Way back in 1983 I watched a TV drama written by Willy Russell. The five-part serial was called One Summer and starred a very young David Morrisey. There aren't many programs from way back in the early 80s that have really stuck with me, however, One Summer affected me in a different way and I have never forgotten watching it. I recently received it as a birthday present and have just watched it again for only the second time in 33 years.
The story revolves mostly around two Liverpudlian schoolfriends, Billy, played by David Morrisey, and Icky, played by Spencer Leigh. Billy doesn't get on with either his sister or his mother and neither him or Icky have a particularly good school attendance record. The local police are out to get Billy. After getting into a dispute with another local gang Billy and Icky catch the train and run away to Wales. They're not sure where they're going in Wales, Billy holidayed there once and Wales has always been somewhere he wanted to get back to.
After arriving in Wales they come across a farmhouse which is home to Kidder, played by James Hazeldean. He takes both lads under his wing and lets them stay with him. Why is Kidder living all alone in Wales? There's more to his story as you will find out.
Billy meets a pretty blonde local girl who quite obviously has eyes for him. Even though Billy portrays himself as a bit of a hard man, we get the impression that he hasn't had a lot of experience with women. Even though One Summer isn't exactly a coming of age drama, the romance between Billy and Jo is actually very sweet.
I won't spoil the rest of the story for you because the DVD is readily available to buy on Amazon.
I believe this was David Morrisey's first big role in television. I don't know what came of Spencer Leigh, I don't think he did much after appearing in One Summer. You'll recognise James Hazeldean from London's burning. Unfortunately, James Hazeldean passed away in 2002.
If you're observant then you will also recognise Victor McGuire as one of the school pupils. Victor McGuire appeared in various comedies including Bread and more recently played alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst in A Good Night Sweetheart.
It is very typically an 80s drama so it's a little bit slow in places. However, it's well worth watching and certainly takes me back to the 80s when I first saw it.
I think the people who brought One Summer to DVD could have made a bit more of an effort to improve the picture quality. Picture quality is very much on par to what we used to get on analogue television.