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Very British Futures

Very British Futures

By Gareth Preston
A critical look back at some British television's most interesting science fiction series.
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Very British Futures - The Tripods
Earth 2089. A time of peace and contentment thanks to the benevolent rule of the Tripods, huge machine beings who "cap" teenagers to make them productive adults. Yet, Will Parker believes there is something very wrong with the world, and together with his cousin Henry, sets out on a quest to find the legendary Free Men and ultimately topple the Tripods. At its time it was the biggest SF production ever mounted by the BBC. Yet two years in it was unceremoniously cancelled, leaving its characters on a grim cliffhanger. Join Gareth, with guests Andrew Roe-Crines and Kevin Hiley as they take a deep dive into the John Christopher's celebrated SF trilogy. How does the series stand up today? In a larger picture, were the Tripods and their secret Masters really the good guys? Follow us on Twitter at @FuturesVery and visit for more news and reviews.
May 4, 2021
Very British Futures - Knights of God
In the near-future (2020!) post civil war Britain is ruled by a military dictatorship - The Knights of God. A young man called Gervaise becomes a key player in both the resistance and the plans of the fanatical Prior Mordrin. We journey back to the Eighties to take a critical look ITV's post-apocalyptic teatime adventure series, which featured an impressive cast and budget. Why did it remind us of Harry Potter? What motivates the Knights? How do these characters get around the country so fast? Gareth Preston is joined by Kevin Hiley and Dr Rebecca Wray to consider violence, religion and why some series seem to fade into obscurity. Music by Chatri Art ( Follow us on Twitter @FuturesVery
April 20, 2021
Very British Futures - Pathfinders in Space
At the beginning of the space age, a plucky band of scientists and children launch into adventures on the Moon, Mars and Venus. They are - Pathfinders in Space! UK television has created some of most influential, imaginative and scary science fiction in the medium's short history. Take a journey into some of the lesser known regions with Very British Futures. We begin with the ABC 1961-62 teatime drama series created by Sydney Newman, the television pioneer who would later devise Doctor Who for the BBC. What is the secret of Gerald Flood's acting? How much research did writers Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice do? Why did they deliberately put microphone booms into the frame? Where does the Lost Planet fit in? Host Gareth Preston is joined by Nigel J Anderson and Brian Clarke to celebrate this overlooked science fiction programme. Music by Chatri Art (
April 8, 2021