1990 (1977)

Movie Details Source: [IMDb]
Original title:
Also known as:
Title Year Country Comment
1990 original title
1990 UK
Type: TV Series
Keywords: year as title, rebel, journalist, 1990s, tyranny
Seasons: 2
Year: 1977
Runtime: 55 minutes
Country Rating
United Kingdom 15
Rating: 7.7
Votes: 99
Languages: English
Country: UK
Genre: Drama
All Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Colors: Color
Sound: Mono
Name Role
Alan Gibson (5 episodes, 1977-1978)
David Sullivan Proudfoot (4 episodes, 1977-1978)
Kenneth Ives (3 episodes, 1977-1978)
Peter Sasdy (2 episodes, 1978)
Bob Hird (1 episode, 1977)
Roger Tucker (1 episode, 1978)
Writing By:
Name Role
Wilfred Greatorex (series creator) (16 episodes, 1977-1978)
Edmund Ward (6 episodes, 1977-1978)
Arden Winch (1 episode, 1977)
Jim Hawkins (1 episode, 1978)
Produced By:
Name Role
Prudence Fitzgerald producer (16 episodes, 1977-1978)
Name Role
John Cameron (16 episodes, 1977-1978)
Name Role
Edward Woodward Jim Kyle
Robert Lang Herbert Skardon
Tony Doyle Dave Brett
Paul Hardwick Faceless
Barbara Kellerman Delly Lomas
Lisa Harrow Lynn Blake
Yvonne Mitchell Kate Smith
George Murcell Greaves
David McKail Inspector Macrae
Clifton Jones Henry Tasker
Michael Napier Brown Jack Nichols
John Savident Dan Mellor
Honor Shepherd Marly
Donald Gee Dr. Vickers
Mathias Kilroy Tommy Pearce
Stacy Davies PCD Inspector
Harry Fielder PCD Man
Stanley Lebor 'Digger' Radford
Clive Swift Tony Doran
Eileen Davies Mrs. Vickers
Paul Chapman Randall
Victor Maddern Sammy Calhoun
Mitzi Rogers Agnes Culmore
Adam Bareham Alan
Donald Burton Harry Blaney
Michael Cassidy Alf Turner
Sandra Payne Barbara Fairlie
Norman Rutherford The Surveillance Man
Gillian Raine Chairperson
Peter Attard Ian Cursley
Willie Jonah Nolan
Reginald Jessup Henry Duncan
Desmond Jordan Burnley
Sophie Coghill Tina Vickers
John Hamill Norton
Luke Hanson Jack Grey
Lynn Dalby Mrs. Grey
Alix Kirsta Carol Harper
Mike Hall The First Emigration Officer
Malcolm Rennie Emigration Officer
David Rowley The Second Emigration Officer
Robert Swales Wilkie
Bruce Lidington Harper
Bill Rourke Emigrant
Colin Fay The Stevedore
Jonathan Adams The PCD Officer
Terry Bale Len
Howard Bell Halloran
John Bennett Prosecutor
Bimbo Bimbo
Ed Bishop Ed Burbank
Joby Blanshard Williams
Janie Booth Lena
Michael Cashman Technician
John Castle Philip Carter
Simon Chandler Brian
Michael Graham Cox Baker
Anna Cropper Susie Carter
Graham Crowden Dr. Sondeberg
Claire Davenport The Nurse
Vernon Dobtcheff Professor Cheever
Donald Douglas Dr. Gelbert
Colin Edwynn 'Nutter' Stonebridge
Thomas Ellice Clayton
Graeme Eton Aldwick
Patricia Garwood Maggie Kyle
Yvonne Gilan Defence Counsel
Alan Harris PCD Man
Mark Heath Paul
Richard Hurndall Avery
Edward Judd Auckland
Esmond Knight Mitchell
Simon Lack Luff
James Lister PCD Supervisor Wade
Ian Liston Talbot
David Lyell The Policeman
George Mallaby Carr
Raymond Mason Sefton
Frank Mills PCD Inspector Jones
Clifford Mollison Chairman
Peter Myers Bingham
Phyllida Nash The Reporter
John Phillips Attorney General Graham
John Quarmby Bland
John Rhys-Davies Ivor Griffith
David Rolfe Peters
Robert Sansom The Old Man
Antony Scott Kingston
Jonathan Scott-Taylor Bevan
Pamela Sholto The Chairperson
Ray Smith Charles Wainwright
Julia Sutton Woman Non-citizen
Tony Sympson Frank Woodcock
Damien Thomas Walters
Alan Tucker Bowden
Terry Walsh PCD man
Terence Ward The PCD Inspector
John York Davies
Paul Beech Green
Edmond Bennett The Caretaker
John Bott James Conrad
Joseph Brady Ernest Harrison
Lyndon Brook Peter Greville
David Buck George Molloy
Geoffrey Burridge Cyrus Asher
Simon Cadell Robert Jessup
Joyce Carey Nancy Skardon
John Carson William Grainger
Ysanne Churchman The PCD Clerk
Peter Clay Mayers
Ann Curthoys Mrs. Greville
Edward de Souza Perez
Peter Diamond The Thug
Colin Douglas Joe Hutchinson
Norman Eshley Tony Borden
Martin Fisk Sanders
Jane Forster Jodie Greville
Eric French The Non-Citizen
Pat Gorman ARC Guard
Gretta Gouriet The Newsreader
James Greene Gerald Arnold
Hermione Gregory Jane Doran
Ken Halliwell ARC Guard
Max Harvey Rev. Newgate
Olu Jacobs Alan Msawi
Oscar James Everton
Ken Kitson Johnny Rolfe
Jenny Laird Mrs. Brooks
Alan Leith Rickerby
Barry Lowe Frank Fenton
Norman Mitchell Sewell
James Murray Abe
John Nolan Tomson
Jim Norton Arthur Hayes
Michael Osborne Robert Brooks
John Paul Police Commissioner Richard Hallam
George Pravda Pallin
David Rintoul Philip Ross
John Ronane Charles Graydon
David Rose Policeman
John Saunders Carter
Julia Schofield Liz
Tony Sibbald The Newscaster
Michael Tarn John Brooks
Primi Townsend Verna Wells
Sally Travers Mrs. Hutchinson
Fiona Walker Miss Dalton
William Wilde Riley
Marc Wolff The Pilot
Sue Woodley Annie
Plot Outline: In a dystopian future, Britain is under the grip of the Home Office's Public Control Department (PCD), a tyrannically oppressive bureaucracy riding roughshod over the population's civil liberties.
  • In a dystopian future, Britain is under the grip of the Home Office's Public Control Department (PCD), a tyrannically oppressive bureaucracy riding roughshod over the population's civil liberties. - Simon Shearn
  • Great Britain, 1990. The population is now governed by an increasingly corrupt bureaucracy headed by the Home Secretary and backed by the tyrannical Public Control Department (PCD), who have done away with the rights of the individual and maintain control through ID cards, rationing, censorship and electronic/audio/physical surveillance. Free speech is forbidden. The rule of law no longer protects the weak and defenseless. Emigration is impossible. But escape is not, thanks to rebels like Jim Kyle (Edward Woodward), a journalist and secret dissident who battles the forces of the Establishment, but constantly faces imprisonment or death (or worse) at the hands of the PCD and its ruthless controller Herbert Skardon. - Edward Woodward
Episodes: Season 1, Episode 1: Creed of Slaves (Original Air Date: 18 Sep. 1977)
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves" (William Pitt). Home Affairs correspondent Jim Kyle, a journalist for one of Britain's three remaining newspapers, provides secret assistance to people trying to escape the repressive regime. His activities continually bring him into contact with the Public Control Department, its tools of bureaucratic repression and its ruthless Controller Herbert Skardon. However, Kyle's current attempts to help a doctor struggling to help his asthmatic daughter ...

Season 1, Episode 2: When Did You Last See Your Father? (Original Air Date: 19 Sep. 1977)
"We don't make laws, we only carry them out". Despite the Home Secretary's abolition of all exit visa appeals, Kyle successfully helps Doctor Vickers leave the United Kingdom, but without his wife and daughter. Dr. Vickers invests his hopes in the international law which states that his family can join him one month later, provided he can attain residency status in another country. However, the Public Control Department are determined to seal up any possible legal loopholes to block Vickers' efforts and in so doing put an end to Kyle's interference - permanently.

Season 1, Episode 3: Health Farm (Original Air Date: 26 Sep. 1977)
"...no barbed-wire, no strait-jackets, no padded cells. After all, this is 1990". When the Public Control Department send union leader Charles Wainwright to the United States of America to promote their cause, the plan backfires disastrously when his speech is littered with dissident criticisms of the bureaucratic nightmare the United Kingdom has become under the stewardship. When he returns home, the PCD are quick to repay the compliment by sending him to an Adult Rehabilitation Centre, a place where offenders against the state (political activists, murderers, ...

Season 1, Episode 4: Decoy (Original Air Date: 3 Oct. 1977)
"This is an island prison. Getting us all together is one thing. Getting us out is something else". High-profile political adviser Doctor Sondeberg, a man responsible for the rising fortunes of a variety of presidents, pays a state visit to the United Kingdom on a fact-finding mission to understand the workings of the Public Control Department. However, his motives are far more covert than first appearances. Meanwhile, Dave Brett persuades Kyle to obtain permits to allow them to travel around the country to advance his deal with underworld figure Sammy Calhoun - a ...

Season 1, Episode 5: Voice from the Past (Original Air Date: 10 Oct. 1977)
"The age of the common man seems to be degenerating into the age of the common denominator". When the Public Control Department take steps to shut down an underground newspaper peddling dissident stories critical of the regime, Kyle provides assistance to its publisher, Avery, in a bid to prevent their interference.

Season 1, Episode 6: Whatever Happened to Cardinal Wolsey? (Original Air Date: 17 Oct. 1977)
The Ombudsman's Court supposedly exists to hear and review appeals by citizens and consists of a tribunal of judges, but every appeal is rejected despite the legitimacy of the claim. However, one judge, Philip Carter, is determined to fight the corrupt legal system and continually votes to uphold legitimate claims despite always being outvoted by the Chairperson and a weak-willed third judge. Angered by Carter's defiance, the Attorney General demands that Skardon and the PCD find a way to silence Carter. The PCD's plan: a campaign of threats and intimidation against ...

Season 1, Episode 7: Witness (Original Air Date: 24 Oct. 1977)
Dr. Alan Vickers, whom Kyle and Brett helped escape, has been campaigning throughout the United States to get public and world opinion to force the PCD to let his wife and daughter emigrate. The problem is that in his speeches he may have let clues drop that may lead Skardon and the PCD to Kyle. When the PCD go after Kyle's family and a plot to frame Kyle blows up in the PCD's face, Delly Lomas goes to America to persuade Dr. Vickers to return to England to testify against Kyle in return for exit visas for his wife and daughter. Soon Kyle finds himself on trial with ...

Season 1, Episode 8: Non-Citizen (Original Air Date: 31 Oct. 1977)
After the Kyle Trial fiasco, Skardon takes his revenge by turning Kyle into a Non-Citizen: stripping Kyle of his ID and Union cards, freezing his bank account and seizing all his assets. With no home, no car, no job, no money, only the clothes on his back and his family missing (and a bugged Non-Citizen ID card so the PCD can track him), Kyle is forced to wander the streets in what seems like a hopeless attempt to survive, especially when he is constantly and sadistically harassed by Skardon and Inspector Nichols. His only hope is that Dave Brett and black marketeer ...

Season 2, Episode 1: Pentagons (Original Air Date: 20 Feb. 1978)
There's good news and bad news in Britain. The good news: Home Secretary Dan Mellor has been replaced by Kate Smith, and a "pentagon" - one of a growing army of dissident groups - is preparing to take on the hatred PCD. The bad news: the PCD's new Deputy Controller is Lynn Blake, Jim Kyle's former romantic interest, and her first job is the exposure of "Faceless", Kyle's source within the PCD.

Season 2, Episode 2: The Market Price (Original Air Date: 27 Feb. 1978)
"This mate of yours is a shark. With his jaws into whole cargoes. Petrol. Fags. Booze. Grub. It's up to us to nanny him?". When food available in the supermarkets steadily evaporates, Kate Smith's government turns their attention to black marketeers profiting from illicit supplies. Ministry of Food MP Peter Greville feeds Kyle information about the matter, but soon both he and his family become the focus of suspicion from the Public Control Department.

Season 2, Episode 3: Trapline (Original Air Date: 6 Mar. 1978)
"Who are we out to nail? Careguard, the Home Secretary or Skardon and the PCD?" Jim Kyle is in trouble - he has fallen into the hands of Police Commissioner Hallam. The question is, will Hallam hand Kyle over to the PCD or is Hallam working on his own?

Season 2, Episode 4: Ordeal by Small Brown Envelope (Original Air Date: 13 Mar. 1978)
"Authorised Systematic Harassment has enormous potential. The slow and noiseless steamroller of the State. The daily brown envelope dropping on the mat". The Public Control Department, in response to more dissident remarks printed in the underground press from Kyle and Tony Doran, devise a plan to turn the heat up on the pair by employing a systematic campaign of Authorised Systematic Harrassment (ASH). Using all the bureaucratic mechanisms at his disposal, Skardon launches a tirade of officialdom against both men, which succeeds in pushing Doran and his wife to ...

Season 2, Episode 5: Hire and Fire (Original Air Date: 20 Mar. 1978)
"If Kyle can uncover those extortionists where an expert PCD man failed, he is obviously implicated with them." When workers fall prey to an extortionist network collecting money in exchange for their continued silence, Kyle's involvement attracts the attention of PCD controller Skardon, who recognizes an opportunity to eliminate the network and the thorn in his side in one stroke.

Season 2, Episode 6: You'll Never Walk Alone (Original Air Date: 27 Mar. 1978)
"The authorities have refused me an exit visa for the Chess Championship because they fear I might not come back." Having lost his job as the home affairs correspondent at The Star, Kyle is reduced to covering the European Chess Championship. While there, he meets the chess prodigy Philip Ross, an old friend from the early protests against the dictatorship who has turned into a PCD hack. His victories have resulted in him being hailed as a national hero, becoming known as one of Skardon's Lions. In the meantime, three dissidents plot to take Lynn hostage but Kyle ...

Season 2, Episode 7: Young Sparks (Original Air Date: 3 Apr. 1978)
"Kyle'll be back to normal in about an hour. Until then he'll probably show an amusing tendency to tell the truth." Groups of dissidents, once-divided in their opposition to the Public Control Department, are putting aside their differences in a bid to bring down the bureaucratic machine in a consolidated movement. Meanwhile, Skardon increases his pursuit of Kyle, whom he believes he can break and thereby shatter the plans of the opposition.

Season 2, Episode 8: What Pleases the Prince... (Original Air Date: 10 Apr. 1978)
"We always said there'd be Peace Crimes Trials one day ... We're winning now. There'll have to be a purge of the PCD soon." The dissident assault on the Public Control Department has been successful, but the public suicide of a cell member has resulted in world condemnation of Britain's policies and the PCD being plunged into bitter in-fighting. Have Kyle and the dissidents finally won? Will Skardon and the PCD fall for good, and if they do will the cure prove worse than the disease?

User Comments:
Excellent drama -- I agree - it would be great to have this one out on DVD
15 October 2007 | by aejmSee all my reviews

I remember this one as a kid as well.

It was very creepy .. I remember in hindsight being totally terrified by this one ... in retrospect I still don't quite understand what my parents were thinking, letting me watch all of this type of stuff as a kid ...

Some of my most vivid memories are of shows like this and Secret Army etc.

1990 as anyone reading this will know, is based on 1984, in which Edward Woodward plays a journalist. Unfortunately, I cant remember exactly what happens, although I still have a vivid memory of some of the scenes: Edward Woodward (Kyle I believe the character was called) meeting his informant in a little beat up car; the guy in charge fleeing when the government starts breaking down.

They do bring these programs out on DVD eventually. Capital City is out now, and they have recently released the 1977 BBC adaptation of Dracula in the US (I also saw that as a kid !!!). Hopefully we will see it soon.

Trivia: There are 2 entries in the trivia list - like these:
  • The series correctly predicted that British parliamentary debates would be televised and that black Britons would be elected as MPs by 1990. The first televised speech in the House of Commons was made by Ian Gow, the Conservative MP for Eastbourne, on November 21, 1989. Gow had previously been opposed to parliamentary proceedings being shown on television. Bernie Grant, Paul Boateng and Diane Abbott were all first elected as Labour MPs at the 1987 general election.
  • Yvonne Mitchell (Kate Smith), Paul Hardwick (Faceless) and the series' most prolific director Alan Gibson did not live to see the actual 1990. Mitchell died on March 24, 1979 at the age of 63, Hardwick died on October 22, 1983 at the age of 64 and Gibson died on July 5, 1987 at the age of 49.

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