1 9 7 5 (UK)
3 x 50 minute episodes
Debuting on 4 December 1975, this tough three-part dystopian thriller from the BBC was a continuation of The Donati Conspiracy, another three-parter produced in 1973.
The story is set in a parallel Britain run by a fascist dictatorship who stepped in to save the country from anarchy when 10 million trade unionists had threatened the wellbeing of 40 million people who wanted law and order, food at reasonable prices and the trains to run on time.
Resistance to the regime is growing and terrorists are blowing up army installations and vehicles. Death by firing squad after show trials is commonplace.
The first episode concerns interrogation and execution under a dictatorship. The interrogator, security chief Paul Frederick (Patrick Mower) is a husband trying to extract a confession from his crippled and captive wife, Jane (Janet Key) who has been captured on suspicion of terrorism along with Professor Michael Donati (Michael Gwynn), who is a former tutor and close friend of Frederick’s – the pair both face execution if they do not confess.
A group of terrorists, meanwhile, is determined to save them by kidnapping Frederick and holding him hostage in exchange for the prisoners’ lives.
Did Colonel Singleton (William Gaunt) deliberately leak information about the ‘Photic Driver’ to the terrorists? If so – why?
The writer, John Gould, died of cancer at the age of 36 with the final draft of State of Emergency unfinished. Hugh Whitemore added the finishing touches.
Professor Michael Donati
Emma Jean Richards