Contact Film Details
Overview: Drama about a platoon of British paratroopers on patrol in Northern Ireland
Review: I stumbled upon this drama whilst trawling through the channels and was totally absorbed from start to finish. From the very realistic cramped and dingy quarters to tramping through the countryside, the tension was palpable. The use of a ‘light intensifier’ with its greenish hue made me feel I was part of the patrol and the lack of music and superfluous dialogue was pure genius. The paras earned themselves a ‘reputation’ – described by one British operational officer as “…Thugs in uniform,” for their ‘no nonsense’ approach and involvement in the Bloody Sunday confrontation – however, they paid a heavy price at Warrenpoint and we’re again targeted by the IRA in 72 at Aldershot. Having occasionally worked alongside them in Ulster, I found them to be really well disciplined and totally focussed on the job in hand, good lads to be watching your back. The ‘shoot to kill’ policy which John Stalker subsequently investigated was, I think referred to in the first scene when the platoon commander produced a ‘mugshot’ of the dead car driver. Obviously, a pre-planned intelligence led ‘hit’ on one of the local ‘active service cells’ which made ‘uncomfortable’ viewing but nevertheless at the time, was extremely effective in addressing local terrorist activity….remember Loughgal? The tiredness, fatigue and constant nervous expectation of the platoon hit the right note in this drama including the ‘engagements’ which, were not too overdramatised. Overall, a terrific production capturing the essence of ‘active service in Ulster’ and the profound impact of comrades lost!
Duration: 67 min
Also known as: Contact