1 9 7 8 (UK)
3 x 50 minute episodes
The story in this BBC drama is set in an alternate 1970s Britain where Germany won WWII and England has been occupied ever since.
Peter Ingram (Kenneth More) is a writer and producer on a popular long-running soap opera – also titled An Englishman’s Castle – which is set in London during the Blitz and specifically designed to lull the population into quiet acceptance of the political status quo.
Peter lives a quiet, boring life, deliberately oblivious to the subtle rule of the local Nazis which is hidden behind a facade of seemingly normal English daily life.
German rule is maintained mainly through an extensive system of collaborators and quislings. When dissidents are detained it is done by polite, soft-spoken English police officers – but they are then delivered to horrible torture in Gestapo chambers which are kept discreetly out of sight.
Peter gradually becomes aware of the real state of things and is faced with a dilemma when his lover Jill (Isla Blair) reveals that she is both a Jew and a member of the underground British resistance.
Episodes are wordy at times, but the subjects under discussion are always compelling, and the top-drawer performances from More (in his final television role), Blair and Anthony Bate (as his quisling executive producer) ensure that interest never flags even during the more verbose moments.