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Nostalgia tinged with hope,
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This review is from: 7-49 Up  [DVD] (DVD)
I watched the first three episodes (7, 14 and 21) as they happened but had not seen the remainder (28, 35, 42 and 49) and so this boxed-set enabled me to catch up and get ready for the next one (56) in 2013.
The programme begins in 1964 when a group of 7 year olds from a wide variety of backgrounds is brought together and interviewed, the results being sometimes sad and sometimes hilarious. Younger viewers may find some of the remarks made by the 7 year olds "inappropriate" but they should be viewed in the context of Britain in 1964.
There is someone for everyone to identify with (in my case Bruce is the closest) and the penetrating examination of how people from different backgrounds progress through life is riveting to say the least. From the uber-confident Cockney, Tony (now a taxi-driver straight out of central casting), to the heartbreakingly insecure Neil, who wanted to be an astronaut when he was 7 but now struggles to cope with living amongst others and has had a rough time... perhaps the clue to his personality is that wish, all those years ago, to be alone in outer space? Then there is the East End girl, Jackie, who has taken knock after knock on the chin and still, somehow, manages to keep on going. There is the rejected boy from the children's home who ends up with a loving and close-knit family in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, frolicking in the sea with his teenage children or riding horses in the outback; the grammar school girl from the East End who turns from a somewhat morose teenager into a tower of strength in her local community; the boy brought up on a remote Yorkshire farm who goes on to become a professor in the USA.
In their own way all the characters are amazing and yet absolutely normal; they are all of us and I would urge anyone with compassion and an interest in who we are to watch this series in order to get ready for the 2013 episode. Make sure that the hankies are to hand though... tears will be shed!