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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2006
One of the greatest examples of television drama, Alan Bleasdale's masterpiece has lost none of its power in the 15 years since first broadcast and----while Michael Palin and Lindsay Duncan have moved on to projects that highlighted their talents better---Robert Lindsay has never come close to even equalling, let alone eclipsing, this work. His portrayal of Michael Murray---sometime Derek Hatton, sometime Dr Strangelove, sometime victim---is perfect, making an unlikeable, corrupt bully completely sympathetic to the viewer.

If this was being made today, it would be six episodes of 50 minutes. In 1991, it was seven parts of uneven lengths, allowing even the peripheral characters the opportunity to shine. Politically, it may be a Guardian reader's wishful thinking----a liberal fable, like much of The West Wing. Dramatically, it's almost Dickensian with its characters and Shakespearean with its plot.

Michael Palin shines as the epitome of decency; Lindsay Duncan is her usual luminous perfection; and Robert Lindsay is just fantastic in the role of a lifetime. Sterling work by a marvellous cast, with particular praise for David Ross's Mr Weller and Philp Whitchurch as Franky Murray.

This is the kind of thing we do best---playing to our strengths, with our own cultural references and no concerns about how it will be sold to the US. If you like British drama, buy this. I didn't use the word "masterpiece" lightly.
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on 9 July 2006
This is one of a select few British dramas that is a genuine classic. Alan Bleasdale's writing has the range you'd expect but it's the casting that seasls its place. Michael Palin is superb as Jim Nelson the quiet schoolteacher with the steely resolve, with Lindsay Duncan also superb. The supporting cast of Bleasdale regulars such as Julie Walter, Tom Georgeson and Andrew Schofield also excel, but none of them can match the virtuoso performance of Robert Lindsay as corrupt Labour council leader Michael Murray.

Loosely based on Derek Hatton, his character's gradual disintegration as his carefully built facade comes crashing down around him is one of the all time great comic drama performances in this multi-layered critique of the loony left and the shadowy figures in the margins of British politics.

The plot is superbly constructed, written and acted with the right mix of comedy, drama, tension and tragedy. At this price it's unmissable, and is worth it for episode 4 alone where Murray's desperate antics are surreally set off by a Dr. Who convention.

Genius.
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on 15 June 2006
A fantastic drama from the pen of Alan Bleasdale, richly deserves to be listed amongst the greats of TV dramas series such as Edge of Darkness and The Singing Detective.

Pretty much faultless performances from everyone involved, especially Michael Palin and Robert Lindsay. The emotional involevement is tremendous and extremely rewarding for the viewer. The storyline is multi-layered as are the first class characters.

A must see. Brilliant.
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on 12 May 2006
Simply the finest television mini series in existance. Michael Palin, Robert Lyndsey and the rest of this star studded cast are just terrific in Alan Bleasdale tour de force of the looney left and the machinations of the political establishment.

I bought the original on video via ebay and it cost me an arm and a leg. This represents terrfic value, I stongly recommend anyone with a brain to purchase this dvd.
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on 27 August 2006
... or whatever your name is!

Just buy it!

I first watched this series when in my teens and now in my early thirties it was just as good as I'd remembered - if not better! What took so long for it to reach DVD???

Robert Linsday's best performance ever and a terrific performance from Michael Palin and the rest of the cast.

Moving and funny - there's been nothing as watchable since...
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on 22 August 2012
GBH is wonderfully taut, entertaining, deadly serious yet brilliantly humorous; typical Bleasdale.
Palin describes his role as 'the most serious acting I have ever done'; and is excellent as the teacher unwittingly drawn into a picketless dispute in his school for children with special needs. His bridge phobia is fascinating as is the escalation of the conflict with the 'politican' Robert Lindsay who harbours a dark upsetting secret from his early past which threatens to unravel his present and future.
Overall excellent; have to give it 10/10 as they simply don't write them like that anymore. Sheer class from Alan Bleasdale. Thank you for the creation
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on 26 April 2016
I missed this series first time around. This is Bleasdale at his grittiest best. Michael Palin and Lindsey Duncan are brilliant in this and Robert Lindsay has never done anything as wonderful before or since. Well worth a trip down memory lane for this series. I will be watching it again in 5 years time :)
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on 25 October 2013
I loved this series when it was aired in TV back in the 1990s (?), bought it on VHS video and have now bought the DVD boxed set. It is a truly iconic production with fantastic main and supporting cast (Robert LIndsey, Michael Palin, Lynsey Duncan), masterful story-telling (by Alan Bleasdale), intertwining political and personal journeys, told with humour, passion and pathos, and set against a shadowy hinterland of string-pulling puppet-masters who manipulate the vulnerable for their own ends. The emotional impact of the series is phenomenal and although it is now a period-piece, with the socio-political landscape of the Britain very different from today's, the hard questions raised about public accountability and the dreadful consequences of mismanaged childhood are totally relevant in any era.
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on 10 April 2008
G.B.H. is, quite simply, the finest drama series ever produced. Every single second of it is captivating, the acting is of the highest order with Robert Lindsey giving the performance of his career and Michael Palin doing likewise, clearly realising he was never going to get anything as good as this again. The are so many fantastic and memorable characters who are all played superbly and the music also plays a vital part, being very dramatic and almost portentous sounding, emphasising the 'epic' nature of the series. The balance between drama and comedy is masterfully done, and some of the scenes in here are the funniest I've ever seen anywhere, particularly the scene where Lindsey gets beaten up by his brother at the side of a road and is mistaken for Dirty Den by a passing coach driver, and the famous scene where he has a nervous breakdown in a hotel trying to find some condoms while in the midst of a Doctor Who convention. I could rave all day about how brilliant this programme is, but I'll just finish by saying that you won't regret buying this and you'll certainly never forget it. Drama dosen't get any better than this.
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on 20 December 2015
We watched this when it was first shown on TV. It hasn't dated. The performances of Michael Palin and Robert Lindsay were outstanding, as were that of the whole cast. Nobody should miss seeing this. Powerful, emotional and even hilariously funny at times,
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