The History Man 1981 4 part Miniseries
4x60 minute episodes / Broadcast 4 - 25 January 1981
Christopher Hampton / Novel: Malcolm Bradbury / Original
Music: George Fenton / Costumes: Sue Peck / Production Design:
Gavin Davies / Producer: Michael Wearing / Director: Robert Knights
"I don't care what your friends say about you Howard, you're
a good guy, a radical's radical"
In this fabulous drama serial Howard Kirk, a trendy left wing
sociology university lecturer, has a complicated love and home
life. Kirk is supremely manipulative and works up a real storm
amongst the faculty over a proposed visit by an apparently racist
lecturer, Professor Mangel (The History Man of the title). He plays
it all out though so that he does actually get his fingers dirty
and it seems his main motivation for stirring up trouble is simply
to watch the fall out. Not only is Kirk, who is 34, married with a
couple of kids, he is also sleeping with one of his students (young
Felicity, who ends up pretty much stalking him) as well as very
sexy colleague Flora Beniform. He is also desperate to get into bed
with English lecturer Anne Petty and manufactures a dispute with
one of her students (who is also one of his students) to try and
get closer to her.
The drama opens on 2 October 1972 and the first three
episodes take place over the course of a couple of days whilst the
final episode takes events to the end of term. It begins and ends
with a party at the Kirk's fantastic house (apparently they had
claimed squatters rights some years before and been more or less
given the place by the council!). Antony Sher is just superb as
Kirk, a brilliant actor in his prime.
Incidentally Howard's book that he is writing about lack of
privacy seems surprisingly relevent today and most of the uni
scenes were filmed at the University of Lancaster.
ANTONY SHER as Howard Kirk
GERALDINE JAMES as Barbara Kirk
JONATHAN BRUTON as Martin Kirk
CHARLOTTE ENDERBY as Celia Kirk
CHLOE SALAMAN as Anne Petty
ISLA BLAIR as Flora Beniform
LAURA DAVENPORT as Annie Callendar
PAUL BROOKE as Henry Beamish
MAGGIE STEED as Myra Beamish
MIRIAM MARGOLYES as Melissa Tordoroff
ELIZABETH PROUD as Moira Millikin
GRAHAM PADDEN as John McIntosh
JUDY LIEBERT as Jane McIntosh
ZENIA MERTON as Miss Ho
MICHAEL HORDERN as Professor Marvin
VERONICA QUILLIGAN as Felicity Phee
BILL BUFFERY as Peter Madden
JULIA SWIFT as Beck Pott
PETER HUGO DALY as George Carmody
LLOYD PETERS as Michael Bennard
JULIET WALEY as Marjorie
JANE SLAUGHTER as Joanna
STEVE PLYTAS as Professor Mangel
ARTHUR LUGO as Hashmi Sadeck
JANE GALLOWAY as Chloe
JACK ELLIOTT as Leon
Malcolm Bradbury (novel), Christopher Hampton
Julia Swift, Antony Sher and Geraldine James
Never officially released on DVD, this is a fan produced
version recorded from a VHS transfer of the TV broadcast to high
quality DVDR and it comes complete with custom made artwork in the
form of a glossy sleeve and printed disc all housed in a standard
14mm spined DVD case.
The transfer quality is very good considering the age of the
material with video and audio rated at least 8.5/10. The four
episodes have been edited into one but are separated on the disc by
The DVD is 4:3 screensized format encoded to Region 0 and
PAL. Owners of Region 1 players should check their machines
specifications to ensure PAL playback is possible. Most players
purchased in the last 5 years will play both NTSC and PAL formats.
Check my feedback and buy with confidence.
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