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Our Friends in the North

1987 (Season 1, Episode 8)
TV-MA
TV Episode | 75 min | Drama, History

Nicky and Mary have been married for two years, and Mary has just become a grandmother. Nicky has become a very successful photographer who has had many books of his work published. As Leader of the Council, Mary is faced with hard ...See moreNicky and Mary have been married for two years, and Mary has just become a grandmother. Nicky has become a very successful photographer who has had many books of his work published. As Leader of the Council, Mary is faced with hard decisions involving making cuts in services and being restricted from all she would like to do by new government regulations. Felix has become very senile due to the onset of Alzheimer's disease and Florrie, realising she can no longer cope, puts him into a home. Christopher Collins, who used to torment Felix and Florrie as a youth, is involved in a siege on his estate and ends up being shot and injured by a police marksman. Whilst on a book-signing trip to London, Nicky encounters student Alice McDonald who is writing a dissertation on his work, and he begins having an affair with her. After a few occasions together, however, Alice suddenly ends the relationship. Tosker is still married to Elaine and has become a slum landlord. Elaine dislikes this and is worried by the influence that Alan Roe has over him. Tosker then sells his properties, planning to set up a lucrative mortgage lending scheme for council tenants wanting to buy their houses. After Mary points out to Elaine that this is little more than a scam to either get high interest payments from people or gain repossessed properties at rock bottom prices, Elaine is livid. She physically attacks Tosker, throwing ornaments at him, after which the two sit down and seriously talk. Elaine firmly tells him to put their money in stocks and shares whilst they take time to think things through and sort out their relationship. Whilst taking photographs of down and outs in London, Nicky is horrified to discover Geordie amongst them. Geordie has become an unkempt, mentally unstable alcoholic who does not even recognise Nicky. Despite returning several times to where he first saw Geordie, Nicky is unable to find him again and feels guilty. Eddie Wells, still a Labour MP, has become frustrated at how the country has changed, and is now a heavy drinker and bitter. He begins investigating the role of PR firms illegal "payments for questions", particularly the firm run by Colin Butler, the man responsible for the smear campaign against Nicky in the 1979 election. Having had a large falling out, Nicky later discovers that Eddie's researcher Francine is in fact a plant by Colin Butler, who has leaked false information to Eddie. Nicky manages to inform Eddie of this set up right before he is due to start questioning Butler in a Select Committee, and embarrassingly Eddie has to give up his planned exposé. Utterly humiliated, Eddie decides to retire with as much grace as possible and tries to persuade Mary to stand as candidate in his place. Mary refuses, trying to put her interests first for a change. She also suspects that Nicky has been seeing someone else and after they have a row, Nicky walks out on her. He tries to go out with Alice again, but she is embarrassed by his presence and makes it obvious she is not interested. Whilst at his hotel Mary unexpectedly turns up to try and save their marriage, and learns that part of his self-loathing and behaviour has stemmed from feeling "useless", something which Felix accused him of being. Geordie ends up in a hostel and after seeing Eddie Wells on the television becomes incredibly confused, jumbling up some of the metaphors Eddie used in his announcement to expose corruption in government, and sets fire to his bed. He is tried in court for arson and is unexpectedly and harshly given a sentence of life imprisonment. "Black Monday" occurs, completely wiping out the value of Tosker and Elaine's investments and ruining them. Together, they plan to sell their large house and buy a couple of karaoke pubs with the proceeds to get back on their feet. Mary makes it clear to Nicky that their relationship has failed and that she cannot understand why. The Great Storm of 1987 hits the country, causing the prison van in which Geordie and other prisoners are being transported to be held up. They all escape whilst the officers are trying to clear the road of branches, but a frightened Geordie, realising that he cannot fend for himself in the outside world, ends up returning to the van. Eddie's papers are completely scattered by the wind as he tries to walk, and as he gathers them up he suddenly suffers a large heart attack and dies in front of the Houses of Parliament. Written by GusF See less
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Edit Released
Updated Mar 4, 1996

Release date
Mar 4, 1996 (United Kingdom)
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Cast

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35 cast members
Name Known for
Peter Vaughan
Felix Hutchinson Felix Hutchinson   See fewer
Freda Dowie
Florrie Hutchinson Florrie Hutchinson   See fewer
Christopher Eccleston
Nicky Hutchinson Nicky Hutchinson   See fewer
Mark Strong
Tosker Cox Tosker Cox   See fewer
Tracey Wilkinson
Elaine Cox Elaine Cox   See fewer
Catherine Terris
Mrs Merriman Mrs Merriman   See fewer
Gina McKee
Mary Cox Mary Cox   See fewer
Colette Brown
Alice MacDonald Alice MacDonald   See fewer
Heather Tobias
Female Vagrant Female Vagrant   See fewer
Daniel Craig
Geordie Peacock Geordie Peacock   See fewer
Roger Monk
Drunk Drunk   See fewer
Gez Casey
Frank Frank   See fewer
David Bradley
Eddie Wells Eddie Wells   See fewer
Pete Lee-Wilson
Colin Butler Colin Butler   See fewer
Joanne MacInnes
Francine Volker Francine Volker   See fewer
Craig Conway
Christopher Collins Christopher Collins   See fewer
Trevor Fox
Harry Harry   See fewer
Daniel Casey
Anthony Cox Anthony Cox   See fewer
Gavin Kitchen
Police Inspector Police Inspector   See fewer
Sarah Turnbull
Christopher's Girlfriend Christopher's Girlfriend   See fewer
Steven Hillman
Police Constable Police Constable   See fewer
Saskia Wickham
Claudia Seabrook Claudia Seabrook   See fewer
Angela Bruce
Nursing Sister Nursing Sister   See fewer
Dirk Robertson
Vagrant Vagrant   See fewer
Ian Thompson
Political Correspondent Political Correspondent   See fewer
Doyne Byrd
Chairman Chairman   See fewer
Frank Lazarus
Psychiatrist Psychiatrist   See fewer
Valerie Minifie
Solicitor Solicitor   See fewer
David Schaal
Prison Officer Prison Officer   See fewer
Toby Kensett
Andrew Andrew   See fewer
Dylan Barnes
Gary (uncredited) Gary (uncredited)   See fewer
Michael Fish
Self (uncredited) Self (uncredited)   See fewer
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