Classic TV picks on Tuesday

Here's why Tuesday night is offering you some exceptional television -if you look beyond the usual suspects.

Tomorrow night you might be swayed (with good reason) towards the usual suspects of Packed to the Rafters or NCIS. Nine isn’t running Top Gear Australia but it does have Richard Hammond’s Invisible World.

However there are some significant choices for serious minds on the public broadcasters, both from the UK.

ABC2 is screening Edge of Darkness at 8:30pm.

Not to be confused with the Mel Gibson remake, this six-part 1985 crime / political thriller is often named on those critic lists of Best TV of All Time.

The story follows policeman Ronald Craven (Bob Peck) as he unravels the truth behind the brutal killing of his daughter Emma (Joanne Whalley). It leads to a murky world of government and corporate cover-ups and nuclear espionage, pitting him against forces that threaten the future of life on Earth.

In 1992 The Daily Telegraph said, “Edge of Darkness is a masterpiece. It is one of those very rare television creations so rich in form and content that the spectator wishes there was some way of prolonging it indefinitely.”

The series was placed fifteenth on the British Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes in 2000 described as “a gripping, innovative six-part drama which fully deserves its cult status and many awards.” In 2007 it was placed third in Channel 4’s list of the Greatest TV Dramas.

But the choices don’t end there.

This week SBS screens its Red Riding Trilogy, three telemovies by three different directors.

Based on the books by David Peace, these dramas are set against a backdrop of serial murders, including the Yorkshire Ripper case.

Filmed like art-house movies, they are titled “1974,” “1980” and “1983.”

In “1974, which airs at 10:05pm,  Andrew Garfield stars as a young reporter whose private investigation into the disappearance of young girls finds him becoming the target of corrupt businessmen and police. This is an atmospheric thriller, set in the working class estates of Yorkshire. The period costumes and cars might make this look like Life on Mars, but it bears a much darker tone. Pace yourself for this one, it’s the kind of film you will see on the film festival circuit.

“1980” and “1983” will follow on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Coincidentally, Edge of Darkness also begins in Yorkshire….spooky.

7 Responses

  1. Already scheduled the Red Riding Trilogy, but missed seeing that Edge Of Darkness was on ABC2! That was a fantastic show – hope it still looks as good.
    Didn’t realise the music was by Eric Clapton!!!

  2. I was wondering if/when you’d mention Edge of Darkness! This is legendary TV, I recall watching it in 1986 and it has stuck in my mind all these years. Forget Gibson’s effort, this is the Real Deal…

    Oh, and the music is by some chap called Eric Clapton.

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