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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