Shooting The Past (1999)
Written and Directed by Stephen Poliakoff.
Stephen Poliakoff’s series of linked television plays take us on a mysterious journey back in time. A London library with a monumental collection of rare photographs is faced with extinction. Amongst its ten million pictures are images telling extraordinary stories of the past, intimate tales which are both erotic and full of pain. The custodians of these pictures are an eccentric collection of librarians whose stoical, arcane knowledge is in conflict with a new management determined to destroy their world forever.
Shooting The Past was first broadcast in January 1999 on BBC2 and scored remarkable ratings and critical acclaim. It features a trio of stunning performances from Lindsay Duncan, Timothy Spall and Liam Cunningham and a wonderful supporting cast including Andy Serkis, Billie Whitelaw and Emilia Fox. It was chosen as one of the Top 50 Dramas of All Time in the Channel 4 poll of 2007. It features a visually rich display of photographs, some famous, some unfamiliar, with some created specially for the show.
It won the Prix Italia, Best Drama Series at the Royal Television Society Awards and Lindsay Duncan and Timothy Spall were both BAFTA nominated for their performances.
The series also features a glorious score by Adrian Johnston.
Shooting the Past can be watched in full on the BBC iPlayer as part of the Stephen Poliakoff Collection.