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


Price: £22.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Guardians - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971] + It Happened Here [1965] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Cyril Luckham, Derek Smith, David Burke, Lynn Farleigh, William Simons
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: 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: 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: 68,790 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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'.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Norton on 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 By W. Hutchinson on 17 Jun. 2010
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Allen on 5 Sept. 2013
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DoctorDavros on 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Evans on 12 July 2010
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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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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By C. W. Bradbury on 30 Mar. 2010
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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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