A Lost Masterpiece?

In 1999 filming began on the 10 part BBC Drama In a Land of Plenty in Staffordshire.

The sprawling family saga was to be told through the eyes of photographer James Freeman and Art Director Mark Stevenson needed a photographer to take pictures to be used as part of the filming.

After a late night interview in a pub with director Hettie McDonald (episodes 1-4)  and other members of the tired but merry crew I got the commission and a few days later I was on set shooting Robert Pugh and Helen McCrory getting married.

Filming took most of 1999 and I made over 500 prints for post production in 2000 before broadcast in January 2001.

I found comparisons between my own career and that of the fictional James. We both started working on local newspapers and my first picture published was of the Miners strike in 1984, James first picture published was of a strike at his fathers factory in the recreation of 1984.
We also share a interest in the environment and the fictional exhibition actually consists of photographs that I took around Stoke-on-Trent in the early 1980’s when I was a art student.”
In a Land of Plenty won critical acclaim. The Guardian described it as "stunning", The Sunday Times deemed it "One of the most acclaimed television series of all time", The Observer called it "the most ambitious television drama since Our Friends in the North", The Times stated it had "a richness of tone and texture all of its own – qualities you associate more with music and painting than with television”.

The drama has never been repeated, is not on BBC iplayer and was never made available on DVD.

Cast included,

Helen McCrory as Mary Freeman
Robert Pugh as Charles Freeman
Shaun Dingwall as James Freeman
Tony Maudsley as Simon Freeman
Shirley Henderson as Anne Marie
Sian Reeves as Zoe Freeman
Kaye Wragg as Laura
Andrew Tiernan as Gary
Ravi Kapoor as Harry Ganatra

In a Land of Plenty a 10-episode British television drama serial produced by Sterling Pictures and Talkback for BBC Two in the United Kingdom. Adapted for television from the novel by Tim Pears. It was first broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2001
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