This made-for-television movie from the BBC featured unemployed teenagers Carly (Perry Benson) and his girlfriend Paulette (Cathy Murphy), who lived at a grim, graffiti-ridden roller disco run by the Government, where they had to remain until they found a job (the exit was “For Authorised Leavers Only”).
“Voicespeak” – a reassuring woman on a screen (Christina Greatrex) – announced the dead-end opportunities and the skaters carried on watching and waiting, skating round and round in circles while waiting for jobs that never came.
Meanwhile, they took the drugs prescribed by an uncaring doctor in a combat jacket (David Sibley), and were provided with food tokens and doses of soothing music.
Carly had become used to living in the Roller State Disco and clung tightly to the notion that the perfect job was out there waiting for him. Neither Paulette nor his mother could convince him to settle for something less so that he could escape.
A gang of thugs bullied the weaker and more vulnerable kids at the roller disco, and in the final moments, the simmering tensions and resentments finally boiled over in a shocking act of violence.
The telemovie – written by Michael Hastings and directed by Alan Clarke – aired on BBC1 on Tuesday 4 December 1984. It wasn’t a fun watch, but it wasn’t meant to be.