New to our dvd collection is “Our friends in the north”– a must see – especially for anyone with connections to the North East of England but also engrossing watching for all. This television drama, originally broadcast in nine episodes on BBC Two in 1996, follows the lives of 4 friends from Newcastle upon Tyne over 31 years from 1964 to 1995. Real life events in Britain such as general elections, police and local government corruption, the UK miners’ strike (1984–1985) and the Great Storm of 1987 form a backdrop to the gripping story line.

The strong cast includes Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee, Mark Strong and Daniel Craig(long before he became Bond). This series polled 25th in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century which was compiled by the British Film Institute in 2000. If becoming totally immersed in the friend’s lives and feeling faintly heavyhearted at the end of the series is any indication of quality, then this series certainly qualifies.