Seminal 80s political thriller Edge of Darkness (BBC 1985) was broadcast in a time of high paranoia about the secret state and the hazards of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons proliferation. Bob Peck plays a CID detective investigating the death of his environmental activist daughter (Joanne Whalley) in mysterious circumstances. His search for the truth leads him into a murky world of conspiracy involving the nuclear industry and the CIA (Joe Don Baker in a bravura performance as CIA agent Darius Jedburgh). The series was produced by Michael Wearing and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. In addition to exploring key themes, performances and soundtrack (by Michael Kamen and Eric Clapton), John Caughie's study of the series will place it in the context of the contemporary political and cultural climate, and also as part of a history of political thrillers on tv and film, from movies like Silkwood to tv dramas like the recent State of Play.
Introduction __ 'A Television Classic' 1 Edge of Darkness: Production Context 2 British Television Drama in the 1980s 3 Britain and the 'Strong State' in the 1980s 4 Narrative and the Serial Form 5 Conspiracy Genre and Paranoid Narrative 6 Death, Grief an