Channel 4 aired its 'docu-drama' Blackout Britain last night (Monday) in which it somehow inexplicably managed to confuse many Tweeters as to whether it was showing reality or fiction. The drama on Twitter actually rivalled that on the screen as those surprised they didn't remember it happening were lambasted by others for not fully understanding the Blair-witch style approach to TV production.
Joking aside, the programme failed on many levels, not least on its description of how such a situation would most likely evolve and the many inaccuracies throughout. Most striking though was the speed at which a nation turned feral.
Without stealing too much from Hugh Grant in Love Actually, this is a Britain that strived and survived through two World Wars, was the brutal victim of bombing campaigns that cost the lives of innocents in its cities and at times of utter desperation pulled together. Through extreme weather that causes disruption for longer than the blackout they described: neighbours help others, communities come together and altruism triumphs over self-interest.
Were it not for the riots over 4 days in August 2011 the producers would have struggled to compile any effective genuine real-life footage to make a programme with. While for some the British attitude during the Wars may be less apparent compared with the violence and destruction of 2011, the idea that our dependence on electricity would lead us to become nothing more than animals is at best fanciful.
The programme raised a number of issues but unfortunately wasted the opportunity presented to deliver anything of rigour or to convey the resilience of the system we have in place. Clearly the short attention span drama produced was of more value with its dramatic music than if the facts had been put across and respect given to the steadfast attitude of the British public.