Our Friends In The North (4 Disc Set) [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
The entire BAFTA winning series
Comprehensive pop-up 'filmographies' for cast members
Complete soundtrack listing with chart history
Exclusive interviews especially for DVD with Gina McKee & Christopher Eccleston
Retrospective from the makers of the series including writer Peter Flannery and executive producer Michael Wearing
Precis and colour stills from an unscreened episode
An epic saga stretching from 1964 to 1995, Our Friends in the North follows the lives of four young people in North-East England. Nicky Hutchinson (Christopher Eccleston) is initially courting Mary Soulsby (Gina McKee) but the relationship cools when it takes second place to his campaigning for Harold Wilson's Labour Party. She weds Tory Tosker Cox instead, but their marriage is a miserable one, living in a rot-infested high rise block built following a dubious new housing scheme. Meanwhile, "Geordie" Peacock, finally tiring of his drunken, abusive father, headbutts him and hitches down to London, where he ends up working for a surrogate "family" led by Malcolm McDowell's flash Soho sex club baron.
Over the years, the paths of these characters intertwine, diverge then cross again, albeit occasionally stretching the bounds of plausible coincidence. The drama takes place against the backdrop of local authority and police corruption in the 60s, the radical far-left militancy of the early 70s, Thatcher's election, the 1984 miner's strike and the subsequent "murder" of Northern communities. What's brilliant about Our Friends is its melding of the personal and the political, with the soap opera of family estrangement played out against a backdrop of social decline. Peter Vaughn, playing Nicky's Dad as a former Jarrow marcher stricken by Alzheimer's, is especially poignant. If you didn't see this the first time, do so now.
On the DVD: Our Friends in the North has a bonus disc featuring a discussion with writer Peter Flannery and the producers and directors in which the making of the programme is revealed to have been as epic and protracted a saga as the drama itself. There are interviews also with stars Christopher Eccleston and Gina McKee. --David Stubbs
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Top Customer Reviews
It's an overtly political piece, but in a way that demonstrates how political changes inform social change. Nicky (Christopher Eccleston) is consumed by involvement in the grubby and incestuos world of sixties north-east Labour politics, dominated by the exotic Austen Donohue. As Donohue's corruption unfolds, and the hopes formed by the election of a Labour government at the end of the first instalment fade away, Nicky turns to radicalism and protest, spending the seventies as a political and social photo-journalist, eventually marrying his childhood companion, Mary - herself bruised by a violent and turbulent first marriage to their mutual friend Tosker, which decays with the passage of the seventies. Geordie meanwhile is drawn into the Soho strip-clubs, run by Malcolm McDowell's grimy, fragile Benny Barrett.
Throughout, their lives are underpinned by their 'friends in the north' - fixers like Eddie Wells, whose life of solid political service to Labour masters is blown away in the storms of 1987, as the political tide reaches the high watermark of Thatcherism. Geordie's escape from the vice dens of Soho is complicated by ongoing investigations into vice and corruption in the Met.Read more ›
I don't intend repeating what others have said, it is enough to say that it is superbly written, acted, directed and filmed. There have been adverse comments about the fashions, the drabness, and the significant events portrayed. All I can is yes, precisely that's the way they were. Obviously there have to be compromises because this is drama, but that's why we have writers
Incidentally the only one star comment is from somebody who placed 18 reviews of products the same day, so probably responsible for his completely differing comments.
First time round, I thought this was complete fiction, but watching it 8 years later I know that, in places, it's too close to the truth for comfort.
Down side? Too many fake accents. But don't let that put you off!
Good casting, combining actors who are familiar with some who have since become more well known, with not a weak link among them.
If you're looking at building up a DVD collection or just a fan of very high quality drama, get it!
The four friends (Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Mark Strong and Daniel Craig) carry the drama well, and give believable faces to the events. It is, however, the supporting cast who really take the acting honours. Peter Vaughn (previously only known to me as genial Harry Grout in Porridge) is an absolute blowaway as Felix. A man who stood up for what he believed in by going on the Jarrow march, he is disillusioned by the lack of tangible change that resulted from his efforts. As his character gets older he slips into Alzheimer's, and Vaughn's portrayal of this terrible disease is intensely moving. His evolution of the character through the 9 episodes is a marvel to watch. David Bradley as Eddie Wells, local activist who becomes MP, is similarly memorable, as is Alun Armstrong in one of his best performances as Austen Donahuem. Donahue is an early spin doctor, an oiler of the machinery of local government. He has a conscience and truly believes in what he is doing, and the that bribes and money that change hands (and ends up in his own pockets) are a necessary and good thing as they bring about real improvements for the populance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1st class mini series brought back memories and great characters who all went on to greater success.Strongly recommended viewing .Published 18 days ago by sam
Excellent drama,brilliant actors,pity about some of the accents,but probably only a Geordie would criticise that. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lynne Upright
A great series well worth the money, delivery very swift tooPublished 3 months ago by joanne ludvigsen