Did You Think Russell T Davies’ New BBC Sci-Fi TV Show “Years And Years” Was Blunt and Clumsy?

I rather enjoyed former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies‘ new sci-fi drama, “Years And Years“, which finished last night on the BBC. Telling the story of the decade to come, in a post-Brexit, two-term-Donald-Trump-with-Mike-Pence-to-follow world, with the rise of a populist Northern politician played by Emma Thompson and a family trying to survive it, and even change it, including Rory Kinnear, Russell Tovey and Jessica Hynes.

But I did find some of the broad brush strokes rather clumsy, blunt and trying to make points rather than convey the details of this reality. Case in point was Emma Thompson’s Vivienne Rook of the Four Star Party, elected Prime Minister on a wave of populism. And in the penultimate episode finding herself walking into a presentation on the setting up of camps to deal with refugees, asylum seekers and anyone else her government had an issue with.

She points out that the use of the word ‘camps’ is a loaded one that should be avoided, before giving the assembled crew a rundown on why concentration camps aren’t necessarily a bad thing, that far from being an invention of the Nazis, they are something the British invented, during the Boer War, which began as refugee camps and which had the ‘benefit’ of winnowing the problem by letting people die of untreated illnesses. And how people forget it for expediency. Spoilers, obviously.

It felt rather unrealistic for a major politician to make such an argument, even in private. Then I woke up to this.

I’m a Brit who married a South African, and this doesn’t even come up as a bone of contention. Russell T Davies, any chance you could give Charlie Brooker the downbeat kick he needs for Black Mirror Season 6?

Years And Years is available on the BBC iPlayer in the UK and will air in the USA on HBO from Monday, the 24th June. Here’s the BBC and HBO trailers to compare and contrast how each nation sees the show…

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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