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(TV Mini-Series)

(1996)

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Summaries

  • Nicky, who has been living in Italy for many years, returns to Newcastle to arrange Florrie's funeral. Felix is now in the full grip of Alzheimer's disease and no longer recognises people around him or what is going on. Reading letters left to him by his mother, Nicky finds out more about his father and learns of his lifetime feeling of failure after the Jarrow March achieved nothing. In an attempt to change this feeling in his father Nicky takes him to see a woman in Yorkshire who remembers the Jarrow Marchers, including Felix, coming through her village and the admiration of the people for them. However, Nicky is frustrated as it is impossible for Felix to register what is being said to him. Mary has become a Labour MP and quarrels with her policeman son as they have to deal with unrest on a local estate. Sean Collins, son of Christopher Collins, is being allowed to run wild, neglected by both mother and father and spending his time getting into trouble and joyriding. People on the estate want the family moved, but Anthony sticks up for him. Tosker has become a successful businessman again, and he and Elaine prepare to open their floating nightclub on the River Tyne. Geordie arrives in Newcastle, having escaped from prison, and encounters Sean Collins by the river. He goes to the floating nightclub looking for work and is recognised by Elaine. Tosker is not pleased to see him at first, worried about Geordie's state of mind and prison record for arson. However, he relents and offers Geordie a place to stay at his and Elaine's house, as well as a job playing keyboard with the band who will be playing on the opening night. Despite having a proper bed, Geordie sleeps on the floor of his room and leaves in the morning before Tosker and Elaine can check in on him. Mary is on her way to the opening night when Anthony calls round and announces that he is leaving his wife and children. The two row and Anthony pours out his resentments about her, saying she has been a martyr all her life. Nicky and Geordie meet by chance in a bar and have a drink. Just as they are leaving for Tosker's opening night, Geordie spots Sean who has come to see his father, desperate for some communication and acknowledgement. When Collins is brusque with his son and tries to get rid of him, Geordie is moved to interfere and begs him to talk with his son, only to be head-butted. An angry and upset Sean steals a car and speeds off, subsequently crashing into a wall at high speed and killing himself. Since Geordie fails to turn up, Tosker finally achieves his dream of playing on-stage with a band and he and Elaine are happy at the night's success. At Florrie's funeral, Nicky breaks down in tears and at the wake the four friends are shown alone in the same room for the first time in 31 years. After this brief reunion, Tosker leaves to be with Elaine and their young grandchildren. Just after Mary leaves, Nicky has a revelation and impetuously chases after her car, realising that he wants to renew their relationship and seizing the moment. He catches up to her and asks to spend the day with her in the hope of getting together again, which Mary happily agrees to. Geordie briefly watches Tosker playing with his family on his boat, before walking off along the Tyne Bridge alone.

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