First on this tape, part 2 of Children of the North, Lonely The Man Without Heroes. I have a terrible feeling I only recorded this because I got it confused with Our Friends In the North. I don’t remember watching it at the time, and the subject matter, undercover operations in Northern Ireland, wasn’t an abiding interest of mine.
But it was directed by David Drury who made the excellent Defence of the Realm so perhaps that’s why I recorded it.
The very start of the episode is missing but most of it is here. It’s a twisty tale of undercover army officers, IRA men, and Michael Gough who seems to think he’s a prophet. Nobody trusts anybody, even when they’re supposedly on the same side.
It’s not helped when the army start killing the wrong people when trying to target their assassination subjects.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th November 1991 – 21:25
Next, part 3, City of Moloch. Things get even murkier as the British Army want to take out the main IRA man, but Jonathan Hyde, their top man, is kidnapped by the IRA. Then they order Derrick O’Connor, their best killer, to make sure Hyde doesn’t live through the prisoner exchange.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th November 1991 – 21:25
Finally, part 4, A Darkness in the Eye. The prospect of a political solution is unacceptable to some of the rank and file IRA members, so now they start killing their own people. And when they detonate a bomb in London, it wrecks any chance of the secret negotiations being carried out by various parties.
I really hate it when TV programmes use such badly formatted newspaper front pages. This wouldn’t pass muster in a real newspaper office.
This is a grim story. Almost every major character ends up dead by the end.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th November 1991 – 21:25
After this, there’s a trailer for Clarissa. Then recording stops, and underneath there’s some snooker. Terry Griffiths vs Dean Reynolds. Then a look ahead to Wednesday’s programmes.
This was for 23rd November 1988, so that Doctor Who episode is the 25th anniversary episode, the start of the rather disappointing Silver Nemesis.
After this, there’s half of a public information film about social workers (or something) then the tape ends.