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From There To Here: Preview

Joan Davies on the BBC mini-series exploring the aftermath of the '96 IRA bomb

Written by . Published on May 8th 2014.

From There To Here: Preview

HOW did we get to here? How did we get to this different world? We’ve heard 'things were different then' a good deal recently. Yet the different world we hear about was not so long ago.

There’s a great love for the place, for its optimism and for the willingness to sometimes say the unsayable.

For many in Manchester the IRA bomb, the largest bomb seen in peacetime, was the major catalyst for change in the city, continuing to impact through a change of government and a new millennium.

A period of time was needed before the event could be marked through drama and the BBC has now stepped in, perhaps emboldened by its partial move North. In trying to think of set-in-Manchester dramas which even mention the bomb I find the list very short. Zero so far. You could say it's about time.

From There To HearFrom There To Hear

From There To Here with a cast including Philip Glenister and Bernard Hill, tells the story of a city, an era, through a focus on two families caught up in the event of 15 June, 1996.

An oversubscribed launch screening of the first of three episodes showed us the highs and lows of that summer: the injuries, the spirit and resilience of the city, Gazza’s best, Southgate's worst.

Philip Glenister is well suited to the role, grounded in Manchester but with a gravitas and income that could take him anywhere. Liz White and he have previous from Life on Mars. This time they seem to like one another more. Her character has little income, but a love for life that even two jobs, two boys, and a non-appearing husband can’t quash. Both seem remarkably unfazed by the bomb.

The bomb issues we’re so familiar with are dispensed with quickly. With writer and producers knowing what will make it real for us are particular images and stories, the post-box, the Marks to Arndale bridge, the pregnant woman and the policeman carrying the baby. The visual images superbly replicate reality. Then we all move on, quickly.

These people’s lives were in full flow; the bomb was but a jolt. Then they carry on, knocked slightly off their original course. Future episodes will cover the key years of 1997 and 2000.

From There To HereFrom There To Here

The creative team, writer and executive producer Peter Bowker, joined by Derek Wax, Tim Bricknell, and director James Strong, plus cast members Liz White and Daniel Rigby relish the task of working in Manchester. There’s a great love for the place, for its optimism and for the willingness to sometimes say the unsayable.

There’s plenty of humour and a recognition that Manchester isn’t just what happens in the city centre, but envelops Cheshire, Rochdale and beyond. Though I do wish for once that the poor family lived in Cheshire and the wealthy in Rochdale.

The three episodes of From There To Here screen toward the end of this month. There’s plenty to interest Mancunians including the aerial shots which you can play in slow motion trying to spot how they’ve CGI’d Beetham Tower out of existence.

The first episode packed in a lot in terms of storytelling. It will be interesting to see how those too young or too far away to remember the bomb will react.

From There To HereFrom There To Here

From There To Here will show on BBC One on Thursday 22 May at 9pm.

Prior to this, on Sunday 18 May at 8.30pm on BBC Four, there will be a documentary entitled 'A Writer's Journey From There to Here - Peter Bowker', which will take a look at Bowker's career and include contributions from Philip Glenister.

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMay 8th 2014.

So it is another tedious TV 'drama' but using the a tenuous connection to the bomb to make it a bit different and to provide an excuse for some special effects. Manchester's regeneration has not been of a different scale to that of most other comparable UK cities and would have probably happened even if the bomb had never gone off.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Eff eff effMay 8th 2014.

Wow, who pissed on your cornflakes?

Mark GarnerMay 11th 2014.

Good God, how bloody miserable are you? Manchester is streets ahead of Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Belfast, Birmingham. It has far more going for it and most of that is because of the huge investment after the bomb and a stable, love 'em or hate 'em, council leadership. Cheer up FFS

rinkydinkMay 11th 2014.

He's right. The boom started before the bomb (pardon the pun) and it can be argued that similar levels of regeneration have happened in Birmingham organically. I don't think Liverpool counts here as nothing was happening there until it got COC (Capital of Culture) status. It can also be argued that the money has not been spend wisely here. The area near the bomb is at best mediocre - compare the remodelled Arndale and Selfridges building with the Bullring in Brum. And let's not mention Piccadilly Gardens

rinkydinkMay 11th 2014.


SquirrelitoMay 8th 2014.

Cheer up, Grimchops, you might like it

AnonymousMay 9th 2014.

I love my city as much as the IRA did/do. Alhough for very different reasons.

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