A night train carrying illegal nuclear waste clanks over the points and Clapton's haunting guitar screams across the scene, transporting you instantly back to 1985.
Devotees will need little or no introduction to this BBC series. Quite simply it is a truly spellbinding drama that makes up single-handedly for 16 years of mediocre TV. Potential newcomers should prepare for a viewing experience unlike any other. Be ready to follow a dense conspiracy theory of nuclear waste paranoia interwoven with personal loss. The late Bob Peck and Joe Don Baker give memorable performances.
Various reports are disappointed at the year 2000 transfer to DVD and mourn a lost opportunity. However I am hugely relieved to recommend the new edition released in September 2001. Visually the new 2-disc set is very clear, there is no appreciable graining. Dolby Digital Sound renders speech crisp and clear with no hiss evident and the signature guitar is just stunning.
The extra features are a big bonus with useful biographies of the main cast and the entire script for episode One on 115 pages. The script includes all dialogue and voice-over, flashback and scene description. Troy Kennedy Martin writes a further 47 pages of insight into the story and 24 pages of detailed character background. The navigation tools for the extras echo the conspiratorial mood of the plot with directions to 'lower levels', 'upper levels' and 'surface'.
A real gem.