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Alan Bleasdale Collection [DVD]
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Alan Bleasdale is one of the most successful and influential writers working in British television today. Drawing on the traditions of realist television drama, he has created powerful but darkly comic television plays and miniseries set in the depressed cities of the north of England. His collection includes GBH (1991), Jake’s Progress (1995)and Melissa (1997).
Alan Bleasdale’s G.B.H.  is a darkly humorous epic about power, corruption and madness--played out in the conflict between an enigmatic politician, Michael Murray (Robert Lindsay), and his nemesis, schoolteacher Jim Nelson (Michael Palin). Nelson defies a Murray-inspired 24-hour strike and inadvertently steals the limelight when it is picked up by the press. While Murray seeks revenge in what is initially a one-sided fight, we slowly discover the secrets in his past that will cause his carefully constructed world to unravel. Then, just when the pressure of public life and power games start getting on top of him, a beautiful woman arrives on the scene…
Award-winning war correspondent Guy Foster, distraught after the loss of his first wife, joins a cruise to Cape Town, where he meets beautiful and mysterious Melissa. A sophisticated blonde, PR girl, Melissa is travelling with an exuberant group of media friends. Guy falls desperately in love with the exotic Melissa and she suggests they marry. But while they celebrate, dark events begin to take place. An elderly widower is ‘accidentally’ lost overboard. The bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in Cape Town. Then one of Melissa’s friends is brutally killed. The finger of suspicion falls on Guy – and when Melissa herself is killed, he is found bending over her bloodied corpse.
Parenthood surprises Jamie and Julie Diadoni late on in life, but son Jake is not born into domestic harmony. Jamie – a handsome failed pop star – loses his job, Julie is forced out to work, and he takes on the role of house husband. Jake grows up loving his father but hating his absent mother. A new pregnancy is the final straw. His misunderstood side manifests itself as he fantasises about pushing his brother off a cliff and attempts to set fire to him. Meanwhile, events take a tragic twist as Jamie has his fortune told and learns he will have an affair – just before he dies. Drawn inexorably towards his fate, he falls in love with mysterious stranger Kate and embarks on an affair after discovering the prophecy was invented by Julie as a joke. But Julie learns just how dangerous it is to play games with fate.