1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 4 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Peter Jenkins – the political commentator for The Guardian – wrote this six-part LWT sitcom for Channel 4 about the crazy goings-on of a group of left-wingers who control the town hall of the imaginary (though very familiar) South London borough of Southam.
Socialist Steve Marsh (Tim Pigott-Smith) was the newly-elected leader of Southam’s borough council but his idealist dream of a “progressive people’s republic” was frequently nixed by his upper-class Conservative opponent Sir Bert (Ray Smith).
Paul Rogers played old-time left-winger, Reg, with Peter Machin, Ken Jones and Mary Maddox also in the cast,
Typical storylines found Marsh debating whether Southam should celebrate Karl Marx Day and setting up “sexual rehabilitation workshops”, creches, and anti-rape taxi rides for women. In the final episode, the group debated whether a mural of an elephant emerging from a colourful jungle could transform Southam into the Athens of South London.
Overall, there were too many stereotypes and not enough laughs.
One Step Forward Two Steps Back | Manning the Barricades | Karl Marx Slept Here | Better Red Than Dead | One Person One Vote | Art for the Workers’ Sake