Made in the 80s – Channel 4


I’m not quite sure what the first episode of this was getting at, other than annoying me immensely by referring to the Soviet Union as “Russia”.  It sounded from the blurb like a fairly positive documentary, celebrating Britain’s many contributions to the world to the 1980s.  But it was actually mostly doom and gloom.  Most of the first episode was devoted to fears of nuclear war, with interviewees ranging from Holly Johnson to women involved in the protests at Greenham Common talking about … well, fears of nuclear war.  And it was rather obsessed with Raymond Briggs, but only in the context of, you guessed it, fears of nuclear war.

It also featured The Snowman, Countdown, Margaret Thatcher doing a Saturday Superstore phone-in, a brief mention of the Falklands War, and some talk about Saatchi and Saatchi.  But most of it was, yes, about the threat of nuclear war.

It did say a few positive things about British film makers; and it praised Margaret Thatcher’s important role in improving relations between the West and the Soviet Union. But most of it was miserable.  Where was the 80s music (other than Two Tribes, which was played because it talked about the threat of war)?  Live Aid?  Royal weddings?  Sport?  Anything, you know, cheerful?!

An hour centred on the threat of nuclear war, when I was expecting pop, rock and brightly-coloured clothes.  Thanks a lot, Channel 4!!