Alan Plater (1935-2010)

Sad news is being reported on the BBC of the death of Alan Plater.

A prolific writer of TV screenplays I will remember him for the wonderful Beiderbecke Trilogy (starring James Bolam and and Barbara Flynn). The scripts are wonderful, and the beautiful slow pace allows a unworldly feel to envelop you. Despite the rather challenging subject matter, and sometimes scary possibilities being explored it keeps a sense of humour and doesn’t preach. (The DVD box set is available from Amazon, and probably many other retailers too).

Whilst gentle they are clearly political: they do look at the role of the state, and what an individual could and should do if the government was misbehaving or failing (whether at a local or national level).

I did look for a clip on the web, but the only one I found didn’t do the series justice. It did remind me of Beryl Reid’s cameo as Sylvia, the oldest suffragette in town (in The Beiderbecke Tapes). I also love Robert Longdon as the town planner (in The Beiderbecke Affair).

It also had a wonderful soundtrack that I may be listening to this weekend.

He also adapted Chris Mullin’s A Very British Coup for the 1988 TV series.

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Filed under Alan Plater, bbc, Chris Mullin, Obituary, TV

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