1 9 8 7 (USA)
7 x 120 minute episodes
Broadcast on ABC over the course of seven nights in the middle of February 1987, Amerika was a miniseries depicting life as imagined in the United States in the late 1990s, ten years after the Soviet Union had taken control of America employing a Russian-controlled UN peace-keeping force.
Most of it took place in Nebraska, and Kris Kristofferson starred as Devin Milford, a Vietnam veteran presidential candidate who was sent to a political prison.
Other featured characters were Milford’s ex-wife, Marion (Wendy Hughes); Peter Bradford (Robert Urich), the governor-general of ‘Heartland’, the new American government; his wife Amanda (Cindy Pickett); Colonel Andrei Denisov (Sam Neill); General Samanov (Armin Mueller-Stahl); and Kimberly Ballard (Mariel Hemingway).
At the time, Amerika was the most controversial television event ever broadcast by ABC, with critics coming from all sides: Liberals feared the series would antagonise the Kremlin and jeopardise arms control and détente.
The right thought the miniseries inadequately portrayed the brutality of the USSR, while the United Nations thought it would erode its image.
Despite a near-hysterical pre-broadcast level of controversy, most of the public did not object to the $40 million miniseries. Unsurprisingly, the USSR protested vociferously.
Colonel Andrei Denisov
Governor-General Peter Bradford