Drama about NI in the 1970's

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Line_Grunt, Feb 3, 2004.

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  1. Can anybody remember the one off drama about the Army in NI during the 1970's - followed a platoon commander round. Think it had a bit where they were chasing punters through tower blocks and the oc shot a kid?

    Who made it, and where can i get hold of a copy????
  2. Would that be "Contact"?

    Almost no dialogue, very grainy film used. From the book by an ex Para if memory serves.
  3. line grunt it was called a 'breed of heroes' from the book of the same name.

    'Contact' was intersting espically the way of clearing the car at the end and the dodgy WG30 helecopter
  4. "Contact" by A.F.N Clarke - I've got a copy that I taped off the TV. I don't think it's what Line_Grunt remembers, though; the book covered two tours (one urban, one rural) and the TV film was entirely rural.



    I think that what Line Grunt remembers might be "A Breed of Heroes" by Alan Judd.


  5. For what this is worth:

    Breed of Heroes is definitely the one with the bit (towards the end) where the CO shoots a child.

    Other memorable bits of the film/play included the CO ordering that gravy should never be served in the mess; one of the troopers shooting himself and the CO taking the subsequent funeral parade through a republican area.

    The last scene has the lead character (Samuel West) carrying out a training drop on Salisbury Plain (his unit being a strange non-Maroon bereted paratrooping/airlanding regiment).

    Hopefully there might be something there that might jog the memory as to which it was (i.e. none of the above it was Contact, some of the above...)?

    The film of 'Contact' bears very little resemblance to the book upon which it claims to be based. I have a dim memory that this was once put to some BBC chap, who said that 'inspired by' rather than 'based upon' would have been a better description on reflection. If I recall correctly, the incidents portrayed in the film (or at least some of them) do not appear in the book.
  6. large chunks of contact were filmed like it was seen through IWS.

    In Breed of heroes there was the bit were the CO was having an O group and showing his poetry prowess by receiting Naming of parts whilst playing with a Lee enfield.
  7. aaaaah yes Contact and a Breed of Hero's, staple reading of my adolescent years.

    I still have the video of contact somewhere, which at 14 I thought was as cool as f--k. Wasn't the kid who got shot on his SLR butt a member of the eastenders cast later? The young gay bloke?

    For about two years all the infantry tactics in my schools CCF was based on the TV version. "Derilict ahead 2 to stay and cover 3 a head and go firm" I even tried to model my beret on ruperts and wouldn't let the third years where theirs so I could be like my hero :oops:

    Can you remember the magazine lying in the field? Local farmer is dragged over at gun point and made to pick it up because they think its "attached to a mecury tilt switch, lift the magazine and its good night vienna" :twisted:

    Breed of hero's was pretty good to. especially when the subbies got pissed and went out to raid a convent one night looking for arms. The adjutant who was into shagging with his pattern 58 webbing on. I tried this at uni and it does bruise your buttocks if the water bottles full. :D The author is now a senior MI6 officer and has published a sequal I haven't read about the main character in MI6 in the ninety's. I don't know its name but I am sure someone here has read it.

    Anyone remember Harry's Game by Gerald Seymour? RRF captain living in Belfast with dodgy Irish accent.? Even at 13 that proposition seemed a little contrived and the TV versions helipad berets and long hair were laughable. Good book though. Better is Journeyman Tailor by the same author about a female source handler in the 1990's.

    Best book about NI in the early years? Probably Terrence Strong's Whisper Who Dares 4 SAS men take on a stack of american mercenry's and hundreds of terrorists south of the border and offcourse kill them all. One Uni mate of mine read it at 15 and ended up passing selection and being a troop commander in 22 SAS, scary.

  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Out of interest Trotsky, your chum hasn't managed to drop any americans lately has he???
  9. Wouldn't know, he has rather dropped out of sight in recent years. Blending in I suppose.

  10. Many thanks - have the book on order from amazon...

    does anybody know where i can get hold of a copy of the video???
  11. The follow-up novel is called 'Legacy'.

    I don't know about the video - the BBC would seem to be the obvious source for it, but they don't seem to have it for sale on their website.
  12. I concur, one of my favourites - set in East Tyrone with loads of nasty PIRA-types, heroic SAS blokes and a hard as nails bird with MI5 or 6. HOORAH!! :eek:
  13. Talking of Gerald Seymour Did you read "Fields of Blood" with the RRF Lt babysitting the PIRA supergrass? That was excellent.

    Oh and another book by some one else set in the 80's where an RUC officer from HQMSU goes on a killing spree and has to be hunted down. What was that called?

    I remember the day I finished it (1991 or 92) an RUC officer walked in to a sinn fein office and sprayed it with automatic weapons fire.

  14. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    and a twelve gauge if I recall too.

    Sinn Fein Killed 0....
  15. Whilst I think of it does anyone recall a drama series called "Spearhead" about the Wessex rifles (or similar),

    I remember they were in NI and then somewhere hot?

    Anyone shed any light on this?