Midsomer Murders is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as adapted for television by Anthony Horowitz. A major success in viewership since its first episode, the series has been marketed worldwide in numerous countries. Set within small English country villages, the show has an unusual identity as a crime drama peppered with both lighthearted whimsy and dark humour; the first 13 series starred John Nettles as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. The character's younger cousin, DCI John Barnaby, took over his position when Nettles retired from the show in 2011. Despite the change of lead character, the show has retained its popularity and began airing its 20th series in March 2019. Midsomer Murders is a detective drama set in modern-day England; the stories revolve around the efforts of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby to solve numerous murders that take place in the picturesque but deadly villages of the fictional county of Midsomer.
The Barnabys have worked with several different sergeants throughout the run of the show: Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy, DS Dan Scott, DS Ben Jones, DS Charlie Nelson and DS Jamie Winter. Filming of Midsomer Murders began in Autumn 1996, with the first episode, "The Killings at Badger's Drift", broadcast in the United Kingdom on 23 March 1997; this inaugural episode was the highest-rated single drama programme of 1997, watched by 13.5 million viewers. Throughout its run, the feature-length drama has attracted many well-known accomplished actors from the stage and screen in guest-starring roles. Anthony Horowitz and the original producers, Betty Willingale and Brian True-May, created the series. Horowitz adapted the majority of the early episodes from the original works by Caroline Graham. Current writers include Paul Logue, Chris Murray, Lisa Holdsworth, Rachel Cuperman and Sally Griffiths. Actor John Nettles retired after the 13th series of eight episodes. Neil Dudgeon replaced him in the 14th series, playing Tom Barnaby's cousin, DCI John Barnaby, first seen in a series 12 episode, "The Sword of Guillaume".
Series 20 began in the UK on 10 March 2019, with episode 1, "The Ghosts of Causton Abbey". In the US, the entire six-episode series was released on the streaming services Acorn TV and BritBox. British newspaper Metro reported that Nick Hendrix has said filming for a 21st series will commence in 2019. Midsomer is an English fictional county; the county town is Causton, a middle-sized town where Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby lives with his wife, where the Criminal Investigation Department is located. Much of the popularity of the series arises from the incongruity of sudden violence in a picturesque and peaceful rural setting. Individual episodes focus on institutions and customs popularly seen as characteristic of rural English counties. Various clues in several episodes hint that Midsomer might cover the areas of Berkshire and part of northern Hampshire. Many of the villages and small towns of the county have the word "Midsomer" in their name. Midsomer Wellow and Causton are derived from the names of real Somerset villages Corston.
When Mrs Barnaby proposed they move out of Causton and suggested various villages, her husband countered with recollections of grisly murders that occurred in each community. In "The Fisher King" DS Dan Scott asked if the body count was "always this high around here, sir?". Humour is a main feature of the series. There is dark comedy, such as a woman being murdered with a wheel of cheese, many scenes are examples of "dramedy". Most episodes have been set in hermetic rural villages of a kind that were changing by the time the series began, Nettles opined in a 2003 interview; the old-fashioned settings are true to the Graham novels: "Although the books are set in the present," wrote one reviewer, Graham's country villages "seem to come from another time". "The spirit is of the'50s", Nettles remarked, the less crowded, less complicated village/world was part of the books' appeal. Causton is represented in Oxfordshire. Causton police station is represented by Bracknell. Causton Town Hall is represented by Thame Town Hall.
Most episodes have been filmed in villages around the counties of Buckinghamshire. The Six Bells, a pub in Warborough, Oxfordshire features as the Black Swan in the Midsomer village of Badger's Drift; the Bull & Butcher, the village pub in Turville near Henley, featured in both "Murder on St. Malley's Day" and "Schooled in Murder". Filming took place on Sunday 11 August 2013 at White Waltham Airfield, southwest of Maidenhead, for episode 4 of Series 16, "The Flying Club". In "The Killings of Copenhagen" — number five in the sixteenth series and the 100th episode overall — several scenes are filmed on location in central Copenhagen, like R
Juliet Bravo is a British television police procedural drama series, first broadcast on 30 August 1980, that ran for six series and a total of 88 episodes on BBC1. The theme of the series concerned a female police inspector who took over control of a police station in the fictional town of Hartley in Lancashire; the lead role of Inspector Jean Darblay was played by Stephanie Turner, but after the third series, she was replaced by Anna Carteret in the role of Inspector Kate Longton. Carteret remained with the series until its demise in 1985; the series was devised by Ian Kennedy Martin, who had enjoyed success with another police drama series, The Sweeney. Although the genre of police dramas was well-established on British television by 1980, Juliet Bravo and London Weekend Television's The Gentle Touch, which started a few months earlier, were the first series that saw female officers as lead characters, having to fight both crime and the prejudice of male colleagues. Kennedy Martin based the character of Jean Darblay on Wynne Darwin.
All six series of Juliet Bravo have been released on DVD by 2|Entertain/Cinema Club. Series 1 was released on 12 September 2005. Series 2 was released on 14 November 2005. Series 3 was released on 20 February 2006. Series 4 was released on 22 May 2006. Series 5 was released on 14 August 2006. Series 6 remained unreleased for over two years after the release of Series 5, until a petition created by fans of the series was delivered to 2|Entertain, demanding the sixth and final series be released on DVD. Series 6 was released on 29 September 2008. Series 1 & 2 have both been released on Region 4 DVD in Australia. UKTV’s Drama channel reran all six series in 2018 and again in early 2019; the series had been repeated in its entirety on the cable and satellite channel UK Gold from the launch in 1992 until 2001. The series' name was devised from the inspector's radio call sign "J-B" or "Juliet Bravo" as it features in the NATO phonetic alphabet; this sign was used only twice during Stephanie Turner's tenure, both times in series 3, episode 14 Where There's Muck - Stephanie Turner's final outing as the series' protagonist - when Inspector Harblay radios into Hartley Police Station from the scene of a road traffic accident involving a lorry carrying chemical-filled drums.
On all other occasions she identifies herself as Inspector Hartley in radio communication. However, from the fourth series onwards, the call sign was used; the original working title of the programme was "Inspector, Ma'am," a reference to the lead character's rank and title. This title was dropped prior to broadcast; the character upon whom Inspector Jean Darblay was based held the rank of Inspector at Great Harwood station just outside Blackburn. However, the fictional Lancashire town of Hartley featured in the programme was based on Bacup; the first two series were produced by Terence Williams. From the third series, Jonathan Alwyn was appointed as producer, with Chris Boucher acting as script editor. Series 4, 5 and 6 were produced by Geraint Morris; the series signature theme tune was arranged by Derek Goom. Bob Cosford was the initial graphic designer, who matched the theme tune to the opening and closing graphics centred on a revolving police "star and crown" cap badge, which bore the familiar "E II R" device of English police forces, but in place of the force name around the blue circle, it instead featured the generic words "County Constabulary."In the first two series, Inspector Darblay is seen driving an orange Austin Mini.
In the third series she is seen driving a pale yellow Austin Mini Metro which, in episode 4 Amateur Night, she can be seen parking next to an orange Mini - the car used in the previous two series - in the car park outside the Hartley Little Theatre, except for episode 5 A Breach of the Peace where she is seen driving a marked Ford Escort police patrol car. Studio scenes for the first two series were recorded at Wood Lane in London. From the third series onward, studio scenes were recorded at the BBC's Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham. Exterior scenes were filmed in the Lancashire towns of Colne, Accrington, Burnley, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Other locations around east Lancashire, West Yorkshire and the Black Country were used; the exterior of Hartley Police Station seen throughout the entire series run was in fact the real-life police station in the town of Bacup. When the station closed in 2011, a campaign was mounted by fans of the series to save it from demolition, turn it into a museum dedicated to the series' legacy.
Aside from the DVD releases, the BBC licensed three TV tie-in novelisations of the show. These were authored by Mollie Hardwick; the first two were published by Pan Books. Juliet Bravo 1 was a novelisation of the first series episodes Shot Gun, Fraudulently Uttered, The Draughtsman, The Runner and Family Unit. Juliet Bravo 2 was a novelisation of the first series episodes Cages, The One Who Got Away and The Anastasia Syndrome. A third novel was published by BBC Books. Calling Juliet Bravo: New Arrivals was a novelisation of the second series episode New Arrivals and the third series episode Cause For Complaint. A script book, containing five TV scripts from the first series compiled by Alison Leake, was issued by Longman Imprint Books in February 1983; the theme tune was released on 7-inch vinyl via BBC Records in 1980. Stephanie Turner as Inspector Jean Darblay Anna Carteret as Inspector Kate Longton David Ellison as Sergeant Joseph Beck Noel Collins as Sergeant George Parrish David Hargreaves as To
Genesis of the Daleks
Genesis of the Daleks is the fourth serial of the twelfth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was written by Terry Nation and directed by David Maloney, broadcast in six weekly parts from 8 March to 12 April 1975 on BBC1. In the serial, the alien time traveller the Fourth Doctor and his travelling companions Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan are directed by the Time Lords to the planet Skaro at the time of the Daleks' creation to prevent them from becoming the dominant race in the universe. Genesis of the Daleks was commissioned under producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks, who felt that the outline submitted by Nation was too similar to his previous Dalek adventures, encouraged him to explore the origin of the Daleks; the story introduces the Daleks' creator Davros. The script was handed to Letts and Dicks' successors, producer Philip Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes, who made changes to the original script which gave it a darker tone.
Nation, having intentionally modelled the Daleks on the Nazis, further explored the theme in Genesis. It addresses the moral issues that come with time travel and genocide; the story was filmed over January and February 1975, with some location filming in a quarry in Betchworth. Genesis of the Daleks premiered with 10.7 million viewers and concluded five weeks with 9.1 million, with the least-watched episode being Part Three with 8.5 million viewers. Since its broadcast it has been praised as one of the series' best; the story was novelised in 1976 by Dicks, released as a condensed LP in 1979, before being released on VHS in 1991 and DVD in 2006. The Fourth Doctor and his companions Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan are intercepted by the Time Lords; the Doctor is instructed to interfere with the creation of the Daleks so as to avert a future in which the Daleks rule the universe. The three find themselves on the Dalek planet of Skaro. A generations-long war between the Thals and the Kaleds has left the planet inhospitable, the two sides have congregated in their own domes for protection and continue the war.
A chemical weapon attack forces them to take shelter. Sarah is separated but meets the Mutos, mutated exiles of both sides, who try to help protect her before they are all captured by the Thals and forced to load radioactive material on a missile; the Doctor and Harry are captured by the Kaleds, their possessions including the Time Ring confiscated are taken to a Kaled bunker and meet the scientific and military elite, which includes the lead scientist Davros. They have arrived in time for Davros to show his newest creation, the "Mark III travel machine", or "Dalek", which the Doctor recognises as his nemesis. Ronson, one of Davros' scientists, secretly tells the Doctor that he knows Davros' experiments are unethical, the Doctor is able to convince the Kaled leadership in the Kaled dome to put a halt to Davros' experiments. Davros learns of Ronson's actions, covertly provides the Thal leaders a chemical formula that can weaken the Kaled dome and make it vulnerable to their missile attack, while preparing twenty more Daleks.
The Doctor and Harry make their way to the Thal dome and rescue Sarah and the Mutos, but are captured by the Thals, can only watch helplessly as they launch the missile. Due to Davros' message, the missile devastates the Kaled dome, wiping out all but those in the bunker. In the Kaled bunker, Davros accuses Ronson of giving the Thals the chemical formula and kills him, convinces the remaining leaders to let him have his Daleks attack the Thal dome; the Dalek attack kills many of the Thals, the Doctor, his companions, the surviving Thals and Mutos make their way to the Kaled bunker. The Doctor instructs the Thals and Mutos to find a way to destroy the bunker while he and his companions go inside to recover the Time Ring. While there, the Doctor is captured by Davros, who recognises the Doctor knows of the future of the Daleks, forces the Doctor to record all he knows, so that Davros can program the Daleks to avoid failure in the future. Other scientists working for Davros, now aware of his plans, free the Doctor and give him enough time to rig the Dalek incubation room with explosives which would end the threat of the Daleks.
As he is about to touch the two exposed wire ends to set them off, he hesitates, questioning whether he has the right to make that decision. He is relieved to learn that Davros has agreed to stop and allow the Kaled leaders to vote on the continuation of the project; as the leaders gather for this vote, the Doctor is able to recover the Time Ring and destroy the recordings he made, while learning that the Thals and Mutos have prepared the means to destroy the bunker. As the vote is called, Davros reveals this was all a decoy, giving the Daleks he sent to destroy the Thals time to return to the bunker and exterminate the remaining Kaleds. Harry and Sarah escape the chaos, while the Doctor returns to set off the incubator room's explosives, but a Dalek inadvertently completes the circuit and sets it off itself; the Doctor escapes before the Thal and Mutos' bomb caves in the bunker, trapping Davros and the Daleks. Inside, Davros realises the Daleks have gained a will of their own when they refuse to take orders from a non-Dalek.
He attempts to stop the production line but is exterminated by his own creations. The Doctor suspects that he has managed to set back Dalek evolution by several centuries, considers his mission complete, he and his companions say goodbye to the surviving Thals and Mutos before using the Time Ring to return to the TARDIS. When planning stories f
Agatha Christie's Poirot
Poirot is a British mystery drama television series that aired on ITV from 8 January 1989 to 13 November 2013. David Suchet stars as Agatha Christie's fictional Hercule Poirot. Produced by LWT, the series was produced by ITV Studios; the series aired on VisionTV in Canada and on PBS and A&E in the United States. The programme ran for 70 episodes in total. At the programme's conclusion, which finished with Curtain: Poirot's Last Case, based on the final Poirot novel, every major literary work by Christie that featured the title character had been adapted. Clive Exton in partnership with producer Brian Eastman adapted the pilot. Together, they produced the first eight series. Exton and Eastman left Poirot after 2001, when they began work on Thyme. Michele Buck and Damien Timmer, who both went on to form Mammoth Screen, were behind the revamping of the series; the episodes aired from 2003 featured a radical shift in tone from the previous series. The humour of the earlier series was downplayed with each episode being presented as serious drama, saw the introduction of gritty elements not present in the Christie stories being adapted.
Recurrent motifs in the additions included drug use, abortion, a tendency toward more visceral imagery. Story changes were made to present female characters in a more sympathetic or heroic light, at odds with Christie's characteristic gender neutrality; the visual style of episodes was correspondingly different: an overall darker tone. The series logo was redesigned, the main theme motif, though used was featured subtly and in sombre arrangements. However, a more upbeat string arrangement of the theme music is used for the end credits of Hallowe'en Party, The Clocks and Dead Man's Folly. In flashback scenes episodes made extensive use of fisheye lens, distorted colours, other visual effects. Series 9–12 lack Hugh Fraser, Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran, who had appeared in the previous series. Series 10 introduced Zoë Wanamaker as the eccentric crime novelist Ariadne Oliver and David Yelland as Poirot's dependable valet, George — a character, introduced in the early Poirot novels, but was left out of the early adaptations in order to develop the character of Miss Lemon.
The introduction of Wanamaker and Yelland's characters and the absence of the other characters is consistent with the stories on which the scripts were based. Hugh Fraser and David Yelland returned for two episodes of the final series:, with Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran returning for the adaptation of The Big Four. Zoe Wanamaker returned for the adaptations of Elephants Can Remember and Dead Man's Folly. Clive Exton adapted seven novels and fourteen short stories for the series, including The ABC Murders and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which received mixed reviews from critics. Anthony Horowitz was another prolific writer for the series, adapting three novels and nine short stories, while Nick Dear adapted six novels. Comedian and novelist Mark Gatiss has written three episodes and guest-starred in the series, as have Peter Flannery and Kevin Elyot. Ian Hallard, who co-wrote the screenplay for The Big Four with his partner Mark Gatiss, appears in the episode and Hallowe'en Party, scripted by Gatiss alone.
Florin Court in Charterhouse Square, was used as Poirot's fictional London residence, Whitehaven Mansions. The final episode to be filmed was Dead Man's Folly in June 2013 on the Greenway Estate broadcast on 30 October 2013. Most of the locations and buildings where the episodes were shot were given fictional names. Suchet was recommended for the part by Christie's family, who had seen him appear as Blott in the TV adaptation of Tom Sharpe's Blott on the Landscape. Suchet, a method actor, said that he prepared for the part by reading all the Poirot novels and every short story, copying out every piece of description about the character. Suchet told Strand Magazine: "What I did was, I had my file on one side of me and a pile of stories on the other side and day after day, week after week, I ploughed through most of Agatha Christie's novels about Hercule Poirot and wrote down characteristics until I had a file full of documentation of the character, and it was my business not only to know what he was like, but to become him.
I had to become him before we started shooting."During the filming of the first series, Suchet left the production during an argument with a director, insisting that Poirot's odd mannerisms be featured. According to many critics and enthusiasts, Suchet's characterisation is considered to be the most accurate interpretation of all the actors who have played Poirot, the closest to the character in the books. In 2013, Suchet revealed that
Bleak House (2005 TV serial)
Bleak House is a fifteen-part BBC television drama serial adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel of the same name, published in 1852–53 as itself a print serialisation over 20 months. Produced with an all-star cast, the serial was shown on BBC One from 27 October to 16 December 2005, drew much critical and popular praise, it has been reported. Written by Andrew Davies, the serial was produced by Nigel Stafford-Clark and directed by Justin Chadwick and Susanna White; the longstanding estate battle of Jarndyce v Jarndyce hangs over the heads of many conflicting heirs, confused by multiple wills. Possible beneficiary John Jarndyce of Bleak House welcomes orphaned cousins Ada Clare and Richard Carstone—also potential heirs—as his wards, has hired Esther Summerson as a housekeeper and companion for Ada. Honoria, Lady Dedlock, the wife of the married to the imperious baronet Sir Leicester, is a possible beneficiary of the estate; the Dedlocks' lawyer, sniffs out a connection between Lady Dedlock and a newly deceased man called Nemo.
Meanwhile and Ada are falling in love. Richard keeps changing his mind on which career to pursue—first a physician a lawyer and a soldier—but the prospect of his inheritance from the ongoing litigation begins to consume him, despite warnings from John, now his formal guardian. Esther and the young doctor Allan Woodcourt are attracted to each other, but Esther feels unworthy and Allan accepts a commission as a navy physician; the law clerk Mr. Guppy, enamoured of Esther, hopes to win her affection by helping her discover the identity of her parents, he finds connections to both Lady Dedlock and the deceased Nemo, identified as Captain James Hawdon, is alerted to the existence of letters left behind by Hawdon but kept by his drunken landlord, Krook. Realizing that Esther is her daughter whom she was told had died—fathered by Hawdon before her current marriage—Lady Dedlock confesses to Esther but swears her to secrecy. Esther is stricken by smallpox and nearly dies. John proposes marriage to Esther, but though she accepts, he convinces her to keep it secret until she is sure it is what she wants.
While amassing other enemies, Tulkinghorn deduces Lady Dedlock's secret and tries to use it to keep her in line. Tulkinghorn is murdered, with no shortage of suspects. Lady Dedlock is implicated, but Inspector Bucket reveals that her former maid Hortense is the murderess and had tried to frame Lady Dedlock. Richard and Ada are secretly married, but he is obsessed with the lawsuit, encouraged by John's unscrupulous friend Harold Skimpole and the conniving lawyer Vholes; as a result, Richard is penniless and his health is failing. Hawdon's letters—written by a young Lady Dedlock and revealing her secret–find their way back into the hands of the moneylender Smallweed, who sells them to Sir Leicester. Guilty over her deception and not wanting to bring ruin to her husband, Lady Dedlock flees into a storm before Sir Leicester is able to tell her he does not care about her past, he sends Bucket after her. Bucket realizes where she must be—the graveyard where Hawdon is buried—but Esther arrives to find her mother dead from exposure.
A final Jarndyce will is found that closes the case in favour of Richard and Ada, but the estate has been consumed by years of legal fees. Richard collapses, overcome by tuberculosis, soon dies. Allan professes his love for Esther, who rebuffs him out of obligation to John, a pregnant Ada returns to Bleak House. John releases Esther from their engagement, knowing that she loves Allan. Esther and Allan marry, with all in attendance; the adaptation is eight hours in length and covers most of the characters and storylines in the novel. Characters from the book who are not present include the wife of the law stationer; the character of Clamb, clerk to the lawyer Tulkinghorn, was created by the screenwriter as a device for showing Tulkinghorn's motives and deeds without recourse to a narrator. Most of the storylines are portrayed as they are in the novel, but somewhat abbreviated; the exceptions to this are in large part consequent to the aforementioned cull of minor characters. The plot mechanics around the possession of Lady Dedlock's letters, which involve Tony Jobling and Smallweed Junior in the novel, are altered, as are the mechanics of the reconciliation between George and his mother, brought about by Mrs. Bagnet in the book.
The storyline concerning Mrs. Snagsby's paranoid jealousy of her husband is omitted altogether; the serial was produced in-house by the BBC with some co-production funding from United States PBS broadcaster WGBH. It was shown on BBC One, on Thursdays at 20:00 and Fridays at 20:30, following the BBC's most popular programme—EastEnders—in an attempt to attract more viewers younger ones; the series started with an hour long on Thursday 27 October 2005, with subsequent episodes being 30 minutes, shown twice weekly. The serial was designed to air in the format of a soap opera, somewhat experimental for the television drama genre, but in keeping with Dickens' original serialisation. BBC One showed omnibus editions of each week's episodes on the Sunday following first broadcast. Though some critics have argued against the series being shown in this format, programme makers and commentators defended their decision by saying
Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 within the Liverpool City Council local authority in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region. Liverpool is on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the south west of the county of Lancashire, it became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire, its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with handling general cargo, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to North America.
Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, RMS Queen Mary and RMS Olympic. The popularity of the Beatles and other music groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination. Liverpool is the home of two Premier League football clubs and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby; the Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007. In 2008, it was nominated as the annual European Capital of Culture together with Norway. Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004; the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, William Brown Street. Liverpool's status as a port city has attracted a diverse population, drawn from a wide range of peoples and religions from Ireland and Wales.
The city is home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians, colloquially as "Scousers", a reference to "scouse", a form of stew; the word "Scouse" has become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. The name comes from the Old English lifer, meaning thick or muddy water, pōl, meaning a pool or creek, is first recorded around 1190 as Liuerpul. According to the Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, "The original reference was to a pool or tidal creek now filled up into which two streams drained"; the adjective Liverpudlian is first recorded in 1833. Other origins of the name have been suggested, including "elverpool", a reference to the large number of eels in the Mersey; the name appeared in 1190 as "Liuerpul", the place appearing as Leyrpole, in a legal record of 1418, may refer to Liverpool. Another such suggestion is derivation from Welsh llyvr pwl meaning "expanse or confluence at the pool".
King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool. By the middle of the 16th century, the population was still around 500; the original street plan of Liverpool is said to have been designed by King John near the same time it was granted a royal charter, making it a borough. The original seven streets were laid out in an H shape: Bank Street, Castle Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street, Moor Street and Whiteacre Street. In the 17th century there was slow progress in population growth. Battles for control of the town were waged during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship, Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. Since Roman times, the nearby city of Chester on the River Dee had been the region's principal port on the Irish Sea. However, as the Dee began to silt up, maritime trade from Chester became difficult and shifted towards Liverpool on the neighbouring River Mersey.
As trade from the West Indies, including sugar, surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, as the River Dee continued to silt up, Liverpool began to grow with increasing rapidity. The first commercial wet dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade and tobacco helped the town to prosper and grow, although several prominent local men, including William Rathbone, William Roscoe and Edward Rushton, were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement. By the start of the 19th century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool, the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester became the first cities to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway; the population continued to rise especially during the 1840s when Irish migrants began arriving by the hundreds of thousands as a result of the Great Famine. In her poem "Liverpool", which celebrates the city's worldwide commerce, Letitia Elizabeth Landon refers to the Macgregor Laird expedition to the Niger River, at that time in progress.
Great Britain was a major market for cotton imported from the Deep South of the United States, which fed the textile industry in the country. Given the crucial place of both cotton and slavery in the city's economy, during the American Civil War Liverpool was, in the words of historian Sven Beckert, "the most pro-Confederate place in the world outside the Confederacy itself." For periods during the 19th century, the wealth of Liverpool
Boys from the Blackstuff
Boys from the Blackstuff is a British television drama series of five episodes transmitted from 10 October to 7 November 1982 on BBC2. The serial was written by Liverpudlian playwright Alan Bleasdale, as a sequel to a television play, The Black Stuff; the British Film Institute described it as a "seminal drama series... a warm, humorous but tragic look at the way economics affect ordinary people... TV's most complete dramatic response to the Thatcher era and as a lament to the end of a male, working class British culture." The television play The Black Stuff was written by Bleasdale for BBC1's Play for Today anthology series in 1978. After filming however, the play was not transmitted until 2 January 1980, it concerned a group of Liverpudlian tarmac layers on a job near Middlesbrough. The acclaim that The Black Stuff received on its eventual transmission led to the commissioning of the sequel serial, of which Bleasdale had written a considerable amount; the series Boys from the Blackstuff follows the stories of the five now-unemployed men who lost their jobs following the events of the original play The Black Stuff.
Set in Bleasdale's home city of Liverpool, reflecting many of his own experiences of life in the city, each episode focuses on a different member of the group. The series was acclaimed for its powerful and emotional depiction of the desperation wrought by high unemployment and a subsequent lack of social support. Although Bleasdale wrote most of the episodes before Margaret Thatcher came to power, the series was noted by many reviewers as a critique of the Thatcher era, seen as being responsible for the fate of many of the unemployed working-class in the North of England. By early 1982, unemployment had reached 3,000,000 people as a result of economic recession and restructuring of industry; the character of Yosser Hughes was discussed. He was a man driven to the edge of his sanity by the loss of his job, his wife, the authorities' continued attempts to take his children away from him and his constant attempts at salvaging his male pride, his catchphrases, "Gizza' job!" and "I can do that!" became part of the popular consciousness of the Eighties, summing up the mood of many who sought for work during the era.
Hughes was played by Bernard Hill, who uses his Mancunian accent, with slight Scouse vocal mannerisms. The serial helped to establish the career of Julie Walters, who played the most prominent female role as Angie, the wife of Chrissie, played by Michael Angelis; the serial was made by the English Regions Drama department based at BBC Birmingham and was shot on location in Liverpool. The producer was Michael Wearing, based at Birmingham with a specific remit to make'regional drama', who would be instrumental in bringing the BBC's drama serials Edge of Darkness and Our Friends in the North to the screens; the writer Alan Bleasdale went on to write the scripts for The Monocled Mutineer and G. B. H; the series was so successful upon its original broadcast that only nine weeks after it had finished transmission, it was re-shown on the higher-profile BBC1. It was transmitted again on BBC2 as part of that station's twenty-fifth anniversary season in 1989. In 1983 it won the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Serial, in 2000 was placed seventh in a British Film Institute poll of industry professionals on the best television programmes of the 20th century.
It was named as one of the forty greatest television shows in a 2003 list compiled by the Radio Times magazine's chief television writer Alison Graham. In March 2007, Channel 4 broadcast a "Top 50 Dramas" programme, based on input from industry professionals rather than the public, which had Boys from the Blackstuff at number two; the Black Stuff The Black Stuff was the original precursor to the 1982 Boys from the Blackstuff series, in which the main characters Yosser, Chrissie, George and his son, were introduced. It follows the group as they set off from Liverpool to undertake a casual tarmac laying job on a new housing development in Middlesbrough; the episode was produced in 1978 but was not broadcast until 1980. Along the way at a motorway service station, the group encounter a female student who hitch-hikes a lift to Leeds. Part of the group mocks her, but Yosser's insecurity and unwillingness to be dominated by women is manifested after she taunts him when she is dropped off. In Middlesbrough, the group are approached by two Irish gypsies and Dominic, who offer them the chance of a side job, claiming that they had been laid off.
Although uneasy with the idea of working with them, the group, spurred by Yosser's dream of fleecing the gypsies and starting their own tarmac laying business, agree to invest vast amounts of their own savings to undertake the'foreign' job. The group manager, McKenna discovers this and fires them all. However, despite being convinced that they had made the right decision, the group are nonetheless outsmarted by the gypsies who pretend they have been given a cheque and claiming they would get the cheque cashed at a bank. Chrissie agrees to accompany Brendan in Brendan's van, while Yosser decides to hold Dominic hostage until they return. Yosser soon discovers that cash had in fact been handed over, but Dominic manages