1 9 7 0 (UK)
14 x 50 minute episodes
This BBC2 drama series (based on a series of novels by the French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre) revolves around Mathieu Delarue (Michael Bryant) – a Socialist teacher of philosophy at the Sorbonne – and spans the years leading up to the outbreak of war.
The characters surrounding Mathieu included his pregnant mistress, Marcelle (Rosemary Leach); their homosexual friend Daniel (Daniel Massey) who offers to marry Marcelle; Boris (Anthony Higgins), a student of Mathieu’s, and his sister, Ivich (Alison Fiske) to whom Mathieu is attracted; Mathieu’s Communist friend Brunet (Donald Burton); Gomez (Andrew Faulds) and Sarah (Heather Canning), a painter who is fighting with the Republicans in Spain and his Jewish wife; and Lola (Georgia Brown), a singer.
As Hitler continues to mobilise across Europe, Mathiew is called up to serve in the French army as the Nazi’s move on France and occupy Paris.
Roads to Freedom was nominated for five BAFTAs but reception to the series was mixed, drawing several comments over its nude scenes and frank sexual references, including Daniel Massey’s comic yet highly sympathetic portrayal of a homosexual man.
The haunting theme tune – La Route est Dure – was sung by Georgia Brown.