1 9 8 9 (UK)
1 x 120 minute episode
4 x 60 minute episodes
This intense five-part drama serial from Channel 4 told the stories of British politician Jack Lithgow (Bill Paterson) – who finds himself in conflict with opium farmers of the North-West Frontier in Pakistan; local opium farmer Fazal (Jamal Shah) and his family – who are threatened by Lithgow’s mission – and the arrest of businessman Karl Rosshalde (George Kukura) in Hamburg during a major drugs haul, which leaves his English-born wife Helen (Lindsay Duncan) – a former Olympic swimmer – faced with social and financial ruin.
Returning to London, Lithgow – a minister at the Home Office – discovers his daughter, Caroline (Julia Ormond) – a student at Cambridge – is a heroin addict.
Meanwhile, burned off his land where he farmed poppies, Fazal goes to Karachi and works for Tariq Butt (Talat Hussain), a murderous drug lord, and Helen attempts to re-establish the family smuggling empire under the noses of the German police, being forced into increasingly violent and criminal acts.
All three storylines are drawn together as the series develops.
The series won the International Emmy for Drama.
Ismat Shah Jahan
Jennifer Susan Hibbert