The Lost World of the Seventies,
Presented by Michael Cockerall. A focus on 4 colourful personalities that played various roles in the decade.
The Lost World of the Seventies, part of BBC Two’s current season on the decade, was undeniably focused on the Seventies, but there was little about it that seemed to have been lost.
Michael Cockerell, the veteran BBC documentary-maker who has profiled leaders from Edward Heath to Tony Blair, dug out old film from programmes he’d made 40 years earlier, and added some new interviews, to profile four characters from that era: businessman Sir James Goldsmith, police chief Sir Robert Mark, anti-pornography campaigner Lord Longford and General Walter Walker – a brilliantly “old school” character who recruited a private army to combat an anticipated Marxist coup.
“The Communist Trojan Horse is in our midst with its fellow travellers wriggling their maggoty way inside its belly,” he wrote splendidly in a letter to this newspaper, prompting thousands to support him, including Lord Mountbatten, no less.
The programme had some wonderful old footage to enjoy but little explanation as to why these men’s stories were being retold at this point.
“All four of them lived their lives in primary colours, unlike today’s public figures, who are pastel shaded,” was Cockerill’s rather strained conclusion.
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Dipping back to the Seventies 27 Apr 2012
It was an oddball documentary, best summed up with this pithy phrase: I was totally prepared to be lukewarm about this documentary. Well, the good news was … I was prepared.
You see, we can all do that self-referencing, postmodern thing.
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