - debating over after-dinner drinks the virtues of "the smack of firm government" versus the pursuit of personal liberty.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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This 1984 style (although a bit more subtle) drama is more like a stage play than a frenetic drama so common today. It has worn the passing of time very well. Of course, it is a bit dated with its references to communism and industrial unrest but these were in the social milieu of 1970's Britain. It still has lessons in it for us to learn. It was a shock to have watch a drama with dialogue that you had to listen to! In contemporary TV you cannot listen to the dialogue because your senses are assaulted by weird noises on the ever present soundtrack. I watched all of this over two nights and I still feel relaxed. It has blessedly no background soundtrack so it really could have been rubbish (which it was not)and I would have rated it highly.
Well worth watching - I think the issues brought up by it are still pertinent today. Let me put a challenge out to programme makers to produce a programme of such length and intelligecne without any "music" [i.e. noise] soundtrack. I doubt that they could; they have lost the skills that produced programmes such as 'Minder' that just presented a good story and fine acting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars stands up well 19 Jan 2014
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have wanted to see this for a while and am so glad I took the plunge. It stands up surprisingly well when you think how old it is. The story is well written and acted- if you like me decide to give it a go you won't be disappointed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Guardians 5 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Plot is pertinent to today being the result of one of the writers experience with the policies of British authorities in Ulster. The acting is excellent in parts especially the philosophical discussions.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and chilling drama 12 July 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a well written and produced series. I remember the chaotic 1970s - random power cuts when I was at school and at home. And street riots. Unions out of control. Britain was in many ways seemed to be heading for a state like Zimbabwe or Iraq today - a mess. We all expected a dictatorship to take over. The Guardians reflects that era and all our concerns. This is British TV at its best - relying on excellent scripts and good dialogue. Not treating the audience like morons - what a contrast with the rubbish we get on TV today. You have to concentrate on this stuff - like going to a stage play and having to listen (anyone remember doing that recently?). Buy it. Watch it.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guardians - The Complete Series 30 Mar 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm old enough to remember the chaotic 1960/70's Britain amidst which this excellent series was produced. The rampant inflation, the daily power strikes, rat-infested garbage rotting in the streets, the strikers, fascists, racists and marxists rioting in the streets most weekends; and even the Times newspaper speculating as to whether democracy could survive. This 4DVD 650min series released in 1971, depicts a 'fictional' 1980's England in which a shadowy 'General' has stepped in to restore law and order. It's hard to believe now, but millions including my father; expected and even hoped it would happen.

The series depicts various individuals including a right wing Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, their families, members of the paramilitary 'Guardians', assorted lower-level state apparatchniks, psychiatrists, assassins and left wing dissidents; as they struggle to create their version of 'the future' from a disjointed blend of traditional British values, fascist ideology, industrial decline, George Orwell's 1984, and the 'new values' of the 1960's. Just a few of the highly controversial subjects covered within the thirteen programmes include:- the case for and against censorship, the reintroduction of the death penalty, the morality of political assassination, abortion, state use of Government surveillance/data-bank information for population control, genetic screening/sterilisation, identity cards and the treatment of criminals/dissidents as mentally ill needing 'treatment' rather than punishment. In 1971 the rebellious young left-wing graduates within the media/entertainment industries regarded these topics as overtly Nazi, to be resisted at all costs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking ....
If Britain became governed by an extremist - even Fascist regime how would the ordinary people survive under a totalitarian government where opposition were restricted - then... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Roy Vicars
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift
Person I bought it for was very pleased as he hadn't been able to watch it when it was aired in the seventies
Published 13 months ago by Janine Ellis
3.0 out of 5 stars The Guardians - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971]
I had not seen this series when it was broadcast in 1971 because it was not shown in NI where I live. Read more
Published on 23 April 2012 by historian
1.0 out of 5 stars beware guardians at large
ohdear i remember the period depicted in the programme. political unrest,over zealous unions and weak government but i dont recall anything as bad as this dvd. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by codeman
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite as Good as I Remembered!
I don't think I got to watch all of this when it originally went out but I do remember being quite excited by it. Read more
Published on 21 Jun 2011 by Mike of Alsager
5.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked Classic
The Guardians should be recognised as a true example of classic TV from the early seventies.
Nothing is as it seems ,an impotent puppet goverment,a brutal paramilitary force... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by Mark Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been waiting 39 years for this release
I remember this series from 1971, It's been sat on by the Government ever since as it was too close to the knuckle. Funny how life in England now imitates art.
Published on 31 Dec 2009 by Quarmby
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