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."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre