Written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell, One Summer aired on Channel 4 in 1983 to critical acclaim, praised for its emotional drama, hard-hitting realism, and subtle humour. Starring David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) and Spencer Leigh, the beloved cult series has made its Blu-ray debut thanks to Network Releasing.
Thought of by many as something of a lost masterpiece, One Summer is a remarkable piece of work that is rarely mentioned in the same breath as many of the other programmes of the era. This could be due to its complicated history – writer Willy Russell was unhappy with the production and removed his name from the credits. It was only in ’06 that Network were able to secure permission from Russell to release the programme on DVD. While it is still not entirely clear what disagreements caused this controversy, it has certainly influenced the programme’s legacy.
All that said, fans and newcomers alike can rejoice that the wonderful series has finally been given a definitive release with a stunning high-definition remaster from original film elements, presented in its original full screen aspect ratio. The show looks and sounds better than ever. Compelling and at times harrowing, this gritty series has an earthy realism that many other shows cannot get close to – it was, and indeed still is, a transfixing piece of work.
With pitch-perfect direction from Gordon Flemyng and a phenomenal set of performances, One Summer is a lost masterpiece of television that perhaps now will get the audience it deserves.