Guardians, The

1 9 7 1 (UK)
13 x 60 minute episodes

This London Weekend Television production presented a not too distant future where British society is falling apart after having been seriously troubled by years of mass unemployment, hyperinflation, social disorder and industrial unrest.

To prevent what seems to be an unavoidable disintegration of the institutions, the government of the nation is eventually taken over by a totalitarian regime.

The new order is guaranteed by a uniformed paramilitary force known as The Guardians, whose function is to maintain the new status quo.

Behind the slogan "Make Britain Great", the outwardly benign regime suppresses all opposition, while the Guardians, taking orders from their shadowy leader, the General, have become the true holders of power.

There are voices of dissent, however; a loose affiliation of resistance groups, collectively known as Quarmby, has begun a clandestine struggle against the regime. But opposing factions quickly emerge within the movement - and with them, the inescapable moral dilemmas faced by all those who must use force to achieve their ends.

Created by Rex Firkin and Vincent Tilsley, whose combined credits include The Prisoner, Manhunt, and The Forsyte Saga, the series anticipated many more recent dramatisations featuring similarly dystopian landscapes and has been praised for its insightful, intelligent handling of its subject.

Captain Tom Weston
John Collin
Clare Weston
Gwyneth Powell
Peter Lee
Robin Ellis
Sir Timothy Hobson
Cyril Luckham
Dr Benedict
David Burke
Norman
Derek Smith
Eleanor
Lynn Farleigh

EPISODES
The State of England | Pursuit | Head of State | The Logical Approach | Quarmby | Appearances | This Is Quarmby | The Dirtiest Man in the World | I Want You to Understand Me | The Nature of the Beast | The Roman Empire | The Killing Trade | End in Dust