The Village writer Peter Moffat: It's vital not to imbue period dramas with a Ready Brek glow
Tuesday 26 March 2013
One of the country's most prominent screenwriters has complained that British period dramas too often disregard the lives of ordinary people.
Peter Moffat, whose credits include Criminal Justice and Silk, penned forthcoming BBC1 drama The Village, which he was inspired to write after his father opened up about his childhood.
The Bafta-winning writer, who discovered that his grandfather and great-grandfather were shepherds, told the Radio Times: "Life at the start of the 20th century was hard... it's vital not to imbue the past with a kind of Ready Brek glow.
"In British television there's a tendency to look at this period from the point of view of the officer classes.
"The summer of 1914 just before war started is always described as the end of an Edwardian golden age - innocent and charmed and about to be destroyed by the mud and blood and death on the Western Front. It wasn't a golden age for men like my great-grandfather."
The Village stars Maxine Peake and John Simm and charts the life and turbulent times of one English village across the whole of the 20th century.
Moffat said: "In writing The Village I wanted to get past these received wisdoms about the past and describe the bigger picture.
"While (the poet) Rupert Brooke was swimming naked in Grantchester men died in the fields - from overwork.
"Television drama has spent too much time being in love with the poet and not enough time exploring the wonderful, complex and dramatic stories attached to the rest of the population."
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Christmas 2014: The three most intriguing celebrity panto appearances
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Beyonce '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed and films daughter Blue Ivy in lo-fi homage to viral video
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage from Lana Del Rey rape video
X Factor 2014 results: Only The Young leave show in double elimination weekend
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services