An Englishman's Castle
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (February 2018)
An Englishman's Castle is a BBC television serial first broadcast in 1978, written by Philip Mackie and directed by Paul Ciappessoni. The story was set in an alternative history 1970s, in which Nazi Germany won World War II and England is run by a collaborationist fascist government. Peter Ingram (Kenneth More) is a writer for a soap opera (also called An Englishman's Castle), which is set in London in 1940, during the fictional Nazi invasion and subsequent occupation.
|An Englishman's Castle|
|Written by||Philip Mackie|
|Directed by||Paul Ciappessoni|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Original release||5 June –|
19 June 1978
Peter Ingram is a successful London screenwriter, the creator of one of the most popular television shows in Nazi-occupied Europe, An Englishman's Castle. It is a period soap opera, following an ordinary London family during an imagined German invasion of England in 1940. Ingram is oblivious to Nazi rule, which is hidden behind a façade of seemingly-normal English daily life. The invasion was followed by several years of guerrilla warfare, which ended in a truce with Germany and an amnesty that enabled the resisters to resume normal daily life in return for accepting the reality of German occupation, which they generally did, feeling that further resistance was futile.
Ingram's show furthers the feeling among the population in the present (1978) and so is highly valuable to the authorities. A kind of normal was restored, with few Germans to be seen in the streets. German rule is maintained mainly through an extensive system of collaborators, known as "delators". When dissidents are detained it is done by polite, soft-spoken English police but they are then delivered to torture chambers, kept discreetly out of sight.
Ingram gradually becomes aware of the real state of things. He encounters his superiors' firm objection to the inclusion of a character with a Jewish name in the series. The series is largely based on his life, he argues and the Jewish man was a real friend. Having such a character would violate the official policy of letting the extermination of the Jews remain forgotten, never discussed openly. Ingram discovers that his mistress, Jill, one of the stars of his show, is secretly Jewish and a member of a clandestine resistance movement. Eventually, his loyalties are tested and he sides with the resistance.
When the resistance decides to include the code word that will signal a nationwide insurgency in his show, due to its huge audience, he complies, allowing Sally (Jill) to speak the phrase when it is filmed. In the closing scene, he locks himself in his office as the episode is broadcast, cuts off the feed just before her scene airs and speaks the phrase himself instead, live over the air. As the sounds of a rebellion against the collaborationist government begin to come through the windows of his office, Ingram awaits the secret police; when someone breaks down the door he turns to stare at the unseen intruder.
- Kenneth More as Peter Ingram
- Isla Blair as Jill / "Sally"
- Anthony Bate as Harmer
- Kathleen Byron as Mrs. Ingram
- Noel Dyson as Connie / "Mrs. Worth"
- Rob Edwards as Adrian / "Bert Worth"
- Fiona Gray as Susan
- Nigel Havers as Mark Ingram
- Peter Hughes as John / "Mr. Worth"
- David Meyer as Henry Ingram
- Frederick Treves as Lonsdale
- David Roy Paul as Head waiter
- Brian Peck as Jimmy
- Philip Bond as Inspector
- Anthony Stafford as Arthur / "Frank Worth"
According to the DVD cover, the series was released by Simply Media and the BBC in 2015.