Play for Today

Character: Celia / Angela

Directed by: Brian Gibson, Charles Sturridge

Written by: Dennis Potter, Stephen Poliakoff

Produced by: Kenith Trodd

Cast Members: Colin Welland, Michael Elphick, Robin Ellis, Ian Holm, Nigel Havers

Released date: January 30, 1979

Episode(s) Number: 9x14, 13x01

Episode(s) Title: "Blue Remembered Hills", "Soft Targets"

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Episodes Guide

9.14 – Blue Remembered Hills
aired on January 30, 1979
Directed by: Brian Gibson | Written by: Dennis Potter

“When we dream of childhood,” said Dennis Potter, “we take our present selves with us. It is not the adult world writ small; childhood is the adult world writ large.” Since Potter viewed childhood as “adult society without all the conventions and the polite forms which overlay it,” he repeated the device he had introduced 14 years earlier (in “Stand Up, Nigel Barton”); children’s roles were cast with adult actors in this naturalistic memory drama of a “golden day” that turns to tragedy. On a sunny, summer afternoon in bucolic England of 1943, seven West Country children (two girls, five boys) play in the Forest of Dean. Their games and spontaneous actions (continuous and in real time) reflect their awareness of WWII, but no adults are present to intrude. As the group moves through the woods and back to the grassy hills, their words and actions illustrate how “childhood is not transparent with innocence.” When the two girls push a pram into a barn to play house, the casting concept is heightened, doubling back on itself in a remarkable moment: adults are suddenly seen to be acting as children who are pretending to be adults, and lines from Housman echo across the years: “That is the land of lost content/I see it shining plain/The happy highways where I went/And cannot come again.”

13.01 – Soft Targets
aired on October 19, 1982
Directed by: Charles Sturridge | Written by: Stephen Poliakoff

A Russian in London finds himself targeted by British Intelligence.

Script developed by Never Enough Design