Top positive review
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A thought-provoking updating of 1984
on 13 December 2009
The first two or three episodes of this series are fantastic, exceptionally gripping, mysterious and well-acted. The picture of a near-future Britain dominated by ID cards, CCTV etc is well-evoked and quite believable, mostly, as an extrapolation of present trends. And the central love triangle is very well-done, it packs a good deal of emotional power, as does the growth of Stephen Ezard from remote ivory-tower mathematician to passionate lover and rebel. The wholer thing feels like an updating of 1984, not only because of the obvious 'big Brother' theme but also because the central character Stephen has a similar trajectory to Winston in 1984--he only becomes a rebel, he only begins to realise the monstrous nature of the system, when he falls in love. It is human emotion not high-flown ideals that drive him.
But as things go on, though the action stays good and the characters are just as good as before, the storyline starts to get more and more preposterous and by the end it just feels like the whole thing had got away from the creators a bit. Ends are not properly tied up, people do things randomly, and there are some truly unbelievable moments, which is rather disappointing, which is why I'm giving it four instead of five stars.
However the end is also very similar to 1984 as it offers really very little hope that you can in fact escape the clutches of Big Brother.